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Two years ago, this was my life:
Id go to bed early, get a great nights sleep, but wake up feeling exhausted. Id drag myself throughout the day, struggling to stay focused on whatever I was working on and slowly falling behind on deadlines. I started getting stressed out over simple things like an email from a clientId work up terrible things they were going to say in the email, only to open it and have a cheerful message inside. I constantly felt worried about what I was going to do with my life and wondered when I was going to stop feeling like this. The afternoons would come and Id hit this low point, I felt foggy and half awake, and if I stood up, Id often feel light-headed and dizzy despite staying hydrated all day.
What the heck was wrong with me??!
I also wondered, how the heck did I get here? When did I go from being the carefree, happy girl to the worry wort that was exhausted and falling asleep at her desk in the afternoon.
For the longest time, I assumed this was all part of getting older. I had a busy job, I was running this blog on the side and I was just worn outright? Didnt everyone my age feel like this?
Finally, I had an answer!
Id never been more excited to find out that something was wrong with me, ha!
Eat A Balanced Breakfast
Eating a balanced breakfast means having a small number of healthy carbs, some fat, and protein.
Also, try to eat within 30 minutes or so of waking.
A good example of a balanced breakfast would be a sausage and sweet potato skillet with some vegetables that have a little coconut oil or butter drizzled on them.
Another fun breakfast option that works well is a smoothie.
All you need is a small handful of berries, a large handful of your favorite veggies, milk of your choice or yogurt, and a scoop or two of collagen. This is a quick, easy, and healthy option that will help stabilize your blood sugar and feed your body.
Speaking of feeding your body, that leads me to the next tip that is essential to support your body- Dont skip meals!
Can You Get Tested For Adrenal Fatigue
The best way to get test for adrenal fatigue is via a saliva cortisol panel. The panel looks at your cortisol patterns throughout the day versus a blood test that only tests at one time during the day. Seeing the pattern of cortisol during the day will give you and your practitioner a good idea of whether adrenal imbalance is a factor for you.
As you read the list below, remember: this is a marathon, not a sprint. Fully healing the adrenals usually takes a minimum of 6-9 months and for some it can take up to 12 months. The good news is that even making just a few changes can help you feel better within weeks or even days.
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Easy Ways To Reduce Stress:
- Delegate Responsibilities if you have kids or a partner at home you may need to explain to them that you need to help. We moms often have many things we do each day but remember the saying, many hands make light work. If you explain what is going on and that you need extra help you may just be surprised at how they rise to the challenge!
- Adjust Expectations- Im not going to lie, this isnt easy. When you see your child folding laundry in their own special way or how theyve loaded the dishwasher, it could feel similar to when someone scrapes nails across a chalkboard. But just let go with it for now. Theyre learning new skills and youre getting more time to rest .
- Dont Be Afraid To Say No It is so easy to overcommit but if youre on the road to adrenal fatigue recovery, you have to learn to say no. Make a to-do list and see what you can delegate, put off, or step away from. Not only reducing your commitments give you more rest time, but evaluating your current lifestyle and commitments will also help you realize what is really important and in line with your new lifestyle goals and what is not.
Looking for other simple and effective ways to reduce stress naturally? Here are a few easy tips!
S To Heal The Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue Naturally
“Adrenal fatigue” describes a disruption of the adrenal glands’ ability to make cortisol in the right amounts at the right times. Chronic stress, an unhealthy diet, and general inflammation are all thought to contribute to it. Though adrenal fatigue is not recognized as a legitimate condition by the traditional medical community, I’ve seen the effects of unsteady cortisol levels play out time and time again with my patients. Here are the signs you might be dealing with them too.
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The First 5 Steps: How To Deal With Adrenal Fatigue
Keep calm, slow down, eat clean, detox. Were getting real with some expert advice from Amie Valpone, wellness expert and author of her first book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body .
Amies story of personal healing is remarkable. Shes been through quite the journey and were thrilled to bring her insights on overcoming a few of these modern health conditions to our readers. All month long, well be taking a closer look at what to do when one of these conditions comes barreling its way toward you. First up, lets talk about adrenal fatigue. Learn a bit about Amies journey and get her tips with where to start the healing
Throughout the last 10 years Ive suffered from a dozen debilitating health issues that left me on disability from my corporate job and bed-ridden at the ripe-old age of 22. Fast forward an entire decade of figuring out how to learn how to be healthy in a real way and now Im in perfect health. Ive overcome everything from Lyme disease and adrenal fatigue to candida, C-diff colitis, PCOS and more.
How did I do it? I learned how to address the underlying imbalances in my body and get my body working for me instead of against me. In my new book, Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body, I talk about my journey, what has helped heal my body and how I detoxed my life.
The First 5 Steps: How To Deal With Adrenal Fatigue
Causes Signs Symptoms Treatments And Controversy
With James L. Wilson, PhD
Excess stress causes the adrenal glands to increase cortisol production.
If you’re feeling tired and fried, chances are you’ve probably heard of adrenal fatigue and wondered if it may be the source of your constant exhaustion. But what exactly is it, and how do you know if it’s what’s causing your lack of oomph? Let’s investigate.
Adrenal fatigue is an increasingly common yet sometimes controversial diagnosis used to indicate depletion of the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenals for use in the regulation of blood pressure. In response to stress, the adrenals release greater amounts of cortisol. Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenals have become overtaxed by excess cortisol release and can no longer produce levels of cortisol necessary for optimal body function.
James L. Wilson, PhD, who coined the term adrenal fatigue in his book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome, describes the adrenals as two little glands that sit over your kidneys and are about the size of two large grapes and weigh about five-to-eight grams.
According to Wilson, The adrenals put out over fifty hormones. We often only hear about DHA and cortisol, but forty percent of womens estrogen or progesterone are made in the adrenal glands and about forty percent of testosterone in males is made in the adrenal glands.
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The 90 Day Adrenal Fatigue Reset That Dramatically Boosted My Energy
As a functional medicine doctor, Im the first one to admit that its easier to give advice than to take it. However, when I began showing symptoms of adrenal problems , I suspected adrenal fatigue and realized I might actually have to treat myself and do what I would prescribe to my patients.
First, I ran an adrenal fatigue lab that Ive run on countless patients over the years and as I suspected, I had adrenal fatigue. I realized I needed to start dealing with my own brain-adrenal stress issues. I would use diet and supplementation to work on my adrenal fatigue and support the MTHFR methylation gene changes I already knew I had.
So, I embarked on a three-month diet to rehab my hormones. Why 90 days? I knew it would take time to recover from hormonal problems. There is nothing magic about the number 90, but in my experience, it is the minimum amount of time I would need to enact meaningful repair.
While my particular hormonal issue was adrenal fatigue, Id also recommend this plan to anyone dealing with common hormone problems, including thyroid issues, sex hormone imbalances , and leptin and insulin resistance.
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Is It A Myth
Thereâs no science to back it up. The Endocrine Society, the world’s largest organization of endocrinologists , flatly says that adrenal fatigue is not a real disease. And it says the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are so general, they can apply to many diseases or conditions or stem from everyday life.
And the society says some of the treatments can be dangerous. Improving your diet will probably make you feel better, no matter what ailment you have, but taking unidentified supplements to help your body produce extra cortisol if you don’t need them may cause your adrenal glands to stop working, it warns.
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Seeking Help With Adrenal Fatigue
Finding help for your Adrenal Fatigue is unfortunately not easy. Many doctors only recognise extreme adrenal conditions such as Addisons and Cushings. If you feel that you have had several of the symptoms listed above for a period of time, then its important to find a knowledgeable GP to work with you. The best way to gauge your adrenal hormone profile, particular your cortisol levels, is to have a saliva test. The difference between blood test results and a saliva test result is that a cortisol blood test will measure the total hormone levels both bound and unbound while the saliva test measures only the unbound active hormones, giving you a true reflection of what is happening in your body. To find a doctor who uses saliva testing , try calling compounding pharmaciesin your area. They may be able to tell you which doctors order saliva tests.
Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
Supplements feed the body with nutrients and antioxidants that help support your various body systems so you can find balance. When healthy, the body is naturally strong enough to heal without supplements. But with Adrenal Fatigue, most nutrients and antioxidants become significantly depleted. Supplements offer extra support the body needs and assist in speeding the process.
- Multivitamins: Opt for the high-quality, easily-absorbed ones. A certain supply of nutrients is needed when a poor diet may impact our nutrition. Be mindful of the brand of vitamins you choose. Different companies have different quality control standards that may lessen the effect of the multivitamins you take. Inadequate vitamin quality is useless when it comes to healing Adrenal Fatigue.
- Antioxidants: These are important because they help control the increase of free radicals, also called oxidative stress. The physiology of stress, aka Adrenal Fatigue, creates excess free radicals and oxidative stress. An increase in free radicals places more demand on your antioxidant reserves. These must be replenished to prevent further wear and tear from chronic stress and Adrenal Fatigue.
- Essential Fatty Acids : These make up the majority of your cell membranes, and they help with brain cell communication.
The best EFAs to take when healing Adrenal Fatigue are:
- Omega 3 from fish
- Organic fish or krill oils
- Plant sources
- Organic flaxseed oil
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Listen To Light Inspirational Music:
Listening to light classical, meditation or worship music can be extremely healing for the body. These forms of music are not overstimulating, but they have unique harmonies that boost up endorphins and stimulate the formation of serotonin.
In addition, listening to classical music and other music that uplifts your spirits enhances tissue healing and repair. Be sure to avoid loud, rock, dance and hip-hop music if you have adrenal fatigue. These melodies are far too stimulating and can further drain the adrenals.
Common Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue Include:
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Heart palpitations
- Lightheadedness when going from sitting to standing
- Insomnia or waking up at 2am when glucose levels drop
- Fatigue throughout the day
- Muscle weakness
When it comes to alleviating adrenal fatigue, there are a series of organs beyond just the adrenals that need to be addressed. Specifically we are looking at how effectively the cortisol that is being produced by the adrenal glands is moving through the organs in the body. Remember cortisol is not the enemy here, its the dysfunction of certain organs that is at issue. And the dysfunction of those organs almost always comes down to one thing, toxicity.
To get to the bottom of adrenal fatigue, we not only have to look at the adrenals, but three part of the body as well. Here are the three parts you need to consider:
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Why Western Medicine Fails
Dont get me wrong: Western medicine can work wonders in certain situations, especially those concerning acute medical issues. If you have a splitting headache and have to perform at your best in an hour, then taking a pill really is the best solution. If youve been hit by a car, then allowing a surgeon to stitch you back together again really is more efficient than allowing your body to take its own sweet time. It may also save your life!
When it comes to chronic health issues, though, Western medical science offers few credible solutions. This is due primarily to a symptom-based approach which ignores the deeper causes underlying medical issues. It simply fights fire with fire. Pharmaceutical drugs, for instance, aim to manipulate your metabolism, suppressing the symptoms of illness , or to poison out the disease from your body . Or, in the case of surgery, it aims to repair the issue .
Without taking into account the underlying cause of an illness, though, its no wonder that so many serious illnesses consequently recur or are simply written off as incurable.
This is also why so many people hear their M.D. tell them these fateful words: Youll need to take this medication for the rest of your life
What Are The Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do
You have two small adrenal glands that lie just above each kidney. Each adrenal gland has an outer part and an inner part . Cells in the adrenal glands make various hormones. A hormone is a chemical which is made in one part of the body but passes into the bloodstream and has effects on other parts of the body.
Cells in the outer part of the adrenal glands make the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. The amount of cortisol that is made is controlled by another hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone . ACTH is made in a small gland that lies just under the brain . This in turn is stimulated by another hormone which is produced by another part of the brain called the hypothalamus. ACTH passes into the bloodstream, is carried to the adrenal glands and stimulates the adrenal glands to make cortisol.
- Cortisol is a hormone that is vital for health. It has many functions which include:
- Helping to regulate blood pressure.
- Helping to regulate the immune system.
- Helping to balance the effect of insulin in regulating the blood sugar level.
- Helping the body to respond to stress.
Cells in the inner part of the adrenal glands make the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline . These have various actions throughout the body.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Adrenal Fatigue
One of the questions we get asked most regularly is this, How long will it take for me to recover from Adrenal Fatigue? Unfortunately the answer is just not as simple as we might like it to be. An individuals recovery from Adrenal Fatigue depends on several different factors, and I am going to outline them on this page.
Typically, recovery will take somewhere between 6 and 18 months, but there is a very wide variation between patients. Some may take less than 6 months, but others may take two years before they can really claim to have returned to normal.
A Q& a With Dr Alejandro Junger
What exactly are the adrenals? And what systems in the body do they control?
The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of our kidneys. They are involved in the production of the hormones that regulate the fight or flight reactions, adrenalin, and noradrenalin. The way I think about them is kind of like the power strip into which the organs are plugged for energy, much like your home appliances are plugged into a socket. If the adrenals are not working optimally, your organs will run low on voltage and not be able to run optimally.
What happens to the adrenals when were in a constant state of stress, i.e., fight or flight levels of anxiety? How can you tell if your adrenals are out of whack?
When we are in a constant state of stress, the adrenals are overworked, and much like anything that is overworked in the body, they can run into exhaustion. When this happens, we feel exhausted, and depending on what organs are most affected, the symptoms may vary. Common symptoms of adrenal exhaustion are a general lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, clouded mind, depression, weak immunity with frequent colds or other infections, and difficulty digesting. But pretty much anything else can go wrong when our adrenals are exhausted, such as infertility, low blood pressure, and anemia.
Is it true that caffeine taps out the adrenals? How much is acceptable?
Can you destroy your adrenals? Is it possible to revitalize them?
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