Waking up and feeling no incentive and no inspiration to get out of bed and start the day may sound like a normal everyday occurrence.
What you may not know though, is that it could be a sign of issues in the inter-workings of your body. You may think you just have sleep issues, deep sleep just seems to elude you and many times you feel wired when you’re really ready to call it a night. You’re suddenly feeling tired in the middle of the day and just pass it off as too much-accumulated stress. You think this is just the way it is when you get to be twenty-something, thirty-something, forty-something, but NO!
This way of life shouldn’t be the case and shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Women everywhere tend to overlook these signs. Maybe you’re overlooking these signs. Truth is, these signs may be symptoms of a budding medical condition. A medical condition that feeds on lack of motivation, overwhelming stress, and chronic fatigue: I’m talking about Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue, or hypo-adrenia as you may have heard it before, is a much more common condition than you might think. The idea is that exhaustion within the adrenal glands causes a lack of cortisol hormone production in the bloodstream, which in turn causes extreme fatigue. Let’s take a look closer at adrenal fatigue and why it’s so important for you to know the signs!
Looking at Adrenal Fatigue as A Medical Condition
Now, adrenal fatigue is not officially recognized as a medical condition or disease. It is observed as a pseudo-condition which is wildly educated upon, but cannot be further proved at this point in time by standard medical tests. However, many medical professionals still advise patients on how to deal with its very real symptoms and reactions. Functional practitioners do however look to find the root cause of the symptoms and reactions.
Much like any other ailments, there are notable symptoms, causations/correlations, and treatment methods. All of these we will talk about later…
Some professionals tend to believe that adrenal fatigue runs hand in hand with post-menopause stress and accommodation; while others believe that it is a condition simply caused by a malfunction in hormone production in the liver and Chinese medicine looks at it as an issue with the kidneys. Either way, it is obvious that adrenal fatigue causes real problems for real people; and, it needs a proper solution.
Spotting the Symptoms
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue range between a variety of physical and mental aspects; however, there are a few more common signs. These are the items that have been seen constant throughout the recorded cases of patients with adrenal fatigue:
Chronic fatigue syndrome
Inability to sleep/insomnia
Trouble finishing tasks
Lingering stress (physical, emotional, and/or mental)
Each of these symptoms can have a heavy effect on the production of cortisol, as it slows the progression of chemical trade-off. The proper chemical hormones in the body don’t recognize or differentiate the need for cortisol in the adrenal glands; which means, it stops sending and producing it efficiently. Next, it leads to constant bouts of fatigue, which then leads to the inability to fall asleep and a lack of motivation to get up and be active in the morning. For you, it means a seemingly never-ending merry-go-round of exhaustion.
As this fatigue begins to spiral downward, it becomes harder for you to properly finish tasks and goals. With a lack of motivation and lack of proper rest, the body begins to slowly give out and become heavy and tired all the time. And sadly, all of these symptoms and physical reaction connect back to the leading cause of adrenal fatigue – STRESS!
Dealing with Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
As your body encounters everyday bouts of stress and anxiety, the adrenal glands let out a healthy dose of the hormone called cortisol. If you have adrenal fatigue, however, there will be a lack of release of this hormone, causing stress to build to intolerable levels until it cannot be dealt with at all.
In this situation, it is important for you to understand that your body produces lower levels of cortisol on a daily basis. You can usually aide in relieving a part of this stress by adding meditation, deep breathing, and/or mild exercise to your daily routine. It’s so important to have a time set aside to clear your mind and destress your body. This allows your body to give off serotonin. Serotonin hormone is a happy hormone that counteracts the cortisol not being distributed in your body. It will leave you with a sense of peace and takes the focus off of stress.
Some other methods include surrounding yourself with essential oils and a peaceful environment. Both seem to also do the trick of shutting off stressful thinking in the brain while also relaxing the tense buildups in the body from lack of good sleep.
Although, it is rather unanimous that the leading cause of adrenal fatigue is stress, there are a few lesser-known symptoms to also look out for.
- Body aches (particularly in the back and chest)
- Low blood pressure
- Low blood sugar
- Craving salty snacks constantly
- Sudden lowered immune system health
- Joint and muscle pains
- Newly formed allergies
- Anxiety / Anxiety attacks and episodes
- Insulin resistance
- Decreased sex drive
- Muscle Loss
- Skin disturbances
- Weight gain
Sadly, adrenal fatigue can be a little hard to treat, but not impossible. Remember that managing stress is key and that includes the stress brought on by diet, toxins in your products and in your environment. I know you’ve heard me say this before, food is medicine. The flip side is your food can also be a toxin.
These foods cause additional stress on your body and your adrenals…
Caffeine: It can’t be the thing that gets you up and keeps you going. It affects your circadian rhythm (your natural sleep cycle) and doesn’t allow your body to have the rest and recovery it needs. If you are a coffee aficionado and must have your daily dose, then it’s best to drink it before noon.
Processed Foods: There are so many ingredients in processed foods that your body doesn’t recognize as food. Your body has to work hard to try and figure out what to do with those ingredients. These Franken Foods are not fuel and it’s like putting oil in your car’s gas tank, it’s just not gonna work.
Sugar and Sweeteners: You just want to go easy on sugar or sweeteners of any kind. The fake sweeteners are no better than processed foods. In fact, some are worse. If you shop in the center of the grocery store then your sugar intake far exceeds what your grandparents consumed. If you have to sweeten food then choose honey, maple syrup or Monk Fruit.
Hydrogenated Oils: These oils are highly processed and inflammatory. They include soybean oil, canola oil, and corn oil. If you’re going to use oils, then choose coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil or ghee.
Let’s talk about nourishing foods. You see, these little glands sit right on top of the kidneys, so nourishing the kidneys will also nourish these glands.
Adrenal nourishing foods to add to your diet include:
- kidney beans
- black sesame seeds
- sweet potato
- string beans
Here are a few other to nourish your body when you are faced with adrenal fatigue:
- Practicing meditation/yoga/ deep breathing daily
- Planning your days and tasking by top productivity/priority
- Creating obstacle situations which force you to get out of bed (such as setting an alarm without snooze and placing it far out of reach)
- Walking outside during the day for a minimum of 30 minutes a day
- Be kind to yourself, and others
- Take the time and steps necessary to deal with past traumas
- Nourish your body, mind, and soul
These methods have been shown to work with many other women living with adrenal fatigue; however, it is important to choose a treatment method that not only makes you happy and healthy but one that is also safe for your overall body and mental health.
Knowing the signs of adrenal fatigue and how to try and decreases your levels of stress is only the beginning of the process. This condition may not be medically proven yet, but there is an obvious correlation that keeps it being researched and trialed today. This condition is rather common among women from ages 30 to 60, so it is important to know what you can do to prevent it.