It’s no secret that I’ve been burned out and run down these last few months, I’ve openly talked about it and I’m sure my long time readers have probably noticed lack of enthusiasm in my writing. I know a lot of other women who are struggling as well, whether they are mothers of young children like myself or women who are dealing with infertility and dealing with work and all things associated with that. The cause for many of our “rundown” symptoms can actually stem from one place – the adrenals.
I recently had some muscle testing done at my chiropractors and I was not really surprised to learn that my adrenals are in major need of help.
The adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney and produce about 35 different hormones within the body. These hormones actually help the body adapt to life, to work properly, and to reproduce. This gland is also very sensitive to stress of all kinds—
emotional, psychological, and nutritional.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Weight gain/inability to lose weight
- Loss of libido
- Increased susceptibility to illness and illness lasts longer than normal
- Foggy memory
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Need stimulants for energy (coffee, soda, etc)
- Worsening PMS
- Dry skin
- Anxiety or depression
- Intolerance to cold
- Cravings for salt or sugar/carbs
- Feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope with daily functions
3 Ways you may be causing adrenal fatigue
- Consume too many sugars and refined carbohydrates. When we eat too many foods that cause drastic spikes in our blood sugar levels, what happens is that after insulin is released to bring the levels down, they drop to low, causing the adrenals to produce cortisol. This cortisol will bring blood sugar back up to levels needed to feed the brain. (ever feel ‘comatose’ after lots of sweets? It’s because your blood sugar has dropped to low and there is no food for your brain.) When consuming to many carbs, the adrenals have to work harder to balance your blood sugar.
- Using coffee or caffeine for quick energy can also cause adrenal fatigue as the caffeine signals excess neuron activity in the brain, which then sends the pituitary gland signals to produce a hormone that gets sent to the adrenals to tell them to produce adrenaline. The adrenaline then puts us into a “fight or flight” mode creating a constant push-and-pull reaction within the body. In other words, it causes internal stress.
- Constant and prolonged stress is also one of the largest contributors to adrenal fatigue. Whether it’s stress from a job, a marriage in crisis, major illness or death of a loved one, or self-imposed stress at home or work, your adrenals are not able to keep up after a while. There are a lot of stresses we can not control, but we can try to change our reactions to them as well as take extra care of our poor adrenal glands!
I’ve made all the above mistakes as I tried to “just get through” this week, this month, this project……
It’s so easy to fall into bad habits thinking they are temporary. That I can use coffee just this afternoon to stay up until 2am to just get this one thing done. Life is full of enough stress as it is, before we add to our own bodies stressors, that we need to be aware of what we do each day. Because when you hit adrenal fatigue, the road back to health is not an easy one.
Next week I’ll cover a bit more about what I’m doing in my life and diet to overcome adrenal fatigue, but tell me……
is this something you may be suffering from yourself?