The main role of your adrenal glands is to produce and regulate the stress hormone cortisol. But the adrenal glands also produce sex hormones, estrogen, progesterone, and neurotransmitters like dopamine. Chronic stress can suppress the adrenal glands so they don’t perform correctly, causing adrenal fatigue.
When we’re dealing with stressful situations the body reacts by releasing cortisol, which regulates blood pressure, insulin, glucose metabolism, and inflammatory response. This is our “fight or flight” reaction that used to keep us alive when large animals were chasing after us. But now a stressful job or personal situations can make us feel like a lion is after us seven days a week.
Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?
Signs of adrenal fatigue include weight loss, fatigue or trouble getting out of bed in the morning, salt and sugar cravings, dizziness upon standing, low libido, sleep disturbance, thyroid imbalance, and severe allergies.
How can you treat adrenal fatigue? Well let’s start with your diet. Avoid the stimulants that impact your stress level. First off, caffeine, which can keep us going so that we don’t know we’re tired. But caffeine can also cause anxiety, so it’s best to cut way back or give it up completely. You should also part with other mood stimulants like sugar. Look for added sugars in places that you wouldn’t expect like condiments, bread, and cereal. Also, avoid processed foods and hydrogenated oils.
Instead, enjoy a diet loaded with coconuts, olives, avocado, cruciferous vegetables, fatty fish, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax, kelp, and sea salt. Talk to your doctor about supplements like holy basil, fish oil, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B12.
But most of all, find a way to deal with stress in your life. Notice the sources of stress or whether it’s just the way you handle the situation. Are you making a mountain out of every issue in your life? It’s not the situations that cause stress in your life, it’s how you deal with them. So don’t look at your job or your partner as the enemy, look at the way you handle life’s trials and tribulations.
Choose activities in your life that release pent up stress. Whether it’s hiking, biking, yoga, meditation, or a simple vacation. Allow enough time in your life to enjoy the activities that bring you pleasure. And get enough sleep by going to bed at the same time every night, preferably earlier. At home, turn off the television at night and avoid screen time after dinner. Read instead of watching television or better yet, unwind with a nightly meditation. And don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a professional.
Is stress a regular part of your existence? And if so, what do you do to deal with your daily stressors?
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