Adrenal Fatigue Diminishes Quality Of Life
Adrenal Fatigue chips away at the quality of life. It is known as one of the silent killers in this country. It is the most common serious health imbalance I have seen in my holistic practice, over many years. It is a combination of excessive and chronic stress leading the body to be so over extended that is unable to reduce it, deal with and respond to these stressors. The adrenal glands are about the size of a large grape and live on top of the kidneys, like little hats. They are known as the suprarenal glands, involved in producing over 50 hormones that drive almost every bodily function, many of which are essential for living. They help regulate the stress hormone, when in balance, when not in balance, they can wreak havoc on the immune system.
It seems that most people deal with adrenal disfunction on one level or another, or eventually will. It happens at particularly stressful times in life, because with chronic stress, there is an overstimulation of the adrenal glands and hormone, leading to higher levels of cortisol (stress hormone) released into the body. This cortisol cycle can do real damage to the tissues, so cortisol regulation is really important for our health to thrive.
Every person can experience adrenal fatigue, also known as hypoadrenia. It is hugely missed and under diagnosed in the medical world because there is no official diagnosis for adrenal fatigue. In fact, the only way to ‘diagnose’ any official adrenal disfunction is to have been diagnosed with autoimmunity disorder of hypo or hyper adrenia. But the real issue is that many people are suffering from chronic and consistent adrenal shut down and failure that goes unidentified through testing, yet it is considered a silent killer.
When this happens chronically, over time, irreversible damage can occur to the bodies immunity, cellular structure and makeup. People are either considered to have normal endocrine function or total endocrine failure, like in Cushing’s syndrome, which can be diagnosed through means of blood test. It is extreme hyperadrenia or excessive levels of adrenal hormones, a metabolic imbalance in which the adrenal glands are unable to regulate hormone release. Or adrenal insufficiency called Addison’s disease, which can also be diagnosed through a blood test, is extreme hypoadrenia or no adrenal gland function at all. A metabolic imbalance where the adrenal glands are no longer or have never been functioning, because of defect, injury or illness often caused by an auto-immune or chronic disease state.
The adrenal fatigue picture looks something like this…. You wake up and need caffeine right away to function, then a boost of energy comes in the early part of day, then energy levels crash around 2 or 3 p.m., rise again around 6 p.m., fall again around 9 p.m. and then finally peak again at 11 in the evening. Do you have this cycle?
Causes of Adrenal Fatigue: - Severe or chronic stress, illness, fatigue, infection and pain - Chronic feelings of anger, worry, anxiety, depression, fear or guilt - Excessive exercise, sugar and caffeine - Gluten, processed foods - Food intolerances/ sensitivities - Leaky gut, IBS, indigestion or other digestive distress and autoimmunity - Late hours, sleep deprivation and insomnia - Toxic exposure, prescription/ OTC medications, street drugs, surgery and alcohol
What is experienced: - Fatigue, excessive tiredness, low energy and afternoon dips - Chronic and severe allergies and sensitivities - Arthritis and stiff joints - Memory issues/ concentration - Excessive weight gain and difficulty losing - Difficulty coping, emotional upset and depression - The need for coffee to get going in the mornings - Craving salty and fatty foods - Experiences chronic upper back and neck pain - Lowered immunity - Low to no sex drive - Experiences dizziness or a feeling of faintness when rising - Women can experience worsened PMS symptoms - Everything is an effort and is like walking through mud - Skin can become thinned and dry - Hypoglycemia symptoms - Lowered body temp - Anxiety, nervousness, palpitations - Hair loss, thyroid imbalance
There are many things that we can do to help the adrenals, stop the over production of cortisol (the stress hormone) and support the nervous system.
Avoid: Caffeine Sugar Carbs dairy Processed Foods Microwaved Foods Processed Meats Non Organic Foods Colorings MSG HFCS Hydrogenated Oils
Add in: Coconut Olives and olive oil raw Avocado and other healthy fats Cruciferous vegetables like; cauliflower, broccoli, collards, cabbage, bok choy, brussels sprouts, kale, mustard, land cress, horseradish, arugula, watercress, radish, daikon, wasabi Free-range chicken and wild turkey Organic bone broth Nuts like walnuts and almonds Seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, chia and flax Spirulina Himalayan salt Fermented foods like kefir, kraut and kimchi Chaga, reishi, cordyceps and other medicinal mushrooms - Stamets 7
Here are a few other things to add in the balance and support the adrenals. 1. Go out into nature, enjoy your surroundings, ground yourself and breath fresh air 2. Sleep is so essential because we do a lot of healing while we are sleeping. 3. Resting in a dark room to ensure melatonin is balanced and sleep is maximized. Go to bed before 11:00pm 4. Avoid coffee and caffeinated drinks due to their stimulative effect. 5. Watch the amount of light that comes from the T.V. computers or cellphones after 8:00pm, especially the blue light. It will lower the level of melatonin needed for restful sleep. The stimulation from the t.v. or computer can also induce a cortisol release, when really the adrenals want to be winding down preparing for regeneration. 6. Move your body with moderate levels of exercise help to regulate cortisol, insulin, blood glucose, growth hormone and thyroid hormones. 7. Eat Organic Foods and Drink enough clean water. 8. Show yourself love and care, by getting massage and other healing therapies, your are worth it. 9. Adaptogenic Herbs: CBD, Panax Ginseng, Eleuthero Root, Ashwaghanda, Astragalus, Schizandra Berry, Gynastemma, Licorice Root, Maca, Pine Bark Extract, Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Rodiola Rosea, Holy Basil, B Vitamins, Lavender and Essential Oil. 10. Trace minerals and fulvic zeolites help the body absorb nutrients from the foods eaten. Because of this, it reduces the effects of aging, supporting healthy growth of hair, skin and nails and an over all healthy immune system.