You’re exhausted. Muscle aches, soreness and feeling weak. You can’t focus. You can’t seem to figure out what it is.
It’s not you…wait no..it might be you.
Maybe you have Adrenal Fatigue. Or maybe you’re just stressed out. Honestly, is there a difference? There is a common factor with people who suffer from adrenal fatigue…they are far from relaxed in their life.
So, what does this new “diagnosis” bring? So far, treatments that do little to get to the root of the actual problem and focus more on treating symptoms. Things are quickly moving towards Adrenal Fatigue becoming common household terminology.
Big pharma is already rubbing its hands together, getting ready to make it rain dollars at the next company party. Our society has been neatly groomed for pill popping and instant gratification over the past 20 years, Adrenal Fatigue is next up at bat to be the cash cow.
Let’s start with what adrenal fatigue is. Without getting too deep, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with jargon. It is just as it sounds, the fatigue of the adrenal glands. The Adrenal glands (yes, there are two) are located on top of the kidneys and they function in the release of some seriously necessary hormones.
Here is the simplified rundown of what your adrenal glands produce:
The ever popular Cortisol which functions in regulation of your metabolism and slowing or shutting your immune system down. Cortisol is released in stress states to cause the body to create glucose and store it in the liver for emergency and starvation. It also shuts down the production of collagen- the protein that your bones and connective tissue are made from. It also slows down wound healing. If cortisol levels remain high for long periods it can cause muscle tissue to be broken down for energy and fat to be stored for emergency use. It also increases stomach acid production
Aldosterone which helps to regulate your blood pressure and your electrolytes sodium and potassium.
Androgens DHEA and DHT which are the precursors for the sex hormones Testosterone and Estrogen respectively.
Adrenaline which is the “fight or flight” hormone. It causes blood sugar levels to rise, your heart and lungs to work harder and faster and your pupils to dilate so that you can see more.
When you are stressed for extended periods of time, your body’s ability to keep up the task of generating stress hormones and regulating itself becomes weakened. When your resources run out chaos is bound to happen.
Do you know what the treatment is to cure adrenal fatigue and recover your energy, immunity, vitality and wellness? It is YOU.
Let’s start with the idea of self care.
The term is commonly used but do you REALLY know what that means for YOU? A diffuser filled with essential oils and bath bombs are nice but it is going to take a lot more that that to get your body balanced back out.
Can you start treating your body the way you would treat something you truly love? Fuel it with rest, care, nutrients and a detailed account of what makes it feel better or worse? Time is going to pass anyway, if you start putting in the work imagine what it would FEEL like to be energized and full of vitality?
As you get older your body isn’t less equipped to process toxins and stresses, it simply gets TIRED of it! FATIGUED, in fact.
This is what you can do to start getting yourself on track:
Track it: keep a daily account of what you eat, your stress and activity in a journal. If you have no frame of reference you have no power to reflect and adjust. There is more power as you seek out medical advice when you have a frame of reference.
Eliminate foods you are sensitive to. Your journal will help you to track what you consume and what you are sensitive to. Some of the most common sensitivities are: dairy, processed foods, preservatives, sugars and booze.
Coffee (green tea is A-ok though!)
Ditch fried foods and hydrogenated oils
Ditch the sugar, candy, fruit juices and sodas
Ditch the nicotine
Find healthy expressions for those angry voices in your head and learn to navigate your self talk versus suppress it (let yourself off the hook will ya!)
Say “NO” to overdoing it and taking on too much
Get more fresh air
Move your body (seriously, take a walk)
Let’s top it off with the last critical element.
STRESS. You must lower your stress levels. Environmental or other. The way you experince this life depends on it. How do you want it to FEEL?
So what can you do?
Hate your job? Quit
Hate your home life? Change it.
People draining your energy? Leave them alone.
Easier said than done?
If you can not change your environment or quit your job right now, what self work can you do to change your relationship to the situation? As cheesy as it sounds a daily gratitude practice or ritual to remind yourself that you are not a victim of your circumstance is often all you need to reframe it.
If you feel unable to do that, only YOU can make steps to change it starting now.
Your body is speaking and the more you work to ignore it or power though it, the louder it gets. Mind over matter when the matter is not being considered leads to a breakdown. Your body is the experiential vehicle to which you experience LIVING.
When your body is compromised, your experience is compromised.
YOU are the only one that can translate the unique language your body speaks and be diligent in healing it.
Heal thy body.
The simple SIMPLE answer to adrenal fatigue?
Remove stressors, eat clean, breathe, hydrate, move and track your journey so that YOU can heal your body.