Get More Energy!
How Hidden Health Concerns Wear You Out continued...
●Your guy snores.
Having a partner who saws wood can cost you an hour of sleep a night, according
to one Mayo Clinic study. Next time his snorting and snuffling jerks you out of
slumber, nudge him to roll over on his side, suggests Charles Kimmelman, M.D.,
an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Cornell University's Weill Medical
College in New York City. One reason: Back-sleeping can cause the uvula (the
small mass of tissue that hangs at the back of the throat) to fall back and
block the airway. A saline or prescription nasal spray may also help relieve
any congestion. If these measures don't work, he may have sleep apnea, a sleep
breathing disorder that causes snoring and pauses in breathing. Diagnosis
sometimes involves spending the night at a sleep center so machines can monitor
his breathing; wearing a special mask over his nose while he sleeps may help
open his breathing passages.
● You've got undiagnosed heart disease.
About 70 percent of women who have had heart attacks experienced fatigue for
about a month beforehand, according to one University of Arkansas study. You're
not too young for this killer, either: "I've seen plenty of women in their
30s and 40s who have had heart attacks, many of whom told me they couldn't even
walk up steps without feeling exhausted, but figured they were just getting
old," explains study author Jean C. McSweeney, Ph.D. Other warning signs?
Sleep disturbances, shortness of breath, indigestion, and anxiety. "If you
have any of these symptoms, especially if you have known risk factors for heart
disease, see your doctor," says McSweeney.
●You're mildly anemic.
About 12 percent of women under 50 have anemia or deficient levels of iron, a
mineral key to producing hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that
transports energizing oxygen throughout the body. Anemia is typically diagnosed
with a complete blood count test, which measures circulating hemoglobin levels.
But even if your numbers are normal, you may still be anemic. "Have your
doctor also test your ferritin levels, which measure your body's iron
stores," says Northrup. Anything below 12 nanograms per milliliter signals
anemia. Your doctor will probably advise eating more iron-rich foods, such as
lean beef and dried fruit. But don't take an iron supplement before first
asking your doctor, since too-high levels can damage your liver.
● You're hypothyroid.
One in 10 women have hypothyroidism, or low thyroid hormone levels - and about
half don't know it, according to the American Association of Clinical
Endocrinologists. "Thyroid hormones control metabolic rate, so when your
cells aren't getting enough, your body's processes start to slow down, leaving
you sluggish and prone to weight gain," says Mark Wiesen, M.D., director of
endocrinology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Your
doctor can check hormone levels in your blood with a thyroid-stimulating
hormone test; low levels are treatable with a synthetic hormone, which you may
have to take for the rest of your life. Another 10 percent of women experience
postpartum thyroiditis, a decline in thyroid levels that frequently normalizes
on its own over time.