Today, one of the most common conditions presenting in clinics worldwide is adrenal fatigue. So many times, people leave the doctor’s office very confused and bewildered after a diagnosis of , ‘”It’s all in your head,” or ‘”You are just depressed.” Unfortunately, modern medicine has largely skipped over the tell tale signs of adrenal fatigue and only after a crisis point is reached, further investigation occurs. Thankfully, many GP’s and Integrative M.D’s now recognise adrenal exhaustion as real and treatable.
For Practitioners of Holistic Medicine, the adrenal glands are a major focus. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, fear, shakiness, moodiness, panic, tiredness, vertigo, sluggishness, bowel problems, back and neck stiffness, apprehensions, heart palpitations, sweats and insomnia may all point to adrenal fatigue or exhaustion.
How did I get to this point? Good question. The answer is too complex for just a small article, however, simply put, many people simply push too hard and burn out. You see, fight or flight hormones are produced by the adrenal medulla as a result of any crisis or stress we face. We secrete hormones to ‘cope’ with the stress at hand. Hormones like adrenalin, ACTH and cortisol may make us feel great at the time, giving us the feeling of increased strength, a ‘rush’ , or even that of super abilities! The fact is these hormones are only meant to be secreted for that situation at hand and then abate as the crisis passes or the stressful situation ceases.
Where the problem lies is that people become reliant on that ‘rush’ and are addicted to the hormones that keep them feeling better. This addiction when prolonged, leads to an over production of hormones like cortisol that may, in large doses, cause immunity to be effected, bloating, elevated heart rate, body heat, insomnia etc. When the hormones we are now addicted to begin to run out, as the adrenal glands get tired, we suffer from the inevitable ‘drop off’ on the other side. Suddenly our immunity crashes, we feel weak, shaky and unexpectedly nervous. Digestion is effected and constipation, sluggishness and insomnia follow. If we have been living as an ‘adrenalin junkie’, the eventual dependance on these coping hormones leads to adrenal fatigue and then exhaustion.
Signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue at the onset may be;
1. Waking up ok, but soon feeling flat and tired mid morning into the afternoon – only to start to feel better later at night.
2. Insomnia and racing thoughts keeping you from any real rest.
3. Shakiness or weakness.
4. Depression and/or anxiety.
5. Feeling ‘wooly headed’, ‘lost’ or overwhelmed, even when facing simple tasks. The fact is, nearly 80% of all patients I see in clinic are suffering from adrenal fatigue at some level.
How do I check if I have adrenal fatigue/exhaustion? The answer is to find a Naturopath or GP that can perform Pathology tests on your blood or hormones and on your saliva to check on the secretion of cortisol, testosterone, progesterone, E1-E2 and DHEA. Once diagnosed, you can then choose to begin treatment with Natural Medicine. A change in diet, including the elimination or cutting down on foods like; sugar, wheat (gluten is a major cause of depression, sugar imbalance and inflammations) dairy, chemical and processed foods. Rest is a key here as we need to take a step back and see how much we are pushing ourselves and what we can do to re-order our lives. Priorities need to change here folks! Honestly assessing what is really important and not ‘sweating the small things’.
If you have endured a shock, been mis-treated, lost a loved one or you’ve simply burnt out, you may have over stressed the adrenal glands and be suffering from fatigue. Let me encourage you, God loves you and has a plan for your life. You are precious in His sight. Mostly, when you feel alone, you are never alone. I know this life can be hard and unfair. Maybe it is not your fault at all! You never asked for all you have endured..
Take comfort in this, your situation is only temporary! Keep your chin up. There are better days ahead. If all you can do is simply breath in and out, for now, that is enough. Try to rest, drink pure water, walk each day for 1/2 an hour. A comprehensive superfood like LIFE POWDER will help detoxify all that stress and toxic build up. CELLFOOD is an amazing product to start with. Just a few drops per day in water help remove toxins and supply vital nutrients to that exhausted body.
The good thing about adrenal exhaustion and fatigue is that you can recover. Sometimes just recognising what it might be is a huge relief. You are not crazy… just burnt out! Try to start simply by making your mind up that you need help to recover. Visit your Practitioner and discuss treatment options. Talk to someone – tell a close friend or relative how you feel. You are not alone. There are millions of others who are suffering some form of adrenal fatigue and millions more who are recovering and enjoying life again. Recognising what is happening and making a decision to address it is half the battle. You will be amazed at how good you can feel on the other side of this if you commit to change.
Take a positive step today for your health… with iHealth!
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