Adrenal Fatigue is a really common hormonal imbalance, especially among women with young children.
Adrenal fatigue comes about when we continually ask a lot from ourselves, over a long period of time, without properly ‘winding’ back down again. ‘Fight or Flight Syndrome.’
Two of the most important adrenal hormones are cortisol and aldosterone, which are made in the adrenal glands.
Adrenal glands can get tired when put to work for too many days, day in and day out. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing the hormones that react to stress, such as cortisol. When they are put into overdrive during lengthy stressful periods, they may not be able to keep up, leading to adrenal fatigue.
The symptoms include the need for stimulants, inability to fall asleep at night, difficulty waking up in the morning, cravings for salt and sugar, overall tiredness and poor sleep habits.
People with adrenal insufficiency (which is the recognised medical term) can be weak, tired or dizzy. They may also be chronically dehydrated, losing weight or confused. Stomach problems can also be connected to adrenal insufficiency.
There are heaps of ways to treat adrenal fatigue. Many of these are actually positive lifestyle changes. For instance, adrenal fatigue treatment may include giving up alcohol and cigarettes. Treatment may also include starting a simple exercise program and improving your diet. All of these positive lifestyle changes will improve the way you feel.
Some recommend vitamin supplements, however if you take adrenal hormone supplements and don’t actually need them, it can prevent your adrenal glands from working properly. So when you are in a stressful situation, they may not work as they should.
What should you do if you are suffering from symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
Before you jump into any supplement treatment for adrenal fatigue, consider your lifestyle:
1. Are you under a lot of stress? If you are, what are you doing to help your body cope? Have you started meditation and yoga yet?
As they say, ‘A strong, supple body in your 60’s is young, a stiff, weak body in your 30’s is old.’
You may not have needed to ‘before,’ but we are changing all the time and we might need to update our stress coping plan.
2. Are you getting enough sleep?
Get rid of digital clocks, blue screens, black out the room, remove yourself from snoring bed partners, eat a small dinner, don’t drink for 2 hours before bed, create bed time rituals e.g. warm lavender bath, meditation, slow steady breathing, chamomile tea.)
3. Does your body have the nutrition it needs right now?
What you ‘used’ to eat may not work for your body’s nutritional requirements anymore.
As we age, we are changing all the time and we’re lacking nutritionally in different ways. It’s a good idea to realise where we’re at and make food choices suited to this.
Example 1: As we get older, we have more need for healthy fats in our diet (such as avo, olive oil, almonds and oily fish) to protect our nervous system from stress. We tend to ‘feel’ stress more as we age.
Example 2: As we get older, our gut health has had more time to get ‘out of whack,’ so we need to eat heaps of gut healthy foods (fermented foods, pro-biotics, vegetables and fibre (pre-biotics).
Making these changes can restore your health, before you pay good money for adrenal supplements which may carry some risk.
Please feel free to ask any questions, comment or share on this.
Hope this helps