It is quite common today for people to feel tired. Often they become accustomed to feeling tired and feel that it is “normal”, but it is not ok to feel tired on a regular basis. There are many different causes of fatigue. It is important to figure out the cause of your fatigue.
Your adrenal glands (you have two of them–one located on top of each kidney) are critical for many bodily functions. One of those functions is to produce cortisol. Cortisol is important in a wide variety of functions including assisting with blood sugar control, keeping your immune system and metabolism functioning optimally, and controlling the salt and water balance. Cortisol is also important in helping your body respond to stress. A proper cortisol level is critical for the optimal function of your mind and body.
Adrenal Fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands are overworked and can’t keep up with their important functions. The result is that you feel tired, among other things, as a result of your adrenal glands not being able to function optimally.
Let’s delve deeper into why so many people are getting adrenal fatigue. Remember that your adrenal glands are part of your body’s stress reaction. Our mind does not differentiate between a real threat (i.e. someone holding a gun to your head) from an imagined threat (i.e. watching news and seeing stressful, threatening events). The chemical reaction created in your body from an imagined threat (which is fear based) occurs like it would from a real (physical) threat. One of these reactions is the release of cortisol.
Our bodies are designed to react to stressors and then being given the chance to rest and recover. But in today’s world we don’t get a rest unless we create it. We are bombarded by phone alerts, social media posts, negative newscasts, traffic, financial stress, work demands, etc. Our adrenal glands are overworked dealing with this constant bombardment.
Cortisol is repeatedly released and our body initially over produces cortisol until the adrenal glands “burn out” and eventually can’t produce adequate cortisol for daily functioning. Most people have some version of adrenal fatigue in today’s world. The recent increase in stress within our society has made it even worse.
With adrenal fatigue you feel fatigued and you can have a decreased immune system, an unusual increase in energy at night which causes trouble sleeping, trouble getting up in the morning, body aches, salt cravings, anxiety, and an overall inability to handle stress. You may have a few of these symptoms or all of them.
Treating adrenal fatigue takes some time and patience. The most important thing is to reduce the “threats” to your mind and body. This will reduce the pressure on your adrenal glands to over produce cortisol and will allow your adrenal glands to rest. You can do this by:
Avoid watching news. We understand that people want to stay “informed” and are almost addicted to following the news. If you want to feel good it is imperative to take a break from the news. We have found that the happiest people are those who avoid the news. You can still research things on your own.
Avoid social media. Take a break from it for a while-at least a few weeks. If you must go on social media limit it to 10 or less minutes a few times a week. Keep in touch with those you care about on a one on one basis.
Establish a morning routine that allows you to relax and rejuvenate yourself– allowing yourself to start your day refreshed. (This will be a topic we explore in greater detail at a later time)
Turn off your phone at a certain time at night. Pick a day a week to keep it off. Turn off phone alerts and check your phone when you can, not every time a text or e mail comes in. Wait to turn on your phone after waking up, avoid turning it on right away.
Think of other ways you can reduce the stress in your life. Each person’s life is different and that affects what needs to be done to reduce stress. Stress is a real thing and it significantly affects your health.
There are some other great things to do that support your adrenal glands:
These are our favorite things to do for recovering from adrenal fatigue.
You can feel energized and live a vital healthy life. It takes a desire to feel your best and the patience to develop a healthy lifestyle. When you do this you will find that you fight illnesses easier and you have the energy to do the things you desire.
If you need guidance on this, please contact our office.