What is Adrenal Fatigue and What to Do if You Have It

There are times when people get tired and can't find an immediate and obvious reason to explain the cause. Sometimes it is overwhelming stress caused by an unpredictable situation which depletes your body and mind from the strength and stamina you have always wanted.

When you start struggling to wake up in the morning, even if you had enough to sleep, that is an early sign of adrenal fatigue.

Also, other common symptoms, which people with cortisol problems encounter, include food allergies and intolerances.

However, if your cortisol levels do not decrease in the evening, this can lead to real issues like insomnia or sleep deprivation. As a result, it is practically impossible to recover after physical activity because you are not “rebuilding and regenerating” as you should.

If you are chronically stressed, your body will produce insulin under conditions of insulin resistance, and you will most often find yourself feeling more hungry and exhausted than usual, with an increase or loss in weight.

A person might also have problems with the gastrointestinal tract because in the presence of too much or too little cortisol, the intestine sweeps away the secretory antibodies. Being the first defense of the intestinal immune system, a lack of antibodies will facilitate dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability – leaky gut syndrome.

If you feel this might happen to you, you should get treatment for adrenal fatigue to lower your chronic high levels of glucose (high blood sugar).

What is adrenal fatigue?

Cortisol is a hormone produced by the adrenal glands to help combat health problems which arise when the body is under stress. Besides, the purpose of the adrenal glands is to produce hormones, so the term adrenal fatigue is used to define fatigue and its related symptoms resulting from adrenal gland dysfunction in people with physical, mental and emotional stress as Wilson (2014) states. However, this has no medical evidence.

adrenal fatigue

The theory states that adrenal fatigue, adrenal glands are unable to produce enough hormones when you are in a high state of stress. This internal mischief leads to various symptoms that also come with many negative health consequences.

Nevertheless, there is still not enough credible evidence to support this theory. The loss of a loved one, divorce or surgery, pollution, toxins, lack of sleep, inactivity, poor diet, emotional trauma, negative thoughts, financial challenges, work, and feelings of insecurity all considered high-stress triggers.

Can we treat adrenal fatigue naturally?

Breath

Breathing may seem trivial, but we tend to forget about it, especially in times of stress. Inhale deeply through the nose, and then exhale all the air through the mouth. Repeat at least three times, and your body and mind will start to relax in a matter of seconds.

When you exhale a little longer than you inhale, a signal is sent to the brain to increase the activity in the parasympathetic nervous system.

By doing this, the activity in the sympathetic system, which is responsible for elevating the heart rhythm and sending stress hormones like cortisol, will reduce.

When the parasympathetic system is activated, the heart and breathing are slowed down, the blood pressure decreases, and the whole body returns to a state of calm.

How does yoga help?

Yoga

The practice of yoga helps recovery and improves your ability to deal with stress. Adrenal hormones are catabolic, meaning they result from energy burning and breakdown of cellular structures. If the adrenal glands are activated repeatedly without sufficient recovery, the body may become starved and exhausted, which in return will make the body susceptible to many diseases.

In order to speed up the recovery process, the adrenal glands have to “turn off.” Practicing several restorative yoga postures every day in a warm, dark, and peaceful environment can be helpful, explains Yoga Journal.

Start with breathing exercises (pranayama) and simply sit cross-legged with your back straight while breathing calmly and deeply for a few minutes. Sukhasan, as one of the most basic yoga asanas, is an ideal exercise to begin your yoga practice. Take deep breaths through the nose (the mouth remains closed during the whole exercise), hold your breath and exhale slowly.

If your back is stiff,  relieve the tension by sitting down against a wall. Repeat several times and put an intention in it, that of emptying your head of negative thoughts. Continue until you feel calm and light. Keep your eyes closed and meditate on your inner sensations.

Stretch

Do the Uttanasana yoga posture: stand up, raise your arms and inhale. At the time of exhalation, lean forward while you keep your legs tight. Catch the back of your ankles or calves and bend your elbows to bring your bust as far forward as possible. Once you are in the position, stay breathing through the nose and count five times. The goal is to have your face touch your knees one day, so keep practicing until you make it!

Adho mukha svanasana, which is known as the downward-facing dog, is also a great yoga pose for those who suffer from adrenal fatigue. Once comfortably settled in this position, lay your hands flat and relax your head, back straight, hips to the sky and heels to the ground. Release excess tension while you take five breaths in.

Light exercise

jogging

Running, walking in the corridors of the metro, going to a yoga retreat or simply enjoying a five-minute yoga pose at home, doing 20 repetitions of 100 push-ups or carrying your 2-year-old child several times a day … the key is to beat the heart and stretch the muscles!

Light exercises help to boost morale, combat anxiety and depression, promote sleep, improve the functioning of the heart and lungs, increase flexibility, maintain balance, tone the body, fight against fatigue, to reduce the risk of several cardiovascular diseases, and of course, to strengthen your muscles! As long as you don't forget to laugh, you can run, stretch, box, stroll, dance; they are both great for your abs!

How to treat adrenal fatigue with diet

Adrenal fatigue will require abstaining from foods that aggravate adrenal fatigue, and to eat foods that promote and cure adrenal fatigue.

Try to eat eggs, organic meat, poultry, wild fish and high-quality protein powders, and use coconut, cheese, avocado, butter, and fat dairy products. These foods are essential if you want to have enough protein to balance your blood sugar levels.

Also, your source of fats should really just come from whole natural foods. However, one should abstain from:

  • Caffeine: Drinking affects sleep cycles, and this makes it difficult for the adrenal glands to heal and recover from other stress factors. If you really can't do without coffee, it is best you drink it latest before noon. Keep out sugary foods such as sweets and candies and cereals. Raw honey can be used instead of sugar, but avoid artificial sweeteners and fructose made from corn syrup.
  • Microwave processed foods: Processed foods give your digestive system a difficult time because your fillers and additives found in them can deplete your energy. For better health, try to prepare and cook your own food as much as possible. Hydrogenated oils like soybean oil, corn oil, and canola are responsible for the inflammation of the adrenal glands.  To avoid unnecessary health complications, replace them with coconut oil, organic butter, olive oil or clarified butter.

Taking Nutritional Supplements

The reason why supplements are essential to your diet, is that in today's unhealthy agricultural practices, it can be quite challenging to get the right foods.

Therefore, taking supplements like zinc, vitamin B5, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, vitamin C, fish oil (EPA / DHA), magnesium, and purple basil is vital for your overall health, and can help in treating adrenal fatigue.

Lifestyle changes for your health

adrenal fatigue recovery

To cure adrenal fatigue, make sure you get enough sleep every day. Also, go to bed no later than 22 o’clock for one consecutive month. After you get used to it, you can change the curfew how it suits you best.

It is important to rest your body and get rejuvenated during sleep, so do not eat heavy meals at night.

Early in the morning, you can do light exercises, such as swimming, walking, and yoga. These exercises are crucial in improving circulation without adding tension to your adrenal glands.

Breathing and meditation are useful for changing both the brain waves and their response patterns,  and also affect the immune system.

These techniques are also useful for reducing stress and promoting healthy adrenaline and cortisol levels. Besides, breathing and meditation can help increase oxygen saturation which will increase overall energy levels, and support the body eliminate toxins more quickly.

How long does it take to recover from adrenal fatigue?

Based on the classification made by adrenalfatiguesolution.com, it takes about 6 to 18 months to recover from the first two stages of adrenal fatigue.

In the early stages, healing can take place quickly since cortisol levels are not affected. In a more advanced state, treating adrenal fatigue takes longer due to the high levels of stress hormones in the blood.

During the third and fourth stage, your endocrine system will produce more stress hormones than sex hormones. Eventually, in stage four, the levels of both sex hormones and stress hormones will drop very low, requiring a more extended treatment period.

To heal quicker at this stage, a person needs to implement drastic lifestyle changes, which of course, depend on the person's ability to tackle with his own shortcomings.

According to many health researchers, adrenal fatigue can heal naturally after months or even 24 hours, with adrenal fatigue appearing and disappearing all of a sudden.

If you are ready to eat and avoid specific foods, you will most likely heal faster. Often, healing can occur within a few weeks or months, but it can also take from 6-9 months to 2 years to fully recover for more severe forms of adrenal fatigue.


About the Author: Annie Jones

Annie is the person behind BoostBodyFit. She started her life a bit on the chubby side but went through a whole lifestyle and body transformation, and now she looks and feels great. If you want to say hello to Annie, check her Twitter!


 

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