If the answer is “Yes” stayed tuned to this 4 part series on Adrenal Fatigue.
The body’s reaction to stress is called the “stress response”. Without this finely tuned process, we would not be able to get through a day. However, our modern-day high-tech, fast-paced lifestyles have elevated stress to epidemic levels. Our lives have become littered with psychological, physical, nutritional and environmental stressors, which in turn assault our body with chronic levels of stress hormones. Initially, there is some ebb and flow, but eventually, when stress becomes chronic, stress hormones are continually produced and released into the bloodstream which can result in a condition called adrenal fatigue.
Are you dizzy upon rising and have low blood pressure?
Are you depressed and have a flat affect to life?
Do you abuse the snooze button, only to then rely on caffeine and sugar to get you through your day?
Is exercise and recovery from exercise difficult for you?
Do you suffer from low libido?
Do you crave carbs, salt and sugar?
If this describes some or all of your symptoms, you are likely experiencing the effects of stress and even perhaps adrenal dysfunction or adrenal fatigue.
When the body is under any type of stress, cortisol the principal stress hormone is released. When the body is under chronic stress, cortisol is elevated beyond normal circadian rhythms. If high cortisol levels are left untreated or ignored, the adrenal glands will eventually fatigue and decrease cortisol output. The resulting condition is known as adrenal fatigue and it can be debilitating to one’s health and quality of life.
Chronic stress and the resulting negative health issues are becoming a nationwide epidemic. It is estimated that 75-90% of chronic health conditions are related to stress and altered cortisol levels. The health risks associated with chronic stress include high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, increased risk of infections/lowered immunity, autoimmune diseases, thyroid disease, inflammation, allergies, depression, sleep disturbances, and altered metabolism. As you can see chronic stress can wreak havoc on the body.
While the timeline may differ among individuals, the result is the same. While your adrenals might have given up, you should NOT, as adrenal dysfunction is reversible. It will take time and you will need patience, but the following nutrition, exercise and lifestyle guidelines can be crucial steps in your quest to take back your health!
To be continued…
Stayed tuned for Part 2: Adrenal Fatigue and Nutrition