Because of the dynamics surrounding daily life today, stress is ultimately unavoidable. Stress can come from various aspects of your life, including your career, relationships, finances, and family. Essentially, stress should not be a big deal. However, when stress becomes chronic, it poses greater risks to your health. In fact, it leads to adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue refers to a condition characterized by one’s adrenal glands becoming overworked or overstimulated due to continuous stress. Over time, chronic stress can cause your body to have an inconsistent level of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream. There would also be a significant imbalance of other hormones in the body since the adrenal glands produce a great number of them. This, in turn, affects all your body’s other functions, causing a significant deterioration in your quality of life.
Today, it is estimated that at least 80 percent of Americans are suffering from adrenal fatigue. The problem is there is still not much that everyone knows about this condition. One has to gain a better understanding of this adrenal problem in order to figure out how to best prevent it and what can be done to remedy it if you already have adrenal fatigue.
Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is caused by stress, whether it occurs internally or is triggered by your environment. To understand this better, here is an overview of what causes the body to be chronically stressed to the point that your adrenal glands suffer:
Emotional stress is perhaps, one of the most common causes of adrenal fatigue. You can experience great emotional stress due to various situations. It can be anxiety over a big upcoming event in your life. It can be your feelings towards your work environment and/or your boss. It can also be due to anxiety you are feeling after just having a baby.
Whatever the reason is, emotional stress can eventually take its toll on your body if you don’t take necessary steps to manage it. When you are constantly stressed over something, your adrenal glands find themselves continuously reacting to your situation by producing more cortisol. In the end, though, your adrenals will no longer be able to produce enough cortisol to keep up with your demands. This triggers adrenal fatigue.
What many people don’t realize is that dieting can be particularly stressful for the body. When you significantly decrease your food intake in order to lose weight, your body essentially becomes stressed out because it finds itself unable to get enough energy from food. In fact, one study conducted by the University of California and University of Minnesota found that putting a person on caloric restriction results in an increase of cortisol output in the body. In addition, the act of monitoring calories daily was also perceived as a significant stressor among participants.
Toxic Pollutants and Chemicals
Aside from emotional stress and dieting, exposure to hazardous pollutants and chemicals can also stress the body. In fact, a recent study conducted by Dr. Haidong Kan at the Fudan University in Shanghai, China found that breathing in some dirty air can cause stress hormones to increase in the body. The research also added that this may explain why prolonged exposure to pollution and toxic chemicals has been linked to conditions like stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.
Now that you are more aware of what causes adrenal fatigue, it’s time to discover both adrenal fatigue symptoms and treatment.
Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Adrenal fatigue tends to manifest itself in various ways. Generally, the most common symptoms include having a high level of fatigue, difficulty in waking up in the morning and being unable to manage further stress. Aside from this, you may also suffer from lightheadedness, body aches, low blood pressure and depression.
Available Treatment for Adrenal Fatigue
Now that you know what symptoms to watch out for, it’s time to discover remedies that you can try to prevent adrenal fatigue or even stop it from getting worse. You can also consult with your physician and nutritionist before trying any of these to make sure that you don’t have any intolerance or sensitivity to any particular supplement or food.
You should incorporate more foods into your diet that promote good adrenal health. These include nutrient-rich superfoods such as fermented foods, olives, coconut, avocado, free-range turkey, free-range chicken, wild salmon, seaweed, nuts, and seeds. On the other hand, it’s best to avoid sugary foods. That’s because when the body consumes more sugar, it triggers the adrenals to produce more cortisol and insulin just to process it. Essentially, sugars can stress the body even further.
Supplement with the proper vitamins and minerals.
Aside from eating right, you also need to make sure your body is getting enough of the right amount of vitamins and minerals daily. These include B vitamins, which supports energy production and metabolism. There’s also magnesium that has been shown to help reduce both stress and anxiety.
Take a more positive outlook on life.
There are cases when an adjustment in outlook greatly helps alleviate any stress or anxiety that you may be feeling. Be more positive about the situation your facing so that you don’t end up triggering a stress response from your adrenal glands.
At the moment, there is no clear medical treatment for adrenal fatigue. However, there are medications available, which can help stop any excess hormonal production in your body. If you are considering this type of treatment, however, it is best to consult with your physician first so that they can also advise the proper medication dosage for you.
Adrenal fatigue may be a serious problem, but that doesn’t mean it cannot be relieved. Minimizing any symptoms that you may have started with taking a conscious effort to veer away from stress. After all, when you’re less stressed, you become more relaxed, happier and less likely to suffer from adrenal fatigue.
Many people might not realize they may already be suffering from adrenal fatigue. This condition is characterized by overworked adrenal glands due to chronic stress. It’s best to understand adrenal fatigue better to be able to relieve it effectively.