Are you tired… all the time? Seemingly exhausted no matter what you do? Your adrenals might be to blame.
What exactly are your adrenals though?
Your adrenals are small glands located on top of each kidney that produce hormones necessary for survival. Your adrenal glands help your body to:
- burn fat and protein
- regulate sugar
- regulate blood pressure
- react to stressors
If your adrenal glands don’t produce enough hormones, it can lead to a variety of symptoms and health issues. One of the most important hormones your adrenal glands produces is cortisol, which helps control stress.
Your cortisol levels naturally rise and fall during the day, with about 20-25mg of cortisol produced by your adrenal glands every 24-hours. Your body pays close attention to your mental stress levels hundreds of times a day to check in and rebalance its cells, tissues and organs in a constant body check called a “feedback loop.” It’s a tight rope your body is constantly walking.
When your body experiences chronic stress, adrenal glands can’t keep up and can’t produce enough cortisol to sustain you and keep you feeling healthy. Without adequate time to rest and rebuild depleted cortisol resources, your body will stay in “fight or flight” mode which, as you can guess, is pretty exhausting.
This is where Adrenal Fatigue begins. Symptoms include:
- difficulty getting to sleep
- difficulty waking up
- sugar cravings
- salt cravings
- unexplained weight loss
- lack of motivation
- brain fog
Cortisol is necessary for breaking down glycogen in the body, which is a way our body stores glucose, and therefore responsible for stopping insulin from delivering glucose into our cells. Low cortisol levels can mean your immune system will slow down, your blood pressure and blood sugar levels will go out of whack, and your brain may not seem to be functioning at 100%. If all of these symptoms sound familiar, it’s time to address some lifestyle and diet changes to get your adrenals back on track.
Here are four ways to fight adrenal fatigue today.
- Relax a little
Easier said than done, right? Chilling out is a lot harder for some people, especially those with incredibly taxing jobs or those living with anxiety disorders. However, prioritizing your relaxation and calm will radically change your life. Re-evaluate your schedule, social plans, and free time activity. Focus on what makes you feel relaxed and begin to prioritize activities for your healing.
- Get some sleep
Your body can only truly heal while resting, and sleep is the ultimate rest. Make sleep your number one priority. It’s an appointment you cannot miss. Practice excellent sleep hygiene, keep a consistent sleep schedule, and rest your way to better health.
- Make sure you’re moving too
Don’t skip out on physical activity. It’s not necessary to join a crossfit gym or run a marathon to heal your adrenal glands, but making small and consistent commitments will make a difference. Just like any good habit, making a commitment to your fitness will change the way you see your body and the way your body feels each day. This will improve your stress, and allow it to heal from stressors more quickly and efficiently.
- Take a look at your diet
While you’re healing your body, focus on healthy fats like fish, nuts and seeds. Prioritize good proteins with every meal, like chicken, turkey, beans, lentils and yogurt. Avoid processed foods that will spike your stress, like white sugar, alcohol, caffeine, fried food, fast food, or artificial sweeteners.