Your Body On Stress Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue
Youre about to go for a job interview. Your body treats this as a perceived threat and triggers a powerful danger signal. This activates your HPA , a feedback loop between your brain and other organs such as the kidneys. Your hypothalamus is like the command center and its job is to send urgent Watch Out messages to your pituitary and Adrenal glands. Within femtoseconds, your fight or flight response kicks in. This preps you to defend yourself or flee. So you experience a rapid cascade of other stress responses:
I Get Chest Pain And Heart Palpitations
Blame it on: High adrenalin, cortisol and aldosterone
When youre feeling wired your stress hormones:
- Move blood out of some organs to others so your heart has to work harder to shift the blood around.
- Make your blood vessels constrict so that you dont bleed as readily should you suffer a wound. This too puts pressure on your heart.
The end result? You may suffer everything from chest pain to heart palpitations . You may also find it hard to get up the energy to exercise, because your heart is already working harder 24/7 just to get through the day.
Q: Is It Possible For Your Adrenal Glands To Be Truly Fatigued
A: The adrenal glands have a big job. Theyre responsible for producing, secreting and regulating specific hormones in your body, including cortisol. They work constantly and have a huge functional capacity just like your heart or lungs.
The term adrenal fatigue is based on the assumption that your adrenal gland has the capacity to fatigue but certain organs in your body are not so easily subverted. They dont simply tire out.
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The Importance In Addressing Hormone Health
When your adrenal glands are acting up, your overall health is going to be affected. If your routine has become difficult due to exhaustion or lack of focus, you may want to start by getting tested for adrenal fatigue. A healthcare provider can determine adrenal insufficiency with a simple saliva test, and from there you, can get more guidance on how to treat your unique situation head-on.
Your hormones affect your mental, physical, and emotional healthencompassing all areas of your holistic well-being. The process of promoting hormone balance can be difficult, but ultimately, it starts with lifestyle and nutrition choices. IIN covers all of this and more in our Hormone Health course, designed to teach Health Coaches how to best develop an individualized plan that supports their clients body and its synchronicity.
Clean Up Your Environment
Your environment has a strong influence on your mental and physical health. When you have prolonged exposure to toxins or harsh chemicals, it can negatively impact your adrenal health. Try reducing your use of perfumes, conventional household cleaners, or anything that releases an unpleasant chemical scent. You can take it to the next level by adding large plants to your home, a natural air purifier that also enhances the mood of your space.
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Address The Stress In Your Life
As the root cause of most of these symptoms, its important to address the areas of your life that may be causing your stress levels to skyrocket. Have you been working late hours? Are you expending too much energy on others, and neglecting care for yourself? It may be time to take a day off and work on supporting your mental health.
Engage in activities that nurture your well-being and give you time to focus on your own wants and needs. This could mean taking up a meditation practice, making time for a weekend away with a loved one, or simply cooking yourself a home-cooked meal. These are all great options to reset your adrenal health and give your body time to naturally stabilize cortisol levels.
What Is The Cause Of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is usually caused by long-term stressors. These can include financial stress, overwork, family disputes, or marital problems. Often it might a be a combination of factors, such as those experienced by a high-flying executive with young children.
Other factors can come into play too. A poor diet means that your body has fewer reserves and less capacity to deal with stress. Chronic or latent disease can be a factor, as can regular exposure to toxic chemicals or pollutants. And dont forget sleep one of the most important requirements for your body to function properly. If youre burning the candle at both ends, consider that a lack of sleep might be damaging your long-term health.
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Here Are 10 Steps To Heal Adrenal Fatigue:
1. As soon as you wake up, drink a glass of water along with 1/4 teaspoon of celtic sea salt. Then, throughout the day, have a pinch of sea salt with each glass of water and also use it to season your food. Daily total consumption of about 2 teaspoons of Celtic sea salt is a good place to start. The 80+ minerals in the salt will help nourish the adrenals and endocrine system.
2. Eat breakfast within one hour of waking. If you wait any longer than this, it can cause your blood sugar levels to decrease too much and your adrenals can start producing excess cortisol.
3. Eat regular meals throughout the day and include some protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat in each meal. I know this is a simple step, but skipping meals can put a strain on the adrenals.
4. Remove all processed foods from your diet. Processed foods are a stressor on the body, and the goal is to remove stressors as much as possible to help support the adrenals.
5. Only do low-impact exercise like walking, pilates, gentle yoga or stretching. High impact exercise puts strain on the adrenals, especially when the adrenals are already fatigued. If youre having trouble losing weight, I know this can seem counter-productive, but you will lose weight by resting and following the steps Im listing here.
Takeaways About Adrenal Fatigue
- Adrenal fatigue is a syndrome, or a collection of signs and symptoms, that appears when your adrenal glands are doing a poor job managing hormones in response to chronic stress. It results in fatigue and a variety of other hormone-mediated symptoms.
- Because we tend to live in a state of chronic stress, adrenal fatigue is more common than most people realize, estimated to affect approximately 80 percent of Americans.
- Your adrenal glands are responsible for regulating the hormones in your endocrine system and function as your bodys control center. They influence almost every one of your organs and regulate digestion, cardiovascular health, neurological balance, inflammatory response, and more.
- Adrenal fatigue is a common link to most diseases.
- Fortunately, you can treat adrenal fatigue with natural therapies, such as eating a whole-foods based diet, taking adrenal-supporting herbs, participating in certain exercises shown to decrease stress, and fighting stress by practicing emotional self-care.
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Common Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Adrenal Fatigue is a stress-related condition that results in symptoms like exhaustion, weakened immunity, sleep disturbances, and food cravings. The adrenal glands and HPA axis become depleted and dysregulated after a long period of emotional stress or chronic illness.
As you might expect, tiredness and exhaustion are some of the most common Adrenal Fatigue symptoms. However, these are far from the only ones that you might experience.
What is Adrenal Fatigue and how can you recognize it? Adrenal Fatigue leads to lower levels of a number of hormones and neurotransmitters, changes that can affect every single part of your body. Every individual with Adrenal Fatigue tends to have a slightly different set of symptoms, although there are always common complaints.
The most common signs of Adrenal Fatigue, which are experienced by most sufferers, include symptoms like fatigue and food cravings. Then there are the less common symptoms, which are only experienced by a smaller set of patients. These include low blood pressure and frequent urination. Typically, an individual with Adrenal Fatigue will have most or all of the main symptoms listed here, along with a handful of the less common symptoms. Take a look and see how many apply to you.
The first section of this page contains the 7 most common symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:
Difficulty Getting Up Each Morning Even After A Long Sleep
As we discuss in The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, one of the major causes of Adrenal Fatigue is getting insufficient sleep. Getting more rest is, therefore, one of the best ways to recover. However, when suffering from Adrenal Fatigue many patients wake up extremely tired and foggy, even after getting a long sleep. This can be caused by one of two factors.
Adrenal Fatigue sufferers in the early stages of their condition tend to be under significant stress, and therefore their adrenaline and cortisol levels are high. This interrupts the natural 24-hour cycle of cortisol levels, leading to a state of alertness in the evening that prevents restful sleep.
Those Adrenal Fatigue sufferers who are at a later stage of the condition will have consistently lower levels of cortisol. However, their blood sugar will tend to be much lower during the early morning . Your body realizes its hungry and forces you to wake up. Many Adrenal Fatigue sufferers are chronic late-night snackers for exactly this reason. You can get a better nights sleep by improving your sleep hygiene.
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Regularly Engage In Slow Gentle Forms Of Exercise
The health benefits of exercise are innumerable but when youre in a phase of extreme burnout it can be challenging to get out of bed, let alone get yourself to the gym to have a personal trainer kick your butt around the room for a full hour.
When it comes to getting your blood flowing during your burnout recovery, ease is the name of the game.
Mmmm you might want to try something more relaxing than this.
Engage in exercise for short periods of time, without pushing yourself too hard.
Go for slow walks away from traffic noise. Stretch for a few minutes on the ground in your living room. Go for a walk in the forest with a friend. Practice yoga from home. Dance around your home to a song that you like. Try one of these three lazy workouts.
If you find yourself even more tired the day after your workout, you may have been pushing a bit too hard. Whatever form of exercise you engage in, make sure you arent overly exerting yourself.
Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue
Heres a look at some of the most common signs of adrenal fatigue. Are you currently experiencing any of these?
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Why Is Cortisol So Important
Its normal for cortisol levels to fluctuate throughout the day. Let me give you an example.
In the morning, your body knows you need to get up and go, so your cortisol levels will naturally peak at around 8am. This ensures you get the burst of energy you need in order to start your day. Conversely, it makes sense that levels naturally drop in the evening when youre preparing your body for sleep.
During stressful periods, or at times when youre in fight or flight mode, your body knows to make cortisol to help you deal with the stress. While this response is vital, its also important that cortisol levels return to normal once the stressful event has passed.
Unfortunately, so many of us are leading such busy, hectic lives that this level of stress has almost become the norm. The truth is, for some people the stress response is activated so many times during the day that the body literally has no time to recover. The end result? You end up feeling totally depleted.
When your body is so pre-occupied with manufacturing cortisol, it has no reserves for making other important hormones and neurotransmitters like aldosterone, testosterone and epinephrine which are so invaluable for keeping stress under control.
Adrenal Fatigue Treatment: How To Break The Cycle
Of all the hormonal balance problems that Ive worked with, adrenal fatigue takes the longest to heal and is the toughest to reverse. Thats why it is important to embrace solutions as soon as you can.
When combined, the following strategies can balance hormones naturally and increase your energy and calm, to break the cycle of adrenal fatigue:
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Get Ready For A Recharge
Now that you have an idea of what adrenal fatigue may look and feel like, lets recover from burnout and prevent it from taking control of your life again. If you would like to learn more about stress-management, and take part in a stress-detox program to benefit you now, and for the rest of your life, get on the list for my upcoming Recharge program. This online wellness program is designed to increase your energy, vibrancy and passion for life. A holistic protocol designed address stress, overcome adrenal fatigue, and prevent and recover from burnout.
Healing Your Adrenals Is Possible But It Takes Time
It took a lot of time for your adrenals to get where they are, and so its going to take time to heal them. Remember to be kind to yourself during this process of supporting your adrenal function and returning it to good health.
Ready to get started? You can take our Adrenal Health Quiz to find out more about your adrenal status. Then youll understand how to put yourself on the road to having healthy adrenal function and a return of a rested, vibrant you.
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Learn More With Overcoming Estrogen Dominance
The body has an amazing ability to heal. We just need to give it the right resources.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, my goal is to empower and give you the tools to take control of your hormones and health.
More than 70% of women experience estrogen dominance. The symptoms range from lumpy and fibrocystic breasts to thyroid nodules, hot flashes, fibroids, uterine polyps, painful, heavy or irregular periods to infertility and miscarriages, from mood swings to insomnia, weight gain to fatigue.
So many women have experienced the pain and frustration that comes when they feel their symptoms and complaints are dismissed or minimized. This is particularly true for women who are experiencing the symptoms of hormone imbalance. Even when doctors do offer treatment, its typically in the form of prescription medication or invasive surgical procedures.
In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I hope to show that those extreme interventions are often unnecessary, and to give women a roadmap to reverse estrogen dominance using food, herbs, supplements and natural protocols to rebalance hormones.
To get your copy of Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, go here.
My Extreme Burnout Experience
For the first three years of starting up my business, I barely took a day off. And I really mean barely. Even saying barely feels generous.
My best guess is that within my first three years of writing online, I may have had a total of ten days where I actually did zero work.
First year of my business. Here I am working on my laptop while on vacation.
And while I feel so grateful to have the kind of job where I wouldnt want to take many days off from work, and a job where the time flexibility is so great that I am able to chip away at it on a daily basis, ultimately I am not a robot. Eventually my plans of constant productivity came crashing down around me.
Throughout the majority of my third year in business I had a sense of feeling tired but also wired. It felt like my body wanted to take a ten hour sleep but I couldnt because I had just consumed six cups of coffee. Which was strange because I dont drink tea, coffee, or caffeine in any form. Nevertheless, this underlying message from my cells screaming out for rest went unheeded.
Then, one day, my body demanded that I pay attention
It was a Wednesday morning that I woke up from an unusually long sleep still feeling exhausted.
My body felt heavy so heavy that I felt like I had woken up three times heavier than I had been when I went to sleep.
My brain felt foggy and exhausted. Stringing a complete sentence together was challenging.
The idea of getting out of bed to make myself breakfast felt impossible.
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Is Adrenal Fatigue Real
- By , Contributor
Low energy and tiredness are among the most common reasons patients seek help from a doctor. Despite being so common, it is often challenging to come up with a diagnosis, as many medical problems can cause fatigue. Doctors engage in detective work, obtaining a medical history, doing a physical exam, and doing blood tests. The results often yield no explanations. It can be frustrating for clinicians and patients when a clear-cut diagnosis remains elusive. An attractive theory, called adrenal fatigue, links stress exposure to adrenal exhaustion as a possible cause of this lack of energy.