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Recovering from Caffeine Related Adrenal Fatigue: Finding the Right Balance

Welcome to Part 2 of my coffee series...

Like I said before, I’m not saying you need to kick coffee to the curb. A cup or two per week probably won’t impact most very much, assuming they don’t have an unusual sensitivity to caffeine. But if you’re using caffeine to keep you going too often, or you’re drinking caffeinate...d beverages late in the day, you could be throwing your hormones out of whack. And if this goes on too long, adrenal fatigue could be the result. Let’s look closer at what caffeine is doing to your hormones. Cortisol is integral to that flight or fight response we talked about, and impacts your ability to get restful sleep. It’s supposed to be high in the morning and lower at night. But caffeine changes the natural rhythm of cortisol, sometimes turning the cycle upside down. Additionally, when your cortisol is high too often, your body is in a constant hyper-alert state, which leaves you feeling exhausted. Often, when women feel exhausted, they turn to caffeine to help. It becomes a continuous loop – fatigue-coffee-energy-crash. You just can’t regain the energy you are seeking, no matter how much caffeine you consume. To compound the issue, your adrenal glands aren’t just responsible for stress hormones; another critical job is to maintain appropriate levels of sex hormones. But when they’re constantly called upon for more cortisol, whether due to actual stress or caffeine-simulated stress, they just can’t keep up. In this way, caffeine may also be impacting your hormonal health. If you happen to have insulin resistance, the relationship is even more complicated. Increased cortisol levels stimulate the release of glucose into your bloodstream, which in turn prompts the pancreas to boost insulin production that helps the glucose enter your cells and give you the increased energy needed to respond to the “threat.” The problem for those who already have insulin resistant cells is that, as studies have shown, caffeine exaggerates those responses. So, the caffeine you had in the morning can impact your insulin levels in a way that makes your blood sugar drop in the mid-afternoon. The fuzzy thinking and fatigue that result prompts you to reach for another cup of coffee to keep you going, and the cycle continues. There are so many factors that change the effect that caffeine has on insulin sensitivity – gender; how healthy your body is; whether you’re eating or consuming caffeine on an empty stomach; and having caffeine, carbs and sugar (like a cup of coffee and a cinnamon bun) all at once. But even though there are plenty of questions, it’s clear that caffeine effects both insulin resistance and adrenal imbalance. Since it’s common for women to have both, and the two together complicate matters further, the caffeine connection is important to pay attention to when working to heal each. Recovering from Caffeine Related Adrenal Fatigue: Finding the Right Balance I know that it seems nearly impossible to some to quit caffeine. Some fall apart completely at the thought of giving it up for even a day or two for testing purposes. Caffeine is addictive, and not just in physical ways. Our culture places great social importance on bonding over coffee or tea. So, giving it up all at once might not be the best plan. The idea is to reduce stress, not exacerbate it! But I strongly recommend taking a step back and find healthy replacements like herbal tea and water. Adrenal healing is a long, slow process and you have to approach it in a way that works for you. Remember, also, that I’m not saying you must go without caffeine forever. When you are healing, taking a break from certain food and drink is helpful in figuring out the roots of your symptoms. Nor am I suggesting you have to quit cold turkey. In fact, weaning yourself off caffeine slowly is important – otherwise, you’ll feel even more lousy, and quit before the healing process has really begun. Try cutting out one cup of coffee (or whatever caffeinated beverage has a hold on you) per day for a week at a time. For instance, if you typically drink 3 cups of coffee each day, start by having 2 the first week, then 1 the second week, etc. This won’t feel too extreme, and can help you avoid headaches and other uncomfortable symptoms. If you want to sustain healing long term, you’ll also need to examine your overall lifestyle habits, nutrition, and how you handle stress. This is much easier to do when you’re feeling great! And if you understand the impact of caffeine on your health, you’ll be far better equipped to define your relationship with caffeine on your own terms, instead of letting it define you! As a nutritionist, it might seem like I have it out for coffee I don't , I love coffee, but it's just another thing in my life I've had to learn how to achieve balance with and I do this for all the reasons spoken of above as well as coffee is acidic and literally leeches minerals from our body like calcium and magnesium as well as it dehydrates us, it sucks I know, I could literally drink Coffee all day but for me it was very addictive so now I choose to keep it to none or 1 a day because it was in fact hurting me more than helping me. Stay tuned for Part 3 - Non caffeine delicious recipes! If you would like help and support with getting off of coffee, if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above perhaps you suspect you have adrenal fatigue or insulin Resistance, even if your just feeling stressed, you may want to loose weight or just have more energy and be healthier - please feel free to phone me to book your initial consult - Maria on 0438112050 Or go to Mention this post for a nice discount ❤️ Yours in health, Maria Lucey, Nutritionist at Higher Health See More

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