I know so many people who are exhausted.  Completely and utterly exhausted.  My friends, my patients, my work colleagues, often myself.  Fatigue, exhaustion, burnout – it seems to be the chronic disease of our time and I find it quite depressing thinking about it and its impact on our ability to not only work, produce and succeed in life but also to enjoy life, enjoy our families and enjoy ourselves.  So my next few blogs are going to be written especially for those of you who are struggling with fatigue.  I’m hoping to give you some tools you can use to explore what is going on with your health and what you can do about it. 

The first step in ‘fighting fatigue’ begins with finding the underlying cause of the fatigue, finding out why you are so tired. Unfortunately, this is a lot easier said than done.

Is your lifestyle making you tired?

Start by looking at your daily habits. Are you a parent who works a full day in the office, comes home to cook and clean, put your kids to bed and then…sit down at your computer to do a few more hours work…often until after midnight? If yes, then there is your reason for being so tired.

To be honest, how on earth can anyone live like this and not be tired? If you think you can survive on 3-4 hours sleep then read my blog, One Good Reason to Sleep, and hopefully you will start making sleep a priority.

Similarly, do you have a coffee for breakfast, skip lunch, have a chocolate or some chips late afternoon and then usually pasta for dinner? If yes, then of course you will be tired!

Is an underlying health condition causing your fatigue?

If you can’t find the cause of your fatigue in your lifestyle, then you need to start looking at common health conditions that cause fatigue. Visit your doctor for a full check-up and also ask him/her to run a few tests to investigate the following common conditions that are all associated with fatigue:

  • Anaemia – low iron levels are common in growing children, menstruating or pregnant women and vegetarians and they cause fatigue, decreased immunity, headaches and dizziness. 
  • Hypothyroidism – this is a major cause of fatigue, especially if that fatigue is accompanied by weight gain, dry skin and hair, constipation and depression.
  • Infection – I feel I am opening a can of worms when I mention this topic. There are so many pathogens that can cause chronic fatigue as a consequence but the most common are Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii (Lyme Disease), Epstein Barr Virus, Cytomegalovirus and chronic lung or gut infections.  Your doctor will be able to help you investigate these.
  • Low vitamin B levels – the B-vitamins are responsible for maintaining your nervous system, mental health and energy metabolism.  I like to call them the ‘stress vitamins’ because they are quickly used up by your body in times of stress.  If you are going through a stressful time or have experienced a great deal of stress in your life, then ask your doctor to check your vitamin-B levels.
  • Low vitamin D levels – although not really an ‘energy’ related nutrient, low levels of vitamin D negatively affect the absorption of many minerals and result in muscular weakness and bone pain as well as depression.  If you are struggling with ongoing fatigue accompanied by a lot of aches and pains or muscular weakness, then have your vitamin D levels tested.  This is especially important if you do not get enough sunshine. For example, if you work night shifts, live in a highly polluted city or spend far too many hours in the office.

What else can be making you so tired?

If your doctor has ruled out any health conditions that may be making you tired, yet you are still struggling with chronic fatigue, then you need to ‘throw the net wider’ and start looking at other causes of fatigue.  These include:

  • Medications – unfortunately lethargy and fatigue are a common side effect of many medications.    Medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, reflux/heartburn, antibiotics, antihistamines, antidepressants and those used to treat anxiety and insomnia are all known to have fatigue as a side effect (Neel, 2012).  Never take yourself off a prescribed medication as this can be dangerous, but instead talk to your doctor who may be able to adjust your dosage or prescribe an alternative to what you are taking.
  • Chronic inflammation, dysbiosis or an unhealthy microbiome, leaky gut and food intolerances are all associated with chronic fatigue and I will discuss these more in detail in later blogs.
  • Menstrual problems – many women struggle with painful, heavy or too frequent periods and long term these problems can be utterly exhausting and even debilitating.  Unfortunately, the more exhausted you become, the more irregular and difficult your cycle will be so it is very important that you focus on good nutrition and a healthy routine in order to keep your menstrual cycle as balanced as possible.
  • Menopause – chronic fatigue is also common in menopausal women whose sleep often becomes disrupted by hot flushes or night sweats. For hints and tips on how to survive menopause, read my blog, Managing Menopause Naturally.

If you eliminate all of the above as possible causes and are still exhausted, then you need to start exploring the deeper reasons for your fatigue – often these are more than simply pathophysiological. If you need some help and guidance then please book a consultation with me.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dr-ruth-hull_the-health-lounge.jpeg

Author: Dr Ruth Hull. Ruth is a homoeopathic doctor and integrative health consultant with a special interest in working with people struggling with chronic fatigue, burnout or insomnia. She is author of Anatomy, Physiology & Pathology for Therapists and Healthcare Professionals as well as three other health-related textbooks. She is based in Perth, Australia, runs the online educational organisation, The Health Lounge, and also consults online: http://www.ruthhull.com/


Reference:

Hull, R. Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for Therapists and Healthcare Professionals. Lotus Publishing: Chichester

Mortimore, D. The Complete Illustrated Guide to Vitamins and Minerals. Harper Collins Publishers Ltd: London

Neel, A. (2012). 9 Types of Medications That Can Lead to Chronic Fatigue, AARP. Online. Accessed 17 November 2020. Available: https://www.aarp.org/health/drugs-supplements/info-06-2012/medications-that-cause-chronic-fatigue.html

DISCLAIMER: You should not rely on this information as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health and before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet you should always consult your general medical practitioner or other health professional. The use of any information provided by Ruth Hull and/or The Health Lounge is at your sole risk and no assurance can be given that the information provided will always include the most recent findings or developments. All events and information are provided according to the laws of Western Australia.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Do you struggle with frequent loose stools and/or constipation? Do you often have painful bloating and flatulence after eating certain foods? Do you find that stress, worry and anxiety always affect your digestive system? If yes, then you should get to know your ‘friendly little gut microbes’. Living in your gut are about 100 trillion little bugs that, if you look after them well, will look after you.

Gut health

According to the NY Times journalist, Nicholas Bakalar, “There are at least 800 billion more cells in your body than there are galaxies in the known universe”.

Yet, you have approximately 10 times as many microorganisms in your gut as you do cells in your body.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

What is the gut microbiome and what does it do?

Your gut microbiome (often referred to as your gut flora) is made up of all sorts of microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa. You can learn more about your microbiome and its functions in my blog: “A quick peek at your second brain – the gut microbiome”, but basically your microbiome:

  • influences your genes, your brain, your metabolism, your intestinal functioning and your blood sugars
  • helps regulate the absorption of food, the sensations of hunger and satiety, and your ability to regulate your weight (so if you want to lose or gain weight you really need to think about the health of your gut microbiome)
  • helps to protect the cell junctions lining your intestines. If these junctions become compromised the disorder ‘leaky gut’ or ‘increased gut permeability’ develops and this is associated with food intolerances and chronic inflammation
  • plays a vital role in our immunity and in helping our bodies to cope with chronic inflammation.

Dysbiosis – Common signs and symptoms

An unhappy microbiome, or one in which there is an overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria, is called dysbiosis and common signs and symptoms of dysbiosis are:

  • abdominal pain, cramping and bloating
  • gas/flatulence
  • constipation and/or diarrhoea
  • bad breath (halitosis)
  • food intolerances/sensitivities
  • ‘foggy’ brain, fatigue and mood swings.

Are these common problems you deal with everyday?

Image by 272447 from Pixabay

Homeopathic Bowel Nosodes for Gut Health

Luckily we have many wonderful homeopathic remedies to help with digestive problems such as an imbalanced gut microbiome or dysbiosis. One set of remedies is actually made from intestinal flora – the Bowel Nosodes.

These remedies do not only help with obvious gut issues, but actually work much deeper and are commonly used in autoimmune disease, chronic skin conditions or when a patient is not responding to their constitutional homoeopathic remedy.

When you think about the far-reaching impact our gut microbiome has on our digestion, our brains, our immunity and even our genetics, then it is not surprising that the bowel nosodes can have such deep, far-reaching effects on our health.

Although these are wonderful remedies, I want to emphasise that they are very deep-acting remedies that you should only take under the care and guidance of a professional homeopath.

Photo by Kat Jayne from Pexels

Although bowel nosodes are deep-acting, ‘health-changing’ remedies, it is important to be aware that they are not “homeopathic probiotics”. They are homoeopathic remedies made from intestinal flora but used to treat a wide range of health problems and they should always be prescribed according to homoeopathic principles.

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are live microorganisms used to promote health. They generally contain a variety of microorganisms and different probiotics will have different health benefits depending on the microorganisms they contain. Probiotics can be taken as a dietary supplement or in food. If you are looking for probiotics to improve your gut health I suggest you look at what you eat on a day-to-day basis and try to include more fermented foods in your diet.

What are good sources of probiotics?

According to Harvard Medical School, “Fermented foods are the best source, as probiotic supplements, which are typically sold over the counter, are reserved to treat specific ailments as suggested by your doctor, and not recommended for everyday use. Plus, supplements do not have the same FDA oversight as medications do.”

There are lots of fermented foods you can choose from and try to eat them every single day. Just a quick word of advice though, if you are new to fermented foods eat only a small amount everyday to begin with – give your body time to adjust to them otherwise if you eat too much too quickly you may end up feeling very uncomfortable. Here is a list of different fermented foods for you to try:

  • have a bowl of live yoghurt for breakfast, make a delicious dip with live yoghurt & garlic or use yoghurt instead of mayonnaise
  • drink kefir or kombucha
  • have tempeh instead of meat one night
  • enjoy a delicious miso soup
  • eat sauerkraut or pickles with your meals
  • try sourdough bread with nice fermented cheese.

I am getting hungry just writing this!

Anyway, remember that the health of your entire body and mind are closely connected to the health of your gut microbiome. So look after your microbiome. Feed it good foods and avoid eating too much sugar.

If you are struggling with gut issues or chronic health conditions related to poor gut health & dysbiosis (such as autoimmune disorders, skin conditions, chronic fatigue) and would like a professional homeopathic consultation please get in touch or read more about my online and in-person consultations here. If you’re a homoeopath wanting to learn more about the bowel nosodes, I suggest you read Ai-ling Makewell’s article, Bowel Nosodes: a group of neglected remedies.


Author: Dr Ruth Hull. Ruth is a homoeopathic doctor, integrative health consultant and four-times published author. She is based in Perth, Australia, and also consults online: http://www.ruthhull.com

Please note, these blogs are for your enjoyment and curiosity only. If you feel you, or a friend, needs a homoeopathic remedy please see a qualified, registered homoeopath and please do not, in any way, use these blogs to diagnose or treat yourself.

DISCLAIMER: You should not rely on this information as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health and before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet you should always consult your general medical practitioner or other health professional. The use of any information provided by Ruth Hull and/or The Health Lounge is at your sole risk and no assurance can be given that the information provided will always include the most recent findings or developments. All events and information are provided according to the laws of Western Australia.

References:

Mayer, E. The Mind-Gut Connection: How the Hidden Conversation Within Our Bodies Impacts Our Mood, Our Choices, and Our Overall Health

Prescott, S. and Logan, A. The Secret Life of Your Microbiome

Phosphorus – the bringer of light

Image source: Image by Anja from Pixabay

We have a new puppy called Joey. He is a beautiful Kelpie cross Bull Arab. Super-loving and super-friendly. Also a real softy, really intelligent and likes to please 🙂 A couple of weeks ago he had a small operation and when he came back from the vet something in him had changed. He was irritable, his skin was itching like mad and he developed small, bleeding sores where he scratched. More than anything, he followed me every step I took. He just did not want to be alone. So I took him to a homoeopath who works specifically with animals. She couldn’t get over how friendly and loving a dog he is and how he just wants to be with people the whole time. Hates being alone. A perfect case of phosphorus, she said!

Homeopathic phosphorus for bleeding

Phosphorus is a wonderful remedy to use after surgery, especially if someone reacts badly to the anaesthetic (as Joey had). It is also a remedy for ‘bleeders’ – people (or animals) who continue to bleed after surgery or childbirth; women with prolonged or profuse periods or who bleed in between periods; people who suffer with small skin wounds that keep bleeding; and those who regularly experience blood noses.

Homeopathic phosphorus for respiratory problems

What I found so interesting with Joey needing phosphorous is that it is actually also my eldest daughter’s constitutional remedy – and her and Joey have a very special friendship. She, like him, loves to be around people and life to her is all about connection, friends and community. A few years ago we moved away from home and went to live in Taipei. She found it hard being away from friends and family and was very, very homesick. For the first time in her life she became asthmatic. Every time she came from being outdoors into an air-conditioned room she would start with a dry, ‘tickling’ little cough and would say she felt as if something heavy was on her chest. After a few months she developed pneumonia. To add to that, my poor little girl’s hair starting falling out, she became anxious and afraid of everything! Night time was the worst – she was scared of the dark and of being alone and really did not want to go to sleep. How she had changed in only a few months! Thankfully, phosphorus came to the rescue.

Phosphorus is often used homoeopathically to help people struggling with respiratory issues when there is difficulty breathing, a sense of pressure on the chest, a chronic dry cough and often, hoarseness.

Homeopathic phosphorus for digestive disorders

Another area where phosphorus helps is with gastrointestinal problems such as chronic diarrhoea that ‘burns’; nausea in pregnancy; and ‘burning’ dyspepsia or reflux. Often, a person needing phosphorus will have a dreadful feeling of ’emptiness’ – a weak, empty, gone sensation in their abdomen. They will be exhausted and just want to lie down.

A ‘burning’ sensation accompanies many symptoms that indicate phosphorus and it helps to remember that matches either contain white phosphorus in the head or you strike them against a red phosphorus-based surface in order to ignite them. So if you see ‘burning’ then think of phosphorus.

Image by TanteTati from Pixabay

Homeopathic phosphorus for depression

One of my most rewarding cases was also a phosphorus case. I had a 60 year old woman come to see me. Her daughter was a patient of mine and booked her mum in to come and see me hoping I could help with her mother’s fits of anger. Gulp! I was a bit nervous to meet her after hearing about her fits of uncontrollable anger followed by remorse. However, the woman I met was lovely. Very tall, slim, fair-haired and friendly. But, as she spoke, I realised what a dark, lonely world she was living in. She spoke of how her children had moved away from home and were too busy with their own lives to spend time with her. She spoke about how ’empty’ and ‘lonely’ her marriage was and how she had no-one to share her life with. She kept mentioning how alone she was. Alone, tired and burned out. She could find no joy in life – she saw her job as a ‘chore’ and herself as a ‘dark cloud’. She also felt very trapped by life – trapped by her job, her marriage and her own unhappiness. Physically, she had few ailments, but did feel that when anxious she couldn’t breathe. I gave her phosphorous 200CH. I saw her three months later for a follow-up which really made me smile. She walked in to my office and gave me the biggest, warmest smile and asked what was in my ‘funny little white powders’. I laughed! She said that the huge, dark cloud that had been hanging over her for so long had simply lifted and gone away. She said she felt herself again 🙂 She was still very tired and ‘snappy’ but she said she could now cope with things and no longer felt her life was pointless.

Homeopathic phosphorus for chronic fatigue, exhaustion and burnout

Homeopathic phosphorous has many uses and I have only mentioned a few here. It is a wonderful remedy for chronic fatigue, burnout or exhaustion, especially when seen in children or teenagers who seem to grow too quickly or struggle from anaemia. It is also helpful for people who develop chronic fatigue once they have moved away from their family or home or if a friendship has broken up.

How does homoeopathic phosphorus work?

The age old question! If you read through the cases I have given above, you will notice an ongoing theme – a deep need for company, for love, for connection. Joey is a naturally friendly, loving family dog. The surgery, perhaps the anaesthetic, upset his natural balance and when feeling ‘out of sorts’ he craved attention more than ever and did not want to be alone. My daughter is also a naturally friendly, loving girl who was very close to her friends and grandparents. When we moved away from home and she lost this connection she became ill. My client was also a friendly, open woman who became depressed because she felt very alone, her children were too busy for her and she had lost all connection with her husband. Phosphorus does not treat a specific disease but instead helps restore and balance a person’s natural, inner energies.

One of the best things to remember about people needing phosphorus is that they need to be around friends and family, around the people they love. They are warm, loving and friendly people who light up the room when they walk in – they are the bringers of light.

Image by pen_ash from Pixabay


Author: Dr Ruth Hull. Ruth is a homoeopathic doctor, integrative health consultant and four-times published author. She is based in Perth, Australia, and also consults online: http://www.ruthhull.com

Please note, these blogs are for your enjoyment and curiosity only. If you feel you, or a friend, needs a homoeopathic remedy please see a qualified, registered homoeopath and please do not, in any way, use these blogs to diagnose or treat yourself.


DISCLAIMER: You should not rely on this information as a substitute or replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns regarding your health and before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet you should always consult your general medical practitioner or other health professional. The use of any information provided by Ruth Hull and/or The Health Lounge is at your sole risk and no assurance can be given that the information provided will always include the most recent findings or developments. All events and information are provided according to the laws of Western Australia.

“The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.” – Charles Duhigg

Are you constantly tired? Do you suffer from chronic fatigue?  Burnout? Exhaustion? Do  you want to change how you feel but just don’t know where to begin?  Believe it or not, the first place to start is by looking at your habits – all those little things you do every day – and asking yourself why you do them.

Samuel Beckett said: “Habit is the ballast that chains the dog to his vomit”.

This has always been one of my favourite quotes – in fact, as a teenager I wrote this quote out on a piece of paper and pinned it to my bedroom wall.  Most of my friends couldn’t understand how I could like such a “disgusting-sounding” quote, yet somehow, more than 20 years later, this quote often still goes through my head.

We all interpret things differently in life and my interpretation of Beckett’s quote is:

If you don’t like how you keep feeling then stop doing what you keep doing”.

The small things we do habitually each day keep us feeling the way we are feeling.  If we keep snacking on biscuits and rusks (yes….I do), then we will keep having energy lows.  If we keep relying on that coffee every morning to get us going (yes….I do), then we will keep being tired every morning until we have had our caffeine.  If we keep drinking too much wine at night (and again…yes…I do), then we will keep suffering from sinus problems.

I find when I work with my patients, they are often “keeping” themselves sick, or tired, or unable to sleep through their little habits and routines.   In order for them to really start healing on a deep level, they need to take a look at what they keep doing to themselves, and, more importantly, why they keep doing it. Do I snack on biscuits every day because it takes me back to that warm, cosiness of my childhood?  Do I drink coffee every morning because I don’t believe I have enough strength to cope with my day?  Do I drink wine every night because I feel I can’t unwind?

We can’t change our habits until we understand why we do them, and we can’t really heal until we change our habits.  So here is a short, but surprisingly difficult, exercise for you to do: write down your “bad” daily habits and then write down why you think you do each one.  Just write them down and think about them. By simply being aware of what you do and why you do it, you will be taking your first BIG healing step and when you feel ready to change that habit it will be easier than you think.


Author: Dr Ruth Hull (Homoeopathic Doctor)

Ruth is an integrative health consultant, four-times published author and homoeopath.

www.ruthhull.com



#journeytohealth #homeopathperth#homoeopathy #fatigue #burnout #insomnia

I think almost every single one of us has at some stage of our lives experienced that awful feeling of simply lying awake all night, waiting for the sun to rise so that we can finally get up and have a cup of coffee.  After it has happened for a few nights then that sense of dread sets in – when you spend half your day dreading the coming night because you know you just aren’t going to sleep.  Or you might be lucky enough to fall asleep and then the dog, or cat, or neighbour….or something…will wake you up around 3am and you will spend the rest of your night lying there staring at the ceiling.

When these sleepless nights turn into sleepless weeks a chronic cycle of insomnia develops – a cycle that is very difficult to break and can often need professional help.  Homoeopathy can work wonders with insomnia and does not interact with any daily medication you may be on. Yet in addition to this, there are 3 simple steps you need to take to get a good night’s sleep.  Put these 3 steps into action TONIGHT and after a week you should hopefully have reset your body clock and broken that awful cycle of sleeplessness.

  1. RESET YOUR BODY CLOCK
    • Get into bed at the same time every night.
    • Set your alarm for the same time every morning.
    • As soon as your alarm rings EXPOSE YOUR EYES TO BRIGHT LIGHT for a few minutes (preferably natural) – it is very important that you do this at the same time every day.
  2. HAVE A BED-TIME ROUTINE
    • Do not eat a heavy meal for 3 hours before you go to bed.
    • Have a warm milky drink (see recipe below).
    • Warm up your body – have a warm bath/shower or do some gentle stretching.
    • Get into bed and relax – read, chat to a partner or simply daydream!
      • ABSOLUTELY NO TECHNOLOGY….NO TV AND NO PHONES!!!
  3. CLEAR OUT YOUR BEDROOM
    • Your bedroom is for sleep, relaxation and sex only! There must be no TV, cellphones, ipads, flashing digital clocks etc in your room.  It needs to be a quiet, peaceful place that you can retreat to and switch off in.
    • Your room should be clutter free – don’t have piles of unpaid bills or work on your bedside table. Clear out your room so that you only have things that you love and that relax you.
    • Your room should be as dark as possible so that you sleep well.
CARDAMON MILK

This lovely ayurvedic drink contains cardamon and nutmeg which are well-known for their sedative properties.  It is relaxing, nourishing and full of goodness.

  • Boil a mug of milk on the stove with a pinch of cardamon powder (or a few pods), a pinch of nutmeg and a pinch of saffron (ONLY a pinch of each of these)
  • The milk must boil for a few minutes
  • Remove from the heat and add a teaspoon of ghee (also called clarified butter….buy in an indian shop or health shop)
  • When it is at a cool enough temperature to drink add some honey to make it taste sweet
  • Optional: add two tablespoons ground almonds or almond powder (brain food).

good night and sweet dreams


Author: Dr Ruth Hull (Homoeopathic Doctor)

Ruth is an integrative health consultant, four-times published author and homoeopath.

http://www.ruthhull.com


IMAGE SOURCE: https://innerbattle.me/blog/tag/insomnia/

It doesn’t seem that long ago when I was dancing to the Pixies and shouting out the words “where is my mind”, yet somehow, somewhere, in the last few decades I seem to have lost not quite my mind, but my memory.  Is this just part of the natural process of having children, ageing, working too hard and a bit too much stress?

Our brains have an amazing ability to continually form new neural pathways.  This is known as “neuroplasticity” and for it to take place our brains need to be ‘healthy’.  In other words, we need to look after them…..rest them, feed them and exercise them.  Just as we try to look after our bodies, so we should look after our brains.

Meditation and breathing techniques are well-known for improving memory and the yogic meditation Kirtan Kriya is now recommended by the Alzheimers Research and Prevention Foundation .  But there are also other ways to “rest” your brain and improve your sleep – simply find something that you enjoy doing that takes you away from the daily grind of your life: walking in nature, playing outdoors with your kids, doing a puzzle, painting – something in which you can switch your mind off and lose yourself.

Feeding our brains is essential to keeping them healthy.  Rather than focusing on what you should cut out of your diet, focus on what you need to include.  With every meal try to eat some “brainfood” – add seeds, nuts, oily fish, avocados, olive oil or coconut oil to your meal to ensure you get a good dose of essential fatty acids and vitamin E.  Your vitamin B- group is also essential for the nervous system and is easily destroyed by stress and alcohol. A B-complex supplement is often a good idea when you are under a great deal of stress or if you are vegan as some of the B-vitamins are only found in animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs.  There are also many herbs and aromatherapy oils that can help improve your memory, your sleep and your ability to cope with stress.

If you are like me and you shudder at the word “exercise”, then I apologise for the following statement: regular exercise is vital not only  for the health of your body, but also for the health of your brain. Cardiovascular exercise ensures there is adequate blood-flow to the brain, improves your sleep and helps you de-stress.  Regular mental exercises, on the other hand, ensure neuro-plasticity.  As the saying goes, “use it or lose it”.  Start doing a crossword or brainteaser everyday or learn something new and challenging such as a musical instrument or perhaps even a new language!

Just to end, I found the image for this blog from Tech & Facts which has some great facts about your brain (such as it is 60% fat….so eat your fats! ). Take a look at it.


Author: Dr Ruth Hull (Homoeopathic Doctor)

Ruth is an integrative health consultant, four-times published author and homoeopath.

www.ruthhull.com


Your internal environment is regulated by hormones and even the slightest change to hormone levels can have a large and lasting impact on your body.

Cortisol, The Hormone of Stress

One hormone, in particular, has a significant effect on your day-to-day life, affecting your ability to cope with stress, your energy levels, your weight, and even your reproductive and sexual health.

This hormone is cortisol and it is primarily released in times of stress via the activation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis.

Circadian Rhythms

Cortisol has many functions in the body and is the hormone that helps you wake up in the morning, gives you energy to exercise and helps you cope with stress.

It is released in a cyclical (circadian) rhythm, peaking in the mornings at approximately 8am and then waning in the afternoons, between 3-4pm. 

This rhythm enables you to get up and function in the mornings and then relax and ‘switch off’ at the end of the day.

Interrupted Sleep, Insomnia, Fatigue

If, however, cortisol is constantly being released into your bloodstream due to ongoing stress, then this natural rhythm and hence your sleeping rhythms become displaced. 

High levels of cortisol circulating in your blood stream in the middle of the night means you will be wide awake in the middle of the night.  When these levels crash early in the morning you will too.

Blood Glucose Levels, Insulin Resistance, Inability to Lose Weight, Exhaustion

Another of cortisol’s functions is to increase the level of glucose in your blood stream.

However, constantly high levels of glucose in your blood stream lead to insulin resistance and the effects of insulin resistance include fatigue, increased appetite, abdominal weight gain, and eventually Type II Diabetes Mellitus.

Poor Immunity, Frequent Infections & Poor Healing

High levels of cortisol also suppress your immune system resulting in frequent infections and poor healing.

Gut Health, Woman’s Health and Pregnancy

In addition, excess cortisol has a negative effect on both your digestive and reproductive systems leading to digestive disorders, PMT and difficulties in conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy.

What is Stress Doing to You?

So if you find you can’t sleep at night, can’t lose weight, are constantly sick or struggle with digestive or menstrual/reproductive problems then perhaps it is time to stop for a minute and take a closer look at your stress levels and how you are coping with them.

Adventure Travel Infographic (1)

Author: Dr Ruth Hull (Homoeopathic Doctor)

Ruth is an integrative health consultant, four-times published author and homoeopath.

www.ruthhull.com


REFERENCES
Jain, J.  2005.  Chapter 31, Animal Hormones, Fundamentals of Biochemistry (online). Available at: http://www.cuchd.in/e-library/resource_library/University%20Institutes%20of%20Sciences/Fundamentals%20of%20Biochemistry/Chap-31.pdf (Accessed 26 May 2016).