Do you feel like you are constantly running on empty? Do you feel tired, sluggish or just plain wore out?
Exhaustion has been upgraded to a syndrome that is growing at an alarming rate. People are leading hectic lives, trying to balance work, raise kids, care for loved ones and financially stay afloat. Daily life can drain the best of us.
But did you know that exhaustion could be due to an undiagnosed medical condition?
In order to feel energized, people's bodies need to have a high level of oxygen, said Dr. Mehmet Oz, author, television host and heart surgeon
Anemia is a low concentration of red blood cells. Having fewer blood cells means the body is receiving less oxygen than it normally would. Women tend to get anemia more often than men do.
Symptoms of anemia include dizziness, especially when you stand up. Sensitivity to cold (you may often be the only one in your office who's freezing), pale in color under the tongue or on the inside of your lower eyelid are also symptoms, said Oz.
Any one of the symptoms on its own could indicate something is wrong but taken all together, they may indicate anemia. Anemia can be confirmed with a simple blood test and it can primarily be treated through diet and over-the-counter medications.
Anemics can add iron-rich foods (such as broccoli and red meat) or you can cook in an iron skillet which allows iron to be absorbed into the food. You can also add iron supplements, vitamin B12 and folate.
The body needs magnesium to help convert food into energy. Research shows that women who are deficient in magnesium use more oxygen than those who had adequate levels, Oz said.
The recommended daily dose of magnesium is 320 milligrams but an estimated 65 percent of women don't get that much. Oz recommends adding pumpkin seeds and spinach to your diet.
According to the American Thyroid Foundation, 17 percent of all women will have a thyroid disorder and most of them don't know it. If your exhaustion is coupled with weight changes, hair and skin changes or neck enlargement, you should have your doctor check your thyroid. Thyroid disorders are treated with prescription medications such as Synthroid or Armour Thyroid.
Fewer than 20 percent of people who suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) have been properly diagnosed. People with CFS may also have anemia, hypothyroidism or problems with their diet.
Oz said there are two simple ways to handle the problem. Add cordyceps pills (available in health food stores) to your daily routine. They make cells more efficient at using cortisol so adrenal glands don't have to work so hard to produce it. They are also antioxidants, which increase the lifespan of a cell, strengthen the immune system and increase energy. Cordyceps is a mushroom that supports the adrenal gland, and the treatment has been used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Taking D-Ribose may be another way to significantly increase your energy. D-Ribose is a form of sugar that's an essential energy source for cells. It's also available at health food stores and may be used as a sweetener in green tea.
Good Morning America
MC Ortega is the former publicist for the late Walter Payton, Coca-Cola and Dunkin’ Donuts. Ortega is a senior communications and messaging executive specializing in media relations, social media, program development and crisis communications. Also, Ortega is an avid traveler and international shopper. Ortega resides with her partner, Craig, dog, Fionne and extensive shoe collection. Ortega also enjoys jewelry design/production and flamenco dancing.