Feeling tired and achy? Experiencing unexplained weight fluctuation? What about loss of hair?
These symptoms could be signs of a condition known as adrenal fatigue.
What are adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are small glands that sit on top of your kidneys. Their primary role is to keep you going in times of stress. Our adrenal glands emit cortisol (your “fight-or-flight” hormone ) on demand in stressful situations to help you cope, but if they are overworked (or fatigued), they can't do their job.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
Though stressors affecting your adrenal health are often big, one-time events like death, divorce, or life-changing events, many daily experiences (that you don't even consider stressful), may be putting a lot of stress on your adrenal glands, too. If you've experienced physical, mental, or emotional stress for an extended period of time, your adrenal glands will likely become fatigued, and they won't function like they should. If left untreated, adrenal fatigue can cause your glands to become so fatigued that they are unable to keep up with the demands of your body.
Adrenal fatigue is particularly important to treat during peri and post menopause in women. When the ovaries begin to shut down, the adrenal glands take on the primary role of producing our sex hormones. So, if the adrenal glands aren't healthy, even hormone replacement therapy won't be successful.
Here are some common causes of adrenal fatigue:
- Poor diet
- Lack of sleep
- Working too hard
- Emotional trauma
- Lack of exercise
- Too much exercise
Prevention and Treatment
Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc with your life. In serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. If you want to prevent or get rid of adrenal fatigue, you have to manage your stress in healthy ways.
Eat a Nutritious Diet
Many people see great improvement in adrenal health by eliminating sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, and other inflammatory foods from their diet, and replacing them with good fats, antioxidant-rich veggies, and grass-fed or wild-caught meat. Also consider decreasing your caffeine intake.
Improve Your Sleep
Good quality sleep is imperative to allow your adrenal glands time to heal and restore. Our Chancy Drugs stores sell many over-the-counter products that help treat all types of adrenal fatigue. We even carry products specifically designed to block nighttime cortisol production, so you can go to sleep. Adrenal fatigue requires highly individualized treatment, so be sure to check with your pharmacist about the products that would be best for you.
Common sleep aids used to treat sleep issues related to adrenal fatigue include:
Taking the right supplements can make a huge difference, and can improve the way you handle stress. One of the most common supplements we recommend for stress is L-Theanine. L-Theanine is an all-natural, amino acid proven to promote relaxation. It doesn't cause drowsiness, it's not habit forming. L-Theanine is also available without a prescription. You can find L-Theanine at any of our Chancy Drugs Stores.
Relax! And Do Something for You!
Find 5 minutes a day to do something for YOU! This is incredibly healing for the adrenals! Try yoga, reading, praying, meditating...whatever that looks like for you. Just 15 minutes a day gives incredible results!!
Consider a Saliva Test and Pharmacy Consult
Your cortisol levels rise and fall in a daily pattern. The erratic fluctuations in your cortisol levels is caused by your body's response to stress. Cortisol output by your adrenal glands is one of the most reliable indicators of your adrenal function and how well your body is dealing with stress. A Cortisol/DHEAS Saliva Test measures the levels of the stress hormones DHEAS and cortisol in your saliva, and provides an evaluation of how cortisol levels differ throughout the day.
A saliva test can give you a clear picture of how your adrenal glands are performing.
Email me today, and let's get you scheduled for a saliva test and personal consult!