10 signs You’re Unhealthy That You Shouldn’t Ignore

Our bodies give us warning signs of declining health long before we get sick. The trick is to notice the clues, before illness takes hold. Here are 10 warning signs you’re unhealthy that you shouldn’t ignore

1. You sleep badly. Our stress hormone cortisol should drop at night, allowing your body to rest and recharge. When you suffer from insomnia, it’s often a result of too many fight-or-flight stress responses in your body which raises cortisol levels at night. When your stress response is on, your body’s natural self-repair mechanisms are switched off, so it’s no surprise you get sick. Learn how to sleep like a baby

2. You’re always tired. Yes, we’ve all got incredibly busy lives, but if you are constantly exhausted it’s worth getting your thyroid and adrenal function checked.  Also, as your liver uses approximately 15% of your total energy supply,  reducing your consumption of processed foods, cigarettes, alcohol, and reducing exposure to environmental toxins should to give your liver a rest and help support energy levels. More commonly, if your stress responses are on all the time  and your self-repair mechanisms are in overdrive, trying to protect you from infection, and other serious illnesses, sometimes exhaustion is the only symptom that your nervous system is stuck in chronic, repetitive stress response.  So don’t dismiss exhaustion. Find out more about anaemia and which dietary strategies help,

3. Your urine is dark yellow. Hydration is essential to maintaining a healthy body and when you’re well hydrated, your urine should be almost completely clear. If yours is yellow, you’re probably not drinking enough fluids. Remember, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are dehydrating, not hydrating, and fizzy drinks are full of chemicals, so stick to water, herbal or green tea, coconut water, or green juice. Vitamin B and C supplements turn your urine dark yellow, so if you’re taking these your urine will be affected. Find out more about what your urine is telling you,

4. You’re apple-shaped. Overweight people tend to fall into two categories: (1) “apples,” who carry their extra weight around the waist and belly, and (2) “pears,” who carry their weight around the hips and thighs. While being overweight is one of the body’s clues of poor health, apple-shaped individuals are at higher risk of heart disease than pear-shaped people.

5. You’re getting shorter. You used to be 5’ 7, now you’re 5’ 6 ½. Why are you shrinking? It’s probably because your bones are starting to degenerate as a result of osteoporosis. Aging doesn’t have to mean bone loss. It’s possible to have healthy bones your whole life, so if you’re losing height, your bones may be giving you clues.  To protect your bones, make sure you’re getting enough natural calcium, vitamin D and weight bearing exercise, which can help your bones strengthen themselves.

6. You catch every cold and flu. We’re all exposed to viruses and bacteria every day, but a healthy individual should be able to fight off these pathogens the majority of the time. If you catch every cold going, your immune system may not be functioning optimally, which can put you at risk of infectious and chronic diseases.  Support your immune system by eating a rainbow. Increase your consumption of deeply coloured vegetables and fruit – the deeper the hue, the richer the nutrient density, and aim for variety. Opt for deep blues (blueberries, aubergine, grapes) rich reds (raspberries, red peppers, pomegranate) and dark greens (Kale, spinach, broccoli). Eat omega 3 rich oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel 3 times a week and reduce your intake of processed foods, sugars, alcohol and smoking – all of which are nutrient poor, rob the body of nutrients and contribute to inflammation. For more on how to protect yourself from colds and flu Learn the top ten habits that rob you of essential nutrients

7. You’re always anxious. Anxiety can be a result of sex hormone imbalances, hyperthyroidism, adrenal tumours, and more.  If you feel anxious for no reason at all, or have had these feelings for more than 3 months, ask your doctor to test your hormones or see a nutritionist who can arrange a full hormone panel.

8. You only move your bowels once a day or less. Healthy bowels move every time you eat a meal. It’s called the gastro-colic reflex. When food enters the digestive tract, healthy bowels move to eliminate  toxins and make room for new nutrition. When you’re constipated, toxins in the body can seep through the lining of the bowel, enter the bloodstream, and cause inflammation, has been linked to a number of chronic health conditions from heart disease to diabetes to premature ageing.

9. You often have cracks at the corners of your mouth. Cracks at the corners of the mouth can signal a deficiency in B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, which can put you at risk of illnesses like anaemia. For a simple source of B12, use nutritional yeast (a potent source of B12 that tastes cheesy) truffle salt, and cayenne pepper as a seasoning on everything from salads and roast vegetables to home-made pizzas.

10. You suffer frequent skin break outs. Your skin is a barometer of your body’s health.  As the body’s largest organ of elimination, if it’s acting up, your body may be trying to tell you something. Frequent outbreaks of acne, psoriasis, eczema, or other rashes may signal food or other allergies. But the health of your skin can also be an indication of a stress response in your nervous system. Excessive itchiness could be allergies or eczema, but may also a sign of liver disease. If you’re suffering from itchy skin and switching to a hypoallergenic diet and perfume-free skin and washing products hasn’t helped, it’s time to see your doctor. For more on nutrition for the skin read and


Shani Shaker BA (hons), dipION, mBANT, CNHC, is a registered nutritional therapist with a focus on regenerative and functional nutrition, disordered eating, addiction and mental health. Based in London her services include one-to-one coaching, group classes and Skype sessions. Contact her at [email protected] 

Shani Shaker: Health, Beauty & Nutrition Therapist

Disclaimer: The information provided is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition. Supplementation should only be temporary. If you’re eating a nutrient-rich diet, extra supplementation should only last for a month or two, just long enough to resolve the deficiency.


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