In 1998, the term “adrenal fatigue” was coined by Dr. James L. Wilson to indicate the symptoms of low adrenal function associated with chronic stress and other causes. The purpose of the adrenal glands is to regulate the body’s response to stress by producing hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, estrogen and testosterone that are required for a number of vital functions.
However, when we experience chronic stress, such as that brought on by modern lifestyles and poor nutrition, it causes the adrenals to overproduce hormones in response, and ultimately wear out from exhaustion.
If you often experience fatigue for no reason, feel tired in the morning, crave sugary snacks or caffeine to keep your energy levels up or feel stressed and generally run down, you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue. It can also result in secondary disorders, such as obesity and allergies.
It may not be practical to completely change your lifestyle overnight, but there are a number of stems that can be implemented quickly to effectively treat this syndrome and prevent it from worsening. Here are some things that help:
1. Eat a healthy diet
This is hardly a mystery. It’s a well-known fact that modern lifestyles and eating habits cannot support our body’s requirements and are largely responsible for causing syndromes such as this. However, making better choices can be as easy as switching to high-fiber or multi-grain bread, instead of white breads and eating more vegetables and raw foods instead of processed ones. And no, ketchup doesn’t count as a vegetable.
Laying off the colas, caffeine and energy drinks can help as these can stress the adrenals into pumping out greater amounts of hormones and too much consumption of them may even be a cause of this syndrome.
2. Supplement your diet
It’s also a well-known fact that industrial farming and animal husbandry have caused a significant amount of deterioration in the quality of produce that reaches our tables. Even if it is fresh produce, it may not provide you with the amount of nutrients you need to fight the effects of pollution and a modern lifestyle.
Supplementing your diet with vitamins like B-complex, Vitamin E and C, and with healthy fats rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can boost immunity, fight allergies and help your body cope better with the effects of stress.
3. Use herbal remedies
A number of herbs such as Skullcap, Rhodiola, Ashwagandha, Maca and Ginseng can act as calming agents and adaptogens, helping the body adapt better to the effects of stress. Most have to be used regularly, over a period of time to show beneficial effects, but they should always be used under the supervision of a herbal or medical practitioner.
4. Get regular exercise
Any form of exercise can help reduce stress levels by producing endorphins and chemicals that boost immunity. Some especially beneficial types to treat chronic stress are yoga, qigong and martial arts like tai chi, that regulate and balance energy flow throughout the body.
While the best way to deal with adrenal fatigue is to prevent it, making changes in your lifestyle using the steps above can reduce and alleviate the damage caused by stress so that you can get your life and your health back on track again.