When the adrenal glands fight with stress and very busy schedule them you are facing adrenal fatigue where you feel dull all over, overworked, and burned out. This is not a diagnosis that you will get from a doctor, but if you feel these symptoms then you will need to make some changes in your lifestyle. If you suppress them then you might enter an adrenal insufficiency that your medical doctor can diagnose. The body will send you signs you must not ignore.
When the stress does not go away, then we get elevated cortisol levels and the rest of the systems weaken as the adrenal glands can only handle so much.
These are the signs of adrenal fatigue:
- You’re Feeling Overwhelmed By Life – So many of us put self-care at the bottom of our to-do list – until it is too late! I agree that it can be so much easier to say ‘yes,’ than ‘no’ in many situations – but all work and no play can lead you right to a burnout! Being a go-getter and an over-achiever is ok. But the key to your success also resides in self-care practices (how can youBut the key to your success also resides in self-care practices (how can you BE your best if you don’t feel your best) You can SEE stress on people, and it does not look nice on anyone! Take a step back from some commitments that do not serve you, and add some self-care into your daily routine & remember that you need time for YOU.Give yourself permission to take a step back, your body and adrenals will thank you. Bear in mind that if you’re feeling more of the signals listed below – what you are currently doing is NOT working for your body.
- You cannot sleep – we have to get 8-10 hours of interrupted sleep for the body needs to recover, rest, and recharge for the following day. You should wake up in the morning energized and refreshed. There are people who give up sleep and continue working, rushing from one to another thing, throwing you off of balance, making it hard to fall or stay asleep. You need to improve your rhythm and introduce a new healthy habit. Try to be in bed by 10:30 PM, and even if you cannot fall asleep, being in the dark will help your body produce melatonin, the sleep hormone. Practice some guided meditation or take a warm bath with guided meditation to help you relax if your mind is racing before bed.
- You Feel Exhausted After Working Out – Exercise should make you feel more energized, and it shouldn’t make you exhausted and fatigued afterward. Physical Stress is a known stressor for the adrenal glands – and too much exercise can do the opposite of what you want – as it can have negative effects on your adrenals since adding stress to your body!If you’re working out constantly, but are not reaching your goals, are struggling with belly fat and feel fatigued after working out, it would be best for you to take part in a more gentle form of exercise; like stretching, walking and yoga – which will make you feel better – not worse.If weight loss is your goal and your reason for working out, you should know that 80% of your results will come from proper nutrition, not from a gym membership.
- Your hormones feel wacky – the thyroid gets affected in stage 2 of adrenal fatigue and this can create unfavorable symptoms pf hypothyroidism (poor circulation, dry skin and hair, weight gain, and fatigue). When the adrenals can’t keep the stress levels, the hormone precursor material is redirected in order to produce cortisol, and this causes hormonal imbalance. A long-term period of stress can cause your cycle be off and PMS symptoms increase. It is not pleasant to experience hormone imbalance, thus you have to eliminate caffeine, incorporate a nourishing diet, get adequate sleep, use adaptogenic herbs, and increase water intake.
- You feel depressed and overly anxious – anxiety kicks in when you have too much going on, including the deadlines and busy schedule. This can cause adrenaline rush, making changes in your mood. The adrenal hormones are involved in your mood, mental state, and cognitive function. Depression and anxiety are directly linked with stress. We became less tolerant than we normally are and are easily frustrated. Thus, you have to take some time for you as your health and well-being are more important than a clean kitchen and a work function that you do not want to go to.
- You get salt cravings – once the adrenal fatigue starts affecting your hormonal balance then you will have salt cravings as the body looks for sodium and other minerals. With decreased aldosterone production (the hormone which retains salt) your blood pressure will lower, as well as dizziness/lightheadedness upon standing, salt cravings, and heart palpitations. Get enough minerals in your diet, use a high quality Himalayan pink salt in your cooking, use seaweeds like kelp, nori, and dulse, and add mineral drops into your filtered water.
- You Feel Stiff & Sore – Your body reacts to stressful events, feeling stiff and sore can be a sign that your body isn’t getting a full recharge. You may feel the stress in your neck, back or jaw – a simple way to reduce feeling like this is to optimize your sleep habits and spend more time working on your stretching or yoga routine.Warm baths with a blend such as AlkaBath is phenomenal for its anti-inflammatory effects – the natural magnesium soothes your muscles and the added crystal blend gently detoxes and balances your body.
- You rely on caffeine to get through the afternoon – coffee does not give you energy, but you are actually borrowing that energy. Even though caffeine helps your brain get through the day with added stimulation, it weakens your adrenal glands and keeps your body in stress mode, signaling the production of stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol. The mornings are very hard when you have adrenal fatigue, however, regular coffee drinkers will know that the initial surge of energy wears off and you will still feel tired and crabby than when you woke up. You should better reach for herbal teas and coffee substitutes during your recharge. Try holy basil, mint, or dandelion root.
- Your Digestion is Off – When you’re under stress, your body is not focusing on optimally digesting and absorbing the nutrition in your big healthy salad. Your body is responding to STRESS. Functions like digestion and your metabolism are downregulated in adrenal fatigue mode, which increases the likelihood of you being bloated after eating – you may also experience weight gain, indigestion or constipation/diarrhea!You may be eating super healthy, but if your body is under stress, you may not even be absorbing the full nutrition from meals. Some tips for improving digestion which should be practiced alongside a nourishing diet and Recharge supplementation are: drinking lemon water, taking the time to savor your meals, drinking enough water, getting enough minerals and taking a probiotic daily.