Of all of the numerous articles on the web regarding adrenal fatigue, the following is most thorough. And I can personally attest that you can learn more below - just by reading this article - FOR FREE - then you potentially might learn from a number of physicians after 10 office visits! And this is just my humble pie opinion (smile).
I recently became familiar with the site, SoundBodyLife.com. I love the fact that this informative health & wellness site is curated by a husband & wife team, Olivia & Adam Trainor. They are a couple that began improving their own health & wellness side by side. And as a result of their own lives transforming, they are wanting to share what they learned with all of you. Please head over to the site to read about a variety of topics that will aid in your arsenal to vibrant health!
The following article on their site written by Jen Keehn & titled 'What Is Adrenal Fatigue & What Can You Do About It'? was particular of interest to me. She managed to cover every aspect of adrenal health from what test we should all be taking if adrenal fatigue is suspected, what supplements and an overall view of what you can do to be the CEO of your health. I know many of you have asked me countless questions about adrenal healing and I have found it to be a challenge to sum up all that I have learned in one article. Jen Keehn has managed to do that for us!
Grab a notebook, pen & a beverage and get ready to be educated! Note: It's lengthy but worth the small investment of your time.
Letss all get to reading this amazing article below:
If you’re constantly tired and can’t figure out why, chances are you’ve got a case of adrenal fatigue. This stress-related condition occurs when your adrenal glands, hypothalamus, and pituitary gland are functioning below normal levels. Although you may have never even heard of your adrenals, they actually play a vital function in your health by helping to control your body’s response to stress. Understanding your adrenal glands and their function will help you better understand adrenal fatigue and help you better control this exhausting condition.
What Are the Adrenal Glands?
Sitting just above the kidneys, the adrenal glands are approximately 1 inch wide and about 2 ½ inches long. While your kidneys are both symmetrical in shape, this is not the case for your adrenals. The right adrenal is shaped like a triangle and the left adrenal is a sort of half-moon shape. Yellowish in color, there is one gland for each kidney. They are located near the kidneys because they have such strong influence on this part of your body.
There are three distinct parts to the adrenal glands with each part playing a different function in what they do.
The cortex is also responsible for the maintenance of our cortisol levels. With all its relative composites, cortisol is so important that we can’t live without it. Cortisol controls our sleep cycles, regulates blood pressure, suppresses inflammation, and helps us to generate energy from non-carbohydrate sources. The final function of the cortex helps us to regulate fluid and mineral excretion.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
As you may have guessed, fatigue is one of the main symptoms found with adrenal fatigue syndrome. If you’re constantly tired, even though you seem to be getting adequate sleep, you could very well be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Some of the symptoms characterized in adrenal fatigue are as follows. If these characteristics sound all too familiar to you, chances are you’re suffering from a case of adrenal fatigue.
Difficulty Waking Up in the Morning Let’s say you got your recommended eight hours of sleep the night before, yet you wake up in the morning and feel like you can’t pull yourself out of bed. In some cases of adrenal fatigue, you’ll get enough sleep, but still wake up in a sleepy haze. In other cases (in the early stages of adrenal fatigue), stress will cause your cortisol and adrenaline levels to become extremely high which will cause a state of un-relentless restlessness.
Feeling Tired Everyday As your condition of adrenal fatigue progresses, your adrenal glands become less and less able to produce the hormones your body needs. Cortisol levels drop, as does your adrenaline, norepinephrine, and dopamine levels. These hormones are critical to maintaining energy levels and, as they get lower, you become more tired every day. People that suffer from adrenal fatigue usually have trouble keeping momentum and energy throughout the day, nor do they get that afternoon “lift” that helps keep them going.
Repressed Immune Function The maintenance of proper cortisol levels is essential in healthy immune function. Not only does it have an anti-inflammatory effect that helps to regulate immune function, but also keeps this inflammation from becoming out of control. If you’ve got tons of stress and your cortisol levels are higher than they should be, you’re going to experience an immune system that doesn’t work as it should, leaving you more susceptible to illness and disease. On the other hand, if cortisol levels become too low, this can lead to chronic inflammation and respiratory disease.
In the early stages of adrenal fatigue syndrome, people will usually experience higher levels of cortisol production. Remember, adrenal fatigue is usually brought on by stress and this makes cortisol levels shoot through the roof, which will leave you seriously vulnerable to sickness and infection. As your condition carries on, cortisol levels will begin to drop and leave you more susceptible to chronic inflammation, allergies, and autoimmune disease.
Lack of Ability to Handle Stress We all suffer from stress from time to time, but those that have adrenal fatigue have an especially difficult time handling outside pressures. We need our adrenals to function in tip-top shape in order to effectively handle stress that comes our way. When they are fatigued, they have a hard time producing the cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine hormones we need to effectively combat the tension in our lives. When stressed, people that suffer from adrenal fatigue often feel irritable, anxious, and lacking any drive.
Higher Energy Levels in the Evening On one hand, people that suffer from adrenal fatigue are usually always exhausted. On the other hand, they will experience spikes of energy late in the day. As hormone levels bounce all over the place, cortisol and adrenaline become confused and instead of secreting what they need mid-morning, levels go up in the late evening causing a sudden late-night burst of energy. This usually happens in the early stages of adrenal fatigue when your adrenal glands can still produce the right amounts of cortisol and adrenaline for your body.
Other Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue There are actually quite a few symptoms of adrenal fatigue, with many of them commonly linked to the five above mentioned indications. Adrenal fatigue comes in different stages and the following symptoms are characteristic of the whole.
Stress is obviously a huge contributing factor of adrenal fatigue. The condition itself has been around forever, but has increased significantly in the past century. If you look at how much change our lifestyles have gone through in this time, you’ll see a pretty good indication of what is causing epidemic proportions of adrenal fatigue. It’s pretty safe to say that in the last hundred years, we’ve begun to experience far greater levels of stress and eat diets that aren’t always the healthiest. Toxic overload is something very common nowadays and correlates perfectly with the rise in cases of adrenal fatigue.
6 Common Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
The modern convenient diets we have come to depend on aren’t exactly the healthiest and all this processed food is making us fat. Carrying around this excess weight puts stress on our internal organs and not only tires you out, but exhausts your adrenals as well.
Natural Solutions for Adrenal Fatigue
If you’re feeling exhausted and irritated and think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, fortunately there are some things you can do about it. Paying special attention to your diet plays a huge factor in re-balancing cortisol levels in the body and repairing adrenal function. Managing stress levels is something that is fundamental as well and creating a healthy balance between mind and body is the first step in combating this tiring condition.
Adrenal fatigue doesn’t have to be something that continues to ruin your life. With a little attention to the things your body really needs, you’ll be able to get rid of adrenal fatigue and live a happy, healthy lifestyle.
4 Things You Can Do For Adrenal Fatigue
Your body needs natural ways to keep up energy levels so you don’t end up crashing mid-day. Coffee is the usual go-to for the mid-afternoon slump, but it actually makes adrenal fatigue much worse. Caffeine actually adds a lot of stress to your adrenal glands and produces cortisol and adrenaline the same way as when you are in a “flight or fight” response. This seriously depletes your adrenals over time and causes serious stress on your system. Cutting out the caffeine is key when looking to get rid of adrenal fatigue.
Instead of starting your day with your typical cup of joe, think about water and lemon followed by a healthy balanced breakfast. Getting a healthy dose of balanced protein and healthy carbs will give your body the energy it needs without a heavy crash in the afternoon. Whole grain oats and berries are another great way to give you natural, lasting energy.
Cutting out all processed foods, saturated fats, and sugars is where you need to start and by doing so you will cut off what is feeding your adrenal gland fatigue. Replaced with a balanced diet full of adequate protein and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables will help you begin to restore your body back to its natural balance and initiate healthy adrenal function.
Accumulated stress is something that greatly contributes to adrenal fatigue. Without taking the time to relax and get back to our natural rhythms, our bodies must work overtime to compensate. When we’re constantly stressed out, our adrenals are working hard because our bodies recognize this as the flight or fight mode. When you’re stressed, your adrenals counteract this stress by raising blood pressure, increasing heart rate, suppress your immune function, and increase your blood’s clotting ability.
These stress symptoms are all supposed to be short lived, but when you continue to stay stressed out they continue to not only stay in your body, but make things worse as time goes on. Stress will keep your adrenal glands on high alert, but reducing stress and taking the time to relax will give them adequate time to recover and function normally.
If you’ve got adrenal fatigue, one of the first things you should do is begin to lower your stress levels. Focus on your breathing, take a walk, or do whatever it is that will help you relax. Meditation is an excellent way to reduce stress and sitting quietly with your breathing for even five minutes a day will tremendously improve your health. Find ways to relax every single day and you will soon see your fatigue symptoms become a thing of the past.
Knowing what to take to restore your body to its optimal health after suffering from adrenal fatigue is vital and the following supplements are an excellent place to begin on the road to wellness.
Buy Vitamin C
Buy Vitamin B5
Buy Vitamin B6
Buy Vitamin B12
While these are the most important supplements you can buy for adrenal fatigue, there are a number of others that will help immensely including:
Get The Right Exercise
While getting exercise is important for anyone, people that suffer from adrenal fatigue need to be especially aware of getting sufficient exercise 3-5 days a week. There’s a catch here though. Getting the wrong types of exercise can actually make adrenal fatigue worse. In the case of adrenal fatigue, cardio and heavy weightlifting are things you’ll want to avoid, while gentle stretches and muscle toning exercises should be embraced.
If you experience adrenal fatigue, you’ll want to focus on taking the right steps to help your body repair itself naturally. When you start, simply focus on breathing and gentle stretching. A beginning yoga class would be excellent until you move onto slowly toning and strengthening your muscles. When your body begins to repair itself, moving onto a more fluid exercise routine will help tremendously. Once your body is comfortable, try some power yoga or gently aerobics. You want to get your blood circulating, but don’t want to overwork your body. Walking is another way to get the exercise you need without exhausting yourself even further.
Managing Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is very real and affects some 80 percent of people at one time or another. Understanding adrenal function and the symptoms that come with adrenal fatigue are the first steps in giving your body back the energy it needs. Adrenal fatigue does not have to upset your life forever. Taking the time to recognize the signs and properly taking care of your body will help your adrenal glands return to their normal functioning state and leave you full of the energy you deserve to make it through life without feeling exhausted, drained, and worn out.
Testing For Adrenal Fatigue: If you think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, there is a simple saliva test you can order. This Adrenal Stress Profile consists of a series of saliva tests that measure the level of cortisol four times daily to establish its circadian rhythm. Additionally, this test measures a two-sample average of the sulfated form of DHEA (DHEA-S), and related metabolites including progesterone, estradiol, estriol, testosterone, and melatonin. For more information on testing, check out www.nourishbalancethrive.com.
Created and curated by Kelly, Snapshots of Wellness encourages all of you to cultivate your 'joie de vivre': Compassion for Animals via food, style & lifestyle.