What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue (or hypoadrenia) is a condition where your body does not produce enough adrenaline. Adrenaline is one of the hormones which are released into the blood stream when there’s danger or stress. When your body doesn’t have enough adrenaline, it causes symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, irritability, sleeplessness and even depression.
When your body produces too much adrenaline, it leads to the release of other chemicals called glucocorticoids. These chemicals cause fat storage in the liver and kidneys. If you don’t get enough sleep, these substances build up in your system causing problems with concentration and memory. Your heart rate increases and blood pressure rises leading to chest pain. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness or numbness of parts of your body or even death due to cardiac arrest.
The good news is that you can recover from adrenal fatigue. There are many ways to heal your adrenals. One way is through natural remedies such as herbs, vitamins and minerals. Another way is to take prescription drugs like cortisone injections or steroids. The third option is to undergo surgery if you suffer from severe cases of adrenal failure.
Adrenal fatigue can be caused by many factors. You might have experienced one or a combination of the following emotional stressors:
Severe psychological stress such as relationship problems or financial issues.
Chronic physical stress such as long-distance running, cycling, dancing or swimming.
Recent exposure to toxic chemicals like pesticides, insecticides, heavy metals and solvents.
Recent infectious disease such as mononucleosis or a stomach infection.
Numbness in your feet especially when you wake up.
Other symptoms include:
Low energy levels.
Feeling tired after exercise.
Sugar cravings and weight gain.
Migraines, dizziness or light-headedness.
Muscle pain, joint pain or back pain.
Fuzzy mind or difficulty concentrating.
Lethargy, depression or lowered motivation.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, it’s definitely time to seek some medical help. It is always important to rule out more serious conditions such as low thyroid, pituitary or other endocrine disorders before labelling yourself with a diagnosis of adrenal fatigue.
How can you treat Adrenal Fatigue?
The first step in treating Adrenal Fatigue naturally is to reduce your stress levels. This can be easier said than done. If you are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, chances are that you are living a fairly hectic lifestyle and need to make some big changes if you want to get better.
The following steps can help you reduce your stress levels:
Get regular exercise. You don’t need to join a gym or become a fitness fanatic, just do some light exercise every day. Walking is a great start.
Eat healthy meals regularly.
Manage your time better.
Practice yoga, meditation or another relaxing hobby to reduce your stress levels.
Spend more time with friends and family.
It’s also important to eat a healthy diet as this can have a huge impact on your energy levels. Always make sure that you eat plenty of protein, fresh fruit and vegetables. Eat whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa instead of processed foods like white bread and pasta.
It’s a good idea to supplement your diet with essential vitamins and minerals. There are many Adrenal Fatigue supplements which you can buy over the counter or online. These aren’t just multivitamins – they include herbs and other nutrients specifically chosen for people suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. You can also try drinking plenty of fresh peppermint tea as this has a calming effect on your body and mind.
Sources & references used in this article:
Adrenal fatigue: The 21st century stress syndrome by JL Wilson, JV Wright, JV Wright – 2001 – vcut.org
The adrenal gland by VHT James – 1979 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Clinical perspective on stress, cortisol and adrenal fatigue by JL Wilson – Advances in Integrative Medicine, 2014 – Elsevier
Adrenal Fatigue, a Desk Reference by S Dalvi – 2003 – books.google.com