Reporting Paula Ebben
BOSTON (CBS) – Ariste Wright is tired of being tired. At 48-years-old, she juggles young kids and a career. She says she constantly feels exhausted. “I’m very, very frustrated,” she complained.
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints doctors hear from women and that is why Dr. Eva Cwynar wrote “The Fatigue Solution.” In the book she tackles strategies for finding out what is causing fatigue and what to do about it. She has treated average housewives and even desperate ones.
Actress Felicity Huffman came to Dr. Cwynar when she was frustrated about her lack of energy. “They know that they are no longer the person they used to be and the answers they are getting are, ‘what do you expect, you’re getting older?’” Dr. Cwynar said.
But there is hope, according to Dr. Cwynar. “The easiest thing to diagnose when you have symptoms of fatigue is your thyroid,” she said. “That should be the first thing that anyone looks at.”
But that’s not always the case. Some doctors don’t check for thyroid problems and many who do don’t use the most thorough testing technique, according to Dr. Cwynar. She believes that’s why 50% of people with thyroid problems are never diagnosed. Dr. Cwynar recommends asking for a TSH test, which stands for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. “It is the God of your metabolism. Nothing else can function without your thyroid,” she said.
There are also some simple steps you can take on your own starting with your diet. “Your hormones are highest in the morning. You need to eat to support those hormones,” Dr. Cwynar explained. She suggests eating protein for breakfast and avoiding what she calls white foods like bread, rice and pasta.
Dr. Cwynar also tells her patients to stay away from aspartame. She says it causes inflammation in the gut which causes weight gain.
Sleep is another important part of the equation. Women should get 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night. Keeping your room cool, 69 degrees or lower, will help promote deep sleep. Going to bed at the same time every night can also ensure better sleep.
Dr. Cwynar says an active sex life can also help boost your energy.