Stressed? Tired? Cravings? Can't Sleep?
Our adrenal glands look like walnuts that live on top of both of our kidneys. These important glands produce many hormones, including stress hormones.
But, what happens when they become overworked?
We've all heard of adrenaline junkies, right?
Adrenaline and cortisol are the stress hormones that give us the commonly known adrenaline rush; when we're totally alert and living in the moment. This feeling is known as our bodies' fight or flight response.
Some people, perhaps you, just love that intense feeling.
The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is our bodies' normal reaction to stress. Stress can sometimes be positive, like when it helps us swerve to prevent a car crash, for example. After a short time, the flight or flight response dissipates, our body goes back to normal, and all is good. But what would happen if we felt constant stress? Like all day, every day? Chronic stress.
It wouldn't feel like an awesome, once-in-a-while rush anymore, would it? And what do we think happens to our poor adrenal glands when they’re constantly working?
They’d get fatigued.
Do I Have Adrenal Fatigue?
These symptoms include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, weight loss or gain, joint pain and sugar cravings. Even frequent infections like colds and the flu are signs that our adrenals are overworked.
First off, I have to mention that there aren't any medically accepted blood tests for adrenal fatigue. In fact, it's not recognized by most medical professionals until the point when our adrenals are so fatigued they almost stop working. At that point, the official diagnoses of Adrenal Insufficiency or Addison's Disease may apply.
However, if you do have symptoms, you should see your doctor to rule out other conditions. He or she may even be open to discussing adrenal fatigue, or at the very least, wellness strategies that can help to reduce stress, as well as symptoms.
What To Do If I Have These Symptoms?
Ideally, if you think stress is starting to burn you out, stress reduction is key. There are tons of ideas out there on how you can reduce your stress. My favourites are meditation, walking in nature, light exercise, more sleep and taking a bath.
Of course, I also recommend reducing sugar, processed food intake and eating more fruits and vegetables. Better nutrition can only help our bodies, so we should go ahead and do it! What have we got to lose?
All In All...
Adrenal fatigue is a controversial disease that doesn’t have a true diagnostic test at the moment, nor specific telltale symptoms.
The most important thing we can do with regards to adrenal fatigue is to get tested to rule out other potential conditions. We can also try stress reduction techniques like meditation, walks in nature, light exercise, more sleep, or even a lovely bath... all of which are great activities to do, even when relaxed!
DIY: 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!
Pro Tip: We can also add a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers.
"Maintaining my 10 lb. weight loss through company, camping & everything life is throwing my way. It was slow & steady with a few bumps especially in the beginning. I am always shocked when I weigh & see the number hasn't jumped up. It has become a way of life. I also try to do at least 1 physical activity. I am loving how I have muscle in my arms & upper back. I can now load my kayaks onto my car by myself!"
-Simple Swaps Member Barbara
How Can Food Help Reduce Stress?
Fatigue and stress can come from a lot of different sources. Not all of them can be fixed with nutrition, but good, fulfilling eating habits go a long way in contributing to our overall health. I would like to help you with that!
I'd love for you to book a free health coaching call. I want to find out what you are struggling with and give you my best tips to start you on a journey toward a lean and healthy body for life.
Click on the button below to book your free call now.