Adrenal Fatigue: What Is It? Can Fitness Training Help?

Stressed? Tired? Craving sugar? Can’t sleep?

All of these can be related to the constant stress we feel in our lives. We know that stress can have a huge impact on our health and wellness. And, since your adrenal glands produce stress hormones, adrenal fatigue (or “HPA Axis Dysregulation,”) is a popular theme lately.

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Your adrenal glands look like walnuts that live on top of both of your kidneys. These important glands produce many hormones, including stress hormones.

But what happens when they become “overworked?”

You’ve heard of “adrenaline junkies,” right?

Adrenaline and cortisol are the stress hormones that give you the commonly known adrenaline rush; when you're totally alert and living in the moment. This feeling is known as your body's "fight or flight" response.

Some people (perhaps you?) just love that intense feeling.

The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is your body's normal reaction to stress.  Stress can sometimes be positive, like when it helps you swerve and prevent a crash.

After a short time, the flight or flight response dissipates, your body goes back to normal, and all is good.

But what would happen if you felt constant stress? Like all day, every day? Like “chronic” stress?

It wouldn't feel like an awesome (once-in-a-while) "rush," anymore would it?

And what do you think happens to your poor adrenal glands when they’re constantly working?

They’d get fatigued, right?

Do I have adrenal fatigue? - Now that's a million dollar question!!

When your adrenal glands start getting tired of secreting stress hormones day in and out, you can start getting other symptoms.

Feeling tired is one of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.  Other symptoms include:

  •         Overeating/eating unhealthy foods
  •         Craving salty foods
  •         Waking up feeling tired in the morning
  •         Increased energy at night
  •         Overuse of stimulants like caffeine
  •         Inability to handle stress
  •         A weakened immune system

Before you start taking sleeping pills or other medications you typically use to calm your nerves, there are natural supplements you can try, along with dietary changes, that will boost optimal adrenal functioning.  This will help you to sleep better, gain energy and enhance immune function.

First off, I have to tell you that there aren't medically accepted blood tests for adrenal fatigue. In fact, it's not recognized by most medical professionals until the point when your adrenals are so fatigued they almost stop working. At that point, the official diagnoses of "Adrenal Insufficiency" or "Addison's Disease" may apply.

However, if you do have symptoms, you should see your doctor to rule out other conditions. He or she may even be open to discussing adrenal fatigue, or at the very least, wellness strategies that can help to reduce your stress (and symptoms).

What to do if I have these symptoms?

There are many actions you can take to reduce your stress and improve your health and energy levels.Ideally, if you think stress is starting to burn you out, stress reduction is key. There are tons of ideas how you can reduce your stress. My favorites are of course Fitness Training, prayer, meditation, walking in nature, more sleep, or taking a bath (with a glass of wine!!) The Fitness Training I can certainly help you with, why not grab my 3 FREE Days of Fitness Training to see if we would be a good fit for you :) Just click right here to download your PASS.

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Of course, I also recommend reducing sugar and processed food intake and eating more fruits and vegetables. Better nutrition can only help your body. So go ahead and do that now to give your adrenal glands a rest.

Here are the 6 top Herbal Supplements that may help with adrenal fatique:

Ashwaganda, also known as Indian ginseng, is an adaptogenic herb known to decrease symptoms of stress.

Rhodiola rosea is another adaptogenic herb that is known for its ability to affect hormones like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

Licorice may work synergistically with cortisol.  In other words, this may be an ideal herb for people who do not produce enough cortisol.

Holy Basil Leaf is another herb that is documented for its stress-relieving, neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing effects in animal studies.

Phosphatidylerine is a phospholipid found in cells that plays an important role in muscle metabolism and immune function.  It has been shown to balance cortisol overproduction, especially following intense exercise.

Tyrosine is an amino acid that is a precursor to neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine.  Stress causes the depletion of these neurotransmitters.

Conclusion

Your adrenal glands produce hormones in response to stress. After long-term daily stress, they may get tired.

Adrenal fatigue is a controversial disease that doesn’t have a true diagnostic test, nor specific telltale symptoms.

The most important thing you can do is to get tested to rule out other potential conditions. You can also try stress reduction techniques like exercise, prayer, meditation, walks in nature, more sleep, or even a bath.

 

Recipe (Stress-reducing bath salt): Lavender Bath Salts

 

Per bath

2 cups epsom salts

10 drops lavender essential oil

As you're running your warm bath water, add ingredients to the tub. Mix until dissolved

Enjoy your stress-reducing bath :) 

Tip: You can add a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers.

 

References:

https://www.thepaleomom.com/adrenal-fatigue-pt-1/

https://www.dietvsdisease.org/adrenal-fatigue-real/