Adrenal fatigue is a common problem in the modern world. Life today is busy, with lots of responsibilities and expectations that create stress and pressure for everyone. Unfortunately, this type of stress is highly destructive for the human body. It can cause a number of diseases such as heart attack and cancer, as well as several serious and ongoing health problems. The damaging effects of stress should not be underestimated, which is why you need to take steps to support your body’s health if you notice any troubling symptoms.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Your adrenal glands are absolutely vital in your all around health and in helping you cope with stress. Under normal circumstances, they excrete a number of hormones that help with everyday functioning. But even more importantly, they’re a part of your body’s neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response. This is a system in your body that helps you to deal with stress. When you experience a stressful event, this system activates to make changes that prepare you to react. These changes include hormones that are secreted by your adrenal glands and make you more alert, preparing you to fight or flee from the cause of the stress.
Unfortunately, stress today isn’t usually a short-lived event such as an attack. The modern lifestyle is full of expectations and pressures that cause ongoing stress, and this has resulted in a number of health consequences. Your adrenal glands, in particular, can be affected by prolonged stress. When you’re under constant stress, it means that there’s a high demand for the hormones that the adrenals excrete. And when this demand is ongoing, it can cause adrenal fatigue as a well as a host of troubling symptoms that make life more difficult and can be very hard to treat.
Common Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is caused by stress. Because the adrenals are so fundamental to the system that helps you cope with stress, they’re one of the first organs that start to break down under pressure. Common causes of stress include the following:
- Financial concerns.
- Work pressures.
- Environmental contaminants such as noise or pollution.
- Emotional issues such as anxiety or depression.
- Other illnesses
- Sleep deprivation
- Chronic pain
What is AFS?
When the adrenal glands become fatigued through overuse it can result in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). This is a troubling disorder that causes a variety of troubling and elusive symptoms such as brain fog, chronic fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, palpitations and weight gain. AFS isn’t universally accepted in the medical world, so if you go to your doctor with these issues you may struggle to get the help you need. That’s why it’s so important that you start looking for knowledgeable help and treatment options as soon as you see any of these symptoms.
People often ignore the early signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue and AFS because they can be extremely subtle. Too often, this situation continues until the disorder is advanced and the adrenal glands have started to deteriorate. If you get to this stage, it means a long and difficult recovery, which is why you need to identify the signs of adrenal fatigue early and start making changes that will allow them to heal and return to full functioning. Four symptoms that occur early in the process and shouldn’t be ignored include the following:
- Fatigue that isn’t alleviated by rest periods.
- Mental symptoms such as anxiety, brain fog, unusual irritability or depression.
- Inexplicable weight gain.
- Low blood pressure coupled with salt cravings.
Recovery through Stress Reduction
The most important things you can do to recover from AFS is to lower your stress levels. This will decrease the demand for hormones and give your adrenal glands time to rest and recover. This isn’t as easy as it may sound. You can’t completely eliminate all the sources of stress in your life, nor should you try. Instead you should work on eliminating or reducing stressors when you can, and work on adopting practices that aid with stress reduction. Some stress-reducing practices to try include:
- Breathing exercises
- Tai Chi
Adrenal Fatigue Nutrition
An important component of adrenal fatigue recovery is making dietary changes that support your health and wellbeing. Adrenal fatigue nutrition is based on real, unprocessed, natural foods that give your body and your adrenal glands the necessary vitamins and minerals for optimum functioning. This type of diet will also reduce your stress levels, as it will help to correct any deficiencies. As a guideline, your new eating plan should include the following:
- 30 – 40 percent vegetables
- 20 – 30 percent lean proteins
- 20 – 30 percent healthy fats
- The remaining should be whole grains and legumes
Another issue with AFS recovery is supplementation. Before you considering taking supplements for adrenal fatigue, make sure you consult with an expert on the topic. There are some vitamins that can be useful in your recovery, but you will need help to find the combination and the doses that suits your body and your adrenal health. If you choose adrenal fatigue vitamins without supervision, you risk overdosing or taking vitamins that hinder rather than help your recovery.
Adrenal fatigue is a troubling but unfortunately very common complaint these days. This stress-related problem can cause a variety of symptoms that can markedly lower your overall health and your quality of life. That’s why getting the right advice and looking for treatment options that suit your life and condition is so important. It will help you to avoid ongoing consequences such as AFS, as well as other diseases that can pose a threat to your life satisfaction as well as your life itself. It will also allow you to take control of your life and your health and give your adrenal glands the help and support they need to heal and return to full functioning once more.
Adrenal fatigue is a major concern today because of ongoing stressors and pressure. And the resulting problems can fundamentally lower your quality of life.