Member Expert: Alpha Omega Elevation + Wellness
My Labs Are Normal, But I Still Feel Terrible!
You may have discussed your health concerns with your doctor, had an evaluation that included a physical exam and lab work-up, and you may still be plagued with poor energy, frustration, brain fog, inadequate sleep, mood imbalance, and a general feeling of continual decline.
Here are some of the reasons you may be struggling even though your labs say you’re “fit as a fiddle.”
1. Poor sleep.
Sleep is a pillar of wellness, and if you’re like most Americans, yours is inadequate. In fact, in his book, Why We Sleep Matthew Walker, with his PhD in neurophysiology, said, “the shorter your sleep, the shorter your life. The leading causes of disease and death in developed nations—diseases that are crippling health-care systems, such as heart disease, obesity, dementia, diabetes, and cancer—all have recognized causal links to a lack of sleep.”
One of the easiest changes to make is to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed. Digestion consumes energy, and when you eat late your body ramps up its energy usage to breaking down your food rather than using that time to recharge your battery.
Avoid exercising shortly before bed. Blue light from tablets, phones, TVs should also be eliminated in the evening.
2. The wrong labs were evaluated.
Many of the tests that are ordered are done to look for the extremes of disease states; yet you can be suffering the effects of your body not functioning at its optimal performance.
Until your laboratory tests are evaluated comprehensively, with an understanding of how each influences the other, wellness can be elusive.
3. Disregarding gut health.
The gut is the interface between our bodies and the outside world. When we are ingesting substances that are causing inflammation our absorption of minerals and vitamins is compromised. There is definitely a large gap between having adequate nutrition to stay alive compared to maximizing our micronutrients for our body’s optimal performance.
4. Ignoring our spiritual selves.
We are both physical and spiritual creatures. Ignoring either side of this equation will impede our efforts to feel well.
This notion is supported in the literature on wellness. When we are in a constant state of stress our adrenal glands try to compensate by secreting more and more cortisol. Eventually, this response tires and can’t keep up, and we experience adrenal fatigue
How do we combat this onslaught? We must become healthier versions of ourselves. We must learn how to have health boundaries with each person in our lives. We must learn how to forgive others for the hurts we have inevitably sustained.
There are many reasons why you can have perfectly normal labs and yet still feel tired, achy, depressed, withdrawn, and blah.
Speak to a physician who takes the time to listen to your concerns. Next, begin making the lifestyle and relationship adjustments you need to thrive, give your body what it needs nutritionally, diligently prioritize sleep, and spend time learning what you need to care for your soul. Then you will find a healthier, happier, vibrant you!
Dr. Dee Bonney is the owner and medical director of Alpha Omega Elevation + Wellness, a membership-based primary and urgent care office. Board-certified in emergency medicine, he enjoys playing guitar, date nights with his wife, Megan, and keeping up with their house full of boys.