The greatest the driver for stress, fatigue, hypotension, lowered immunity, pre-mature ageing and salt cravings is adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency. Many folk have no idea where their adrenal glands are located in the body, but they sit on top of your kidneys – see the diagram to the right, these little guys are responsible for hormone production.
The Disease of the 21st Century. Stress is just an inbuilt part of functioning in this world. Our bodies are designed to help us manage and cope with the physiological and psychological pressures that are put on us. In life it can feel as though we are like moving targets – dodge one bullet after the next and we manage and we manage and we manage until one day we are just a bit too slow. We find we are developing anxiety or feeling as though we are coming down with the flu, but we don’t necessarily get the flu, just the malaise. Can’t get out of bed in the morning and can’t wait to get to bed at night. Drinking too much alcohol to calm down at the end of the day or becoming depressed, chronically fatigued and sexual dysfunction. There are a myriad of other symptoms associated with Adrenal Insufficiency.
What can we do about adrenal fatigue?
The first to go is sleep, staying up a bit later in the evening because you are still wired from the day. Have a bed time and stick to it just like you did as a child for 5 nights in the week. It sounds simple, just go to bed. Getting a rested nights sleep is so important for brain and adrenal functions.
When stress over-rides our life it’s easy to justify making poor choices around food – choosing fatty, sugar filled and nutritionally empty substitutes which do nothing for our mood. It is so important to eat well for mood stability as the happiness hormone, Serotonin (a brain chemical messenger) is produced in the gut. Actually 90% of it is produced in the gut where it influences mood as well gut immunity.
Is the best remedy for adrenal fatigue, mood elevation and poor sleep. Exercise normalise some of the hormone levels in the body that are influenced by cortisol, insulin and human growth hormone. It puts more oxygen into your blood stream and brain which is vital for healing. Exercise can also decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety, common side effects of adrenal fatigue.
Plan to work and work to plan
Set out your day and your week with work commitments / meals / exercise times / bedtime and stick to it your plan where possible or leave room for movement as some things need to be a bit more fluid.
Schedule in fun activities.
Space for yourself to just be in your own company.
Image of adrenal glands:
“Illu adrenal gland” by EEOC – cancer.gov. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Illu_adrenal_gland.jpg#/media/File:Illu_adrenal_gland.jpg viewed 12/8/15