Katie Marienthal Smith, LAc.
|Posted on 20 January, 2016 at 18:00||comments (250996)|
Wired but tired? Do you have adrenal fatigue? Learn more about it and see for yourself if you do and how to help.
When we push our foot all the way down on the gas petal for too long our bodies start to have something to say about it. Even if seemingly our lives aren’t that chaotic, do we make them chaotic? How much of a percentage of our day are we rushed, stimulated with caffeine, looking at screens? How much of the day are we doing something versus not doing? It doesn’t matter what we do during the day but the way we approach our day.
If we approach our day from a state of being rushed or on a deadline it puts our bodies into the sympathetic nervous system or fight or flight. When we are living from that way of life for a long period of time our bodies start to deteriorate at a deep level.
"Get some sleep," "I can't!"
"Loose weight," I can't!"
The unfortunate part of adrenal fatigue is that even though what helps the most is more sleep, the body can’t get it.
That is because the adrenals affect the body’s ability to turn off the stress hormones. The moment we are under stress like rushing to an appointment, our body releases adrenaline and cortisol.
If the body is under stress chronically it upsets the natural 24 hour rhythm of cortisol in the body. This puts the body in a state of permanent alertness and prevents deep sleep. People who have suffered from adrenal fatigue for a long period of time will wake up too early. This is because cortisol affects our blood sugar and wakes the body up to eat. That’s why adrenal fatigue, and high or low cortisol, is synonymous with weight gain around the middle.
"I'm exhausted and overwhelmed!"
The other unfortunate outcome of adrenal fatigue is the body's inability to handle stress anymore.
The supply of adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine which make us feel alert and focused when under stress have been depleted. This makes adrenal fatigued people in a constant state of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.
Another unfortunate reality of adrenal fatigue is that it affects our immune system. Cortisol plays a huge part in the anti-inflammatory response. In the early stages of adrenal fatigue the body is more prone to infection.
At the late stage it can lead to chronic inflammation, respiratory conditions and autoimmune conditions such as Crohn’s disease, Gout, diabetes, thyroid disorders to name only a few.
Here are a list of other symptoms, if you have adrenal fatigue you may have a few of these symptoms, if you have late stage you’ll have a lot of these symptoms:
- Inability to deal with day to day stress
- Adnormal weight gain in abdomen and thighs
- Food cravings
- Feeling unable to stop being active, ongoing fatigue
- Sleep, inability to fall asleep, waking up often or too early
- Worsening perimenopausal symptoms, irritability, severe PMS
- Foggy thinking, chronic racing thoughts, unable to focus on a task
- High or Low blood pressure
- Low sex drive
"Help me!" How to treat adrenal fatigue. When the body gets to a certain level of adrenal fatigue you need medical intervention of supplements and herbs. It’s important to have your levels checked, either by me or through a lab.
"What can I do?" Treat yourself like an addict of adrenaline. It’s a hard process to come down from a long term adrenaline high. But if you catch it early and wean yourself off it has far less consequences than running out.
So here are a few recommendations, cut out some time during your day to waste time. When we do this our body switches from fight or flight to rest and digest.
Sit with a cup of tea and look in your backyard without checking your phone for 20 minutes. Give yourself extra time to get somewhere so your body doesn’t need to go into the stress response. Plan out the day in chunks of time so you set boundaries for yourself for when you are done with work or projects. Make time to process what happened during the day so your mind can rest when it hits the pillow, rather than processing what happened that day and what needs to be done the next day. It’s important to take responsibility for our long term health, it’s a marathon not a sprint.