When we don’t feel ‘right’ we go to our doctor and ask them to find out why. They run some tests and the results come back normal.
That’s great, right?
Well, no. That means I have no reason as to why I am feeling so flat and lethargic.
My clinic is full of patients that are turned away from their doctors as they have no disease to treat.
Having healthy blood results is great because there is no disease but on the flip side there are no answers as to why you are feeling exhausted.
Here’s a possible reason: Adrenal Fatigue
What is it?
When we stress we release cortisol from our adrenal glands that sit on top of our kidneys. Small moments of stress is fine, there is no issue with that. However long periods of stress can lead to poor functioning of the adrenals.
What happens is your adrenals get fatigued?
Our body works as one unit. If the adrenals aren’t functioning to the best of their ability it can impact digestion, your immune system, hormonal regulation and poor liver detoxification.
How will I know if I have adrenal fatigue?
Best way is to go to your natural healthcare practitioner such as a Chinese medicine doctor or naturopath and you will be given information to have a saliva test. The ideal test will check your cortisol levels at 4 different times of the day, DHEA levels and hormone levels.
Once the results come back your practitioner will recommend what you need to do to improve the health of your adrenals.
What symptoms indicate I might have adrenal fatigue?
A good indication is if you have had a huge stressful time in your life. It could have been 5 months ago, 5 years or 20 years. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was.
Here are some examples of possible symptoms or diseases that may develop as a result of adrenal fatigue as well as the illness it self can lead to adrenal fatigue due to the stress of having the illness:
- Fatigue, exhaustion – chronic fatigue syndrome
- Emotional changes – mood swings
- Leaky Gut Syndrome – long list of illnesses associated with this syndrome.
- Digestive issues – Candida, IBS, Chrones, constipation, diarrhea, bloating etc
- Hormonal imbalances – irregular menstrual cycle, heavy bleeding, PMT etc
- Auto-immune diseases – such as psoriasis, arthritis
- Poor Liver detoxification
The body is complex and there could be any number of symptoms that result. This list is just a small indication.
What if I don’t do anything about it?
With so many symptoms and syndromes associated with adrenal fatigue, it is common to focus on the disease and not the adrenals. However, what happens is that the disease either progresses or symptoms keep coming back. By addressing the adrenals at the same time this will improve all the organ systems mentioned above, to work more effectively and help reverse the dis-eased state to create a healthier body.
What can I do to improve adrenal fatigue?
- Eat a diet high in anti-inflammatory foods.
- Avoid gluten (this increases inflammation in the gut).
- Regulate sugar levels by eating Low GI carbohydrates and avoid binge eating.
- Avoid Alcohol as this impacts the health of the liver making its daily activities harder to do.
- Drink plenty of filtered water.
- Consume foods rich in anti-oxidants.
- Meditate daily and be more mindful of your stress. If you start to feel overwhelmed take a moment, breathe and centre your thoughts to calm your nervous system.
- Encourage healthy relationships around you. If you have anyone toxic around you, limit your time with them or break the ties and end the friendship (if possible).
- At the end of the day before going to bed list 3 things you are grateful for and what you could have done differently.
- In the morning when you get up read a self help book for at least 10 minutes to start your day on a positive note.
- Stop and see the beauty around us, spend time in nature and appreciate the gift of life, even if you are struggling with illness or hard times, take a moment and see how beautiful the world around us can be.
- Stop watching the news as this creates fear and sadness and encourages the release of negative chemicals in the body which encourage the growth of a diseased body.