Updated: Jul 30, 2019
Today many people have heard of Adrenal Fatigue. However, what does it actually mean and how would you know if you had it? Firstly let's take a look at what your adrenals are and the role they have to play in you overall health. Your adrenals are part of your endocrine system, they send chemical messengers called hormones around your body telling your cells what to do. So they are pretty darn important!
Your adrenals are located upon your kidneys and they secrete a number of hormones important for energy levels, fertility, and mood. The main hormone we are interested in when it comes to adrenal fatigue is cortisol. It is your main stress hormone but it’s also the hormone that wakes you up in the morning and keeps you going throughout the day.
The short of the story is if you have too much of this hormone being released for an extended time you're potentially on your way to getting adrenal fatigue and if you have too little being produced you may have adrenal fatigue. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ADRENAL FATIGUE? 1. Exhausted in the morning hard to wake up and get going. 2. Really tired in the afternoons between the hours of 2-4pm to the point of needing a nap, coffee or sugar to keep you going. 3. Wired but tired at night and really hard to get to sleep. 4. Brain fog, muscle weakness, fatigue after exercise 5. Depression, anxiety, low mood etc Adrenal fatigue is a spectrum: having just one of these symptoms doesn't mean you have it but the more of these symptoms you have and frequency/severity of the symptoms will indicate to whether you are just tired, have adrenal fatigue or chronic fatigue. 1-2 symptoms probably just tired or your diets not right 3-4 symptoms of these symptoms on an ongoing basis may indicate adrenal fatigue 4+ symptoms daily may indicate adrenal fatigue, possibly even chronic fatigue
WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE? Adrenal fatigue occurs when your body can no longer produce enough cortisol to keep up with the energy requirement of the day.
This is a very common condition I would say 80-90 % of my clients to some degree have this when they first come to see me. The reason for this is today's world is very stressful - just think about it: working mums and dads, financial pressures, and a huge amount of stimulation from all directions. We are “ON” for a huge amount of our day these days due to the addition of screens. Our world is in a very go, go, go, state at the moment and this tires out our physical mental and emotional bodies. This is a massive stressor that people don’t consider.
The other component that we need to recognise is emotions. Majority of our stress these days comes from emotional stress: relationships, past or current traumas, work, family responsibilities etc. Trauma past or current is the other big player here as when a person experiences trauma the body is sent into fight or flight, depending how long the trauma lasts the person's body may stay in this state for years. Imagine a domestic abuse scenario, or a child who's being abused or someone who's living in a dangerous country, they can never relax and will always be on the alert. However likewise a person who's anxious about money, their job performance etc can also have the same thing happening - constantly under stress, constantly second guessing and in time will also become exhausted.
"Adrenal fatigue ALWAYS has a MASSIVE emotional component that has to be addressed to be healed fully from this condition!"
5 WAYS TO REVERSE ADRENALS FATIGUE
As a naturopath the specialises in adrenal fatigue, I would say these are the five best ways to help reverse the problem. 1) CUT STRESS Stress is the cause so relaxation is the remedy. You have to put yourself into a healthy environment. Here are some examples of how you can do this: get out of the abusive relationships, get a new job, report your mean supervisor, say no to feeling obliged, quit taking on more than you can do, write lists, get a coach/counsellor/healer and call on your support people to help you take these steps.
2. PUT YOU FIRST Stop putting everyone and everything before you. You are the most valuable thing on this planet and you have to know this. If you don't look after you, no one else will. Remember what the air hostess says: put your on your own oxygen mask before helping others.
3. MEDITATE AND BREATH
Yoga, meditation, spending time in nature and taking 3 deep breaths when stressed are 4 of the most stress relieving things you can do!
4) AVOID STIMULANTS
You may feel your 3 cups of coffee a day keeps you going but the truth is they are actually bring you down fast! All stimulants “stimulate” the body so when you have adrenal fatigue you need to rest, nourish and calm your system. Therefore it's time to get off all coffee, sugar and alcohol.
5) TAKE MAGNESIUM Magnesium is one of the minerals that your body burns through when you are stressed, it needs heaps of it! When it's low you will get twitches, cramps and spasms, may become irritable and find it hard to relax and sleep deeply or even get to sleep.
If after reading this you feel you may have adrenal fatigue please feel welcome to contact me for more information or book in for a 30 minute balance appointment to see how I can help you.
If you are on the Sunshine Coast I am running a MeetUp on this next week the Thursday the 18th of July, you can get your tickets here. xxx Hannah