Have you ever heard of adrenal fatigue? Did you know that some experts suggest that 80% of the Western world will be affected by adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives.
The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and their proper function is critical for such things as producing energy and balancing hormones as well as dealing with stress. Some of the many hormones that are secreted by the adrenals are adrenaline, cortisol, progesterone and testosterone.
If you’ve been dealing with periods of intense, prolonged stress (mental or physical) or chronic illness, your adrenal glands begin functioning below the level needed to maintain your health and well being. They still function but not as well as they could be. The result is adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
If you think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue take a look at the list below. These are symptoms that are common in people with adrenal fatigue:
· Feeling tired for no reason
· Craving salty or sweet snacks
· Weight gain, especially around the waist
· Decreased sex drive
· Mild Depression
· Low body temperature
· High or low blood pressure
· Inability to handle stress
If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
To treat adrenal fatigue you’ll be looking at making some changes to your lifestyle and diet, and it’ll take about 6-9 months to recover from a mild case. Moderate to severe adrenal fatigue can take between 1-2 years to heal.
Stress: You’re going to need to reduce this! Learning time management skills could be beneficial, as well as getting organized and not over extending yourself to other’s needs. You can’t be everything to everyone and trying to will put a lot of stress on your adrenal glands.
Sleep: You need to get enough of this! The main repair work on your adrenal glands takes place between 10 pm and 1 am. If you’re a night owl start practicing going to bed earlier. Do it in small time increments each night until you’re getting to bed early enough to get about 7 hours of sleep at night. Keep caffeine to a minimum and have it first thing in the morning, not later in the afternoon. You might even want to consider giving up caffeine all together (the horror!!)
Exercise: You need enough of this but not too much! Exercise regulates cortisol, relieves depression and increases blood flow which will contribute to your recovery. Don’t over train though because this will have the opposite effect. Aim for 30-60 minutes/day 4-6 days per week.
Supplements: You might want to try adding some of these! Calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, E, and B complex are recommended. Just make sure you’re getting your supplements from a reputable company – don’t look for the cheapest ones because you get what you pay for.
Nutrition: It’s gotta be good! Avoid junk food, or non-foods as I like to call them. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy protein and healthy fats. You may want to consider adding a nutrient dense shake to your diet as well – just make sure there are no artificial ingredients added to it.
If you suspect you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, try making some of the above changes to your diet and lifestyle. Just remember, it takes a long time to heal from adrenal fatigue so make a commitment and stick to it.