5 Signs That You Are Not As Healthy As You Think You Are
5 Signs That You Are Not As Healthy As You Think You Are
Many of our patients come in to our office complaining of one primary complaint. Once we dive into the history and discuss their health in more detail we typically find other issues that the patient minimizes or feels “is not that bad”. Many of these signs and symptoms are important to understand in order to put together the puzzle and get the patient to a higher level of health. Here are some of the common and many times subtle signs that we find patients ignore.
1) Poor Sleep
More and more research is linking lack of sleep to diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and obesity. A good night sleep is more like a fundamental nutritional supplement for good health rather then a luxury. And when we say good night sleep we are referring to 7-9 hours of solid sleep a night. Many of the patients we work with have difficulty staying asleep or getting asleep. Often, we are told by our patients that they’ve only slept 4 hours a night for most of their lives, some never thinking that this was a threat to their health. Problems with getting to sleep and staying asleep have many different possible causes. Some of the causes that we commonly see include hormonal imbalances, neurotransmitter imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, blood sugar imbalances and stress.
Lack of sleep will catch up with you sooner or later. Some of the easy changes that you can make to help improve sleep include shutting off all electrical devices 1 hour before bed. This includes the T.V., cell phones and tablets. Pick up a book or magazine and read before bed. Some even have to remove these devices, including the T.V., from the bedroom entirely. Putting up black-out curtains on your windows can help block out street lights and early morning sun light. Light from electrical gadgets and the sun stimulate the pineal gland within the brain to slow, stop or prevent the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin. This can cause you to not fall asleep, wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. Start changing your sleep patterns now to reduce your risk of diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
2) Low Libido
Part of our ability to survive and exist is dependent on our sexual drive and ability to reproduce. If we are not interested in sex or unable to perform sexually then this is a sign that there are imbalances internally that are causing this lack of drive. Some of the common causes of these problems include hormone imbalances, thyroid dysregulation, adrenal gland fatigue and abnormal blood sugar regulation. Low libido and low sex drive may be something you can ignore for the moment but in the long term it’s a sign that there are potentially serious problems lurking.
3) Low Energy Some or All Day
Do you find that it is hard to make it through the day with out feeling like you need a nap? Or are you having difficultly getting up when the alarm goes off in the morning? One of the culprits that we see that leads to that afternoon slump is insulin resistance. Especially if you find that it is a struggle to stay awake after a meal. Insulin resistance is a sign that you are either heading toward type 2 diabetes or your blood sugar is in diabetic range.
If you find that it is hard for you to get going in morning and you are dependent on that daily cup or two of coffee then you may have a different issue. If this is happening, but you are not going to bed late then you may be suffering from adrenal insufficiency. The adrenal glands are two little glands that sit above the kidneys. They play an important role in many functions, one of which is getting you going in the morning. Tests can be performed to measure adrenal gland function and cortisol levels. Cortisol is one of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands.
Getting your blood sugar checked and your cortisol levels measured is a good place to start if your get up and go has got up and left.
4) You Have Skin Irritation, Rash or Acne
Your skin is the largest and fastest growing organ. One of its obvious jobs is to keep stuff out of the body, like germs. But another important function is detoxification or getting toxins out of the body. Any skin irritation is a sign that there is an imbalance in the body. This imbalance is typically not in or on the skin itself, believe it or not. That is why ointments, creams and topical lotions usually only provide temporary relief of symptoms. The research and what we have seen clinically is that most of the patients that come in suffering from skin issues have gastrointestinal dysbiosis. Or simply there are problems within the small and/or large intestines. These problems come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe you have heard the term “leaky gut”, that is GI permeability. That is a common problem. And we also see intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The list of gut problems is a long one but the bottom line is if you have skin issues you need to start focusing on getting your gut healthy. Advanced stool and urine tests can now be performed to determine with great detail the balance of bacteria in your gut, as well as the general functional overall of your gut.
5) You Have Dark Circles, or Bags, Under Your Eyes
We see commonly dark circles are caused by lack of sleep. But if you are getting adequate rest then it may be a sign of other problems. One of the problems could be food sensitivities or intolerances. Or you may be suffering with liver dysfunction, kidney dysfunction or possibly anemia. Anemia doesn’t necessarily mean iron-deficiency. Anemia may also signal chronic illness. We can run tests to properly diagnosis and address each of these conditions. If the condition is not effectively handled then it may get worse leading to organ damage or failure, leaky gut which may then lead to other conditions. Even though you are able carry on with life with those dark circles under your eyes, they are often a warning sign of trouble brewing under the surface.
This is only a short list of some of the issues that patients ignore, think are “normal” or simply minimize (“it’s not that big of a deal”, “it doesn’t interfere with my life/job/activities”, etc.). But you can now see how when one domino falls another one is not too far behind. That is why you should not ignore symptoms that may seem minor because they can be a sign that something more serious is going on or you may be at risk for. Handling things proactively and early is much easier and more successful then later when they become full-blown advanced diseases.
Are you experiencing any of these signs or any other symptoms that are non optimal? Let us know!