Are you anxious, tired, craving sugar, having trouble sleeping, then you could be experiencing adrenal fatigue?
All of these can be related to stress in our lives. We know that stress can have a huge impact on our health and wellness.
What Are Adrenal Glands?
Your adrenal glands produce stress hormones. Adrenal fatigue or HPA Axis Dysfunction can cause low cortisol when it should be high and vice versa which is not much fun.
The adrenal glands look like walnuts that live on top of both of your kidneys. These important glands produce a variety of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol.
Adrenaline and cortisol are the stress hormones that give you the commonly known adrenaline rush; when you're totally alert and living in the moment. This feeling is known as your body's "fight or flight" response.
The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is your body's normal reaction to stress. It is a necessary reaction to allow your senses to be alert in the case of an emergency, such as a lion charging or when you take evasive action to prevent a crash.
After a short time, the fight or flight response dissipates, your body goes back to normal, and all is good.
Overworked Adrenal Glands
So, what happens to your body when you subject yourself to stress constantly? Notice I say “subject yourself”. You are in complete control of the stress you allow yourself to be under.
When your adrenal glands are constantly secreting stress hormones, health issues can occur.
Issues such as fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, weight loss or gain, joint pain, sugar cravings, even frequent infections like colds and the flu are signs that your adrenals are working overtime.
There are not medically accepted blood tests for adrenal fatigue. In fact, it's not recognized by most medical professionals until the point when your adrenals are so fatigued they almost stop working. At that point, there can be a diagnosis of "Adrenal Insufficiency" or "Addison's Disease".
The Gut / Adrenal Gland Connection
It is widely considered that there is a connection between the health of your gut and the health of your adrenal glands. If you feel you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue the easiest place to start would be to work to get your gut in balance. Some of the things you can do are:
- Eat plenty of leafy greens
- Include nutrient dense proteins in your diet
- Have lots of good fats
- Make sure you get your Vitamin D
- Take magnesium
- Include probiotics and prebiotics in your diet
- Reduce sugar intake
- Eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, curcumin or turmeric is a good choice for this.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Practice meditation regularly
If you don’t experience a change for the better, then it is important you see your doctor to rule out other conditions.
Your adrenal glands produce hormones in response to stress. After long-term daily stress, they may get tired.
Adrenal fatigue is a controversial disease that doesn’t have a true diagnostic test, nor specific tell-tale symptoms.
The most important thing you can do is to get tested to rule out other potential conditions. You can also try stress reduction techniques and balancing your gut biome with
Recipe (Stress-reducing bath salt): Lavender Bath Salts
- 2 cups Epsom salts
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
As you're running your warm bath water, add ingredients to the tub. Mix until dissolved
Enjoy your stress-reducing bath!
Tip: You can add a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers.