Adrenal Fatigue: One way stress impacts your health
Are you feeling stressed? Tired? Craving sugar? Or Can’t Sleep?
These can be related to constant stress that you feel in your life. And you know that stress has a significant impact on your health and wellness. But, when you have a nonstop schedule and stress level, adrenal fatigue (or “HPA Axis Dysregulation”) can leave you feeling warn out or burnt out.
And this it’s a popular theme lately.
Your adrenal glands sit on top of both your kidney and look like walnuts. These important glands produce many hormones, including stress hormones.
But, what happens when they become “overworked?”
Have you heard the expression “adrenaline junkies?”
Adrenaline and cortisol are stress hormones that give you the commonly known adrenaline rush; when you’re totally alert and living in the moment. Which is known as your body’s “fight or flight” response to stress.
And some people (perhaps you?) just love the intense feeling.
The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is your body’s normal reaction to stress. But, stress is sometimes positive, like when it helps you swerve and prevent a crash.
After a brief time, the fight or flight response dissipates, and your body goes back to normal. And all is good.
But what happens when you feel constant stress? Like all day, every day? Like “chronic stress?
And what do you think happens to your adrenal glands when they’re constantly working?
They’d get fatigued, right?
Do I have adrenal fatigue?
When your adrenal glands start getting tired of secreting stress hormones day in and day out, you start getting other symptoms.
These symptoms can show up as fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, weight loss or gain, joint pain, and sugar cravings. Frequent infections like colds and the flu are also a sign that your adrenals are overworked.
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First off, I must tell you that there aren’t any 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 have stopped working. And at this point, the official diagnoses of “Adrenal Insufficiency” or “Addison’s Disease” will apply.
However, if you do have symptoms, you should see your doctor to rule out other conditions. And he or she may even be open to discussing adrenal fatigue, or at the very least, wellness strategies that will help you to reduce your stress (and symptoms).
What to do if you have these symptoms?
There are many things you can do 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 the key. And there are tons of ideas for reducing your stress. But, my favorites are meditation, walking in nature, light exercise, more sleep, or taking a bath. And finding more ways to laugh can help reduce your stress.
Of course, I also recommend reducing the amount of sugar and processed foods you’re eating and adding more fruits and vegetables. Plus getting better nutrition which will help your body when it comes to dealing with stress. So, go ahead and do it.
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 meditation, walks in nature, light exercise, more sleep, a lovely bath or finding ways to laugh more often.
Recipe (Stress-reducing bath salt): Lavender Bath Salts
2 Cups of Epson salts
10 drops of lavender essential oil
As your running the warm bath water, add the ingredients to the tub. Mix until dissolved.
Enjoy you stress-reducing bath!
Tip: You can add a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers.