Why am I always sick? That’s one I frequently ask myself (which is why I have this blog), and one that I have found goes through Google quite often.
While some people have immune system disorders or hidden chronic conditions they are yet unaware of, there are often simpler explanations as to why we are always sick.
So, if you’ve been to the doctor and all the tests have come back negative or inconclusive, this post’s for you.
“You’re not allowed to leave the table until you’ve eaten all of your broccoli.” Didn’t everyone’s mom used to say that? Well, she was right. But it’s not just fruits and vegetables; it’s everything. A balanced diet is crucial, and what is balanced for you isn’t necessarily right for someone else. While some people thrive on vegetarian or vegan diets, others need animal fats and proteins to feel well. It’s important to listen to your body and eat right for your body type.
The doctor may tell you that you are adequately hydrated, but honestly, they are only measuring extreme dehydration…the kind that can kill you. However, there is another level of dehydration that’s just as unhealthy. Chronic dehydration, not getting enough water in your system daily can cause everything from horrible migraines to stomach problems. It’s even believed to be a trigger in allergies and asthma, which I have first hand experience with. If you’re drinking nothing but sports drinks, sodas, tea, and coffee, you are not getting enough water to stay healthy. Simply upping your intake of water can make all the difference in the world to your health and wellness.
More on Dehydration and Water
Seriously, take a good multi-vitamin. It’s the simplest thing in the world. Find a multi-vitamin that works for you. I’ve used the One A Day Vitamins off and on for many years, and I like them. However, you might find one that’s different and works better for you.
The recommended daily value of Vitamin C is 60 mg minimum. This is supposed to be just enough to prevent scurvy, however some people require more. If you’re getting sick all the time, it’s possible that your immune system is crying out for some assistance, and Vitamin C is the way to do it. Some doctors say that you should take as much as you need to feel better, even if it’s 10,000 mg per day. Other doctors caution that anything over 2,000 mg can cause gastrointestinal problems and kidney stones. However you decide to look at it, finding a good 1,000 mg Vitamin C tablet to take daily is at least a start, if not a solution, to your illness problems. More on Vitamin C
Stress has been shown to be an evolutionary friend and foe. While stress is often good, helping us get up the energy and adrenaline through our systems to fight off a threat or escape it, our sedentary lifestyles and non life-threatening stress triggers are causing stress to act as a silent killer. Stress contributes to obesity, anxiety, panic disorders, stomach problems, and overall sickness. People who suffer from chronic stress are often the least healthy of their relatively stress free peers. Learning to calm down and relax can greatly improve your health, reduce your risk of catching viruses, and actually reduce incidences of chronic conditions such as allergies and asthma.
To learn more about stress and how it affects your health, watch National Geographic: Stress – Portrait of a Killer.
Do you seem to catch every respiratory cold or flu virus that comes your way? Do you manage to get a lot of sinus infections? Have you ever been checked out for allergies? If you aren’t diagnosed as having allergies, it may be time for you to see an allergist and see if you would benefit from some allergy medication. While many people are aware of seasonal allergies, some people, like myself, suffer all year round and require a great deal of medication to feel well. Anti-histamines, nasal sprays, allergy shots and a slew of natural remedies are available for allergy sufferers. In addition, if you’ve developed an allergy in recent years, you will now know what to avoid in order to remain healthy. Those beautiful flowers in your garden could be the culprit, or it could be your roommate’s cat.
If you are already aware of your allergies, it may be time to up your medication or change prescriptions or try allergy shots. See your doctor to determine if something new can be done to combat your allergy symptoms.
Lack of sleep contributes to just about every ailment imaginable. Just like a poor diet, sleep deprivation makes chronic conditions like asthma, allergies, and mood disorders much more severe. In fact, sleep deprivation can cause depression, ADHD symptoms, and extreme irritability. Without energy, you can’t live your life. Without rest, your body cannot heal itself and successfully combat intruders, causing you to feel ill for most of your waking hours. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Young children require even more. If you have trouble sleeping because of insomnia, medications you are taking, a sleep disorder, or just plain stress, see your doctor.
To get a good night’s sleep, turn off all the lights. Light tells your body it’s time to be awake. Do a relaxing exercise of some kind. Watch a short TV show, and then immediately turn off the TV and go to bed. Read a relaxing, yet entertaining book. Get a CD or a sleep machine that puts out sounds of ocean waves, rain, or plain white noise. If you aren’t sleeping well because you have allergies or asthma, get those symptoms under control and consider a cool mist humidifier to help control the symptoms.
Learn more about Sleep Deprivation and its negative effects on your health, and how to form better sleeping habits and fall asleep faster.
Wash your hands with hot water and soap. Make sure you generate enough friction to kill the germs, as the rubbing motion is what truly kills the germs. Take a shower. Wash your body. Tend to cuts, scrapes, and dry spots on your skin that can become breeding grounds for bacteria that will weaken your body. However, do not use anti-bacterial soaps. For women, avoid douching. It cleans away beneficial bacteria that helps prevent yeast infections.
Did you know that brushing your teeth can help you prevent heart disease?
Seriously. Take care of yourself.
I need to take my own advice on this one, and I’m a bit of a hypocrit by bringing it up, but it has to be said: Clean your house. I’m not talking about a spotless job that only a full-time maid could accomplish. I’m talking about the little things you need to do daily or weekly. Make sure your dishes are clean as quickly as possible, as dried on food that’s left to stick attracts bacteria and bugs. Dust the house with a hot, wet rag to kill the dust mites, especially if you have allergies or asthma. Wash your bedding in hot water (again, if you have allergies or asthma, this is a fantastic way to help you feel healthier at night). Vacuum the floors. Shampoo them if it’s been awhile. Have your home checked for water damage, such as mold and mildew growth that can be detrimental to your family’s health.
In addition to the above, living in a cleaner environment reduces stress, increases energy and improves memory and mind clarity. I feel so much better once my house has been cleaned, like a huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders. Feng Shui may not be realistic, but a clean home can mean the difference between a healthy, stress reduced life and a anxiety ridden, always sick and tired life.
More from Always Sick: A Clean Home is a Healthy Home
Excessive Sugar Intake
Sugar has been implicated in a slew of diseases and conditions. Aside from the obvious problems that occur in people with diabetes and other blood sugar conditions, sugar has been said to feed yeast/candida growth in the body, contributing to frequent yeast infections while slowing the healing process when a person is sick. It’s also been suggested that people with allergies should not consume sugar, as it can make symptoms worse. Limit your sugar intake to natural sugar in fruit and grains.
Are you getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day? This can be in the form of going for a walk, a jog, or doing a little cardio in front of the TV. You don’t have to hit the gym to get a good work out. Do some jumping jacks in your living room, or buy some roller blades or a bicycle and go for a ride around the neighborhood. In fact, getting your workout outside in the fresh air and sunshine is the best way to get healthy!
Pollution / Chemical Exposure
Do you work in a job that exposes you to chemicals and fumes, such as a beauty parlor, an auto repair shop, a home painting business, or the like? I have to say, just being exposed to these fumes as a customer gives me a splitting headache. If you’re asking yourself the question “Why am I always sick?”, the answer could be your job! Constant exposure to these fumes can cause migraines, sinus problems, nausea, and sleepiness. In fact, excessive chemical exposure can also cause hallucinations.
It’s not just at work, either. If you spend a lot of time in traffic, live in a heavily populated area where there are a lot of cars driving around, or you use chemical ridden household cleaning products, you could be exposing yourself to small doses of toxic substances that make you feel regularly ill. It might be time to get a change of scenery, get a home air filtration system, and/or change your cleaning products to something more natural, less toxic, and fragrance free.
Get outside! Breathe in the fresh air. Take in the Sunshine – it’s the best way to get your Vitamin D. Plants need sunshine to grow and survive, and humans do as well. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, get more sunshine and fresh air. If you have allergies or asthma, go outside (so long as the pollen count isn’t high that day). If you can take a little trip someplace where the landscape is absolutely breathtaking, do it every chance you can get! It will help you get more exercise and feel more at peace.
These are just the basics, and things I am trying to implement into my own life to help me from feeling always sick and tired.
Question: What do you do to improve and ensure your personal health and wellness?
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