Do you suffer from Adrenal Fatigue?
Of all the many health issues people complain about, fatigue is by far one of the most common. With today’s hectic, fast-paced lifestyles, adrenal fatigue is becoming more and more prevalent.
Your adrenals are two little glands that sit right above the kidneys and control the release of stress hormones, also known as the “fight or flight” response. While this response is necessary for our survival as a species, our modern lifestyles with prolonged physical, emotional, environmental, and psychological stress overworks the adrenals eventually burning them out.
Some of the most common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
· extreme fatigue not relieved by sleep
· trouble falling asleep &/or staying asleep
· brain fog
· decreased sex drive
· digestive issues
· weight gain, particularly around the abdomen
· cravings for salt &/or sugar
· decreased tolerance to stress
· light headedness when standing up quickly
Your diet plays a critical role in healing adrenal fatigue. Cell health and hormone production are dependent on fats and cholesterol along with vitamins and minerals. Keeping blood sugar balanced is key. If you think you may be experiencing some level of adrenal fatigue, try implementing the following into your diet:
· Eliminate foods you are intolerant to as they cause inflammation. Gluten, dairy, and soy are the most common ones to avoid. To see if any of these are an issue for you, try cutting them out completely for at least 21 days and monitor your symptoms.
· Avoid sugar, white flour, & refined carbs which cause inflammation. They spike insulin resulting in a sudden drop in blood sugar, followed by a spike in adrenal hormones
· Eat clean protein and good fats with each meal to keep blood sugar balanced
· Avoid coffee and other sources of caffeine as they overstimulate the adrenals
· Don’t be afraid to use a high-quality brand of salt. Sodium levels are often low in those suffering from adrenal fatigue and along with sodium, salt contains other vital trace minerals that will help heal the adrenals.
Consider adding the following supplements to help support your adrenals:
· adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha and rhodiola help the body adapt and cope with stress
· Vitamin C and omega 3 fatty acids help to decrease inflammation
· B vitamins support the adrenals and help with energy production
· Magnesium- aka natures chill pill- is necessary for proper sleep and stress management. Sleep deprivation results in higher levels of stress hormones.
Finally, the best way to treat adrenal fatigue is to reduce your total stress load. All stresses are additive and cumulative. Removing what stresses you can from your life and supporting your body’s ability to handle the total stress load are an integral part of recovering from adrenal fatigue. Be aware of the energy suckers in your life, learn to say “NO”, do something relaxing every day. Go to bed early and get enough rest. Exercise, yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can all help you effectively manage your stress.
Wilson, James L., Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. Smart Publications: Petaluma 2001