Our adrenal glands are two tiny glands, located just above our kidneys – they are about the size of a small pea. These 2 peas, despite their tiny size, pack a powerful punch when it comes to stress – either helping us to deal with it, like water off a ducks back, or letting it take the lead, resulting in symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems and mood swings. Adrenal fatigue, or adrenal dysfunction is not a recognised medical ‘condition’, Bigo Live video Apk, however, there’s a high chance you would know someone with it, if not have it yourself. Signs are often non-specific, but can be somewhat debilitating to those suffering with it.
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Fatigue that’s not relieved by sleep
- Cravings for salt or salty foods
- Decreased sex drive
- Mild depression
- Decreased tolerance to light and sound
- Increased PMS / hormonal symptoms, and one that’s oh so common,
- A lack of energy, especially between 3 – 5pm – that dreaded afternoon slump!
In reality, our bodies are still the same as what they were when we lived in caves and hunted for our food. Stress was designed as a protective mechanism. It resulted in physiological changes that allowed us to escape quickly from danger, to save us becoming somethings dinner. The physiological effects were fast – increased blood flow, blood pressure, blood sugar and heart rate. These things allowed us a boost of energy that enabled us to run fast – or stay and fight for our lives.
These days, stress does exactly the same thing in our bodies. The problem most of us face however, is that stress is relentless and doesn’t stop, so those physiological changes keep on going – they become our ‘norm’, keeping our body in a state of fight or flight. Add to this, a decreased function of our digestive function (who needs to worry about digesting a meal when you’re fleeing for your life!) and reproductive systems (who needs to make babies whilst running for our lives either!) and we have some serious (and common) problems, leaving our poor little adrenal glands utterly exhausted, overworked, and running on empty.
This constant stimulation of our adrenal glands leads to increased levels of cortisol – a stress hormone. Continually high levels of cortisol can lead to muscle loss or weakness, an inability to lose weight / burn fat, mood changes, even immune suppression and cognitive changes. Thyroid function can easily be affected too. The thyroid and adrenal glands somewhat ‘help’ each other out. If one is struggling, the other tries to pick up the slack. I often see thyroid tests brought in by patients, but very rarely anything to do with the adrenal glands which may also be affected, hidden away in the background.
Contributors to adrenal fatigue include lack of sleep, poor diet, use of stimulants, not enough downtime or emotional outlets, chronic emotional or physical pressure or illness, and basically burning the candle at both ends.
Help is available however! Dietary measures to help with adrenal fatigue include eating small, regular meals of low GI carbs alongside good quality protein and a generous serving of healthy fats (eg avocado) with all meals. People in this situation should not skip breakfast, despite often having no desire (or time!) to eat at this time. Good quality salt (eg Himalayan salt, or a good quality Celtic / sea salt) can help and ensuring good levels of nutrients including vitamin C may all benefit.
There are many other nutrients, foods and herbal medicines that can help, but if you are feeling some of these symptoms – then it’s best to speak with a qualified practitioner about your overall health to get your adrenals back on track. We are able to arrange for testing of your adrenal and thyroid function at Saltuary, and from there, arrange a plan to get you back on track.
Our Chiropractor Mark, and Naturopath Tiina, work closely together on many cases of stress and adrenal issues. They will be presenting our next Free Wellness Talk together on the topic of ‘Stress Less’… If you’d like to learn ways to stress less, join us on Wednesday 8th of Feb at 6pm in our Himalayan salt room! To book your seat online, go to the Saltuary Wellness Talks page HERE (limited seats available).