What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal Fatigue or burnout is an stress-related condition that occurs when your adrenal glands, hypothalamus and pituitary gland are functioning below their optimal level. It is the result of chronic physical or emotional stress disrupting the body’s ability to make stress hormones in the right amounts and at the right time in response to stress.
The adrenal glands are the two small ‘Santa hat’ shaped glands that sit on top of our kidneys and have worked to keep us alive during times of stress and immediate threats and dangers. The adrenal glands respond to acute stress within seconds through the release of hormones which trigger a cascade of responses in the body to respond to stress. A chronic activation of the stress response overtime dysregulates the body’s ability to respond to stress and contributes to disease.
Cause of adrenal fatigue:
● Emotional stress
● Poor diet
● Insufficient sleep
● Toxic overload
● Chronic disease
Signs & symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
● Low energy
● Mood swings
● Weakened immune system
● Digestive disturbances
● Feeling low and flat
● Low blood pressure
● Allergies and intolerances
● Low libido
● Weight changes
● Salty food cravings
A note on stress
Stress is all around us and it has become a normal part of our everyday lives. When stress interferes with daily life for an extended period of time it takes a greater toll on the mind and body.
A chronic state of stress can cause disease and impact diet and lifestyle choices AND interfere with a healthy stress response. It can disrupt normal cycles of cortisol release leading to anything from weight gain, impared cardiovascular function, insomnia and more..
How we test for adrenal fatigue at Hills Natural Health Centre:
● Blood pressure
● Waist circumference & BMI
● Blood glucose
● Adrenocortex Stress Profile
● Thyroid function
● Inflammatory markers
● Lipid studies
The Holistic Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
Dietary considerations include the following:
● Consume quality protein in every meal
● Consume a wholefoods diet
● Include an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables
● Avoid refined carbohydrates and processed foods
● Avoid skipping meals
● Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake
● Keep hydrated
Lifestyle recommendations to support adrenal fatigue include:
● Daily exercise and mindful movement
● Regular and restful sleep
● Mindfulness practices
● Support – Friends/Family/Workplace
Nutrients indicated to support adrenal fatigue include:
● Vitamin C – Helps to combat stress, support immune function, fight free radicals and assist with cell damage
● B Vitamins – Support the nervous and digestive systems, buffer stress, turn carbohydrates into energy and manufacture neurotransmitters
● Magnesium – A cofactor in energy production and glucose regulation and helps to calm the nervous system and assist with sleep
● Antioxidants – E.g. Vitamins A, C, E and zinc. Support oxidative stress.
● Probiotics – Support digestion, immune system, nutrient absorption and brain health.
● Essential Fatty Acids – Help manage inflammation, mood, cortisol and nervous system health
Herbs used in clinic indicated to support adrenal fatigue include:
● Withania – Supports and tonifies the body to cope with stress and reduce cortisol levels
● Panax Ginseng – Supports mental exhaustion, stamina and energy
● Skullcap – Supports the nervous system – mental and physical exhaustion
● Licorice Root – Supports hormone production, energy levels and a healthy stress response
At the Hills Natural Health Centre, our experienced team of practitioners use a holistic approach paired with evidence-based medicine to help support you on your health journey.
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