Are You Suffering from Adrenal Fatigue?
What is it?
Adrenal Fatigue | adrenal exhaustion creeps up in such a way often you have no realisation you are in trouble. Why? Let’s face it, we are all guilty of a fast-paced 24/7 lifestyle and barely have time to think let alone assess why we are feeling so tired all the time!
When you wake up in the morning do you feel refreshed and ready to go, or are you sluggish, then get a second wind later in the day?
Do you have dark circles under your eyes, crave (or have noticed you eat more of) carbohydrates, sugar, and salt and need to use the loo at night? Often accompanied by feeling angry or short-tempered, mood swings, feelings of dizziness or faintness all of these symptoms could be due to adrenal exhaustion.
I knew ‘something’ was wrong, but just thought it was down to my pressured lifestyle and ‘kept going’ but the reason I have written this is I know how dangerous it can be. The end result can be very dramatic and life threatening. The thyroid gland can malfunction and if your adrenal glands become totally exhausted disease can occur.
What causes Adrenal Fatigue/ Exhaustion?
In a nutshell (and jargon-free as ever) your adrenal glands produce hormones (called cortisol) for the ‘fight or flight response’ and if you suffer from prolonged or long-term stress, this can cause toxicity within every system in the body.
The result can be:
- Affected brain function
- Depletion of calcium and other vital vitamins & minerals stored in the body
- Depletion of oxygen to all areas of the body
- Ulcers in the gut
- Heart attack
- Low blood sugar
- The immune system weakens causing more viral infections, colds, cases of flu etc, Candida & Leaky gut
- Adrenal disease (Addison’s Disease– your body stops producing cortisol altogether)
Personal Note from Dawn: “I’m a great believer in eating what my body wants at the time, which has changed my shopping habits dramatically. It is interesting to note changes in diet. Hindsight, as always, being the amazing thing it is, if I’d taken more notice of exactly what I was eating I would have realised I was in serious trouble far sooner!”
I drank so much coffee my peers couldn’t keep up with me! After sharing a pot of coffee with someone I would have no symptom of drinking ‘too much’ caffeine yet others would be ‘wired’ and shaky.
I also ate far more chocolate and crisps than I have ever before. I craved liquorice, and regularly found myself taking two canned caffeine shot drink to ‘get going’, ate eggs like they were going out of fashion, celery (which has never been a favourite), started taking sugar in my coffee (something I’ve not done for at least 30 years) and ate nuts, lots and lots of them!”
So what should you eat (or not)…
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar, and caffeinated drinks (e.g. Red Bull etc.)
- Avoid fruits high in potassium (e.g. grapes, bananas, oranges, mango, sultanas) Your body will retain potassium and excrete sodium which causes your blood pressure to drop)
- Eat lots of protein- this balances your blood sugar levels for longer. If your body is stressed you need more protein. Eat protein at breakfast or lunchtime; avoid eating protein in the evening as this can disturb your sleep pattern.
- Liquorice supports adrenal function, however, due to its high sugar content it can cause adrenal exhaustion to worsen, so choose a sugar-free one.
- Increase your intake of magnesium.
- Increase exercise, which will naturally disperse the toxic stress hormones.