What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Is it just me, or has Adrenal Fatigue been a hot topic of conversation in the health world?
Why has it been more prevalent? Most importantly, am I at risk?
Okay so What do I do?
If you are experiencing symptoms related to Adrenal Fatigue don't take it lightly. Start by Consulting Your Family Physician vs. Naturopath
Beware the chats with your family physician, as Adrenal Fatigue is not a term fully accept by the medical world. This site -> adrenalfatiguesolution.com explains exactly why the term is controversial. Basically, their lab tests are not built to capture an accurate picture of your daily cortisol fluctuations (key to identifying Adrenal Fatigue), as well as the optimal range for DHEA (hormone) in women and men. Normal blood tests are designed to detect severe absolute deficiency of adrenal hormones known as Addison's disease (Adrenal glands do not function at all in this case).
My Naturopath was able to track my Cortisol Fluctuations, and pinpointed my range of DHEA more accurately. By looking at the levels of cortisol fluctuating through my body throughout the day (Cortisol Profile), we discovered that out of the 4 stages of Adrenal Fatigue -> http://adrenalfatiguesolution.com/stages-of-adrenal-fatigue/. I was a Stage Four: Burnout Phase as a result of chronic stress (hmm maybe it's time to slow down?)
Okay here we go.....
1. Remove Stressors!
In order to understand what I mean by "stressors", let me first answer the question: What the heck is an Adrenal Gland? Well, they are two small glands situated on top of the kidneys. What is their deal? They help us cope with stress...consider them our little survival glands! They have two main parts: The inner portion helps out our sympathetic system and nervous system by producing/regulated hormones responsible for our flight or fight response.
Hmmm..Flight or Fight Response? When we are under a ton of stress, our bodies cannot tell what the source of the stress is. For our ancestors, running from a Bear would produce the same response as someone going through the death of a loved one, Marital disruptions or extreme work pressure. The body arms itself to face what it perceives as danger regardless. How does it protect itself: Cortisol. The more Cortisol the Adrenal Glands produce...the more stressed they get. The more Cortisol Rises...DHEA levels drop, leading to increased Blood Sugar Levels and water retention, Decreased Protein breakdown=Fat accumulation and muscle wasting. This throws off estrogen levels (disturbed periods in women), and also effects your blood pressure.
Talk about a vicious cycle! Let's Fix this problem:
Get to sleep by 10 p.m. every night (Between 10pm and 1am the Adrenal Glands work incredibly hard to repair the body)
If you Cannot sleep (My world), take natural Melatonin (0.5 mg-3mg) 30 minutes before Bedtime. Also try a bath with Lavender or Lavender essential oil on the Bottom of your Feet/Behind your Knees (Access to blood stream)
Discover outlets and Solutions for Emotional Stressors (Marital, Family, Work) in order to Normalize this part of your life (Counselling, Advising, Lower Load)
Reduce or Stop Rigorous Exercise depending on your stage of Fatigue. Consider long distance walking instead of running, Calisthenics instead of Strenuous Weight Lifting, and opt for Yoga, Pilates or Barre Classes instead of High intensity classes such as CrossFit. Essentially, keep the heart rate steady and focus on Diet.....Which leads us to...
2. Diet Change!
I was experiencing water retention and weight gain during Stage Four as a result of a sodium/potassium imbalance that often happens when both cortisol and aldosterone levels are reduced (as a result of chronic stress). Basically, this creates an excess amount of potassium in cells and loss of sodium (resulting in excessive water intracellularly...causes generalized edema or Water Retention)
Boy that is technical! When experiencing symptoms related to Adrenal Fatigue, try making these changes to your diet:
-Drink Lots of Water
-Avoid Coffee or Caffeinated Beverages
-Add 1/4 tsp of Seasalt to Water in the AM
-Avoid foods rich in potassium (bananas, dates, raisins, papaya, mango)
-Add Lots of Greens (Kale, Spinach)
-Always Eat Breakfast (before 10am)
-Eat 5-6 frequent, small meals instead of 3 large meals
-Avoid Fruit Juices
-Consume Parsley everyday if possible!!
-Eat plenty of Nuts and Seeds (Cashews, Almonds, Brazil, Pecans, Walnuts, Chestnuts)
-Fruits eaten in moderation
-Eat good quality Proteins from meat, fish and eggs
-If you are a vegetarian: Protein: Legumes (beans) or Eggs must be eaten with whole grains, seeds or nuts to make a complete protein.
-Feeling of low blood pressure/Dizziness= Vegetable Juice Diluted with water
The Goal for Adrenal Fatiguers:
Keep sugars low (Juicing is not your friend)
Sodium IS your friend
Combine a small amount of whole grains with a generous portion of protein and fat at every meal and snack except bedtime
Very recent research has shown VAST improvement in Adrenal Fatiguers when they consumed Parsley daily (or as much as possible). If you have access to a Juicer, mix Parsley juice into a smoothie each morning!
Eat 20-25% whole grain, 30-40% veggies, 10-15% beans, nuts and seeds, 10-20% animal food, 10-15% good fat, and 5-10% whole fruits (except banana and melons)
Every body is different in terms of their needs. What I definitely want to stress is that taking these supplements and vitamins only works in combination with a lifestyle change (steps 1-2). Discuss with your Naturopath before consuming. For images of the following Supplements scroll up :)
Ayurvedic medicine has used Ashwaganda to increase Energy, boost the Immune System, support the Thyroid and balance Hormones. I took this 1 cap, 2 x daily on an empty stomach!
This particular Cap I took every morning with Breakfast to support my Adrenals, replenish nutrients and calm nerves.
Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
A vital supporter of the Adrenal Glands and hormone production. Usually depleted during Exhaustion.
Recovery from Adrenal Fatigue takes patience. Depending on your stage of Fatigue, it can take anywhere from 3 months to 3 years to recover. For me, having the support of an amazing Naturopath, doing my research, and sticking to my plan was essential. Professional Guidance is key. This post is a general guideline that I found to be MOST effective during my recovery, and that is why I felt the need to share it! Make sure the person assisting your recovery takes the time to fully understand and interpret your bodies symptoms in order to provide you with the approach that will work for you!
Finding Balance is Key. Slow Down. Listen to Your Body
Happy Resting Y'all! -Am xo
Hi! My name is Amber, I am a wife and mother to Piper June. Welcome to my blog. You will find my path towards natural health and wellness as well as my honest discoveries as a new mother. In all aspects of life, I strive to cultivate Balance through a mindful existence. I share my experiences as a mother, helpful product reviews and companies that I am passionate about for our family. I am so grateful for your visit xo