Listen to your body

Listen to your bodyIMAGE: GETTY

Our bodies are precise machines that need to work perfectly to keep us in good health. But things can get a bit out of whack from time to time and your body will usually tell you when it’s unhappy - so pay attention.

The problem: You’re knackered all the time

It might be: anaemia or your thyroid

Being exhausted for no real reason can be a warning sign of lots of conditions from anaemia to thyroid issues. Give yourself a few weeks of early nights and a pared back social calendar. Drink lots of water (cut down on alcohol and caffeine) and eat lots of healthy, fresh food. If that doesn’t reset your energy levels, have a chat with your doctor. A blood test might reveal an underlying cause.

The problem: Your nails keep breaking

It might be: a nutrient deficiency

Brittle nails could might indicate that you’re lacking in some nutrients - calcium, Vitamin D, or zinc in particular so try to get more of these into your diet. Take proper care of your nails too - use nail oils daily and always wear a protective base coat (it’s a myth that nails need to ‘breathe’). Don’t use them to open cans etc. and if you’re doing dishes use rubber gloves.

The problem: You have cracks at the corners of your mouth

It might be: a Vitamin B deficiency

Tiny little cracks at the corners of your mouth that hurt like the devil and, if left untreated, can get downright gross. They can be slow to heal but an over the counter cream from a pharmacist should do the job. Take a look at your diet too as the condition (which is also called angular cheilitis) can be caused by a lack of specific nutrients, including iron and B vitamins - B2, B6, and folic acid. Up your intake of leafy green vegetables, lean meat and eggs.

The problem: Dark circles have taken up residence under your eyes

It might be: allergies

Dark circles may not have anything to do with how much sleep you’re (not) getting. The skin under the eyes is extremely thin, much thinner than that on the rest of the face. This means that blood vessels may appear darker in this area – giving the appearance of dark shadows. They can be an indication of allergies and can be made worse by frequently itching or rubbing the nose and eye areas. Try antihistamines to tackle them and introducing probiotics into your diet might help too.

The problem: Your hair is thinning

It might be: low iron or a thyroid problem

Most of us shed 50 to 100 hairs a day. That usually doesn’t make a huge impact on what hair looks and feels like because new hairs are growing to compensate. However if you’ve noticed your hair getting thinner it might be because your iron levels are low (this can be confirmed with a blood test). Women are prone to having low iron levels because of periods but you can up your intake. Hair loss can also be down to hormonal changes (such as pregnancy) and since the thyroid plays a big role here it can be worth getting it checked too.

Ed's Note: The above is for advice purposes only. Always consult with your doctor if you are feeling unwell or are worried about any aspect of your health.

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