10 Hidden Health Issues That May Be Affecting Your Weight, Mood, and Well-Being
Long-term stress can cause poor digestion, a low immune system, and psychological problems. In most cases, we can detect the cause of stress. However, it’s also possible there could be unknown stressors leading to your health issues.
Let’s look at 10 hidden health conditions in your body that may be disturbing your mood, appearance, and well-being.
There are over 100 thousand trillion mitochondria in your body, and they use over 90% of the oxygen you breathe. They turn food and oxygen into energy, that is, they are responsible for your metabolism. Unfortunately, these little things are very sensitive to oxidative stress, which is caused by free radicals.
Oxidative stress is able to affect your mood and well-being, destroy your immune system, and increase the risk of inflammatory diseases and cancer. Such factors as infections, unhealthy foods, allergens, and toxins can increase the levels of oxidative stress in your body. However, you can decrease this process by eating healthy foods, strengthening your immune system, and avoiding frequent exposure to different toxins.
Blood sugar spikes
If you experience carb cravings, you’re often irritable and forgetful, you eat until you’re sleepy — you might have blood sugar problems. This issue is stressful for your body since it affects both insulin and cortisol levels. You get ‘hangry’ because you went all day without eating and your body compensates by overeating bad foods at your next meal. Constant compensation of cortisol and insulin spikes is stressful as the blood sugar levels jumping up and down continuously provoke cortisol.
Zinc is essential for the normal balance of all your hormones, as well as for a strong immune system and healthy skin. The average daily intake for zinc is 8 mg per day, however, women may need a minimum of 30 mg per day. But taking too much zinc can negatively affect the absorption of many minerals. Hence, it’s important not to overdo it.
If you have poor digestion, your skin is dull and irritated or you drink alcohol regularly, you may need to supplement with a bit more zinc. You can try multivitamins which include 30 mg of zinc, or you can increase your intake by eating more lamb, oysters, grass-fed beef, eggs, mushrooms, and cashews.
Lack of essential fatty acids
Essential fatty acids help us regulate our immune system and inflammatory response. They also can have a good impact on our HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal) axis, helping our bodies adapt better to stress and heal HPA-axis dysfunction (also called adrenal fatigue).
Omega-3 fatty acids get burned up quickly when we have any inflammation or are under stress. Try to supplement with 1 to 2 grams of a high-quality fish oil supplement daily. Higher doses are recommended temporarily for high inflammation, increased cortisol, and high cholesterol treatment.
We need magnesium for hundreds of biochemical reactions daily. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 300-400 mg daily, but many women require higher doses to restore their depleted magnesium levels. You can get this mineral from nuts, spinach, bananas, and avocados.
Poor oxygen delivery
Insufficient oxygen delivery is characterized by confusion, headaches, shortness of breath, and pale skin. Among the most common causes of low oxygen to your tissues are deficiencies in iron and key B vitamins (B12, folate, and B6).
Selenium is an important nutrient that plays a huge role in keeping a healthy immune system, as well and activating thyroid hormones. Nutritionists recommend a daily intake of 200 mcg of selenium. Brazil nuts are the richest source of this mineral — just two or three per day can give you 200 mcg dose.
Much like oxygen, our bodies need plenty of water to function properly. It seems so simple to eliminate this stressor — you need to drink more water! However many women drink plenty of water yet are always thirsty. One of the easiest ways to fix it is to supplement with electrolytes. If you experience Polycystic Ovary syndrome (PCOS), deal with insulin resistance, are physically active and thus sweat regularly, electrolytes can help.
See Also: Top 5 Tips On How To Stay Hydrated
Stress often leads to hormonal imbalance, which is also stressful for your body. All your hormones are connected, which means that if one of them breaks down, other hormone levels will also be disrupted. This can occur during perimenopause. As your estrogen and progesterone levels drop, your brain signals your ovaries to not give up the fight.
So the adrenals also get stimulated to increase the production of progesterone and other adrenal androgens that get converted to estrogen and testosterone. Your adrenals are asked to do more than they might be capable of doing, which can result in HPA-axis dysfunction. Therefore, specialists often recommend that every woman going through perimenopause support their adrenals through stress management and supplements.
Inflammation can disrupt many things in your body. If you experience excessive inflammation, it burdens all of your hormonal systems. Inflammation can interrupt the signaling from the brain to the thyroid gland, which in turn affects all thyroid hormone levels. If you’re experiencing any hormonal deficiency symptoms but have normal hormone levels, consult your doctor to find out whether you have chronic inflammation.