ADRENAL FATIGUE: ARE YOUR'S IN NEED OF A LITTLE TLC?
I recently found myself feeling a little unusually tired in the mid afternoon; I started noticing that my concentration and memory wasn’t quite where it usually is and that my ability to focus on my task at hand was becoming increasingly more difficult. Some days, around 3:00-4:00pm all I really wanted to do was take a little break , cuddle up in bed and take a nap!
I knew that, most likely, my adrenals needed some tender loving care; that I needed to make a few adjustments to my daily routine to make sure that these little organs resting on top my kidneys were well supported and able to keep up with my daily demands.
Some of the factors affecting our adrenals include things like:
Death of a loved one
Lack of relaxation
Lack of sleep
Poor eating habits
Lack of good food
Lack of or excessive exercise
I related to a few of the factors on this list and knew that I’d been “burning the candle at both ends” a little lately; working during the day, then coming home and working some more on the website, resources etc. Staying up later then usual and not getting my full good nights sleep. I had recently become a new Grandmother and knew that I had encountered all of the worry/stress that naturally comes with a new birth (hoping the baby is born healthy and that the birth goes well with no complications)
It was important for me to make a few adjustments so I made a conscious effort to:
Be in bed each night no later then 11:00pm
Ensure that I was taking the time to eat regularly and that I took that 30 minutes or so to just sit and enjoy my meal; really tasting my food and just making it a relaxing “me” moment in my day
Ensuring that I incorporated some exercise into my day; shutting down the computer and heading out for a walk or working in the garden
And really just “embracing and enjoying” my new Grandmother status; consciously working at not letting those little “worries” take away from the sheer enjoyment of the “moments” with her
Some of the signs or symptoms that might indicate your adrenals are suffering and possibly fatigued:
Difficulty getting up in the morning
Continuing fatigue that’s not relieved by sleep
Decreased ability to handle stress
Poor concentration and memory recall
Brain fog/thoughts are less focused
Decreased tolerance for people and noise
You find yourself having to increase your effort to complete every day tasks
So why is it so important that we give our adrenals the tender loving care they need? Well they produce many hormones including the “fight” or “flight” hormones adrenaline (epinephrine) and norepinephrine as well as sex hormones, stress hormones and those responsible for our body’s water balance.
Stressful situations (and we all encounter them) increase the need for hormones and it’s when the adrenals become overburdened and unable to keep up with these increasing demands that we start to see the signs and symptoms associated with under functioning or fatigued adrenals.
Here’s a handy way to test your adrenal functioning and see if maybe yours require a little TLC; The Adrenal Function Self-Test:
Normally our systolic blood pressure (the top number in our blood pressure) is approximately 10 points higher when standing as compared to lying down. If the adrenals are not functioning properly though this may not be the case…so
Lay down and rest for about 5 minutes then take your blood pressure
Stand up and immediately take your blood pressure again
If your blood pressure is lower after standing up then suspect reduced adrenal function
If you suspect that your adrenals aren’t functioning up to par try incorporating some of these simple changes and watch for improvement; you should start to notice that you aren’t experiencing as many of the signs and symptoms listed above and that you are better able to deal with those stressful situations:
Make some changes to your diet; avoiding caffeine, alcohol, processed, refined, fatty and refined foods, choosing nutrient dense foods instead like fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of leafy green vegetables, brown rice, legumes, seeds, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, salmon, tuna, garlic, onions, shitake mushrooms
Regular moderate exercise at least 3x/week
Manage your stress levels: make sure you incorporate some “you” time into your day and that you are promoting relaxation (yoga, meditation, healthy outdoor hobbies and activities, deep breathing exercises etc.)
Ensure that you are working at maintaining a healthy weight and that your waist circumference isn’t beyond 35” on average for women and “40” on average for men