How to Identify and Treat Adrenal Fatigue
The Top 10 Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:
1. Excessive stress
2. Fatigue and a lack of energy, especially in the early morning and late afternoon
3. Brain Fog
4. Craving Salt
5. The need to snack or eat frequently to maintain normal blood sugar
6. Dizziness upon standing
7. Mild anxiety or depression
9. Decreased Immune Function
10. Gaining weight around the midsection
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
One of the MAIN functions of the adrenal glands is to mount a response to stress by secreting cortisol and adrenaline hormones. This is often referred to as your “fight or flight response,” which is a healthy and necessary response to help us appropriately manage those acute periods of stress. The issue arises when stress becomes prolonged, as this adaptive response becomes maladaptive.
Lack of Sleep:
During a restful night of sleep, cortisol is at its lowest and your adrenal glands essentially get a rest. With a normal cortisol/melatonin rhythm, melatonin (your sleepy hormone) starts to make a sharp rise and cortisol (your awake hormone) takes a deep dip just before 10 pm. This 10 pm mark is thus the IDEAL time to start winding down for bed. The reverse of this pattern, where cortisol begins to spike, and melatonin dips low occurs just before 6 am. The further your sleep pattern deviates from this innate cortisol/melatonin rhythm, the greater the distress on the health of the adrenal glands. The further your sleep pattern deviates from a 10pm/6am rhythm, the greater the stress on your adrenal gland.
Severe pain has a profound impact on the health of the adrenals. Severe pain, whether acute or chronic, is viewed as an acute stressor by the endocrine system. Initially, the increased demand on the adrenals causes a large rise in cortisol. Over time, however, the adrenal glands are unable to keep up with demand and cortisol often drops below the normal range.
Top Tips to Reduce Adrenal Fatigue:
1. Get Enough Sleep:
Aim to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep each night. Some individual’s recovering from adrenal fatigue may need more, so listen to your body! Each hour before midnight counts as double, so aim to get to bed by 10 pm! If your having trouble getting to (or staying) asleep, consider discussing Melatonin with your Doctor.
2. Know Your Limits:
Set Time Limits 0n Exercise. Exercise is healthy, right? Well, it can be a detriment to your health if you are consistently overdoing it. When recovering from adrenal fatigue, it is extremely important to keep exercise at a moderate level.
Dial Back Your Work Commitments. For many individuals, work is a significant source of stress. This may especially be the case if you consider yourself “type A” or a people-pleaser. Make sure that you are not taking on more tasks than you can handle. Consistently working overtime, working in an emotionally toxic environment, working under high pressure of time or significance, and making long commutes can all contribute to burnout. It’s a good practice to pull out your contract and evaluate whether you are going above and beyond the job duties for which you were originally hired.
3. Reset Your Adrenals through Diet:
The main goal of an adrenal reset diet is to use macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) to promote a healthy cortisol/melatonin rhythm through blood sugar modulation.
Three Principals to Keep in Mind:
1. We want cortisol around - but at the right time. Cortisol, your “stress hormone” gets a bad rap. In excess and for prolonged periods of time, cortisol can indeed be bad; however, cortisol has many IMPORTANT beneficial roles in our body including; blood sugar regulation, blood pressure regulation, anti-inflammatory actions, and energy!
2. Cortisol and Melatonin are in opposition. When Cortisol is high, melatonin is low. The reverse is also true.
3. Cortisol and Blood Sugar are in opposition. One of cortisol’s roles is to regulate blood sugar by taking sugar out of its storage form and putting it into the bloodstream when blood glucose is low. This means that when blood glucose is low, cortisol will rise in order to achieve this act. This is one reason why cortisol levels RISE after exercising.
5. Support your Adrenals with Advanced Nutrients. Elixir compounds a range of Advanced Nutrients that address adrenal fatigue including our Advanced Chronic Fatigue Support.
So, if you or someone you love is suffering, contact Elixir today to see how you could get the relief you deserve. We offer complementary face-to-face or phone consultations where we can discuss your individual symptoms and recommend a treatment protocol to get that party under control.