Do you often find that you have issues waking up in the morning, and you feel groggy and exhausted during the day, but yet you are strangely energetic during the evening? If so, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, an adrenal dysfunction that is caused by infections, medical conditions, as well as stress.
When your adrenal glands don’t produce the correct amounts of cortisol at the proper times in response to stress, this is considered to be adrenal fatigue. Unfortunately, most people will experience adrenal fatigue at some point in their life. Some of the causes of adrenal fatigue include prolonged stress, emotional trauma, the death of a loved one, divorce, poor diet, food sensitivities, and lack of sleep. Your adrenal glands play a huge role in stress response and are part of the endocrine system, in which they are involved in producing and balancing over 50 hormones, many which are essential for life. However, many people experience a tremendous amount of stress daily, and this can cause your adrenal glands to become overloaded and ineffective.
Adrenal fatigue is also known as hypoadrenia, and many experience this condition to some degree during times of stress. It’s well-known that chronic stress negatively affects the body’s ability to recuperate and heal, and in time this can have devastating effects on your health. Unfortunately, the symptoms of adrenal fatigue aren’t always easily recognizable because it can mimic other disorders and be overlooked. However, the symptoms of adrenal fatigue typically include:
• Weight gain
• Pain in upper back or neck
• Skin ailments
• Extreme fatigue
• Insulin resistance
• Brain fog
• Hair loss
• Decreased sex drive/libido
• High blood pressure
• High cortisol levels
• Hormone imbalance
• Reduced immune function
• Autoimmune conditions
If you feel like your adrenals need a break, give them some tender loving care by following these helpful tips that can help you naturally treat adrenal fatigue.
1. Make sure you are getting enough rest daily, and avoid staying up late. Instead, adopt a regular sleep cycle, rest when you feel tired, and aim for 8-10 hours of sleep a night.
2. Avoid consuming junk food, table salt, white flour, and other processed grains. Many of these contain artificial sweeteners and high-fructose syrup, which needs to be avoided as much as possible.
3. One of the hallmarks of adrenal fatigue is dehydration, so make sure you are drinking enough liquids daily. If you are not a fan of drinking water, add some Himalayan pink salt or some fresh lemon juice to add some taste.
4. Avoid using hydrogenated oils, such as corn, soybean, and canola oil. Vegetable oils are highly inflammatory, so try to use only good fats such as organic butter, ghee, olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil.
5. While that mid-day coffee may feel fantastic, it’s not helping your adrenal glands recover. Instead, caffeine makes the problem worse by making it hard for you to heal and can interfere with your sleep cycle.
6. Eliminate processed food and meats from your diet, and stay away from eating microwaved foods. Fillers and preservatives can be hard to digest, and processed meats can have added hormones that can throw your system out-of-whack.
7. Exercise daily, even if it’s walking or some other form of moderate exercise. Even if you are limited on time, there are ways to squeeze some sort of physical activity into your day. For instance, instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs instead.
8. Try to minimize the amount of stress you face daily by avoiding negative self-talk and people. Remove yourself from toxic people and situations. When faced with negativity or extreme stress, try to remove yourself mentally from the situation by doing something fun and using laughter as your medicine.
9. Add lots of nutrient-dense foods into your diet to help overcome adrenal fatigue. These foods have healing qualities and are easy to digest and process. Some of the best foods for adrenal health include free-range turkey and chicken, fatty fish, avocados, cruciferous vegetables, coconuts, olives, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, fermented foods, kelp, and seaweed.
10. With the aid of your healthcare practitioner, take herbs and supplements that help support the adrenals. Getting the nutrients you need solely from food can be a challenge, so with the help of your doctor utilize dietary herbs and supplements such as magnesium, selenium, zinc, B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, DHEA, omega-3’s, fish oil, curcumin, holy basil, ashwagandha, and licorice root.
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