Tag Archives: Adrenal fatigue

Slip Me a Slug From The Wonderful Coffee Mug – Ahh Java!

Lots of us rely on our morning java to get us going and for some that is followed by numerous refills through the day
Lots of us rely on our morning java to get us going and for some that is followed by numerous refills through the day

For most people the question of whether coffee is good or bad for you is entirely irrelevant. Whatever the answer, it makes no difference to their coffee habit.

Lots of us rely on our morning java to get us going and for some that is followed by refills through the day. But caffeine is highly addictive and can lead to adrenal fatigue

Coffee serves lots of purposes for each individual – it can get you through depression or anxiety. But the caffeine it contains that provides the adrenaline rush, the temporary jolt,  also has a dark side, putting stress on your adrenal glands, increasing your stress hormones and leading to a vicious cycle of stress and anxiety. When you drink lots of coffee the adrenaline rush initially makes you alert. But as it wears off cortisol builds up. When this cycle is repeated frequently it creates the same effect on your body as chronic stress.

Caffeine also contributes to fertility problems including increased miscarriage and infertility; triggers the secretion of stomach acids and causes heartburn; contributes to hypoglycemia, an imbalance of blood sugars; increases weight gain over the long term linked to the production of stress hormones; hastens osteoporosis because it interferes with mineral absorption in the bones; affects the normal detoxifying process in the liver; and causes dehydration which then can lead to many other problems including wrinkles and stretch marks. It can even contribute to gluten intolerance  or Coeliac disease.

It is interesting that the heaviest consumption of coffee occurs in regions that are overcast, drizzly or that lack sunshine for long periods and are generally dreary. Caffeine seems to help with depression initially by contributing to dopamine production, which in turn helps to lift our mood. But increased coffee consumption can then create the vicious circle that actually leads to depression.

Caffeine is present in some other foods also like chocolate, cola and tea but most caffeine in our diet comes from coffee. However it only makes up 1 – 2% of the coffee bean and it the other constituents that are now beginning to be researched for their effect on our health.

For some years coffee has been recognized as having some benefits as well as being harmful, and for a while the belief that to be healthy you needed to quit coffee eased somewhat. Caffeine can offer benefits to those suffering from Alzheimer’s or Parkinsons disease. Research done 20-30 years ago discovered that there seems to be a relationship between coffee and diabetes – the more coffee drunk the lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

More recently however it has been found that the caffeine in coffee could be causing insulin spikes and contributing to hypoglycemia. Considering that insulin imbalance plays such a part in ‘diabesity’ which is such a big and rapidly growing problem in our society, the alarm bells are now ringing.

Coffee is a very acidifying food. Foods which cause an acidic reaction in the body are known to contribute to a wide range of problems quite apart from digestive upsets including arthritis and gout. Here is a checklist of 30 symptoms to find out if you are too acidic.

Caffeine is a diuretic, causing the body to release more fluid. This also results in an increased excretion and loss of high levels of minerals – calcium, magnesium and potassium. This becomes particularly significant in a country like Australia where the soils, and therefore foods grown in that soil, is very mineral deficient already.

With concern over these rapidly increasing health problems and given that so many people in the 21st Century are stressed, depressed, overworked, sick, nutritionally deficient, hormonally imbalanced and generally living with inflamed or toxic bodies, it seems that the time has arrived for many to kick their habit.

Caffeine is very addictive and when lots of coffee is combined with stress in your life then the addiction can take over. But, some people don’t actually want to even consider that there is a level of addiction, let alone kick it.

Quitting coffee can be very difficult and apart from leaving you feeling weak and tired can cause all sorts of side effects such as headache, fatigue, depression and difficulty concentrating, as anyone who has to forgo their normal fix knows very well.

The answer is not to turn to de-caf coffee, which is often subjected to some nasty toxins such as solvents in the decaffeinating process and still contains trace amounts of caffeine, but to turn to healthier alternatives – choose NO-CAF over DE-CAF.

In addition, caffeine withdrawal does not have to be so difficult and there are measures that can ease it. I regularly use Homeopathic remedies for my clients with great success to stop cravings for all manner of substances, including caffeine. Hypnotherapy and EFT are other successful strategies you can use to break addictive habits. Supplementing with the amino acids L-Tyrosine or Phenylalaline can also help – some people do better on one and some on the other.

When my clients are drinking lots of coffee and need to cut it back I encourage them to do it in steps. This might be to just drink one cup less a day at first gradually working down to one ‘high quality’ coffee treat on the weekend, or even better, no coffee. The easiest way to do this is to replace the coffee with alternatives.

If you would like to make the switch here are some much healthier alternatives.

Start out by replacing some of your coffees with these. Perhaps initially alternate a coffee with one or more from this list and gradually decrease the coffees and increase the alternatives.

DANDELION COFFEE – This is one I drink and enjoy. It has a strong, slightly bitter flavour, very similar to coffee but it contains no caffeine. It has an astonishing range of health benefits – it is nutrient rich, supports the liver and kidneys to remove impurities, aids digestion and decreases inflammation, plus much more. The root is roasted and you will often find it mixed with chicory root. I drink it black and unsweetened but you can mix it with milk and sugar. I prefer the pure dandelion root to the mixes but try both out. I also mix it half and half with coffee occasionally.

You can make your own dandelion coffee and a quick google search will yield lots of instructions. If harvesting your own plants make certain that it is true dandelion and not the very similar Catsear.

TEECHINO – gives the energy feel of caffeine but without the crash of caffeine. It tastes like coffee but is made of carob, barley, chicory, dates, figs and almonds. But, just take note that this contains gluten so don’t use Teechino if you are watching gluten in your diet.

YERBA MATE – (pronounced yerba matay) This is a herbal tea from South America. It doesn’t taste exactly like coffee but has a pleasant flavour of its own. It is rich in antioxidants and minerals. Like coffee it boosts energy and fights fatigue. It does contain caffeine but the levels are lower than in coffee or even tea. You can also find Yerba Mate in some herbal tea blends.

GREEN TEA – Green tea has small amounts of caffeine, about 20 grams a serve, but these are substantially less than in coffee. It has high levels of antioxidants that fight free radical damage, improves cardiovascular health, reduces the risk of cancer and helps with weight loss. By the way, your green tea needs to be green, if it is brown it has been oxidized.

WHITE TEA – even better than green tea is white tea which is less processed and retains a higher amount of antioxidants compared to green. It also has less caffeine than green, only 15 grams a serve, and is light and delicious.

ROOIBOS TEA – A pleasant full flavoured, slightly sweet and nutty tea from South Africa which like coffee, can be mixed with milk. It contains no caffeine and very little tannin. It is also rich in antioxidants and minerals. It is thought to reduce stress, irritability and headaches, the opposite of coffee, plus has many other health benefits as well as relieving many illnesses.

REISHI MUSHROOM TEA – This is one to take if you are determined to wipe the slate clean and it is certainly an acquired taste, but reishi mushroom is absolutely loaded with antioxidants, is a wonderful stimulant for the immune system, lowers blood pressure and is purported to have cancer fighting qualities. It requires long brewing and you may need to add ginger or to sweeten it.

Coffee is often touted as having health benefits but the simple truth is that coffee is not a health food. Like other drugs there are side effects to any benefit that it offers. There are much better, less risky ways to achieve any of the professed benefits of coffee consumption.

If in spite of everything, you are going to continue drinking coffee then consider the coffee you are drinking and choose the best options around.

  • Firstly, opt for Organic fair-Trade varieties. Coffee is notorious for its dangerous growing practices.
  • If your coffee is laden with milk you might want to think again. The latte drinks offered by Starbucks for example are high in kilojoules, sometimes as high as fattening desserts like ice-cream or chocolate cake that most people avoid, and those joules are all in the form of unhealthy fats.
  • The way the coffee is prepared also affects the caffeine levels in the cup. Espresso coffee contains less caffeine than drip coffee and also has the most antioxidants, but it is also the one linked to higher levels of Triglycerides and LDLs.
  • The amount of caffeine in light and dark roasts varies only slightly so which you use makes little difference

After all this bad news are you still reading?

If you are still with me then enjoy this video (I’m not sure why it isn’t displaying properly, but follow the link it will get you there).

Then let me know in the comments below what your favourite coffee alternative is.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pULXnVTRynY                 .

cup_coffee_cream_heart_2  

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Source articles:

http://www.hungryforchange.tv/article/10-reasons-to-quit-coffee-plus-healthy-alternatives

http://www.naturalnews.com/036412_coffee_dopamine_caffeine.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/034335_Starbucks_nutrition_calories.html

Coffee – The Good and The Bad

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/food+diet/expert+opinion/white+tea+vs+green+tea,13045

http://www.mushroom-appreciation.com/mushroom-tea.html

http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/what_is_rooibos_tea

http://www.naturalnews.com/034058_coffee_health_effects.html

http://www.foodrenegade.com/how-to-end-your-coffee-addiction/

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/11/14/Is-Drinking-Tea-or-Coffee-the-Smarter-Choice.aspx

Advertisements

Adrenal Fatigue, Cortisol, and That Overwhelmed Feeling.

While everyone knows about adrenaline and the ‘fight or flight’ response, not so many know much about the hormone cortisol, the other stress hormone, and how it contributes to Adrenal Fatigue. Both adrenaline and cortisol are produced in the adrenal glands but each performs a very different role.

stressed2

Adrenalin is the hormone released when the body is in danger, It promotes quick reaction, throwing you into the best response to get you out of the dangerous situation. It is meant to be released, used quickly and then switched off.

Cortisol also plays a part in the stress response. It is essential for maintaining homeostasis in your body and actually regulates many of the changes in your body that are related to stress. It is released in high levels during periods of stress alongside adrenaline. As with adrenaline it is vital that the cortisol response then shuts off so levels can return to normal.

It is only when stress is ongoing and cortisol continues to be released into the body for prolonged periods that it becomes problematic. Under constant stress cortisol release never gets turned off and this has a negative effect on many body functions.

 

EVERYONE’S STRESSED

Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle which is relentlessly stressful produces the perfect platform for the Stress Scenario.

Stress itself can be very addictive. It’s not uncommon for people to even be proud of the fact that they can juggle a high-power job, family and relationship on caffeine, nicotine and very little sleep. Often we actually applaud people who are able to do it all, and pull off the seemingly impossible.

But stress burns you out, it comes at a cost. And that cost is chronic illness. – diabetes, cancer, a whole gamut of autoimmune diseases, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or a host of others

When someone lives their life in a constant state of prolonged stress where stress hormones are continually released into the bloodstream, never getting switched off, further symptoms continue to develop until eventually the Adrenal glands themselves are affected.

Your adrenal glands simply can’t keep up with the amount of stress. They become overworked and can no longer match hormone production with demand. The production of cortisol plummets and that’s when Adrenal Fatigue kicks in. The Adrenal glands are no longer able to produce sufficient cortisol to release that extra boost of cortisol when an emergency situation arises.

stressed6 overwhelm18876841_s

 

WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?

Adrenal Fatigue is the umbrella term for the group of symptoms caused by this deficiency.

The primary symptom of Adrenal Fatigue is fatigue that is not improved by sleep. Those who suffer with this syndrome wake feeling exhausted, drag their feet with tiredness all day, only to find they get a second wind and wake up right at the time they should be going to sleep at night.

You can read more about Adrenal Fatigue at “Are You Suffering From 21st Century Syndrome?”

 

YOU DON”T NEED TO BE ANXIOUS TO BE STRESSED

It’s really important to understand that stress does not just refer to a state of anxiety. Living with a feeling of overwhelm, insufficient or poor quality sleep, eating a poor diet, worrying (about anything), unhappiness, or living with pain, are all situations that create a state of stress within the cells of your body, without you ever feeling anxious at all.

Stressful experiences like the death of a loved one or a divorce, undergoing surgery, financial hardship or job stress, bullying, even negative thinking can create adrenal fatigue just as easily as poor diet, lack of exercise or pollution and environmental toxins.

Many, many people spend their entire life in this state, and so live with raised levels of cortisol in their body all the time.

 

THE EFFECTS OF CORTISOL IMBALANCE

The effects of a cortisol imbalance fall into two groups.

The first group of symptoms occurs when circulating cortisol levels are too high and happens during prolonged stress. The second group of symptoms occurs later, once the Adrenal glands are no longer able to produce enough cortisol and circulating levels have dropped significantly, as happens with Adrenal Fatigue.

The negative effects of higher levels of circulating cortisol:

Suppressed or weakened immune system
Raised blood pressure
Increased blood sugar levels
Impaired cognitive performance
Disrupted sleep
Hardening of the arteries
Increased fat storage, especially around the abdomen which is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels,
Lower growth hormone and testerone production
Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugars) and other blood sugar imbalances
Lowered thyroid function
Decreased bone density and osteoporosis
Muscle loss
Inhibited protein synthesis
Loss of collagen in the skin and inhibition of the formation of more
Depression

Long periods of raised cortisol levels can also damage the brain and memory, reducing the ability to learn.

The negative effects of lower levels of circulating cortisol:

Low energy
Brain fog, fuzzy-headedness
Mild depression
Blood sugar imbalances, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugars)
Fatigue, especially in the morning
Disrupted sleep
Low blood pressure
Lowered immune function
Inflammation
Cravings for salty or sweet foods
Difficulty recovering from illness or stress
A feeling of being run down or unable to cope
Feeling awake and alert in the evening in spite of being tired all day
Body aches
Moodiness
Decreased libido
Increased allergies
Hair loss

Overworked Life Plan
Overworked Life Plan

 

SUPPLEMENTS FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE

Natural Health modalities can help speed up your journey back from Adrenal Fatigue, which can otherwise be slow. But if you are also deficient in simple vitamins and minerals you lack the basic building blocks your body requires to build your health. Consulting a Natural Health practitioner will provide you with the advice and treatment you need, and replacing some of the deficiencies will also help.

These are just some of the vitamins and minerals that Adrenal Fatigue sufferers tend to lack, although not every person will need all these. Your Natural Health Practitioner can guide you best.

B Vitamins

B5 contributes to cellular respiration and the breakdown of nutrients. Start with 100mg a day.
B6 helps create adrenal hormones. Take 50 mg a day to begin.
B12 helps with energy production, cell repair and red blood cell maintenance. Start with 100mcg a day.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant directly involved with the production of cortisol, and in addition offers many other benefits to your immune system and more. Start with 100mg of buffered Vitamin C a day and increase this gradually.

Probiotics

When Adrenal Fatigue affects the digestion, which it frequently does, probiotics play an important role as they contribute towards a better uptake of nutrients to assist the body on its healing journey.

Magnesium

As most of the population is thought to be deficient in magnesium supplementing is a great benefit. As well as causing depression and sleep problems deficiency can also lead to muscle cramps and stiffness. Start with 400mg a day.

There are a number of other supplements that I often like to include in the treatment of Adrenal Fatigue such as CoQ10, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, Spirulina (although it is not strictly a supplement) and the herb Tulsi (Holy Basil).

 

NATURAL THERAPY

 

In my clinic Homeopathic remedies and Herbal Essences help with recovery from Adrenal Fatigue. Both these forms of Natural Medicine are effective on their own without the use of additional supplements. Best sustained results occur when Homeopathic medicines are individually prescribed according to Homeopathic prescribing guidelines, by a qualified practitioner.

 

LIFESTYLE CHANGE

Lifestyle changes that help reduce the impact of Adrenal Fatigue are helpful.  After strenuous exercise you often get an initial burst of energy but then crash with adrenal fatigue.  Walking, yoga, meditation, tai chai, and qi gong are all gentle forms of exercise that won’t result in you crashing.

Controlled breathing exercises and techniques are excellent and can be done through the day wherever you happen to be.

Modifying your sleep preparation rituals can help reduce insomnia and the impact caused by adrenal fatigue, to improve your sleep.

 

EATING FOR ADRENAL FATIGUE

 

Help support your recovery by reducing sugars, caffeine, and alcohol at the very least.

If you must drink coffee or cola do it in the morning and then steer clear of it through the day as it interferes with sleep and adrenal recovery.

Watch for hidden sugars and replace sugar with stevia where you can

Alcohol contains sugar and creates a boost and crash scenario, interfering with the sleep cycle and causing insomnia later in the night.

Hydrogenated oils lead to adrenal inflammation, Use good fats like coconut oil instead.

Processed foods or microwave foods contain many difficult to digest preservatives and fillers.

 

Have you experienced Adrenal Fatigue? Leave a reply below.

For more information and advice about how best to treat your symptoms contact your Natural Medicine Practitioner.

 

stressed3

Disclaimer

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.

 

Source Articles

http://www.psychologicalharassment.com/stress-and-stress-management.htm
http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/cortisol-adrenal-function

 

Maca – The Superfood Rebalancer!

Maca roots
Maca roots

Recently the herb Maca has come up frequently during consultations, so this week I would like to look at this new supplement that is rapidly gaining popularity.  Not really a supplement, it is actually a ‘superfood’ with many amazing benefits. Superfoods are those that have very high levels of antioxidants, such as blueberries, spirulina or pomegranates.

Lepidium peruvianum, or Maca, is a tuber vegetable cultivated for thousands of years in the harsh conditions high up at 4,000m in the Peruvian Andes. One of the superfoods of the Incas, it has been used as a medicinal food for over 2,000 years to increase energy, promote endurance and stamina as well as improve fertility and sexual performance in both men and women.

Maca is part of the brassica family and related to broccoli, cabbage and turnip. The harvested root has high antioxidant levels and is loaded with protein. It has more bioavailable calcium than milk, magnesium, potassium, iron, plus other minerals and trace elements, vitamins and all the amino acids. It is rich in the B vitamins and a vegetarian source of vitamin B12.

In addition to the traditional uses maca is great for offsetting the effects of stress, anxiety and fatigue. It stimulates and nourishes the hypothalamus and pituitary glands, the master glands of the body. As these are the glands that regulate all the other glands, maca can help to bring balance to the adrenal, thyroid, pancreas, ovarian and testicular glands.

Anxious

The glands in the body produce hormones that regulate many body processes including your mood, sexual development, growth, and tissue function. As well they play a role in many diseases ranging from depression to cancer

Maca is an adaptogen, responding to the individual needs of your body. It regulates as and where needed, where hormones are out of balance. This means if you are producing too much of a hormone it will regulate so production decreases, but if you are producing too much it regulates to increase production. Herbal adaptogens, are a rare class of herbs, valuable in natural health prescribing. Other adaptogens are licorice, Holy Basil, ashwagandha, ginseng, rhodiola, eleuthero and schisandra.

Unlike wild yam, maca does not introduce hormones into your body, nor are the active ingredients phyto-eostrogens. Instead it is thought that it is alkaloids in the maca that act on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. This means that the effects of maca on the body are diverse, and not just restricted to the sex hormones.

Today the main uses of Maca are for balancing hormones, increasing energy and reducing stress. It offers significant benefits for women suffering hormonal imbalances. Studies have concentrated on the positive effects it has on the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause. However it is also very useful and beneficial for other hormonal problems like PCOS or PMS.

USES FOR MACA

MacaBENEFITS OF MACA

Maca produces benefits without the side-effects of many medications and even some herbal remedies.

  • Maca helps to balance our hormones.
  • Studies have shown that it increases sexual function and treats impotence
  • Stimulates fertility in men and women, enhances sperm production.
  • It can be very useful to regulate the menstrual cycle and ease PMS symptoms.  It relieves the unpleasant effects of menopause.
  • Maca has shown anticancer activity in the laboratory.
  • It reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and decreases the levels of triglycerides.
  • It seems to reduce blood sugar levels and improve glucose tolerance.
  • Maca could provide a non-caffeine alternative for those who need an energy boost from coffee in the morning.
  • Is an antidepressant
  • Enhances learning and memory abilities
  • Supports the immune system
  • Increases energy, stamina and endurance, reducing chronic fatigue.
  • Remineralizes the body, making up for the lack of minerals in modern diets.
  • Clears acne and blemishes

MacaHOW TO SELECT AND USE MACA

Maca comes in a number of different colours, the most commonly found is yellow. Scientists have found that each colour has a different effect on the body. Black and red maca improve bone health and black affects memory and learning the best. Darker maca roots contain significant levels of iodine.

The dried root of maca comes in a powder form, tablets or capsules. It has a slightly sweet, nutty flavour and can be added to many foods such as soup, herbal tea, or desserts. You can sprinkle it on bananas or popcorn. You can mix it with honey and eat the paste off the spoon, add it to smoothies, juice or to warm almond milk with some raw cacao for hot chocolate. Added to baking maca gives a maltiness to the flavour. But don’t add to much as the flavour can be overwhelming.

Start with ½ -1 teaspoon a day and build up to between 1 and 5 teaspoons a day, over a few days. Some people may experience adverse responses when they start taking maca. These are a sign of the body detoxing and only last a few days. Cut back the amount you are taking and build up slowly.

Improvement can occur within days, even the on same day, although for most people it takes about four days or even weeks to notice changes.

You can find maca at most health food shops or online. Make certain to buy a quality, organic product. Because it is a root vegetable the growing conditions make a huge difference to the level of nutrients. Cheaply priced good will deliver an inferior product (unless it is cheap on special). Only buy reputable, organic brands of maca root. Don’t buy other parts of the plant.

The brand I recommend to my clients, although I do not sell or have any financial interest in it at all, is Loving Earth Maca Powder. It is raw Australian Certified Organic and the company has awesome 30% off discounts on their website for all their maca products through December.

Maca is generally recognized as safe. However, because of the way it works care may be needed. For example, maca balances out your hormones so they are at the required levels. If you are also taking other supplements, such as Dong Quai, Black cohosh, Vitex or phytoestrogens for womens hormones for example, to achieve similar results, these could interfere with the maca and result in an aggravation of your symptoms.

If you take too much too soon maca can actually exacerbate your hormonal symptoms and make them worse. If you are suffering the effects of stress it could exacerbate that also, causing a racing heart and insomnia. I have seen problems that are the result of taking maca. Simply exercise care, stop taking maca if you notice adverse effects or speak to your health practitioner.

If you suffer from any diagnosed illness, particularly those such as hormone related cancers, speak to your health practitioner before starting to take maca.

 Maca uses 2

Do you use maca? How quickly did it work for you? How effective have you found it?

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue. 

 

Source articles

http://www.naturalnews.com/027797_maca_root_hormone_balance.html

http://www.naturalfertilityandwellness.com/macas-fertility-benefits/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/159150-benefit-of-maca/

http://www.iquitsugar.com/a-bluffers-guide-to-maca

http://realrawfood.com/maca-history-info

Related articles

Are You Suffering From 21st Century Syndrome?

With Adrenal Fatigue you can feel tired even after a good sleep and not really feel awake until 10am
With Adrenal Fatigue you can feel tired even after a good sleep and not really feel awake until 10am

Adrenal Fatigue? “What’s that” I hear you ask.

Adrenal fatigue, sometimes called the ‘21st Century Stress Syndrome’ occurs when your adrenal glands cannot meet the hormone demands of your life and is a problem that is becoming more frequently recognized.

If you are living a high-stress lifestyle, eating lots of chemical laden foods, need to drink lots of coffee or cola to keep you going, and getting way too little sleep than the chances are that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.

Unfortunately for us, our lifestyle has changed but our bodies haven’t – they still operate as if they are living in the stone age. We can no longer live a simple, relaxed lifestyle and instead we all live a life under constant stress. (Anyone who is able to live a relaxed life these days is not going to be reading this on a computer!) Sometimes, we become so used to the full-on lifestyle that we stop even realizing that it is actually pretty stressful. Sometimes we don’t even realize that so many different components from worry, anxiety or grief, to the air we breathe, the toxic homes we live in, the foods we eat, or the exercise routine we do, are all mounting up stress on our body each and every minute of each and every day.

Our adrenal glands are responsible for the production of a host of hormones including adrenalin (epinephrine), DHEA, progesterone and testosterone, and cortisol. Adrenals play an important role in the stress response as they release adrenaline and cortisol which initiate the ‘fight or flight’ response and help us deal with acute stress.

Cortisol is the hormone particularly important for keeping our bodies balanced and it plays a big part in regulating the immune system, blood sugar levels and blood pressure. It is also very important in helping us deal with stress. When the levels of cortisol rise too high the immune system becomes weak and susceptible to cancer and infection; if the levels are too low it becomes overactive and then autoimmune disease develops.

When an acute stress is ongoing the adrenals become overworked and unable to match the demand for continued hormone production. When they just can’t take any more they fail and you get what was called a ‘nervous breakdown’ in the past but we now call Adrenal Fatigue.

Our problem is that in an ever-stressed fast-paced life our bodies are pumping out cortisol all the time. When we maintain that lifestyle, with long work hours, sleep deprivation, poor diet, smoking, high intake of caffeine, low relaxation, lots of allergies, we overload our adrenal glands until they can’t take any more. Then the next stress simply becomes the straw to break the camel’s back and we fall apart.

SOME OF THE PROBLEMS EXPREIENCED WITH ADRENAL FATIGUE:

  • Generally tired but wired: You feel really tired until about mid-morning, then again in the middle of the afternoon when you feel like a snooze. Tired again in the evening until about 11pm when you get a ‘second wind’ and then are wide awake until late
  • You perspire a lot even with little activity
  • Dark circles under your eyes
  • Low blood sugar
  • General lack of energy and muscle weakness
  • Cravings for foods high in salt, sweets and carbs, fats
  • Difficulty handling alcohol; difficulty with potassium rich or high carb foods unless combined with fats and protein
  • Low blood pressure, lightheadedness on standing up, dizziness or heart palpitations
  • Low libido
  • Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
  • Chronic infections
  • Increased allergies
  • Mild depression, lots of sighing
  • Startle easily
  • Less ability to handle stress
  • Low back pain, knee pain and weakness
  • Dry unhealthy skin

SOME ILLNESSES CAUSED BY ADRENAL STRESS ARE:

  • Blood sugar balance and diabetes – cortisol causes elevated blood sugar levels and leads to insulin resistance
  • Weight gain and obesity – cortisol mobilizes triglycerides into fat cells and changes appetite with a craving for high kilojoule foods
  • Immune system suppression – a higher susceptibility to all diseases
  • Gastrointestinal problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), colitis, ulcers, indigestion
  • Cardiovascular disease from blood vessel damage
  • Fertility problems – erectile dysfunction and disrupted ovulation and menstrual cycles

Even though adrenal fatigue is very common in these days of stressful living many doctors don’t pick it up easily. It is one of those things that is often just not diagnosed because doctors are only taught to recognize excess, not inadequate levels of cortisol in their training.

Eating a nice clean diet of largely organic whole foods, with an emphasis on lots of vegetables is just one way you can start to turn around adrenal stress
Eating a nice clean diet of largely organic whole foods, with an emphasis on lots of vegetables is just one way you can start to turn around adrenal stress

HOW YOU CAN START TO NURTURE YOUR ADRENALS

If you really want to turn around Adrenal Fatigue then you really do have to reduce the stressors in your life, and first up you need to recognize and acknowledge what the stressors actually are. This might mean changing your job or aspects of it, organizing some child care, changing your diet, your activity, your sleep behaviour, recreation, or the people you mix with. It is also vital to address the associated emotional or psychological issues. Sometimes changing your outlook can make a big difference.

But even introducing certain stress reducing measures would help. You could try these:

  • Minimize stress – this almost goes without saying
  • Laugh more – even join a laughing club if you need to
  • Eat a nice clean diet of largely organic whole foods, with an emphasis on lots of vegetables. Include nuts, seeds legumes and whole grains. Eat regular meals. Chew your food well.
  • Avoid junk foods and sugar
  • Get rid of coffee and cola. If you need some caffeine drink green tea. If you can’t remove coffee totally have one quality coffee on the weekend. Peppermint, dandelion or rooibosteas are all good choices. Tulsi Tea (Holy Basil) is awesome for adrenal fatigue because it helps bring cortisol levels back to normal.
  • Do something fun every day
  • Get negative people out of your life
  • Get some exercise – Yoga, Qi Gong or T’ai Chi are all great de-stressors
  • Meditation and relaxation exercises
  • Get good sleep – seven to eight hours a night, get to bed before midnight as that’s when your body heals itself the most, take a rest (lying down) during work breaks

Take supplements

  • 3,000-5,000 mg Vitamin C each day, Vitamin B complex high in B6 and pantothenic acid, Vitamin E
  • Calcium and magnesium
  • Licorice root extract

Homeopathy, Flower Essences and EFT are all very effective at relieving stress and healing some of the emotional issues. Homeopathy can also redress the hormone imbalances in your body.

With adrenal fatigue having such a huge impact on many of our body functions as well as our quality of life it is worth finding out if you have adrenal fatigue so you can begin to redress it. Contact your Natural Therapy practitioner for more information.

But don’t expect a quick fix as it can take anywhere from 6 months to up to two years to reverse adrenal fatigue.

It can take anywhere from 6 months to up to two years to get back your zing after adrenal fatigue
It can take anywhere from 6 months to up to two years to get back your zing after adrenal fatigue

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

 

Source articles:

http://www.naturalnews.com/019339_adrenal_fatigue_chronic_stress.html#ixzz2Q3g07WMc

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/111609p38.shtml

http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/what-is-adrenal-fatigue

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/fact+sheets/hormones/adrenal+fatigue,11579?gclid=COHVrPHLv7YCFcpbpQodOgsA_w

http://www.thewellnesswarrior.com.au/2011/08/do-you-have-adrenal-fatigue/