If you clicked into this post, you’re likely feeling how I am. Deflated. Exhausted to the point of pain in your bones. Wondering why you can never get a sustained burst of energy past that morning coffee five-minute jolt.
Beyond the chronic business that is the life of the average American, there’s a very real chance that there is something very physical causing this feeling in you!
Symptoms & Presentation
Hallmark symptoms of adrenal fatigue (aka: adrenal insufficiency are trouble falling asleep at night, low stress tolerance (i.e. snapping a lot or panicking), anxiety, varied digestive issues and caffine reliance (without the fun burst of energy). As in, you literally need coffee to function in the daily adult world.
Factors that may cause adrenal fatigue in children and adults include autoimmune disorders, recent infections, drug or alcohol abuse and prolonged, chronic stress.
You may be thinking – that’s great and all, but what the heck are my adrenals and why are they stressed? How do I fix this? Isn’t this just part of being a stressed out adult at my 9-5?
What the heck are my adrenals and why are they fatigued?
Your adrenals are situated just on the top of your kidneys, looking like little kidney-hats. They regulate cortisol, estrogen, and adrenaline – aiding in the fight or flight response in the body. As cortisol is a chemical, hypersensitivity in the body due to its constant production is thought to bring on the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. (Photo courtesy of LiveScience.)
That’s great…How do I fix this?
- Get Evaluated. It’s important to make sure there are no other hormone imbalances or autoimmune disorders that have flown under your radar, causing this mess. After you get the green light from the doctor (and likely some medication to aid in your regulation of the condition,) you can help your body from your home too – namely, your kitchen.
- Think Thriving: Stress Management & Balanced Eating. Stress plays a crucial role in our hormone balance. If you have been under prolonged stress, that takes its toll on the body. Even a routine surgical procedure can set this off. Work on some form of stress management. My personal favorites are yoga, talk therapy, or those adult coloring books with some relaxing lo-fi beats. Essential oils have been well documented for clinical use in aromatherapy, showing efficacy rates that are competitive with the routine course of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications on the market.
- I didn’t forget to mention balanced eating. Yes to taco night. Yes to chocolate. Sometimes. With vitamins. Balanced does not mean restrictive. It’s been psychologically proven that the more balanced your diet is and the amount of freedom you give yourself to “treat yourself” with is correlated to higher success rates of the diet itself. A good place to start is recuding general inflammation (dairy and gluten are highly inflammatory) and replacing some processed stuff with whole foods. Simple swaps work best to start. Focus on naturally replenishing your body with B-complex vitamins, Magnesium, and Vitamin D (either through capsule form or food form – whichever you prefer.)
- Realize this is Reversible. If you have been diagnosed please don’t feel like this will be forever. Our bodies are made to be resiliant and will come back from this. It is a process. But the more we can shift our mindset to nurturing ourselves rather than beating ourselves back into line so we can hop to the next to-do item on our list, the easier it will be. Take it slow. Enjoy the small things. Work your way up from there and don’t punish any slidebacks.
All photos from Google Images & Are Not Mine.