Adrenal fatigue. Two words I knew little about for most of my life, yet my adrenal glands were tired and overworked for many years. I suffered from multiple adrenal fatigue symptoms and until I sought integrative treatment, the conventional medical community failed to acknowledge these two tiny glands and the big impact they had.
Your adrenals are two tiny glands that sit atop of your kidneys. These glands excrete hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, helping your body adapt to stress, and in times of crisis, your stress hormones activate the fight-or-flight response, keeping you on your toes and ready to move.
While cortisol and adrenaline are beneficial for this fight or flight response, they are not so great for the body. They weaken the immune system, pause digestion, and stop tissue regeneration.
Our lifestyle can often times keep our bodies in full time stress mode, ongoing stress becomes an adrenal problem, cortisol runs high, and our adrenal glands suffer. Because of this our body displays many symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
- Unexplained weight gain (especially stubborn belly fat)
- Poor digestion
- Trouble sleeping
- Premature aging
- Mid-day fatigue, tiredness in the afternoon
- Depression, anxiety, changes in mood
- Decreased libido or overall loss in sexual drive
- Issues regulating blood sugar
- Changes in menstrual cycle
It takes years of lifestyle factor to compromise your ability to regulate stress. All of our not so great lifestyle choices build up – skipping meals, indulging in too much sugar, lack of sleep or irregular sleep, stressful family or work situations, and even physical overtraining all contribute to adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal exhaustion can make a person feel tired, heavy, and sick.
Fortunately, there are 4 ways you can fight adrenal fatigue and reclaim your health:
Rebuild your gut. Restoring levels of good bacteria in the gut is a great starting point. Take a high quality probiotic, you can improve overall health. Probiotics help to boost immunity, support weight loss, detox, and decrease risk of disease while better digesting food and absorbing nutrients. Healthy gut bacteria help to naturally boost energy levels by aiding in digestion — when your body can easily digest and absorb, it can create energy more efficiently. Increase intake of fermented foods to boost healthy bacteria and add healing bone broth into your routine to seal your gut
Cleanse toxins. To recover, you need to nourish the adrenals with extra TLC and a healthy diet is the best way to cleanse. Eliminate processed foods, transition to a more plant based eating plan, then segway into a more supported detox to cleanse the liver. Milk Thistle, Dandelion, and Burdock Root are three great herbs that help cleanse the liver.
Improve digestion. It’s critical to nourish the adrenals as poor digestion wears them out. Diet is one of the most important factors in healing the adrenals. When you nourish these precious organs with essential minerals, they can continue to create energy for your body. Simple habits like staying hydrated, committing to regular exercise, increasing dietary fiber, eating slowly/chewing purposely and taking digestive enzymes before most meals improves digestion.
Ban infection. Research shows that the microbes in your body pick up on stress. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can make bad bacteria and yeast like Candida even more virulent and toxic to the body. Displacing the harmful microbes with the help of good, probiotic microbes is one of the best ways to get rid of long-term infection.
When you restore your adrenal health, you restore the systems that produce energy and manage stress — life will begin to change.