We live in a hyper-stressed contemporary world. Always being on the go, feeling like there are never enough hours in the day and constantly feeling overwhelmed and stressed is a recipe for disaster. Yet this is the way a large percent of the population live. If you are living your life like this then you are most likely on the path to adrenal burnout.
Do you feel like I am talking directly to you? Then you may already be at that point. Here are some other things to ask yourself:
Do you find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning?
Do you use caffeine and sugar to get you through the day?
Do you frequently suffer from minor illnesses like colds?
Are you tired after exercise?
Do you crave salty foods or binge on sugar?
Do you struggle to relax at night so you can get to sleep?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you should consider working with a holistic practitioner to see if you are suffering from adrenal burnout, more commonly known as adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is becoming more widely recognized but it is still not a common diagnosis from medical doctors. Most medical doctors don’t even know how to diagnosis this illness, much less treat it. Yet more than 80 percent of the population suffers from this syndrome according to Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN, NP, author of Are you Tired and Wired?
Let me explain how adrenal fatigue occurs. Our adrenal glands are located at the top of both kidneys. Their main function is to release certain chemicals into the rest of the body, like cortisol and adrenaline. These chemicals help us to respond to stress and control the immune system. When we have stress that lasts for days, weeks, or even longer, the body is constantly flooded with cortisol and adrenaline which results in increased blood pressure, decreased immunity to disease, and makes the body work harder. As this process continues, the result becomes low energy, achiness and mental fogginess.
This process, without a doubt, eventually will lead to adrenal burnout.
Imagine if your adrenals were little people living at the top of your kidneys. The constant stress and always being on the go is like making those poor little adrenals run marathon after marathon. If you were running marathon after marathon, you would eventually poop out too.
If you think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue or just need to make some changes to help boost your energy levels, here are some natural fixes you can try today:
#1 Eat more protein, whole grains and non-starchy vegetables.
When your adrenals are already overworked, the last thing you want to do is make them work overtime by eating a lot of sugary and starchy foods. These foods, like white breads, pastas, and potatoes, are digested quickly, giving you a sugar high followed by a crash. The adrenals work to even out blood sugar by supplying more cortisol. Stop working those little adrenals so much and choose foods that are metabolized slowly. It will give your adrenals a break. Some great snack ideas are nuts, nut butters, cheeses, berries, and pears.
#2 Reduce caffeine.
I didn’t say “no caffeine,” I will let you be the judge of that. Caffeine and other stimulants further work the adrenals. The more you can cut back, the better. Here are some things you can do to help reduce your intake:
- Drink half caffeinated/half decaffeinated coffee.
- Replace a caffeinated beverage with naturally decaffeinated herbal tea
- Increase water intake to 64 ounces a day to help crowd out caffeinated beverages
#3 Get lots of rest.
This can be hard for people who already feel like there are not enough hours in the day but you will die earlier if you skimp on sleep. Period.
Your body is more prone to disease and illness when you do not get the sleep your body needs to rest, recover and rejuvenate. There are so many things you can do to improve sleep but first and foremost:
- get the TV out of the room if you have one
- don’t take a book to bed
- rub some lavender oil on your chest
- stop eating after 8 pm
- take a hot shower
- turn down the a/c
- keep your bedroom dark
#4 Exercise, appropriately.
If you think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, the last thing you want to do is heavy exercise, like Insanity™ or running 5 miles. You still need to move, but it needs to be more of an uplifting type of exercise like yoga or walking. You must give your body time to heal and regenerate. If you feel tired after working out, then you have pushed your body too far and you need to cut back.
#5 Eat on a schedule.
If you are a busy person, chances are you aren’t finding the time to sit and eat your food. This probably means you are eating meals at odd hours or maybe not at all. Food is fuel and food restores our body. If you get into the habit of eating your meals at approximately the same time every day (breakfast, lunch and dinner), your body will get used to the schedule and will help a lot of other things fall into place, like rest and not craving stimulants like caffeine and sugary foods to keep you going.
We are only given one life and one body and we must take care of it. If we take care of our body, it will take care of us!
How will you help your little adrenals rest today? Did you learn something new from this article? I would love for you to share your thoughts below or visit me on Facebook!
Health and blessings!
Randi's passion is to create positive change in a person's life that leads to prolonged health and happiness. She works with individuals who wish to lose weight, increase their energy, lower stress and manage and prevent disease through the use of natural health solutions. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, exercise enthusiast and rep for Young Living Essential Oils (providing natural solutions for health).