Sometimes it's hard to just get through the day. Your body aches, you have trouble concentrating, and you experience moodiness and constant tiredness. These are all symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Other symptoms to look for are racing thoughts, irritability, feeling overwhelmed, hormonal imbalance, cravings for sweet and salty food, trouble with sleep and longer recovery time from an illness. Individually, these symptoms could point to a few different disorders but combined together, these symptoms lead to adrenal fatigue.
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The adrenal glands are two thumb-sized organs that sit above your kidneys and are a part of the endocrine system. They produce over 50 hormones that are the driving forces behind almost every bodily function! Your glands are largely involved in your stress response or fight-or-flight response. What happens is that your brain registers a threat, whether it be emotional, physical or mental. Then your adrenal medulla releases adrenaline hormones into your body to help you respond to the threat. This might be why after all those bad breakups you just wanted to key your ex's car or break his window. Adrenaline is rushing through your system forcing you to want to act against the "threat." This makes blood rush to your brain, heart and muscles. Your adrenal cortex releases corticosteroids to suppress processes like digestion, immune system response, and other functions that are unnecessary for immediate survival.
Your adrenal glands also help to balance all your hormones. It sends out glucocorticoids help to balance your body's blood sugar, energy and food metabolism. There's also mineralocorticoids that help to maintain healthy blood pressure and manage your blood hydration level. Your adrenal glands do so much to maintain your body, it's no wonder that over 80 percent of people are affected by adrenal fatigue worldwide!
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Your body can become worn out easily especially with daily stress. According to Dr. Axe, adrenal fatigue can be caused by:
- stressful experiences like death of a loved one, divorce or surgery
- exposure to environmental toxins and pollution
- prolonged stress due to financial hardship, bad relationships or work environment and other conditions that entail feelings of helplessness
- negative thinking and emotional trauma
- lack of sleep
- poor diet and lack of exercise
Now, don't worry, because there are a few easy ways to help heal adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue Diet: To start off, you need to remove foods from your diet that include toxins or chemicals and any that are hard to digest. Foods to avoid are sugar and sweeteners, processed and microwaved foods and hydrogenated oils. All those foods include ingredients that wear out your body's energy and digestion cycle. You should also avoid caffeine after noon because this could be interfering with your sleep cycle. There are tons of food that you should add to your diet to support adrenal function and replenish your lost energy. Those foods help because they are nutrient dense, low in sugar and have healthy fat and fiber. You should eat more olives, avocado, coconut, fatty fish, nuts, kelp and seaweed, nuts, chicken and turkey.
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Adrenal Fatigue Supplements: Eating the right foods is important, but sometimes you don't aways get all the nutrients your body needs. A few adrenal-boosting supplements are holy basil, fish oil, ashwagandha, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, vitamin C and Zinc.
Adrenal Fatigue Stress Reduction: The final and most important part to healing is dealing with your stress and treating your mind.
- Rest when you feel tired as much as possible
- Sleep 8 to 10 hours a night
- Avoid staying up late and stay on a regular sleep cycle
- Laugh and do something fun
- Minimize work and relational stress
- Eat on a regular food cycle
- Reduce sugar and caffeine
- Avoid negative people
- Take time for yourself, relax
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