- Dr. Christa O'Leary
Usual Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue and How to Cope
It's no surprise that the pace of modern life can be hard on our health. We're constantly pushing ourselves to get more done, and often neglecting to take care of ourselves in the process. One major area where this is true is with adrenal fatigue. If you've been feeling exhausted or run down lately, chances are it might be due to your adrenals being overworked from all of the stressors you're dealing with in your day-to-day life. Don't worry though - there are ways that we can help support our body's natural ability to recover so that we don't end up on a path towards burnout!
How to Spot if You Have Adrenal Fatigue
When you're dealing with adrenal fatigue, it can be difficult to identify the exact symptoms. That's because there are so many different factors that could have lead up to your body starting a stress response and sending out adrenaline and cortisol to help your fight or flight reflex in some way. Although everyone is different, most people who experience this issue will start to feel fatigue, anxiety and depression.
The following are some of the most common symptoms that people have when they experience adrenal fatigue:
* Difficulty waking up in the morning (especially after a long restless night)
* Nervousness or feeling jittery without an obvious reason for it happening
* Feeling angry or irritable for no reason
* Loss of appetite, but still feeling hungry at the same time
* Reduced ability to concentrate and focus on tasks like reading or completing a work project. This can be accompanied by anxiety about performing these activities.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms when they don't usually happen you should try to identify the reasons why they're happening.
Get Enough Rest
The first thing to do is get enough rest. You might be tempted, especially if you're dealing with insomnia or are sleep deprived already, but try not to take on more than what feels manageable in a day and always prioritize your need for sleep over anything else. It's important that while we're getting the rest our body needs we 're also doing activities that help encourage our body's natural response to stress.
A lot of us know how important it is for the human body to get enough sleep, but when we're constantly dealing with chronic stress from work, school, or other areas in life it can be so much easier said than done. It might seem like a simple thing to do, but it's also really important.
Lower Your Cortisol
Try to lower your cortisol levels by incorporating things like meditation, deep breathing exercises, and exercise into your daily routine. When we're stressed out our body releases a hormone called cortisol that can have long-term negative effects on the human body if it's not released in moderation or as part of an ongoing fight-or-flight response. Lowering your cortisol will help you feel less stressed and might even give you a little more energy.
The best time to do any of the aforementioned is in the evening after a stressful day at work or school. Once you get home, make sure your environment is as peaceful and calming as possible by turning off all electronics and listening to soothing music before bed. You can also try some yoga poses for beginners like downward-facing dog, table pose, cat-cow, or a sitting meditation to help calm your mind and body.
As for food, avoid anything high in sugar as it will only make you feel more sluggish and tired when the rest of your day is already stressful enough. Add into your diet foods with magnesium like green vegetables (spinach), avocados, pumpkin seeds, bananas, dark chocolate, and almonds.
Give Yourself Some Love
The best way to fight adrenal fatigue is by giving your body the love it needs: more sleep (at least eight hours), a nutritious diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables for antioxidants, water-rich foods like cucumbers or tomatoes instead of sodas or other sugary drinks, avoiding any unnecessary stressors (like late-night phone calls or video games), and making time for some self care such as a walk in the park, yoga class, meditating with your dog, table pose, cat-cow, or a sitting meditation to help calm your mind and body.Don't forget to take time for yourself and your body. A little bit of self-care can go a long way in aiding the healing process from adrenal fatigue!
Adrenal fatigue is a real thing, and it can be difficult to cope with. If you have been feeling unusually tired for weeks or months on end without relief, don’t worry; there are plenty of ways that you can manage your symptoms. One common misconception about adrenal fatigue is that the only way to get better is by taking time off work or going into hibernation mode – this couldn’t be further from the truth! If you're struggling with burnout, we can help get to the root cause. Give us a call if any of these sound like they might apply to you!