Are you tired for no reason? Having trouble getting up in the morning? Do you need coffee, colas, and energy drinks, salty or sweet snacks to keep going? Feeling run down or stressed for long periods?
If you answered, “yes” to these questions, you could be experiencing adrenal fatigue.
In this article I will be addressing this very important, yet often overlooked cause of energy drain, which is adrenal fatigue. In writing this article I found I had so much information to cover on this subject that I have decided to split this subject into a part 1 and part 2.
I recall the first time I learned about adrenal fatigue, I was being examined by my doctor and I was complaining about being tired all the time, she asked me if I had been under any long periods of stress (which I had been) as she touched around some areas of my back below my rib cage to check for tenderness.
Yes, sure enough “adrenal fatigue.”
The internal battery pack
Our adrenal glands are two walnut sized organs that sit on top of our kidneys just below our rib cage, which act like our own, little battery packs to give us energy.
Our adrenal glands produce hormones that’s released into our body during times of fight or flight stress such as being chased by a hungry tiger, which allows us to produce enough energy to move quickly from a life or death situation.
The problem is that in today’s modern world and with the way the economy has been over the past few years more people have been experiencing intense stress daily.
When this happens, your adrenal glands automatically think you are in danger and keeps on pumping out these hormones to give you more energy. Hence the term “adrenaline rush” or “adrenaline junkie.” When you are going through times of “good stresses” that adrenaline rush really feels good that’s why some athletes seek dangerous types of sports to get that adrenaline rush.
If you turn on a flash light over and over again, eventually the battery juice is going to run out and since our adrenal glands are just like battery packs they eventually run out of juice too so now you’re pooped out all the time.
According to adrenalfatigue.org, an estimated 80% of people experience adrenal fatigue and the physical symptoms of stress at some point in their lives, yet it is frequently overlooked and misunderstood by the medical community. (I guess I was lucky my doctor knew what it was.)
The essential hormones
Your adrenal glands produce hormones that are essential for every aspect of your health and any type of stressor whether it is physical or mental puts great demands on your adrenal glands.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
• Excessive fatigue and exhaustion
• Non-refreshing sleep (you get sufficient hours of sleep, but wake fatigued)
• Overwhelmed by or unable to cope with stressors
• Feeling rundown or overwhelmed
• Craving salty and sweet foods
• You feel most energetic in the evening
• A feeling of not being restored after a full night's sleep or having sleep disturbances
• Low stamina, slow to recover from exercise
• Slow to recover from injury, illness or stress
• Difficulty concentrating, brain fog
• Poor digestion
• Low immune function
• Food or environmental allergies
• Premenstrual syndrome or difficulties that develop during menopause
• Consistent low blood pressure
Extreme sensitivity to cold
If you are experiencing a few of these symptoms, its best to go see a health practitioner preferably one who has a good understanding of adrenal fatigue such as a natural health practitioner.
If you suspect that stress could be the cause of your fatigue check back here for part 2 for some herbs, foods and other natural solutions that you can do to take charge immediately to support your adrenal glands and your energy level.
Jentana Lee Dabbs Cht is a woman's stress expert and energy wellness chef who works with women to help them overcome the challenges of change and transition. She is a published author and online health and food writer for various sites. You can read Jentana's blogs and find out more information at www.sexyandstressfree.com. For energy wellness online cooking classes, please find Jentana on www.dishuptoday.com for her class schedule.
If you would like some free stress relief tools go to www.whywomenstress.com