Your alarm clock goes off loudly, as you hit the snooze button for a few more minutes in bed. While the sun is already out and shining, you simply don’t feel ready to start your day. Your mind feels fogged, energy at its lowest, and your mood has you feeling blue. While you may blame these experiences on mere tiredness, or normal after a long day at work, they could be a sign of adrenal fatigue. External factors that could build the foundation for the development of adrenal fatigue include physical, mental or emotional stress. It’s crucial that you grasp, that while stress is indeed a natural mechanism built within your system, chronic and prolonged stress due to your emotional state, or perhaps your career, could lead you into serious health conditions down the line. For that, it’s essential that you recognize the root causes of adrenal fatigue, and how you could better manage your condition if you’ve already developed it.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
While emotional, physical, or mental stressors are the main underlying cause of the development of AFS, other contributors could include lack of sleep, a poor diet, trauma, negative thinking, pain, surgery, and heavy reliance on caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or energy drinks. It could be the loss a loved one, leaving you feeling stressed and blue, or perhaps the skirmish you have daily with the boss that is leaving you awake in bed all night. You must pinpoint the causes of your stress, and take proper measures in reducing them.
Stress and your Health.
Stress is given a bad image, and when you realize what prolonged stress could do, you’ll understand why it’s the case. It’s crucial that you comprehend that stress in and of itself is not all bad. In fact, stress could be crucial. Your body is built to have a natural stress-response mechanism. When you are in a moment of fear, or danger, your body reacts instantaneously with stress. Your eye pupils may enlarger, your heartbeat starts beating faster and faster as you can suddenly heart your beats thumping through your chest, and your blood pressure rises. While these are just a few of many changes that happen at a moment of stress, there is even further going on inside of you. Your digestive system, reproductive system, and respiratory system all don’t function properly, in order to aid your body to resist the external threat. Normally, for a short-term stress experience such as confusing a clog of hair for a giant spider while in the bathroom, or being chased by a bear, lead your body back into homeostasis, naturally. Before you know it, your organs and systems are all functioning properly. However, when you experience stress day and day out, you are slowly causing your adrenal glands to reach the point of dysfunction. Your adrenal glands are two small glands that sit right above both kidneys. You have your right adrenal gland, and your left adrenal gland, both as equal in mighty importance. When you are faced with fear or instant stress, your adrenal glands pump hormones to help you combat the stress. However, if your stress becomes chronic, they are now being overworked. When that occurs, you could develop adrenal fatigue, and begin experiencing a myriad of other symptoms, besides low energy.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue.
Once your adrenal glands are over exhausted and overworked, they begin to not function appropriately. While they continuously pump a lot of hormones to suffice all of the stress hormones swimming around in your bloodstream, they begin to take a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing in drastic ways. When your adrenal glands are dysfunctional, they cause disruption to your NeuroEndo Metabolic (NEM) Stress Response system, which is a self-regulated system that’s built to aid your body into naturally harmonizing after stress experiences. Once your NEM is disrupted, you could develop adrenal fatigue. You may begin to experience lethargy and extremely low energy levels, low sex drive, headaches or migraines, unexplained hair loss, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues, alternating of constipation and diarrhea, or even sleep onset insomnia. Primarily, you must take proper changes in your lifestyle and habits in order to improve your energy, health, and AFS condition overall.
Holistic Recovery methods for AFS.
It may sound so much easier to eat all of the fast-food items you love or enjoy those deep-fried potato chips alongside other junky sweets as you enjoy your evening after work, and then just take a multivitamin to make up for the nutrients. While it may sound easier, it’s unquestionably not a wise decision to make. Fundamentally, a multivitamin, nor any other supplement, will not possibly ever make up what eating a healthy diet could. While taking a multivitamin, or various other herbal supplements, could in fact aid you in recovering and managing your AFS better, they should not be a replacement for the foundation of healthy food. Your body is made up of the food you eat; therefore, you must feed it well. Consume plenty of whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, organic nuts and seeds, healthy protein options, and healthy fats. Healthy fats don’t include deep-fried chicken or a pastry roll, but instead, could comprise of avocados, extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed avocado oil, raw organic nuts or seeds, organic grass-fed butter, or organic coconut oil. Fatty fish, such as salmon or sardines, that are high in both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, as well as an excellent amount of omega-3 fatty acids, are incredible foods to include as well. Instead of reaching for a sugary drink made of artificial food colorings and sugar, make a homemade smoothie using your favorite fruits and vegetables. Eliminate alcohol from your diet altogether, for it will stagnate your progression of recovering from AFS. It’s also best that you try to avoid drinking too much caffeine; reduce your intake of coffee, caffeinated tea, or other caffeinated beverages.
Besides improving your food and drink choices, it’s crucial that you take care of reducing your stress. Do so by taking Epsom salt baths, enjoying evening walks in nature while observing your surroundings, and decreasing your time on electronic devices. Once you clean up your diet and eliminate the major external stressors to the best of your ability, your energy will improve, your mood will lift, and you will begin to see positive changes to your physical and mental health in countless ways.
Prior to starting any new recommended supplement, food, drink, or exercise program, it’s vital that you speak to your healthcare professional for consultation. They know your current and past health condition best and would be able to aid you in making the best decisions. Some exercise programs, or diet routines, may do wonders for one person, but cause you to have further backfired in your adrenal fatigue. Be patient, put in effort and strife, and comprehend how truly your health and energy can improve with the better choices you make.