Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you wake in the morning feeling exhausted and flat with no motivation for the day? Or do you drag yourself through your day, needing some type of “pick me up” in the mid-afternoon to get you through to the evening? Then, when it’s time to go to bed and sleep do you find yourself not sleepy but actually “tired” and “wired”?
If you answered YES to any of the above questions, the chances are you are suffering from “Adrenal Fatigue”. But don’t worry. You’re not alone. It is more common than you think and it IS treatable with good results!
The adrenal glands control stress. In the presence of stress, the adrenal glands produce cortisol in response to stressors. It is the typical “fight” and “flight” response to perceived danger. It was designed as a survival mechanism to alert us to take action. However, if it produces too much cortisol then belly fat will develop as a hormonal response. The adrenal glands are also the backup glands to the ovaries in women. This is why when women have hormonal issues, they most often will have adrenal issues at the same time and vice versa.
When people have adrenal fatigue, they can’t sleep and then they don’t have enough energy to generate their body’s fat burning ability because fat burning occurs in the deep sleep cycle of nightly sleep.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. They have one job to do and that is to counter stress. Emotional stress and physical stress are the big contributors of cortisol release and yet emotional stress can actually deplete the adrenal glands one thousand times more than physical stress can! That is why the loss of a loved one or a traumatic event in a person’s life can create a major problem with a person’s health.
The Adrenal Body Type person will almost always have belly fat. Or at the very minimum, they will have more belly fat than they used to. The fat in the belly comes from cortisol which is the hormone that makes it.
Why does the Adrenal Body Type person always gain weight in the belly? Because that is where our vital organs are, in the mid-section of our body. As a survival mechanism back when we were hunters and gatherers, the belly fat would increase so as to protect our bodies during war and famine. We hold it in that region because it is our body’s way of feeding ourselves should the worst happen.
When you’re 18 cortisol is at its lowest. When you’re 58, that is when it is at its highest because it accumulates over time. All stress is accumulative. So basically, we are like a bucket that fills up and up over time, until it’s so full that it starts to create problems with our adrenal glands.
Then the next major issue that happens with adrenal fatigue is the effect on the body’s cognitive (brain) function. The Adrenal Type person will always be thinking and thinking and not be able to turn off that thinking mind. Especially when they are meant to be winding down for the sleep cycle. It creates excessive thinking, affects memory and focus (brain fog!). The Adrenal person will have less tolerance for certain personality types. For example, slow drivers and incompetent people will drive an Adrenal Body Type person crazy. Even to the point that some people are so burnt-out that even the sound of a ticking clock drives them crazy and they can’t tolerate it. These are some very extreme cases, yet don’t be fooled because they are actually very common!
I see many people in my practice with these symptoms. Most people don’t even realise that it is not normal to feel this way and that they are actually symptoms of a very debilitating health issue. If left untreated it can eventually result in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Unfortunately, adrenal fatigue is a process that can happen over a long, slow period of time without the sufferer even realizing what is happening. The symptoms will be seemingly unrelated that are one of many and they can’t perhaps put their finger on what’s wrong. Other symptoms can include dizziness, depression, feeling weepy, gut issues, constipation, dry skin and hair, brittle nails, indigestion, a feeling of “on edge” with no energy, motivation or “joy for life”. They may go to their family doctor who will announce that there is nothing wrong with them or perhaps the doctor may do some blood tests and pronounce all is OK because there is nothing glaringly obvious that comes back in the test results.
However, there are very effective treatments to nourish and heal the adrenal glands and to correct the health issues that manifest as a result of this debilitating health issue.
In the next month we will discuss some treatments that can be implemented straight away to turn adrenal fatigue around and start sleeping and feeling better as soon as possible and taking your motivation and enjoyment for life back!
Original Article written by Trudy Kither, Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbal Medicine Practitioner. Owner of Nature’s Temple, Palmwoods, QLD 4555. www.naturestemple.net. email@example.com