Are you feeling overwhelmed?
Do you find yourself waking up with little energy?
Are you lacking vitality and a lust for life?
Have you recently been through or are you currently experiencing a period of time where your stress levels are extremely high?
Considering the way life has panned out since March 23rd 2020, I’m going to hazard a guess at yes to some extent…and if things have been extremely bad for you there is a real possibility that you might be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.
I know this term probably seems big and scary and by all means, it shouldn’t be taken lightly! The good news, however, for anyone suffering from Adrenal fatigue – it can be healed, but only with a completely holistic approach.
The highly debilitating condition of Adrenal Fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands, hypothalamus and pituitary gland (the HPA axis) are not interacting optimally with one another.
Your adrenal glands – located at the top of your kidneys – perform several key roles and as such are a vital conduit towards maintaining fully balanced health.
One of the most critical functions provided by these glands is to optimise your body’s reaction to stress through the excretion of hormones, including cortisol, DHEA and adrenaline (aka epinephrine). All of these hormones are used to regulate your heart rate, immune system, energy storage amongst many other vital roles. If your body is experiencing a fully rested state your adrenal glands will produce a balanced and modulated stress response enabling you to take stress factors ‘in your stride’. This of course can only mean one thing…When adrenal glands are overstimulated for an extended length of time, they weaken, wreaking havoc internally leaving you with as much (or perhaps even less) ‘get up and go’ than a damp tea towel!
We don’t have to look very far to find a plethora of factors that can cause Adrenal Fatigue – jobs, lack of exercise, relationship problems, long term care situations and chronic diseases amongst many others can all play their part. Sadly, if you are experiencing more than one of these situations then it is even further stress placed upon your adrenal glands!
Over time, the adrenal glands decline to such a point, they cannot react as and when we require them to. It is at this point, many Adrenal Fatigue sufferers report the following symptoms:
- Low levels of enthusiasm
- Low-grade depression
- Feelings of ‘flatness’
- Low energy levels
- Inability to focus
- Junk food cravings
- Dizziness and other symptoms related to hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar),
- Breathing difficulties
- Reduced libido
- Weight gain
Considering all of the above, it may shock you to know that Adrenal Fatigue is not recognised within the conventional medical field – in fact, quite shockingly, “TATT” (tired all the time) is a medical ‘shorthand’ for patients presenting with these symptoms and is usually reserved for those who are considered as neurotic, attention-seeking or potentially worse. More often than not, if a doctor does decide to prescribe any medication at all, anti-depressants will be their go-to answer.
An additional reason as to the lack of knowledge surrounding Adrenal Fatigue within the conventional medical field is it presents with such a wide symptom set and doctors (particularly within western medicine) are sadly underequipped to be able to recognise them as a genuine syndrome.
Another problem that hinders any kind of helpful diagnosis is that our hormones fluctuate over the course of a day.
You can be tested at the wrong time and will indicate you are just within the reference range and thus not a candidate for any ongoing treatment. This is compounded by the fact that doctors are trained to look for critically low levels of cortisol when investigating adrenal disease and related issues leading them to turn those most in need away without an answer or worse yet fobbing them off as ‘a moany patient’.
As such Adrenal Fatigue, needs to be managed through a truly holistic approach in order to support a patient’s recovery.
This first came to my attention a number of years ago and I started using my Portfolio Treatment Approach with great success.
If you feel you may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, I strongly suggest you seek out a recommended Complementary Medical Therapist. A professional who has experience and expertise in this area and who can give you the full support you’ll require in order to ‘come to terms’ with what is required in order to take your body out of this state. You can find a huge amount of information on The Complementary Medical Association website or alternatively feel free to ask me directly if I know anyone within your region!
Whilst you are searching for the right therapist, it is worth understanding the areas of your life they are likely to address. It would be worth considering if there are changes you believe you can implement from today:
Nutritional Intake – consider taking steps towards a wholely Plant-Based diet as this has been proven to reduce inflammation within the body. If you continue to consume high sugar foods or animal-based products the body will work against you and the hope of a full recovery from Adrenal Fatigue is completely out of the question.
Recuperation – Get to bed before 10am! Going to bed at this time supports adrenal gland recovery. Furthermore, every afternoon take a couple of minutes to lie flat on your back with your legs against the wall. Putting the lower half of your body into this position with the legs above the heart will promote better blood flow, reduce swelling within the lower body and profoundly assist in helping restore the adrenal glands.
Supplementation – If you consume only Plant-Based foods as a general rule the only supplements you’ll require are Vitamin B12 and D3. For those sufferingly severely from Adrenal Fatigue, it would be worth getting lab-tested to understand which additional supplements would support your recovery journey rather than blindly taking tablets that could be having little to no effect other than draining your bank balance!
Mind/Body Medicine – Mindfulness and meditation has been proven via extensive research to be key in reducing the impacts of stress and as such Adrenal Fatigue. I would suggest “The Relaxation Response” – as it’s extremely easy to practice and information on how to do so is widely available.
Exercise – As we’ve discussed before, exercise and movement is the real key to overcoming almost any ailment within your body however those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue must take care with their exercise choices. I recommend gentle, restorative exercises to Adrenal Fatigue sufferers such as Tai Chi, Qigong, yoga and walking. This is due to the need to keep the lymph flowing in the body which is key to detoxification. These exercise approaches will facilitate this – without being debilitating.
Harnessing your Stress – Changing how you perceive stress may be a key factor in overcoming how it impacts your body. As such, I’d like to direct you to this article from The Complementary Medical Association, Harnessing the Power of Stress. I would love to know your thoughts on this!
To finish, I believe we all know stress is detrimental to our health in unmanageable doses or for prolonged periods of time. With it being International Stress Awareness Week, I wanted to highlight what can happen for those of you who find yourself in a perpetual stressful situation and let you know that if you are suffering from any of the symptoms discussed in today’s blog that a) it’s not all inside your head and b) there are ways to overcome it!
All my love,
Jayney xTags: fatigue, holistic, mental health, stress