When I was a single mom to a toddler, running myself ragged was the norm. I pushed myself for years, running on adrenaline and fumes, until I crashed. I was a hot mess of emotions with burnt out adrenals and cravings for sugary treats.
Adrenal Fatigue is the most common hormonal imbalance in women.
What does adrenal fatigue feel like? You feel tired but wired. Sugar cravings run you, similar to an addict. Muffin tops appear around the midsection.
What You Need to Know About Adrenal Fatigue
Chances are you’ve heard of adrenal fatigue, but you may not be quite sure what it is.
Understanding this condition is important however, because some experts suggest that 80% of the Western world will be affected by adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives.
The adrenal glands are located above the kidneys and are responsible for secreting more than 50 different hormones that are essential for life. Among these are adrenaline, cortisol, progesterone and testosterone. Because they regulate so many important hormones, their proper function is critical for many functions essential to life such as producing energy, balancing electrolytes and storing fat.
These glands also help you deal with stress. When you are under stress, the adrenal glands engage many different responses in your body to make it easier for you to handle that stress.
But during periods of intense, prolonged stress or chronic illness, the adrenal glands begin functioning below the level needed to maintain health and well-being in the body. They still function but at less than optimal levels. The result is adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
There are some symptoms that are common among people who are suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Feeling tired for no reason
Craving salty or sweet snacks
Increased energy in the late afternoon
Decreased sex drive
Weight gain, especially around the waist
Low body temperature
Women typically make 3 mistakes when it comes to their adrenal function:
Treatment for adrenal fatigue focuses on making changes to your lifestyle and diet.
Stress: One of the first things you should do is reduce the stress in your life. This may mean clearing your schedule, reworking some relationships or learning time management skills. In order for your adrenal glands to heal, the demands placed on them should be lightened.
Sleep: Sufficient sleep is also important. The main repair work on your adrenal glands takes place between 10pm and 1am. If you are prone to late nights, consider training your body to go to bed earlier. It is also a good idea to reduce or eliminate caffeine from your diet in order to help you sleep more soundly.
Exercise: Adrenal fatigue can also be helped by exercise. Exercise regulates cortisol, relieves depression and increases blood flow. Each of these benefits will contribute to your recovery.
Try to exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes each day.
Supplements: Finally, adding supplements to your diet can speed healing of adrenal fatigue.
Calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, E, and B complex are recommended. Also try to avoid ‘junk’ food as much as possible. Rather, add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.
If you suspect you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, don’t be discouraged. You can start the recovery process by making the above changes to your diet and lifestyle.
If you would like my help in taking the next step, please Email me and we'll chat about how we can work together so you can be healthier, stronger and in control of your food cravings.
May Anne xo
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May Anne Jordens-LaFlamme is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and the owner of "Wellness with May Anne." She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best, so they can live a more fulfilling life - without dieting, deprivation, relying on willpower or cooking separate meals for the family.