Even if you’re determined to live a healthy life, your body can suffer. Doctors share the silent clues that your body needs more—and what to do about it.
You’re having major brain fog
After what you considered a good night’s rest, you wake up feeling spacey, and you walk out the door without your wallet. First, rule out these eight medical conditions that can trigger brain fog. And don’t just chalk up forgetfulness to aging, says Martin G. Bloom, MD, a cardiologist and functional medicine expert. He says brain fog can be indicative of something more serious, like a hormone imbalance that impacts cognitive issues. For women especially, mind lapses may indicate a dysfunctional thyroid. “Consider a comprehensive blood test that measures all of your hormones and biomarkers, and a complete thyroid test that not only measures your thyroid hormones but also possible thyroid antibodies, to determine the root causes of your brain fog,” he says.
For both men and women, the bacteria populations of the gut could also cause scattered thoughts. Because your intestinal microbiome is connected to your brain, improving your diet can bring clarity and concentration. “Most patients are amazed by the difference a healthy gut can make in their cognitive function. They report feeling sharper, smarter, and quicker with an improved ability to focus, remember things and complete mental tasks,” Dr. Bloom says. Eating more probiotic foods could help balance your microbiome: Here’s a guide to seven foods that can boost good gut bacteria.
Your sex drive is low
The demands of parenting can drive down desire; so can decades of marriage, for some couples. While your libido will ebb and flow, if you never have the urge, says Dr. Bloom, your hormones may be out of whack. Talk to your doctor about lab testing to analyze your hormones, such as testosterone, estradiol, estriol, progesterone, and more. Hormone imbalance can lead to more serious conditions, like fatigue, depression, weight gain, and even heart troubles. “The hormone test will act as a roadmap, and 99 percent of the time testing will uncover the root causes,” Dr. Bloom explains.
You’re super stressed out
Whether it’s work, family, relationship, or general concern with the world we live in, constant stress can wreck your health. The corrosive hormone cortisol will stay elevated, says Dr. Bloom: “When cortisol levels are unbalanced or spiked, this can cause us to feel moody, anxious, depressed, or suffer from poor cognitive function–all equating to lower libido and self worth. High cortisol can also cause a increase of body fat and inflammation, which can lead to less self confidence, frustration, and reduced energy and overall well-being,” he says.
As with brain fog, Dr. Bloom encourages patients to start the road to relaxation via their gut. By cleaning up your diet, you can better control your cortisol, awarding a better balance to your body. “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. Then check out these 10 fast fixes to manage stress.