• Anna Binder-McAsey, RD/LD

Are My Symptoms Normal?


Today we're talking about how to tell if your symptoms are normal or something you might want to look into further.

Symptoms, whether mild or severe, are really just our body's way of trying to communicate with us about what it is experiencing. Think of it like the signal on your smoke alarm, trying to get our attention and make us aware of a potential problem.

Mild symptoms could be something like feeling really tired today as a result of not getting much sleep last night. The fatigue is our body trying to communicate with us. Hopefully, we experience that fatigue and recognize that we didn't sleep well. We then respond by prioritizing extra sleep the next night to bring the body back into balance.

Other times, we maybe experiencing chronic fatigue and pain such as with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome. So instead of just having fatigue that is related to a temporary lack of sleep, you may be experiencing chronic and consistent exhaustion with no known cause. You may notice that it's really difficult to get out of bed or you may struggle with energy levels throughout the day. If you suffer from chronic fatigue, you likely feel that you could sleep for 8, 9, or 10 hours each night and still not wake feeling well rested. So it's not just a lack of sleep issue. There's likely something else at play.

Any time that you think back on a particular symptom and it has been happen for a long time, is increasing in frequency, or is impacting your ability to function at the level you'd like to, then it's not normal and there is likely an underlying cause.

"Don't confuse familiar with normal."

Let's talk about what is your normal and what is normal or optimal for a standard healthy individual. Many of my clients have unfortunately been told that "this is just the way you are" or "this is just the way your body works." Symptoms may then start to feel normal for you.

My rebuttal is that it's not normal to

  • Feel fatigued every day.

  • Be in pain, every day.

  • Have loose stools every day.

  • Experience frequent headaches or regular migraines.

  • Go days in between bowel movements.

  • Have painful, heavy periods or even PMS.

It may be something that is familiar to you as it's become a common experience. But, don't confuse familiar with normal.

All of these symptoms are the body's way of telling us that something isn't right. Something is out of balance. So even if it's a symptom that you've had for 5, 10, or 15 years, it's still a sign of a problem.

So if you feel like you are experiencing symptoms in your life that are impacting your ability to function throughout your day, odds are it's probably not normal.

The good news? If there's a dysfunction happening in the body, that means there's a breakdown somewhere in the process. And if there's a breakdown somewhere in the process, odds are there is a way for us to be able to pinpoint where that breakdown is happening and fix it.

If you're still confused about what's normal, we offer a free 30-minute phone call to help provide some clarity. You can jump on the phone with me and we'll talk through a little bit of your history, and see if we'd be a good fit to work together.

Either way, at the end of that call, I promise I can at least get you pointed in the right direction.

Now, stop settling for an altered version of "normal" and let's get to the root of the problem.

#nutrition #mindfulness #health #GI

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