Two of the most common health concerns people report to their doctors are gaining weight and losing energy.
This Nutritionist hears a lot of that too, by the way.
But the problem is that trying to pinpoint the underlying cause of weight gain and low energy is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Could it be thyroid? Menopause? Nutrient deficiencies? Depression? Medication side effects? Not exercising enough?
All good possibilities.
But one frequently overlooked cause is adrenal fatigue.
Here’s the scoop on this sneaky condition and how you can start to feel a whole lot better if it’s affecting you.
Adrenal fatigue (aka hypoadrenia)
Adrenal fatigue is just as the name sounds—it occurs when your adrenal glands are fatigued from secreting too much of the stress hormone cortisol…and this is most commonly the result of chronic stress.
Under healthy circumstances, we are not supposed to feel stressed ALL THE TIME—stress is supposed to be a temporary thing.
Our bodies were designed to handle temporary stresses with the adrenal glands secreting the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which work to increase respiration, raise your heart rate, put more glucose into your bloodstream and then eventually refuel after the stressful event passes.
But when your stress level is constantly in OVERDRIVE, so are your adrenals, and eventually they become exhausted.
What happens then is you end up with wildly inconsistent levels of cortisol in your bloodstream—sometimes way too much and other times way too little. And this can cause a whole slew of unwelcome symptoms.
The many faces of adrenal fatigue
Here is a list of symptoms that suggest that you may be dealing with adrenal fatigue—see how many apply to you:
- Weight gain
- Pain in upper back or neck
- Skin ailments
- Extreme fatigue
- Insulin resistance
- Brain fog
- Hair loss
- Decreased sex drive/libido
- High blood pressure
- High blood cortisol levels
- Hormone imbalances
- Reduced immune function
- Autoimmune conditions
- Sleep disturbances
- Muscle or bone loss
- Moodiness or irritability
- Sweet and/or salty food cravings
As you would expect, the more of these issues you are facing, the more likely you may be dealing with a degree of adrenal fatigue.
What makes adrenal fatigue especially challenging is that there isn’t one specific test your doctor can run to diagnose it.
He or she may suggest a 24-hour salivary test to examine cortisol levels throughout the day, thyroid testing (since the thyroid and adrenals are closely linked), or neurotransmitter tests…but many times these tests are not definitive.
Pamper those adrenals—and start feeling better!
The good news is you can take some very effective measures to give your adrenal glands the rest, support and pampering they need, and feel a whole lot better as a result!
Here are some of the best ways to enhance the health of your precious little adrenals:
This is numero uno—stress is the most common underlying cause of adrenal fatigue, so it’s vital to reduce stress in your life.
Do whatever works for you—even some deep breathing 3-4 times a day can help.
Also, there is counseling, prayer, taking up a hobby, adopting a pet, massage and acupuncture.
Essential oils can help too—especially rosemary and lavender. Check out our line of awesome Holistic Blends Essential Oils which include both rosemary and lavender, plus many others!
Dietary do’s and don’ts
Avoid using processed vegetable oils and margarine, as they are highly inflammatory, and your body is likely inflamed enough from the effects of stress. Instead strive to use only good fats such as real butter, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and lard.
Also, avoid coffee as much as possible. Caffeine makes your problems worse by impairing your body’s ability to heal and interfering with your sleep cycle.
And most importantly, eliminate processed foods and soda from your diet. They are nothing but chemicals, sugar and empty calories, and your body is struggling enough without having excess sugar in your bloodstream and throwing off your gut microbiome, as well as chemicals that your liver has to detox out of you.
Concentrate on fresh, wholesome real foods, especially vegetables other than potatoes and corn, meats, poultry and wild-caught fish, eggs and healthy fats. Also, nuts, seeds, olives and fermented foods are helpful as well.
Drink enough water
Dehydration is common with adrenal fatigue, so make sure you’re drinking at least eight 8 oz. glasses of filtered water each day.
Add a splash of fresh lemon juice to give your body a nice alkaline boost and cleanse your liver.
Get support from helpful supplements
With adrenal fatigue, it’s crucial to make sure your body has healthful levels of B vitamins, vitamins A, D and C, as well as zinc, magnesium and selenium. The best way to ensure that you consistently have proper levels of these crucial nutrients is to take a complete multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core.
Super Core’s outstanding formula provides a helpful dose of all essential vitamins and minerals, plus extra support from natural anti-inflammatories and antioxidants!
Also, a full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield can help support strong gut health, which is essential if you are dealing with reduced immune function from adrenal fatigue.
Super Shield’s effective blend of 13 well-studied probiotic strains is up to this important task, as well as helping to enhance nutrient absorption (which is also common during adrenal fatigue) and pave the way for more regular BMs.
Get some form of daily exercise
Try to work in some form of exercise daily, even if it’s just a brief walk or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Just be sure to get your doctor’s OK first, especially if you haven’t exercised in a while (or ever).
Establish a set sleep routine
Try to go to sleep the same time every night, preferably before 10 pm, and strive to get at least 8-9 hours of sleep per night.
Avoid taking in caffeine, sugar or alcohol in the evening, as they all can disrupt your sleep cycle.
And try to make your bedroom as dark as possible. Invest in room darkening shades and dim the display on your alarm clock.
Do all you can to support the health of your precious adrenals, and they will return they favor by helping YOU feel a whole lot better!
To your health,