Adrenal Fatigue: Signs, Symptoms, and What To Do About It
Adrenal fatigue seems to be making its way to more mainstream health conversations, and for good reason. An estimated 80% of people are affected by this condition, and exhibit a wide range of symptoms. So what is adrenal fatigue, and what are the symptoms? Adrenal glands are two small organs that sit above the kidneys and are part of the endocrine system. They produce over 50 essential hormones, and are responsible for keeping many body systems in balance. One of these hormones, cortisol (otherwise known as the “stress hormone”), controls immune response, normalizes blood sugar, and regulated blood pressure. In a nutshell, when life stressors become too intense or too prolonged, the adrenal glands can’t keep up. Adrenal fatigue can possibly be caused by stressors such as:
– lack of sleep for long periods of time
– traumatic life events such as the death of a loved one
– lack of a healthy diet and exercise
– excessive workload and long hours
– environmental toxins: chemicals, mold, etc
– chronic infections or illness
– persistent negative emotions and emotional strain
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue vary, and are often misdiagnosed as other conditions. Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
- brain fog/poor memory
- trouble getting up in the morning
- bone loss
- weight gain
- hair loss
- excessive sugar or salt cravings
- weakened immune system response
- loss of interest in sex
What To Do
If several of these symptoms describe you, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. So what can you do to heal your boy and help your adrenals function effectively? Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can do on your own. Here are some things that we recommend to our clients who are dealing with symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
- Diet. A healthy diet is at the root of any health and wellness regimen as we all know. Yet just hearing those words make many people cringe. We are so attached to our love of food that sometimes we can’t even see how harmful certain foods are to our bodies, and we may not even notice how they make us feel. What you eat matters. And if you want to feel your best you need to look at your diet, period. Addressing adrenal fatigue is similar to other health conditions in that you need to avoid chemicals and processed foods and eat more real, while, organic foods. Specifically, avoid
– sugars/ artificial sweeteners
– processed food
– hydrogenated oils
– foods that you are sensitive to. For many people this includes gluten and/or dairy.
– organic fruits and vegetables
– organic or grass-fed protein
– nuts and seeds
– healthy oils, such as coconut, avocado or olive oil
– Himalayan sea salt
2. Stress Reduction. A few things to incorporate into your daily routine include:
– moderate exercise a few days a week
– deep breaths
– adequate sleep (8-10 hours a night)
– positive thinking and positive people
3. Supplements. Due to unhealthy farming practices, even our whole foods do not always contain the full amount of nutrients like they used to. Sometimes our bodies still need nutrients to help with adrenal functioning, such as B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and others.
4. Water. Make sure you stay hydrated with roughly half your body weight in ounces of water daily.
5. Work with a Knowledgable Professional. It is always helpful to seek the support and guidance of a professional who is knowledgeable about adrenal fatigue and how it effects your body. Integrative and functional doctors, naturopathic practitioners, integrative and holistic nutritionists, and personal trainers with a holistic and integrative perspective with regard to wellness can all be helpful resources.
Keep in mind that just as it took months or even years to fatigue your adrenals, it may take some time to recover. Honor your body and nourish it with the lifestyle changes mentioned above and you will be well on your way to recovery! Contact us at Water and Rock Studio with questions, and let us help guide you to adrenal fatigue recovery.