If you are living a modern-day lifestyle, you are probably experiencing Adrenal Fatigue to some degree.
Although adrenal fatigue is not an acceptable medical diagnosis, it is widely recognized. Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life, and enable your body to deal with stress from every possible source, ranging from injury and disease to work and relationship problems. They are the core "fight or flight" response system of the human body, very useful for our caveman ancestors. However the daily stress, pressures, lack of sleep, caffeine and general busy lifestyle that most people experience cause the adrenal glands to work overtime, taking a major toll on them.
How can you tell if your adrenals are fatigued?
From Dr. James Wilson's website, you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue if you regularly notice one or more of the following:
- You feel tired for no reason.
- You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
- You are feeling rundown or overwhelmed.
- You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness.
- You crave salty and sweet snacks.
- You feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day.
Robb Wolf put up a great post about adrenal fatigue, and also mentioned that excess metabolic conditioning can make things worse! Per Robb Wolf: "What's excessive [met-con]? You never make progress, you feel like absolute death doing anything over a few minutes duration. I've also had 4-5 sinus infections in the past about 8 months. No bueno."
Per Dr. James Wilson: "Every organ and system in your body is affected by adrenal fatigue. Changes may occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, blood sugar balance, energy production, fluid and electrolyte balance, cardiovascular function, sleep patterns, mood, menstrual and menopausal symptoms, and even sex drive. Many other alterations can take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to, and to compensate for, the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue. Your body does its best to make up for under-functioning adrenal glands but, in the process, can create other problems."
So how do you fix it? Get back to the basics:
- Eat well (i.e. Nutritionize yourself – balanced gluten-free meals, minimal caffine)
- Get adequate sleep (6-8 hours and with the proper sleep timing)
- Give yourself some downtime. Read a book for 15 mins before going to bed, watch a relaxing tv show, take a walk, go for a bike ride. Something quick that you find relaxing. I find even 10 minutes of down time works wonders.
- For excessive adrenal fatigue, there are various medications and supplements, talk with your doctor for suggestions.
There is a lot of great reading on this. I recommend starting with Dr. James Wilson's website where he covers Adrenal Fatigue in great detail. Also check out Robb Wolf's post and go to Bing to do a search for "Adrenal Fatigue"
How is adrenal fatigue affecting you? Post to comments!
** Zoleo Contestants – Final Food Logs Due TODAY! **
Tomorrow at 11:30 we will wrapping up the contest and having our final benchmark WOD. Be there to see how your performance has improved!