Could You Have Adrenal Fatigue?
Have you ever heard of adrenal fatigue? I didn’t know much about it until recently when I started looking up information since I’m taking supplements now for Adrenal Fatigue! I knew, of course, that we all have adrenal glands and vaguely knew how they functioned. But, I really had no idea of how important they are and how our modern lives are the perfect storm for causing trouble with them!
Ok, first things first. What exactly are adrenal glands? The adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys. They produce over 50 hormones essential for living. Things like, adrenaline, cortisol and our sex hormones. Cortisol is especially important in controlling our immune system, blood sugar and blood pressure. Adrenal glands are the “stress” glands due to their production of adrenaline. They also are greatly affected when we have stress built up over a period of time, which leads to adrenal fatigue.
Due to our lifestyles these days which often include excess stress, poor sleep, caffeine, bad eating habits and smoking; we overwhelm our adrenal glands and they can’t work as effectively.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
* Poor concentration
* Poor sleep patterns
* Inability to handle stressful situations
* Low energy
* Muscle weakness
* Frequent sighing throughout the day
* More severe Menopause or PMS symptoms
* Craving foods high in salt and fat
* Decreased sexual drive
* Weight gain
The treatment for adrenal fatigue can be obtained by dietary and lifestyle changes. I’ve been told not to expect to recover immediately, though, as it normally takes awhile to feel results. This is especially true if you have had adrenal fatigue for many months or years like I have. Be persistent, you will notice that as time goes on that you feel better and better! It is always good to begin with a thorough physical by a medical practitioner who treats holistically. There are some conditions that may have similar symptoms.
Here are some things you can do to help heal your adrenal glands:
* Do everything you can to get adequate sleep at night. Good sleep hygiene could be another whole post, but for now, look up ways to help you sleep better.
* Physical exercise, make sure you are active daily and build up to more strenuous exercise. This will help with sleep, too.
* Avoid junk food.
* Minimize stress as much as you can.
* Do yoga and slow breathing exercises, which may help you to better handle stress.
* Try to eat a lot more vegetables than you are eating now.
* Add fun to your life! If something makes you happy or causes you to laugh, be intentional about including it in your life.
* If at all possible, distance yourself from negative people. It is important for your good health!
* Eat balanced and regular meals.
Here are some supplements that can help build up your adrenal system:
* Sea Salt, unless you have high blood pressure and need to limit your sodium intake.
* Calcium and magnesium.
* Vitamin C.
* Licorice root extract. This can raise blood pressure, so only take if your blood pressure is not already high.
* Vitamin B complex supplements. You want high vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid.
*Vitamin E with mixed tocopherols.
Research on adrenal fatigue is still fairly new and there are conflicting reports on what helps. There are also many homeopathic remedies that may be offered. Finding a healthcare provider who believes in healing with nutrition and using natural remedies may help you sort out some of the confusion. For almost any physical ailment, changing your diet to an organic, unprocessed, healthy and non-GMO one can do wonders to how you feel! I think that adding concentrated raw juices ( Veggie based – minimizing sugar even from whole fruit ) for a time can help heal our bodies, as well. We were never meant to eat the artificial, overly processed diet that most of us eat today. Our ancestors most likely did not suffer from the plethora of health problems that we do. They ate a diet of raw greens, roots, berries and fresh fish and meat. I truly believe we can heal ourselves with our diet, do you?