Has your energy level been low? Have you felt exhausted, despite regulating your sleep and stress? If so, you're not alone. Nearly one-third of US primary care patients report significant fatigue, accounting for 7 million office visits every year. Learn four surprising reasons that could account for your exhaustion, along with Dr. Oz's unusual—but effective—cures. Of course, if your energy level is unusually low, get your blood checked by your physician.
Bad Bacteria in Your Gut Prevent Deep Sleep
Two-thirds of the world's population—over 4.5 billion people—have bad bacteria known as H. Pylori living in their stomach. This harmful bacteria can be a major source of fatigue. Your stomach's inner lining produces acid to digest food, while simultaneously creating protective mucus to guard from this acid. H. pylori bacteria invade the stomach, destroying your protective mucus layer and leaving you vulnerable to ulcers, or tiny sores on the stomach's lining. While you sleep, acid can escape the stomach through these ulcers and flow up into your esophagus, causing a sore throat and ruining your ability to get deep, restorative sleep. Additionally, as blood escapes from the ulcers, it may cause anemia, further lowering your energy throughout the day.
Fortunately, H. Pylori infection is easy to detect and treat. A simple breath test from your doctor will detect the bacteria. Antibiotics can kill the bad bacteria and acid-reducing medications will treat the ulcers. You can also try taking antacids before bed; if they seem to lead to a better night's sleep, it may indicate the presence of H. Pylori.
Phlegm Build-Up May Clog Airways
Healthy breathing draws oxygen through your nose and down to your lungs, giving your body the energy it needs. But as you sleep, phlegm can build up in the back of your throat, blocking the passage of oxygen from the nose to the lungs. You may compensate by breathing through the mouth, but a recent study shows that doing so is correlated to a significantly lower blood-oxygen level, which can lead to fatigue. Gargling every morning, whether with mouthwash or salt water, can help clear the throat's phlegm, allowing more oxygen to reach the lungs which boosts your energy.
Next: The coffee conundrum