Symptoms of adrenal fatigue
Many people feel exhausted, stressed, suffering from a poor concentration span, trouble thinking clearly, or trouble falling asleep in the evening. Often these complaints aren’t the reason why our nutritionists are seeing the client, often for advice on losing weight and improving their eating habits. These symptoms of feeling tired, stressed and run down are all signs that your adrenal glands may not be functioning at their optimal levels and focusing on those might be the key to long term energy, vitality and weight loss.
What is it?
Adrenal fatigue is a syndrome caused by poorly functioning adrenal glands. This is often seen in people who are overly stressed, have poor sleep, overweight, don’t exercise regularly, drink alcohol regularly, and drink excessive amounts of caffeine. All of these activities create an environment in which, over time, your adrenal glands lose their ability to produce enough hormones, particularly cortisol, drastically reducing your energy levels.
What are adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are on located on top of your kidneys, and are responsible for producing your adrenal hormones such as adrenaline, aldosterone, and cortisol. These hormones influence many major physiological processors within the body including protein, fat, carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar regulation, immune competence, inflammation control, hormone regulation and healthy cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function.
One of the key hormones that the adrenal glands produce is cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, elevated when we suffer from chronic elevated stress, have a diet rich in refined carbohydrates and sugar, drink caffeine and sleep poorly. Elevated cortisol can also affect the quality of our sleep, worsening the cycle as many people turn to processed foods and caffeine to help give them energy throughout the day.
Holistic approach to treatment
During prolonged periods of stress, poor diet, and caffeine intake the adrenal glands become overworked and are unable to keep up with demand, combined with the body increasing it’s tolerance to cortisol, increasing the load on the adrenal glands. As a result cortisol levels eventually plummet and the body cannot respond effectively to a pressured situation nor even provide enough cortisol for day to day energy. With the reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is more profoundly affected. Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart, gut, and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. This is the reason why many of our clients are overweight, tired and overwhelmed. We need to address the root cause of their issue, focusing on a holistic approach to improving their health and energy levels.
This holistic approach focuses on a lifestyle that is conducive to reducing stress and allowing the adrenal glands to repair themselves. This lifestyle includes a diet the is low in refined carbohydrates and sugar, improving sleep via addressing sleep hygiene and supplementation, reducing stress through stress management, and increasing exercise. Lifestyle changes over time is the best chance of success from recovering from adrenal fatigue.
Contact our nutritionists for an individual consultation and program for adrenal fatigue.