Burned out from work, ready to drop, not feeling yourself? You may be suffering from an illness called Adrenal Fatigue. Continue reading if you feel like this pertain to you.
If you are feeling lethargic, sluggish, depressed, and in general like you're falling apart at the
seams – you are not alone. There is an epidemic undermining the well-being of many
around the world. Particularly found in areas where the labor force is mainly focused on
industry and retail such as cities and their suburbs – though it can affect those working and
living in rural areas equally. It is always advisable to contact your doctor when you are
feeling such, as it could be a sign of an illness that needs urgent care. Perhaps, though, you
have found that your doctor has no answers - cannot solve the mystery of your misery.
You're left feeling abandoned and searching further for relief. It's not immediately intuitive to
look towards your adrenal glands. These thumb-sized glands perched on top of your kidneys
have much more say in your mood and state of being than you'd think.
Like most glands in the endocrinal systems – the adrenal glands are controlled by the pea-
sized structure inside your brain known as the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is located
just below the brain, connected to it by a small stalk, its level of activity is based off your
brain's reaction to exterior stimuli. Upon electrical prompting from the hypothalamus, the
pituitary gland releases disparate hormones in varying quantities.
true to its nickname of the "master gland", the pituitary hormones then disperse throughout
the body reaching fellow glands such as ovaries, thyroids, testes, and of course – the
But what’s really causing my ailments?
Now to really get down to the nitty-gritty. Your stress levels depend on your adrenal glands.
The hormones that your adrenal glands release upon prompting are known as cortisol,
aldosterone, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. They're all produced to save you from a
possible lion attack, now they kick in from a possible boss attack. Your body reacts
accordingly to stressors by increasing your cortisol levels which make you feel that pesky
stress and anxiety. Cortisol is a hormone that is nice to you as long as it's in moderation, too
much or too little of these hormones and your mood/body can be thrown completely out of
kilter. Cortisol also controls your metabolism, blood pressure and sleeping patterns – this
often contributes to the symptoms of its failure.
Adrenaline and noradrenaline are produced as a reaction to your fight or flight mechanism –
often triggered by extreme stress and anxiety nowadays.
You might already be able to guess where this is going. Simply put, under high stress and
pressure your body produces too much of these stimulating hormones, this can leave your
glands with a lack of hormones. This is known as Adrenal insufficiency. If the stress leading
to adrenal insufficiency does not abate, the adrenal glands will keep exerting themselves in
vain – this is known as adrenal fatigue. The tank is empty once you've reached the tiring
stage of adrenal fatigue, and you're left dumbstruck, like a deer in headlights in the face of
even the most negligible stress. You know something is up when you wouldn't even have the
wherewithal or energy to jump out of the way of a speedily oncoming bus. You feel like you
are in a complete depression.
You can probably already relate to this and have been nodding along steadily. If you haven't
picked up on some of the symptoms of both these diseases – I have compiled a list of them
for you. You may suffer from different symptoms as you traverse the stages of adrenal
Adrenal insufficiency symptoms:
Dizziness and fainting (especially upon standing up)
Nagging abdominal, back or joint pain
Adrenal fatigue symptoms:
Unexplained weight gain/loss
Low blood pressure
Loss of body hair
Cravings for salty food
Can adrenal fatigue be tested for?
Doctor’s cannot yet test for adrenal fatigue as changes in the adrenal glands are difficult to
detect using only blood or urine tests. So if you wish to take an adrenal fatigue test it isn’t
entirely possible. You can, on the other hand, still implement certain changes into your life as
a means of healing.
What can I do to heal myself?
It's evident just how similar these diseases are, one is simply the long-term consequence of
the other being left untreated. You may find that you don't even appear to be physically ill
while suffering from these symptoms It is highly recommended that you nip this illness in the
bud before it has the chance to worsen. Being aware of the symptoms is, of course, the first
step towards a healthy life. So, you're on the right track! Now you must learn how to rid
yourself of these debilitating symptoms.
Be sure to consult your doctor before undertaking any changes in your lifestyle or diet.
Don't be turned off by studies saying adrenal fatigue cannot be proved. Just like any other
part of the body can be strained or pulled – so too can parts of your endocrinal system. The
lifestyle changes are worth a try and may even give you a new lease on life.
If you're constantly on the go and your ambition is to succeed and prosper in life, you're
more likely to suffer from this disease. You meet stress at every corner and don't stop to
rest. This simply isn't sustainable – both your mind and your body need daily care/rest.
Here are some helpful solutions to help solve calm your adrenal fatigue:
After an exhausting day of work, you may be tempted to sit yourself down in front of the tv or lie down. This isn't proven to lower stress levels in healthy, young people.
Just a half an hour of yoga, aerobics class, cross-fit daily can reduce your stress immensely. In fact, the majority of physical activity such as running, or dancing can control your cortisol levels and increase the release of positive hormones – thus leaving you feeling refreshed. Don't be disheartened by the first few exercises – they're always the toughest!
Examine your diet: During times of high stress, your appetite tends to peak due to change in your gut microbiome and hormones, craving for sweet, fatty and saltyfoods tend to peak during this time – they will not benefit your long-term health or adrenal gland function. Introducing magnesium, B12, B5, and B5 is of the utmost importance if you wish to combat adrenal problems. High cortisol levels paired with low melatonin levels are infamous for causing sleep problems. Magnesium naturally encourages melatonin production in the body which helps regulate the circadian rhythm. If your cortisol levels are sufficient, melatonin should predominate during nighttime. This can be achieved by consuming food high in B/C vitamins and magnesium – alongside stress-busting routines. The best foods for combating adrenal fatigue are fish, lean meats, eggs, nuts, leafy greens, and vegetables. Whole grain bread would be largely preferable. Researchers recommended that eating at a set time throughout the day also encourages a healthy metabolism, thus a healthy sleeping routine. There are even some websites that will provide you with bona fide “Adrenal Fatigue Diets,” that are packed full of delicious recipes to help you combat this illness.
Completely cut out coffee and other stimulants: сoffee may appear to be theperfect temporary fix to your ailments. It seems just perfect on those cold and dreary mornings. Coffee energizes you, sets you up and prepares you for stress – before you know it, you're drinking 6 cups a day. This is a sign of an addiction or dependency on coffee and it can oftentimes be detrimental towards your cortisol levels. Stimulants will temporarily aid with your stress levels while raising them in the long-term – it is highly recommended that you cut out caffeine or any type of stimulant from your diet. Your long-term satisfaction and contentment will overcome any temporary stimulant. Coffee is only a short-term solution.
Working too hard will cause your stress and anxiety levels to skyrocket. We are all just human and need to rest eventually. Take care of yourself and take a day or two off. Use them for self-care and for doing what you please. Guilt can be a reoccurring thought during this practice, but an upcoming tip will help with just that!
Meditate! Mindfulness is absolutely central to calming down the mind. By simply being in the moment, thinking of yourself or admiring the view – peacefulness can be achieved. Taking a few minutes to yourself to read or simply think can distract you from reality thus soothe you. You will discover what is truly important to you through this calming practice if performed daily.
Ex-sufferers of adrenal fatigue have sometimes cited certain supplements as an effective cure. In order to support optimal adrenal function they recommend that you consume Licorice root, Curcumin, Vitamin D, Rhodiola Rosea and many more. Some claim that they only have a placebo effect but they’re worth trying.
Be sure to consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your daily diet. And finally – take care of yourself. Learn how to breathe properly and then breathe easy. Buy organic foods if you must. Go out and have fun. Whatever makes you feel good – you must do from time to time!
A quote by Judith Orloff M.D., from her book of ‘The Ecstasy of Surrender’ is
“Unfortunately, conventional medicine doesn’t have a context with which to understand this
and many empaths are left in the lurch or misdiagnosed. Because empaths can be
emotional sponges and take on the literal symptoms of others, it adds to their stress levels
and leaves them more vulnerable to adrenal fatigue.”
So, do not feel guilty if you feel like you are not reaching your full potential – you are likely
just burned-out. With all of this pressure you may not feel like you have enough time to
organise your campaign against adrenal fatiue. Maybe you don’t have enough time or your
brain is far too muddled to even add 2+2 by this stage. If you can relate to this, Im here for
you, to help simplify the healing process for you and keep you on the straight and narrow! As
a certified health coach I will help you pinpoint where exactly you are going wrong so you
won’t have to sift through the overwhelming amount of information of this illness in order to
find the solution for you.
Connect here for a free adrenal fatigue assessment and strategy session.