Easily brought to tears
Craving carbohydrates and sweets
Living one Latte to the next
Pounds Piling on
Loss of Appetite ( yes, this really happens)
Trouble maintaining weight (really, it does happen)
Wired and tired
somehow you have more energy after 6pm than you did all day
You get into bed at 9:30, sleep like the dead until 6 and are still exhausted. Or, if you miss that window, no matter how tired you are you just cant sleep and you never really feel rested.
If you have more than one of these symptoms you may be experiencing Adrenal Fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. The most obvious symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep.
Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc with your life. In serious cases, the adrenal glands are so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours a day. Adrenal Fatigue can affect changes in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and your sex drive. ( That's the one that wakes everyone up!)
Here's the kicker. We get sick and often we are prescribed some kind of corticosteroid
and any time a medical treatment includes the use of corticosteroids diminished adrenal function is probably present. All corticosteroids are designed to imitate the actions of the adrenal hormone, cortisol, and so the need for them arises primarily when the adrenals are not providing the required amounts of cortisol.
Yes, you can feel yourself again. Make sure you are working with a qualified health care professional and get your cortisol levels checked. Saliva testing done in the convenience of your home is the best way to measure many of your hormones, including your stress hormones. You must be committed to taking care of yourself. Eat a healthy diet, avoid white flour and other processed grains (hey maybe now is a good time to go gluten free!) eliminate alcohol and caffeine (yes, they really are drugs), get regular gentle exercise, walking, yoga and tai chi are great for you and build strength and flexibility as well. And sleep. Sleep before 10pm. Your body clock knows what time it is and wants to sleep early and for at least 8 hours.
Discuss vitamins and supplements with your healthcare professional such as adding 2000-5000 mgs of vitamin C a day to your diet and a high strength B Complex supplement as well as a high quality fish oil, ( or eat alot of fatty fish). In Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwagandha is described as "Indian Ginseng"and has been used for centuries as a very effective adaptogenic herb, meaning it knows when you need a boost or a nap and can be very effective in overcoming Adrenal Fatigue. Some people feel a difference in a matter of days and find clearer thinking, decreasing inflammation clearer skin even increase in sex drive. See, I told you there was hope.
Food is your best medicine. Here are some adrenal boosting superfoods:
Salmon (wild caught please), Mackerel and sardines, Sea Salt, kelp, Green and ripe black olives, Dulse, Hot red peppers, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Kale, Beet Greens, Celery leaves and Zucchini. Licorice tea and licorice extract can also help boost your adrenals.
Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. Surround yourself with supportive loving people. Now is the time to edit out those people who just drain your energy,we all have them. This is not a dress rehearsal, your health is at serious risk. People who really care about you are those who understand that this takes time, patience and consistency. Adrenal Fatigue can take up to a year, or more, depending on the severity of your depletion to regulate and then you will be back to yourself again. Really!
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