Last Updated on September 25, 2008
I feel tired most of the time. Previously, I am assailed with feelings of lethargy and fatique which got worst as I grow older.
I have problems getting up in most mornings- was hardly a morning person since my school days. So for a long time when I reached the office, I was so tired that I do not feel like taking to anyone. It will take me about an hour to ‘recover’. On very bad mornings, I even get snappy with people. Over the years it got worst and I started drowning myself with more and more caffeine (to stay awake and alive), to an extend that it has opposite affect. I can drink double expresso from Starbuck at night and still sleep soundly. But overall, with increased dosages, comes the increased fatique.
So I took up exercising, joined a gym. Because it helped to me to reduce my feeling of fatigue, I am now almost addicted to exercise, which is a good thing 🙂
I thought there was nothing much I could do about it- except continue exercising. It cannot take away all the fatigue but it does help a lot. So last Tuesday I overstrained my hamstrings and almost injured my ankles, I have no choice but to stop and rest a few days, or risk having a broken ankle. With the rest day, I took some time to read and stumbled upon a few findings.
I discovered that the culprit to consistent fatigue could be my sweet tooth. My sweet tooth, that could never resist the calling of white bread or chocolate cake. According to many who knows me, including my boss, I do not eat a lot. The only crime I am guilty off is to choose to eat sweet stuffs… sweetened teas, coffees..some small sweet dessert after a meal.
What a shame…
I have been misled all my life. I thought we need refined carbs for energy.
OK, let me explain why taking too much sugar can make you feel more hungry/tired:
- You eat sweet/high carbo stuff- maybe too much of it. Let’s say you have a plate of nasi lemak or a couple of delicious butter buns in the morning.
- The food goes into your digestive system and get converted to blood sugar.
- The higher the blood sugar, the stronger the alarm triggered by your body.
- Your pancreas then releases insulin… to help bring down the level of sugar in your blood.
- When the sudden drop of sugar level, your body gives off another signal- hunger, and that you need even more sweet stuff or carbo- the more sugar/carbo you eat, the more your body gives off that signal.
- Result: you will eat more again to feed the hunger.
- The sugar (glucose) is then converted to glucagon. With the sedentary lifestyle that most city folks are having, the glucagon then gets stored away as fat.
When your body experiences a sharp drop of sugar level, you feel tired and hungry. Over the years, the yo yo effect will destroy your overworked pancreas’s ability to produce insulin. As the results, you get diabetes. And if you get diabetes and don’t control your carbo/sugar intake, it gets worse- numbnes of body. And when a sore/wound developed in the body, the virus/bacteria just feeds on the sugar in blood. As the result, the area gets infected/gangrine and you would need to chop, yes, chop off the part- to prevent further infection. That was what happened to my maternal grandma. She led an active life, mind you but was addicted to having condense milk in her pot of coffee daily. By the time she was 80, she was on a wheelchair with 1/4 of both her legs left. Diabetes is a serious health threat and now, people are getting it when younger.
Cause: As long as you eat refined sugar, you will always crave for more food because of yoyo blood sugar levels. It’s not your fault. It is biology.
Solution: Try to eliminate refined sugar/processed carbo from your diet as much as possible. Replace it with fibre or protein. And if you really cannot help it, then small quantities of complex carbo or sugar free sweet stuff.