One of the most difficult IBS to deal with is feeling so tired. The overwhelming impression that you have a million things to do, and no energy to do them with.
I don’t know about you but just getting out of bed was a real strain for me. I used to wake up feeling so tired that I just wanted to stay there. As soon as I opened my eyes, a switch inside me seemed to start the bloating off. It would take me about 20 minutes to emerge. I just seemed to be tired all the time, and getting through the day rather than living. No matter how much sleep I got or what time I had to wake up the result was the same, even on vacation.
You’re supposed to go to work, be creative, reactive and generally be on the ball. I saw colleagues buzzing with energy – even my mother who is in her seventies had far more “go” than I did.
So what’s going on?
One of the main culprits is poor digestion.
Digestion is a vast subject. I will be dealing more with the multiple causes of bad digestion and multiple solutions to better digestion in future posts. But to get you started:
What you should know:
Poor digestion during the day makes you sluggish.
Difficulty concentrating, no energy? Don’t look any further for the cause. If you are digesting badly, it takes your body much more time and energy to process what you are eating.
Bad digestion stops you sleeping well
If your sleep is affected by bad digestion then you cannot recuperate as you should. You may not even be aware of it but you probably toss and turn during the night. I was convinced I slept OK, despite feeling so tired.. The only indication that I had been turning all night was that the hair on the back of my head was like a bird’s nest every morning.
Poor digestion is robbing your body of vital nutrients
When our digestion is off-balance, our bodies are not as efficient in absorbing nutrients. If this continues for long periods we can find ourselves low in key vitamins and minerals that make us feel tired. Do be aware that anti-reflux medication also reduces the level of nutrients your body absorbs.
Poor digestion cramps the stomach and often makes us want to eat to calm it down.
Sound familiar? About an hour or so after a meal you reach for something to soothe the stomach. A coffee? Biscuits? Cake? Crisps?
So tired? What you can do:
There are no miracle fixes for this, but some good habits will take you in the right direction and give you more energy:
1) Avoid trigger foods as much as possible, particularly for your evening meal. To help identify your trigger foods, read this.
2) Eat your evening meal and then stop. Whatever you eat later on you will probably be digesting all night.
This is easier said than done. Even though I knew I was going to pay all night for that packet of crisps, I had had a long day, I was tired my stomach was cramping too much.
3) Try using essential oil of exotic basil to relieve stomach cramps and abdominal bloating.
I had tried everything and nothing was working on my bloating. I already had trouble digesting over-the-counter medicines because of their lactose coatings and unnatural formulas. I came across essential oils one day at my local pharmacist. This was a breakthrough for me, and certainly helped me reduce bloating and digest better. And this small improvement helped me sleep better and not feel so tired.
The advantage of using essential oils is that they offer a natural remedy that you can apply to the skin. No digestion needed. There are many you can mix with a carrier oil (almond, olive or coconut oil) and apply directly to the skin locally where you have the problem. The downside to essential oils is that they have a smell which you may or may not like or feel comfortable with at work. This is why I suggest using them in the evening if your stomach starts to cramp.
Essential oil of exotic basil is known for its powerful anti-spasmodic properties. It relieved my stomach cramps and reduced bloating.
I personally just squirted some hand cream or moisturizer into the palm of my hand and added 3 drops of essential oil of basil, which I then lightly applied to my stomach area at the end of my evening meal. I found that my stomach was less tense, and I slept better afterwards.
The downside to essential oils is that they have a smell which you may or may not like or feel comfortable with at work. This is why I suggest using them in the evening if your stomach starts to cramp.
This is the brand of organic essential oils I personally use and trust: PURESSENTIEL. It sold in pharmacies in France, Italy and the UK. It can be bought on Amazon, often with the Italian packaging (as seen below). Or you can look for a local trusted brand.