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You might be working out or eating healthy food, but sometimes, taking care of yourself goes well beyond that. Here are some common signals that you might not be looking after yourself.
Wellbeing is one of those things that always has room for improvement. Now, this doesn't mean that you need to obsess over the idea or that you need to constantly keep this in mind. However, more often than not, wellbeing is usually linked to diet and exercise, but it is more than that.
As a matter of fact, a lot of daily things you don't pay attention to might be clear indicators that you are not taking good care of yourself. If you experience any of these symptoms, there is still a lot you can do in order to be your healthiest self.
You go to bed after a long day. You sleep your regular hours, but you wake up feeling tired, spacey, and with a foggy brain. You leave the house and you forget your wallet or your keys. Does this ring a bell? If you've experienced this, you probably link this to stress or poor sleep. However, according to Martin G. Bloom, MD, brain fog can also be linked to a hormonal imbalance. For women, mental lapses might be indicative of dysfunctional thyroid.
The best way to avoid this is by eating healthy. Where's the link? Well, experts say that your intestinal microbiome can impact the rest of your body. A healthy gut can make a huge difference in your cognitive function.
Low sex drive
This can happen for many reasons: from decades of partnerships to a lot of stress, sex drive is usually affected by daily issues. While some libido fluctuation is expected, having a constant low sex drive might be a sign of something else —according to Dr. Bloom, this might be due to a hormonal imbalance. This imbalance can usually be associated with other serious conditions like fatigue, depression, weight gain, and, in some cases, heart problems. If it is within your possibilities, take a hormone test to see where you are at.
"The hormone test will act as a roadmap, and 99 percent of the time, testing will uncover the root causes," Dr. Bloom explains.
You are stressed out
Life is complicated, and this year, in particular, has been rougher than we could've imagined. This is not free: we are under a lot of stress and it has been constant since, at least, March. It is well known that stressful circumstances can affect our health because of the stress hormone, called cortisol. According to Dr. Bloom "when cortisol levels are unbalanced or spiked, this can cause us to feel moody, anxious, depressed or suffer from poor cognitive function. High cortisol can also cause an increase in body fat and inflammation, which can lead to less self-confidence, frustration, and reduced energy."
In these cases, Dr. Bloom recommends starting the road of relaxation through your gut, the same as with brain fog. "Stress is something that can be managed and fixed with the right support, and reduced stress can be a major player in improving your overall health and quality of life," he adds.
You are breaking out
Acne can be caused by hormones or genetics. However, according to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai hospital in New York City, it can also be a sign of stress. "It has been well documented that stress in the workplace is associated with worsening of acne," he says. " When you sleep, cortisol levels naturally go down." Food might also be a factor here: too many sugary and starchy foods can lead to high blood sugar levels, encouraging inflammation.