Do you feel “icky” all the time?
“Feeling icky” could mean a number of things. Let’s summarize it like this – feeling tired most or all of the time, experiencing brain fog (hard to think and concentrate), feeling indecisive, depressed, lethargic, unmotivated, half-asleep, insomnia, upset stomach, poor appetite, etc.
To be clear, I’m not talking about just one of those feelings. I’m talking about several, most or all of those feelings, and maybe more besides.
There could be a number of causes for this general feeling of being “off colour”:
- allergies. Something you are eating or breathing is making you sick.
- Lack of sleep. Chronic insomnia, or just short-changing your self on sleep can cause some or all of these symptoms. By the way, allergies can cause insomnia for some people.
- Intolerance to milk products.
- Exposure to noxious chemicals.
- Poor air quality.
There are other causes as well, but the above summarizes some of the main environmental causes of feeling lousy, and most of them have to do with what you eat, drink or inhale.
This website is mostly about allergies, so keep exploring if you want to learn more about how allergies affect your health and sense of well-being. To get you started, here are a few of the most common allergies:
- Pet dander (cats, dogs etc.)
- Feathers (what type of pillow do you sleep on?)
Lack of sleep is another big downer. It is really hard to think when you are lacking sleep, and it affects your physical and mental health as well as your physical, and especially mental energy levels.
Sleep is worth talking about here because it can be closely related to allergies.
For one thing, some people find that their allergies keep them awake, either because the symptoms are so annoying, or because one of the allergy symptoms is insomnia.
Another thing about sleep: most people are actually sleep deprived. Besides directly causing many of the symptoms listed above, sleep is closely tied to your immune system. Getting enough sleep strengthens your immune system.
A lack of sleep weakens your immune system.
A weak immune system makes you more susceptible to developing allergies, where as a strong immune system makes it easier to manage the allergies you already have.
Intolerance to milk products is different from having a milk allergy. Many people can not digest milk. The problem is lactose, a type of sugar found in milk.
You can buy milk-digesting enzymes to manage a milk intolerance, as well as reducing the quantity of milk products you consume.
Noxious chemicals can make you feel poorly. This is noticeable when you are exposed occasionally, but if your workplace or home are always contaminated with noxious chemicals, you may never make the connection.
Besides obvious chemicals such as cleaning products, certain adhesives, and industrial chemicals, here are some common sources of nasty chemicals that are hidden in plain view:
- New carpets
- Composite wood products, especially particle board – found in kitchen cabinetry and furniture especially.
- New clothing. You are much more likely to have problems with this in a clothing store or shopping centre than at home.
- Many newly manufactured items. This could be a problem at home, but again more likely in a store, shopping centre or at work.
Poor air quality. This is very common. Most recently constructed buildings, especially in cold climates like in Canada, are sealed for energy efficiency, but this limits the supply of fresh air. This problem is amplified by all the chemicals used in modern materials, including building materials.
There are other causes of poor air quality as well:
Pollution is another significant cause of poor air quality. Major sources include traffic and industry. Industrial pollution can affect huge areas covering tens of thousands of square miles.
Mold is an even bigger problem in some areas. If you have a damp basement, the chances are you have a mold problem in your house. Other causes include faulty plumbing, a leak in the roof, and high humidity in the bathroom.
This article does not cover every reason you might feel “icky”, but it is a good start. Some of these problems affect everyone who is exposed to them (mold and pollution for example, or lack of sleep) while others affects some people, for example allergies.
All possible causes are worth investigating. Once you find the cause and fix it, you will feel so much better!