Regularly exhausted? Feeling tired, stressed all the time and generally run down?

If you have these symptoms, are having trouble sleeping and lack the time to look after your health properly, then you probably have a serious case of Urban Woman Syndrome.

A Sydney-based author, speaker and lifestyle coach said this was a health issue we weren't talking enough about and it affected more women than we realised.

Dr Debra Villar said our rushed modern lifestyles are contributing to chronic lifestyle disorders such as auto-immune diseases, infertility, stress and hormonal imbalances.


In her new book, Urban Woman Syndrome, Villar writes how a woman's work and life demands have taken a toll on their physical, emotional and spiritual health.

She said women were fitting more and more into their busy lives, yet were putting themselves last, often at the expense of their health.

While most people feel tired or stressed some of the time, Villar said bigger health issues are at play if this was the case all the time.

"Urban Woman Syndrome affects not just our wellbeing but also that of our families," she said.

"We're either working fulltime, have partners, kids or other commitments yet are doing 3-4 times more."

Dr Debra Villar said we should eat, move and think our way to better health. Photo / Darwin Gomez / Supplied.
Dr Debra Villar said we should eat, move and think our way to better health. Photo / Darwin Gomez / Supplied.

And if you think it just affects women then think again, because men suffer with it too.

However, according to Villar, women tend to feel these pressures more and our hormones are more sensitive to stress.

This is in turn can have knock on effects to other areas of our health and can lead to us feel run down and unwell.


"Generally speaking, and I mean generally, women tend to be more nurturing and we tend to put other people's needs first," she said.

"As women we expect more from ourselves and if we have children we are more likely to suffer from mother's guilt."

"We are living in very different times compared to our mother's generation and tend to think we can do it all."

"Stress also zaps a lot of our energy," she said.

"It's a bit like being in fight or flight mode, which is great if our survival depends on it, but it can be exhausting and this can elevate our hormone levels," she said.

Villar said while work could stress us out, stay-at-home parents also faced increasing demands on their time looking after children.

"Our children are often more socially busy than us and it's hard keeping up," she said.

The good news is the mother-of-three said living with Urban Women Syndrome was very manageable but involved simple changes, which could lead to big differences long-term.

"My first rule is eat," she said.

"But its what you eat that can make the difference, avoiding sugar and refined foods and eating lots of wholefoods is a start."

The second thing is to move.

"Even doing 30 minutes a day will make a bigger impact than you think," she said, adding more of us than ever before are stuck in sedentary.

Her final rule is to think.

"Meditate, even if it's just 10 minutes a day, you'll notice a huge difference," she said.


Villar added meditation can help lower cortisol levels, which in turn can help the body better regulate sugar and fat.

But she stressed people needed this needed to become a habit.

"Do one of these for two weeks, then it becomes a habit," she said.

"Once you've done one, try the second, and then the third.

"The motivation shouldn't just be about wellbeing and health, increased productivity will be another bonus."