Adrenal Fatigue and Ways to Combat It
Are you a die-hard coffee drinker? Feel like you can never catch up with work? Having trouble remembering the last time you gave yourself a day off? The story of the 21st century: we work too much and we have forgotten how to relax. A physical reliance on stimulants such as coffee and a constant feeling of fight-or-flight due to work, school, or home life may mean you have adrenal fatigue.
WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?
Adrenal fatigue is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of symptoms, which I’ll discuss below. In your body, you have adrenal glands and they are responsible for regulating numerous hormones, specifically cortisol.
A stress hormone that helps you wake up in the morning, cortisol is a normal and healthy hormone in moderate amounts. When your body is producing too much due to excessive and consistent stress, it begins to overtax the body, the brain, and the immune system, promoting breakdown. What’s more, an increase in cortisol is followed by a decrease in DHEA(dehydroepiandrosterone), a key hormone for repair and growth.
SYMPTOMS OF ADRENAL FATIGUE
As mentioned above, adrenal fatigue is a relatively new medical term that is used as an umbrella term for the following symptoms:
- Difficulty waking up in the morning
- Heavy reliance on coffee (caffeine)
- Extreme afternoon fatigue
- Brain fog
- Poor memory
- Recent weight gain (not related to a muscle building program)
- Recent muscle loss
- Constantly sick
- Low libido
- High levels of anxiety
- Random cravings for unhealthy sweet or salty foods
- Feel like you always have low energy
While having some of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have adrenal fatigue, there are a few lifestyle hints that can provide better clues: Do you work a high stress job? Are you constantly biting your nails or picking at your skin? Do you feel chest tightness when you get near a source of stress such as work? Do you need coffee to start your day? Do you drink coffee throughout the day? Do you use pre-workouts that contain stimulants such as caffeine or yohimbe? Do you have mood swings?
You may be noticing a pattern: Adrenal fatigue is associated with high stress external environments as well as self-induced internal stress.
BEST WAYS TO STOP ADRENAL FATIGUE
DITCH (OR REDUCE) THE CAFFEINE
Caffeine triggers the release of essential hormones known as cortisol and epinephrine, better known as adrenaline. You need these hormones for quick decision-making in life threatening situations but when you are constantly flooding your body with them; these hormones begin to have a catabolic effect on you. Try reducing your coffee or pre-workout supplement intake to only one serving per day.
If you are constantly under stress, the first step is to identify the source. Can you get yourself away from it? If not, can you make changes to make your environment better? Taking active steps to improving your environment and getting away from your stress source is going to have a drastic impact on your adrenal health.
One of the easiest ways to alleviate the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and support your adrenal gland health is to use a high quality adrenal support supplement. An effective adrenal support supplement should include magnesium, tyrosine, and ginseng.
DO YOU HAVE ADRENAL FATIGUE?
Which symptoms do you notice the most? What has helped your adrenal fatigue? Let us know in the comments below!
Written by David Sautter
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.