The term adrenal fatigue is thrown around a lot these days. With so many stressors in our daily lives, as well as additional stress from the things we add on top which are supposed to be pleasurable, it’s no wonder we’re in stuck in a bit of a rut when it comes to achieving healthy endocrine balance.
The adrenal glands are walnut-sized organs that sit on top of the kidneys. They are responsible for many important functions in the body. They are vital for cortisol regulation, metabolism, keeping inflammation at bay, and energy levels. A lot of people these days are adrenally exhausted. Adrenal exhaustion causes our bodies hormonal havoc, this prevents us from living a life of vibrancy and energy.
When we are stressed in the fight-or-flight response the adrenals secrete stress hormones, as the body needs these hormones to survive. Modern day lifestyle can cause the adrenals to over-secrete these hormones, eventually causing us to become ‘exhausted’ and ‘fatigued’. Some sources estimate that over 80% of adults struggle with adrenal fatigue in some form.
Symptoms commonly associated with adrenal fatigue:
- Tiredness when you wake up, no matter how much sleep you got
- Struggling to get through the day
- Difficulty falling asleep or waking up
- Decreased sex drive
- Craving caffeine to get you up in the morning
- Blood sugar or digestive problems
- Feeling stressed and run down, poor immunity
- Food cravings – especially salt and sugar
- Weight gain and the inability to lose weight, thyroid problems
What leads to adrenal fatigue?
- Modern day ‘busy’ lifestyles
- Nutritionally deficient diet
- Stress, anxiety, depression
- Poor sleep habits
- Prolonged stress – from work, family, finances, trauma
- Overuse of caffeine and stimulants
What you can do about it:
- Consume vitamin C rich foods – vitamin C is vital for adrenal health
- Increase dietary protein – to support adrenal health
- Eat regular small meals throughout the day – going without food for too long allows blood sugar levels to dip. Eating regularly can help to maintain energy levels throughout the day
- Eat wholesome real food – nourish your body with real food, nothing processed. Say hello to good quality protein sources, healthy fats, lots of vegetables, low GI fruits and wholegrains from kumera, brown rice, quinoa and oats.
- Add mineral salt to water – such as Himalayan or sea salt
- Sleep more – Being in bed by 10pm each night and getting 8-9 hours every night is a must!
- Reduce stress – Find a way to reduce the factors that are leading to emotional or mental stress. Try meditation for 5-15 minutes each day.
- Limit intensive exercise – Swap for low-intensity exercise. Practice yoga, pilates, tai-chi, walking.
- Learn to say no – don’t be afraid to say no to people and situations when you need to. Put yourself and your needs first.
- Limit caffeine – too much caffeine will overstimulate your adrenal glands causing them to secrete too much cortisol. It also increases feeling of anxiety.
Supplements to support adrenals:
- Dr Wilsons Adrenal Fatigue Programme: Consists of adrenal rebuilder, adrenal C formula, super adrenal stress formula and herbal adrenal support formula. The ultimate herbal adrenal formula.
- Vitamin C – this potent antioxidant has been shown to induce an anti-inflammatory response to prolonged exercise and stress and mitigates the rise of cortisol.
- B-complex vitamins – All B vitamins are crucial for the entire adrenal cascade.
- Magnesium – the body uses additional magnesium during times of stress and especially needs.
If you are curious about your adrenal healthy status…
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