Adrenal Fatigue – A Modern Day Epidemic
March 4, 2019
Adrenal fatigue isn’t a “new” condition, in fact it has been around as long as we have. Our modern day lifestyle includes an increased stress load from those of our ancestors, which leads to adrenal dysfunction. It is said that about 80% of the population will suffer from adrenal fatigue at some point.
Adrenal fatigue is caused by the body’s inability to keep up with stressors. Developing adrenal fatigue may take years of chronic stressors to finally overwhelm the body’s ability to keep up.
What contributes to adrenal fatigue?
Eating excess sugar requires the body to produce more insulin and cortisol in order to push glucose into the body’s cells. This additional work taxes the pancreas and adrenal glands (where cortisol is produced). In addition, unused sugar stores itself as fat, causing addional stress on the body systems.
We are bombarded by a staggering amount of chemicals each day that assault many body systems. Airborne pollutants, pesticides in our food, contaminated water, and environmental toxins in our home are all irritants that need to be mitigated to preserve the health of our adrenal glands.
Having a new baby, a new job, losing a relationship, moving to a new home, these are all things that are anormal part of life. These “normal” manageable stress related parts of life can lead to adrenal stress if they become a chronic state of life.
While it is known that adrenal fatigue is usually caused by chronic stress, sometimes the dysfunction can be traced back to a single event that began the cascade. A surgery or accident that puts stress on the physical or emotional part of the body can lead to months of recovery or additional pain and dysfunction.
Lack of Sleep
Sleeping is when the body heals and rejuvenates itself, including hormone production in the adrenal glands.
How to support healthy adrenal glands
- Avoid processed foods that require more work from the body to digest, detoxify and eliminate.
- Eat nutrient dense foods to ensure the body has necessary building blocks for hormones.
- Test for food allergies! Unknown food allergies will trigger the immune system to eliminate the perceived threat to the body, of course this adds stress to the body.
- Choose to eat meals with a good balance of protein, fat and carbs to guarantee stable blood sugar throughout the day.
- Stay hydrated with clean water.
- Make sleep a priority to give the body time to recover.
- Stick to a sleep schedule (even during the weekend) in order to create a routine where the body knows its time to rest.
- Keep the sleep area cool, dark, and ventilated.
- Incorporate a good exercise program, but do not over tax the body to complete energy depletion.
- Exercise earlier in the day to avoid sleep disruption at night.
- Use a variety of exercise to keep things fun!
Supplements may be a helpful in any any adrenal fatigue protocol. Its always best to consult with your healthcare provider before adding any/all new supplements.
- Ashwagandha – adaptogenic herb that may lower cortisol’
- Licorice Root – may stimulate hormone production
- Magnesium – may help relax the body, and help with energy flow.
- Vitamin C- an antioxidant that is involved with hormone production in the adrenal glands.
Just as adrenal fatigue did not occur overnight, it will take time and consistency to recover.
Naturopathic Doctor Denver
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