Some people think chronic fatigue syndrome is just a myth or a layman’s way of explaining away an unpleasant condition of listlessness that seems to have no direct cause. However, adrenal fatigue is a very real thing. It is not necessarily tied in with depression or psychological problems, but a physical condition caused a disorder in the adrenal glands.
Our adrenal glands are an often-overlooked part of our endocrine systems. These tiny structures situated atop our kidneys are, however, vital in regulating our energy levels throughout the day, and help us wake up and fall sleep at appropriate times. This is accomplished by the secretion of adrenal hormones and other metabolites such as adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream to govern bodily functions.
When these glands are not fully functional, the body is, likewise, not fully functional and seems to be running on low gear. This does not necessarily mean we are sick, though. It just means our adrenal glands are not releasing the appropriate amounts of metabolites and might need some help. A few lifestyle changes, including improving one’s nutrition through daily diet or even with adrenal supplement products, can make a difference.
Don’t shortchange yourself on sleep
Adrenal disorders are likely to befall people who party hard and stay up late. Sleep deprivation is linked to many health issues including cardiovascular and neurological diseases, as well as adrenal problems.
But even people who are not night owls or late-night TV addicts experience sleep deprivation if they have fallen into a sleep disorder pattern due to work and family schedules that can disrupt normal sleep times. Taking the necessary measures to get quality sleep can help get the adrenals back on track.
Reduce or manage stress
The debilitating effect excessive stress has on health cannot be underlined enough. If work, commitments and problems that cause stress cannot be avoided, one should find opportunities to chill or destress.
Stress management can be achieved through simple mental exercises or even through more structured disciplines like yoga and meditation. Seeking relief in substances like caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and other such substances does not achieve this and could, in fact, lead to further complications.
In many cases, stress can be relieved simply by taking a break. Spend a few moments out on the balcony or porch where you can look at something other than your workspace. Spending quality time outdoors, or taking a vacation is a great remedy for adrenal fatigue caused by stress.
Of course, creating some space in your life to relax and recharge often means having to learn how to say “no” to some commitments.
Get your dose of vitamins
Any deficiency in the body’s nutritional requirements could result in numerous disorders. Lacking specific vitamins and other micronutrients could be the root cause of adrenal fatigue and the resulting lack of energy.
While getting a bit of sun on your outdoor walks could bump up your Vitamin D levels, it might be necessary to augment that with an adrenal supplement or multivitamin and mineral preparation. These products often contain generous amounts of valuable magnesium which can be acquired naturally from green vegetables like Swiss chard and spinach.
Vitamin B is present in many foods, especially in asparagus which can ramp up your body’s folate level to reduce neurotransmitter impairment in the nervous system, thereby eliminating brain-hormonal problems.
Fats are not necessarily unhealthy
Crash dieters who argue that there is no such thing as a healthy fat are completely missing the bigger picture and risk depriving their brains and vital organs of the requisite building blocks for tissue growth and development. Vegetable oils are valuable for their antioxidants which reduce inflammation and decrease the risk of chronic heart disease.
Popular edible oils such as coconut oil reduce harmful cholesterol and contribute valuable medium-chain triglycerides. Avocados are beneficial to adrenal health as they contain healthy monounsaturated fats that help in neurotransmitter production, potassium, and beneficial B vitamins.
Healthy fish oils from wild-caught fatty cold-water species such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and various mackerel variants provide omega-rich oils that reduce inflammation and help brain and hormonal health.
Get valuable nutrients from animal proteins
Protein sources such as poultry and beef provide vital nutrients for normal bodily functions. The amino acid tryptophan causes you to get a good night’s sleep after a turkey dinner. It is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin which helps you relax and better deal with stress.
Organ meats such liver from grass-fed beef are also good sources of choline and other B-vitamins as well as fatigue-fighting nutrients like vitamin D and zinc.
One popular source of zinc is oysters. Oysters have a good balance of this metal and copper to help with neurotransmitter function and stress management.
Don’t skimp on the supplements
People seeking stress relief and adrenal health resort to natural and herbal remedies such as chamomile tea, cortisol balancing Rooibos tea from Africa, and exotic natural herbs such as ashwagandha, eleuthero ginseng, holy basil, and Rhodiola Rosea.
Access to many of these helpful substances is not always easy. Fortunately, it is fairly convenient to find adrenal supplement products such as Adrenal Health Daily Fundamentals, Drenatrophin PMG, and Adrenal Desiccated which are all USFDA certified.
To prevent adrenal disorders and help you enjoy day-to-day tasks sans adrenal health issues, reach out to our practice, WholeBody Solutions, here. You can also get in touch with Dr. Ann Doggett at 617.328.6300 and FrontDesk(at)WholeBodySolutions(dotted)org.