How stressful would you rate a normal day for you? If you’re the kind of person who is always go-go-go and struggles to turn off the ‘stress switch’ you may be on the road to adrenal fatigue.
Four out of five people have some degree of adrenal fatigue. But instead of addressing their fatigue, most people cover it up with stimulants like coffee, tea, soft drinks, sugar and cigarettes.
The good news is there is a lot you can do to manage adrenal fatigue naturally – so let me take you through our guide on what it is, how to spot it and what you can do to heal yourself.
So what causes adrenal fatigue?
In short – intense and prolonged stress and fatigue that is not relieved by sleep.
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and work to help you cope with all types of stress by releasing hormones (namely cortisol and adrenalin) into your system.
If you are constantly or repeatedly stressed without sufficient time to recover, you may deplete your body’s reserves of these hormones, resulting in adrenal fatigue.
It doesn’t matter what type of stress you are going through (emotional, psychological, physical), all stress has a cumulative effect and can cause adrenal fatigue.
10 signs you may have adrenal fatigue:
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Fatigue throughout the day not relieved by sleep
- Craving for salt or salty foods
- Increased effort to do everyday tasks
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma
- Light-headed when standing up quickly
- Decreased productivity
- Mild depression
If you are experiencing more than three of these symptoms, you may have adrenal fatigue.
Now, the bad news about adrenal fatigue is that there are no magic pills to fix it. The good news is that you can do most of what is necessary to recover through diet, lifestyle and herbal medicines.
Here are our top 5 tips for healing adrenal fatigue naturally:
Relax the mind – relaxation is much more than just taking time out to do something you like. Psychological relaxation is another way of learning to adapt yourself to difficult situations with less stress and debilitation. The best way to achieve this is through meditation, yoga, or deep breathing. As always, practice makes perfect.
Get to bed early – not only do you need eight hours, you need to be in bed and asleep before 11pm at night to allow your adrenal glands to replenish. Whenever your schedule allows it, you should try to sleep in to 9am to reap the full benefits of regenerative sleep, even if it is just on the weekend.
Get physical – Exercise normalises the levels of cortisol, insulin, blood glucose, growth hormone, thyroid and several other hormones and puts more oxygen into your brain. So get out there and get pumping!
You are what you eat – when your adrenal glands are fatigued, cortisol levels drop to lower than normal making it difficult to maintain normal blood sugar levels. People with adrenal fatigue should therefore avoid loading up on white flour and sugar products, coffee and caffeinated beverages, fried or fast foods and foods you are addicted to. Instead, you should focus on increasing your good quality proteins such as eggs, fish, lamb, legumes and tofu, as well as getting plenty of fresh fruit and veggies in your diet.
Herbs to heal – herbal medicines are the most effective way to repair and recover from adrenal fatigue. Each person is different though, so they work best if specifically prescribed for your degree of adrenal fatigue. Some herbs we commonly use include licorice, rhodiola, ginseng, passionflower and ashwagangha. Adrenal fatigue can also be exacerbated by deficiencies of zinc, magnesium and B vitamins, leaky gut syndrome and liver stress, all of which can be corrected through nutritional medicines.
If you think you may have adrenal fatigue, or could be at risk, you can arrange to see one of our Naturopaths by calling (02) 4961 4075. We can help you.
Do you want to find out how to keep your stress and adrenal fatigue under control naturally?
Click here to access our free guide on treating stress and adrenal fatigue.