You may have heard the term 'adrenal fatigue', as it has become a buzz word in the media recently.. and you may be wondering what the heck it is?!
Our adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys and are responsible for secreting hormones including cortisol, oestrogen and testosterone. They are also involved in our fight or flight response. Our adrenals are in charge of maintaining homeostasis (to maintain a balance of equilibrium, keeping you alive and your hormones balanced!) in every part of our body during times of stress.
HERE ARE 6 SIGNS OF ADRENAL FATIGUE:
1. You are always tired or wake up feeling tired and sluggish
This may be due to other members of the endocrine system (such as your thyroid), low iron levels or other health conditions. If these conditions have been ruled out by your doctor and you appear to be in full health but have unexplained fatigue, then your adrenal glands may be to blame.
2. You feel stressed all the time
Do you feel an inability to control stress or that you are living with a constant feeling of anxiety and alertness? Do small things make you feel overwhelmed?
3. You feel anxious or depressed
Individuals who are constantly living in a state of stress have been shown to be more susceptible to experiencing anxiety and depressive moods.
4. You crave salty foods
This can be due to excreting essential minerals in our urine (which has shown to be common among those with adrenal fatigue), causing an imbalance of minerals in their blood, which can result in salt/sodium cravings.
5. You rely on caffeine or sugar hits to get through the day
By constantly relying on stimulants to get you through the day, you become more likely to push yourself when your body is screaming out for rest. Having to rely on stimulants to everyday is a major sign that your adrenal glands are under pressure. Stimulants also lose their effectiveness overtime which can result in you consuming larger amounts to have the same effect. This is a vicious cycle, as your body is not able to heal from exhaustion if you use the caffeine bandaid to cover up the underlying cause.
6. Weight gain around abdomen area
When our bodies are under constant stress, cortisol (the stress hormone) is released and the first thing to give is our digestion. When our body is functioning in fight or flight mode, we are unable to digest our foods properly. High cortisol levels can cause those with adrenal fatigue to gain fat around the abdominal area.
HOW TO HEAL FROM IT:
Here is an action plan of how to heal yourself naturally from adrenal fatigue.
1. Remove or reduce stimulants such as coffee, high caffeinated drinks and refined sugars.
You are going to feel rotten for the first few days, but trust me, this is exactly what your body needs and I can assure you will have more energy in the long run. Make healthy swaps and try green tea or raw cacao powder in place of coffee. Start by cutting down your caffeine intake and only drink it during the morning.
2. Reduce the amount of stress in your life
Take time out, spend time in nature or doing the things that you love. We are only on this earth once which is why it makes sense to allocate time each day to do something you love or have down time.
3. Make sure you are getting enough sleep
Aim for anywhere between 8-10 hours per night to allow your body to switch off and recover.
4. Increase your intake of foods high in Vitamin C
Vitamin C supports adrenal gland function. Foods high in vitamin C include: oranges, broccoli, strawberries, brussels sprouts and pineapple.
5. Consume regular, healthy meals.
Ensure you are eating a wide range of colourful fruits and vegetables. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours, as going half the day without food can put extra stress on your body.
If you would like more advice or a personalised treatment plan on dealing with stress and adrenal fatigue, I would be more than happy to support you on this journey through a one-on-one consultation! http://www.rebeccasturgess.com/consultations/ xx