2021 – The final chapter is upon us, but how are you really doing?
I will be honest with you, I have found this year very challenging emotionally and I have had to dig deep in many areas. I decided to become a health coach years back to firstly help myself and my own family by going more natural, reducing the toxins in our lives and making fundamental changes to our health as we have a history of cancer. I have helped clients lose weight, reduce inflammation, improve skin conditions, and helped them make long lasting changes to their health.
This year, it’s been slightly different as many are struggling with stress. I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied over 100 dietary theories and had the opportunity to learn from amazing teachers and leaders, including Andrew Weil, Mark Hyman, Geneen Roth and Deepak Chopra. We all believe in your body’s immune system and responses. Your body is designed to protect you, you just need to fuel it correctly. What you put in, is what you get out. I am excited to announce that next year I will be continuing my studies and going more in-depth into functional medicine coaching. This I believe will give me more of the right tools and knowledge to be an even better functional medical health coach for you going forward.
Back onto stress I have come to the conclusion that I too am struggling with Adrenal Fatigue right now. I honestly don’t cope well to long periods of stress, and it wears my body & emotions down. Maybe you can relate to the Topic below and we can make these changes together this December increasing our energy levels and our health instead of sabotaging it.
As soulful human beings, we need to tap into our divinely given powers so that we can fulfill our life's purpose.
Let’s get energized together.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
These days, many people, especially adults, are complaining about the common health problem that is fatigue and lethargy. When these symptoms are combined with others, such as lack of concentration, sleeplessness, difficulty in weight loss, restless condition, arthritis, memory issues, sensitivities, allergies, cravings for salty foods, weak immune system, it could signal Adrenal Fatigue.
Today, adrenal fatigue has become a very common catchphrase that is thrown around more and more. Patients are told that they should avoid stress and need to relax more; we have all heard that “stress kills.” But, the question is, how do we deal with this stress and how do we relax?
The answer to this question is simple.
People suffering from adrenal fatigue cannot handle stressful situations. When the stress levels increase, high amounts of cortisol are required to deal with the stress. When the adrenal gland is damaged, however, it cannot secrete enough cortisol, and this leads to adrenal fatigue. Therefore, it is very important to tackle stressful situations in order to avoid adrenal fatigue. Reduce stress by maintaining a proper routine, eat healthily, avoid over-thinking, relax, and get proper sleep. Avoid negative people, situations, and news; think positively; surround yourself with positive energies; avoid smoking, and exercise daily. Practicing all of these allows stress levels to be reduced and allows you to live a happy and stress-free life.
Some people follow unhealthy ways to deal with stress that can get them in trouble. They smoke, increase caffeine, and drink soda and alcohol in order to deal with stress. This is the wrong way to deal with a problem because these habits increase the risk of adrenal fatigue.
What are adrenal glands and how do they work?
The human body has an endocrine system, and the adrenal glands are the endocrine glands that are located on the top of both kidneys. These glands secrete hormones like adrenaline, steroids aldosterone, and cortisol. These hormones are very important and control different functions, responses, and activities in our body.
The adrenal gland has two different points:
The adrenal cortex secretes cortisol, prepares the body during stressful conditions, controls responses, and regulates metabolism.
The adrenal medulla secretes adrenaline, which also responds to stress.
Under stressful situations, these hormones play a vital role. When adrenal glands cannot secrete enough hormones then adrenal fatigue is the result.
Is Adrenal Fatigue is a myth or a reality?
Some say that people who are under great mental and physical stress can experience Adrenal Fatigue, but that there is no scientific evidence for this terminology. It is said that adrenal glands can be affected but they can never be fatigued. When they don’t work properly, they are out of rhythm but not fatigued or tired. Scientific research has shown that this problem is more prevalent today than years before.
Another myth is that your adrenal system needs pills or supplements in order to work properly. The myth is that medication is required to fix the rhythm that is disturbed, and it is done by exposure to sunlight. The last thing that is considered a myth is that people think that once their adrenal system is disturbed it cannot recover. The disturbed rhythm of the adrenal gland can be set again by changing eating habits and following the adrenal diet, getting proper sleep, daily exercise, and reducing stress.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
When the adrenal glands stop secreting hormones, or secrete significantly fewer hormones, this condition is referred to as adrenal insufficiency. When the glands produce large quantities of hormones, this condition is referred to as Cushing’s syndrome.
Adrenal fatigue has several nonspecific symptoms that are listed below:
Cravings for salty foods
Inability to get up in the morning
Difficulty in weight loss
Low sex drive
The sufferers of adrenal fatigue look and act normal with no apparent signs of physical illness; however, they have a general sense of feeling “off” or stressed. They often use coffee and energy drinks to keep up with tasks or to keep themselves active. About 80% of these people are experiencing adrenal fatigue.
Disturbed sleep that leads to tiredness in the morning and feeling restless during the day is in some ways due to adrenal fatigue. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have cravings for salty foods. They want to salt their food even without tasting it. People with adrenal fatigue can also have thyroid problems and hormonal imbalance. Feelings of restlessness appear even in the morning due to disturbed sleep at night. Sufferers may experience difficulty in weight loss, with suddenly weight increase and inability to reduce weight.
Poor and weakened immune systems can lead to infections and other diseases. The immune system protects our body from foreign invaders (germs) and when this system is weak it cannot work to protect us from diseases.
Supporters of adrenal fatigue maintain that symptoms may also include
Difficulty in getting out of bed
Lack of concentration
However, according to doctors, these symptoms can be the result of other health issues.
Diagnosis of adrenal fatigue
The main test performed for the adrenal fatigue is the Cortisol Test, or doctors can ask for other tests like saliva, blood, or urine tests. The diagnostic test is not simple and cannot be done by a single test. Doctors suggest standard hormone testing and may also request physical tests.
Other tests recommended by doctors are:
· Thyroid tests
· ACTH Challenge
· Free T3
· Free T4
· Cortisol ratio
· DHEA Ratio
· Neurotransmitters testing
· Alternative tests
· The Iris contraction test
· Postural low blood pressure
Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
The primary cause of adrenal fatigue is low levels of cortisol. The adrenal glands in the human body secrete hormones in response to stress and for other purposes. The cortisol encourages anti-stress and anti-inflammatory reactions. When the level of cortisol is low, the adrenal glands are not working properly and the person experiences adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands are working below their optimal level. When a person is continuously under stressful conditions he can fall victim to adrenal fatigue because his adrenal glands become weak and they cannot respond properly. In stressful situations, the adrenal glands secrete hormones that prepare our body to overcome the stressful situations. Today people are eating more sugar than they ever have. This can lead to adrenal fatigue because having more sugar in your diet can cause weight gain, which in turn make the person stressful, and this stress can affect the adrenal glands, leading to the adrenal fatigue. Processed food should be avoided if suffering from adrenal fatigue.
The human body requires 7-8 hours proper sleep each day. If this requirement is not fulfilled then the body can suffer problems because our body needs to repair itself for the tasks it does. Proper sleep is the best way to repair the body. Otherwise, adrenal fatigue is the result of sleeplessness.
Exposure to chemicals and toxins
Toxins in our food, pollutants in our air, and chemicals are disrupting our adrenal glands and cause poor functioning of these glands, which leads to the adrenal fatigue.
The portion of brain termed as hypothalamus controls chemicals known as VIP and CRH, these two chemicals affect gut function. CRH is responsible for IBS(R). The cytokines like TNF and infection increase CRH(R).
Decreased sex drive
There are portions in the hypothalamus that are responsible for sex drive. The hypothalamus produces CRH(R) which prevents GnRH, the hormone that controls sex drive.
3 Ways to Naturally Get Rid of Adrenal Fatigue
Despite all these ways a person can experience adrenal fatigue, there are just as many ways to fend it off or reverse it naturally. Here are some ways that can help get rid of adrenal fatigue naturally:
1. Avoid stress
Everyone at every age experiences stressors at times. It is important to know how to deal with stressful situations to avoid adrenal fatigue.
· Keep yourself away from stressful situations, people etc.
· Make small changes in your routine life.
· Make changes in lifestyle.
· Try yoga
· Surround yourself with positive people, things, and situations.
· Cut off negativity.
· Share your problems with friends, siblings or parents or to whom you trust.
· Take proper diet
· Breathe deeply
· Reduce caffeine and sugar intake
· Start your day with healthy breakfast
· Avoid alcohol
· Connect with nature
· Proper rest
· Exercise daily
· Don’t skip meal
Unhealthy ways to deal with stress are:
· Junk food
· Taking pills
· Using phone too much
· Sleeping a lot
2. Yoga exercises
Yoga exercises play important role in reversing adrenal fatigue. There are specific postures that help to reduce stress level. Be careful to follow the proper form, as an improper technique can lead to injury. Here are some yoga exercises that can reduce adrenal fatigue.
Restorative yoga is the best way to really help reduce your adrenal fatigue. Attend restorative class or practice at home. The principles of adrenal restorative yoga are:
Stimulate parasympathetic nervous system.
Improves the mobility of joints caused by adrenal fatigue.
Improves the postures of the body.
Muscles are relaxed
Improves the blood flow to the adrenal glands.
3. Diet to enjoy and to avoid
Tea and coffee
Sugar and salty foods
Cut out caffeine
Vegetables & greens
Less sugar food
Eat at right times
If you are in dire need of reversing this ailment, you must follow the adrenal diet, sleep 7-8 hours each night, flood your body with B vitamins and vital nutrients, keep your body hydrated, relax, rest, and change your perception.
Some simple foods that help in healing adrenal fatigue:
Lemon helps to maintain the ph of the body. People with high body acid should use lemon because increased acid levels in the body can increase chances of inflammation and the potential for other symptoms. Lemon keeps the ph level of the body maintained and balanced. Tip: Start your day with the glass of lemon water. Simply add few drops of lemon juice in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. Even in the holidays this is a ritual I never stop doing.
Celtic salt, sea salt or Himalayan sea salt:
The adrenal system sustains the mineral balance in our body, but when the adrenal system is not working properly due to adrenal fatigue, these salts can be consumed because they are rich in minerals. Tip: Add little amounts of these salts in your diet and take it throughout the day to boost your energy level.
Add proteins in your diet because proteins are the best foods for increasing your body’s energy level. Tip: Follow a diet plan that includes meat, eggs, fish, nuts, chicken and many more sources of proteins. Note: The damaged adrenal gland cannot withstand a high protein diet. A balanced diet is recommended.
Consume healthy fats like olives, coconut, fatty fish, avocado, and nuts.
Taking the right supplements can also help in treating adrenal fatigue.
The following are specific nutrients that help reduce adrenal fatigue:
Fish oil supplements (Omegas)
Pay attention to yourself:
During work, whenever you feel fatigued, stop working and rest. After a break, when you will feel better, start your work again. Your body can function better. Take short breaks during your work. Continuous work can stress your mind.
Don’t disturb your sleep cycle.
Have fun and don’t stress your mind by over-thinking.
Minimize mental and physical stress
Learn to love yourself.
Never skip meals, especially breakfast; eat healthily.
Avoid too much coffee intake
Relax – yes don’t feel guilty about it
Don’t keep everything in your heart; share your problems with your loved ones.
Keep yourself away from negativity and bad company.
Practice yoga or something that you love to do.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good.
Keep yourself away from people who make you feel down.
Stages of adrenal fatigue
The stages of adrenal fatigue can only be determined when the stage reaches. Each adrenal fatigue stage has different signs.
Stage 1: Beginning the ALARM phase
The first stage is the instant response to a stressful situation. During this phase, the body is able to make enough hormones that are needed to respond to the situation. During this stage, lab tests indicate increased levels of adrenaline, cortisol, DHEA, and insulin. Levels of arousal and alertness also increase during this stage. But sleep patterns can be disturbed, resulting in tiredness and laziness. People don’t usually complain during this stage.
Stage 2. Continuation of the first phase
During the second stage, the endocrine system is still able to secrete enough hormones needed to respond. However, DHEA and sex hormone levels decrease. This happens because the glands that are responsible for the production of sex hormones are now secreting the hormones that control stress, like cortisol. During this stage, sufferers often start increasing caffeine to cope with the stress.
Stage 3. Resistance phase
During the third stage of adrenal fatigue, the glands continue to secrete stress hormones, and this causes drops in the level of sex hormones and DHEA. During this stage, the person is still capable of dealing with different situations and can live a normal life. But the quality of life is disturbed because many important hormones are not being produced. The symptoms of this stage include restlessness, lack of passion, weak immune system, and lower sex drive. This stage can last for years.
Stage 4. The Burnout phase
In this stage, the glands run out of ways to produce important hormones like stress hormones and sex hormones. Neurotransmitter levels also become low. This happens when the body and mind are continuously under stress and this condition is known as Burnout. The symptoms of this stage include extreme tiredness, low sex drive, bad temper, depression, weight loss and gain, lethargy, lack of concentration, hormonal imbalance.
The recovery process of the adrenal fatigue depends upon the level of severity. The first two stages of adrenal fatigue may take less time to recover from. The cortisol is still high enough to respond to stressful conditions. Stages 1 and 2 are very common and everyone will experience them at some point in their lives. They may take a few months or couple of weeks to recover from.
The recovery period from Stage 3, however, is much longer than that of the stages 1 and 2. During this stage, the adrenal glands are starting to become damaged, and the secretion of some important hormones slows considerably. Repairing the adrenal gland requires changes in lifestyle, adrenal diet, proper supplementation, proper sleep habits, and a nutritious diet. The treatment period is at least 12 months, and the recovery period may require years.
To expedite this recovery process, you need to know that what factors make you happy and what makes you stressful. You need to cut out the things from your life that stress you to have a healthy, stress-free and happy life.
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that damages one’s health causing restlessness, hormonal imbalance, disruption of blood glucose levels, sleeplessness, fatigue, and many other non-specific symptoms. One of the major causes of adrenal fatigue is stress. Constant exposure to stressful situations can lead to adrenal fatigue. Other causes of adrenal fatigue include improper diet, eating sugary foods, impaired adrenal glands, lack of exercise, and exposure to the toxins and pollutants. Adrenal fatigue can be treated naturally by diet changes, stress reduction, and yoga.
Note: Adrenal fatigue should not be confused with adrenal insufficiency or Addison’s disease.
Ready to Take Your Adrenal fatigue to the Next Level?
Think about how amazing your skin and body could feel with even more nourishing food and healthy habits. If you’re ready to love the skin you’re in and feel better than you have in years, it’s time to try my proven system. It’s worked for me and countless clients, and I know it will work for you, too.
Are you ready to dive deeper into a clean eating program that to take your health, life, and energy to the next level?
Join me for THE NEW YOU PROGRAM (2 ½ month-R2000) in Starting in 17th or 24th January where we will tackle
You’ll receive an in-depth guide into all the above mouthwatering, allergy-friendly, easy-to-make recipes, and a step-by-step plan of action with suggested whole foods meals that will help you cleanse your body naturally. Most importantly, you’ll get access to me to address any questions, concerns or struggles coming up for you.
Private & Group Coaching
Accountability & weight management
Monthly webinar & cooking club
OR 17th or 24th January – Adrenal Fatigue Program R900
A LOVING DISCLAIMER
Drawing on my background, training, skills, and life experiences, I support my clients—spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I am not a medical doctor, dietitian, or nutritionist. I do not hold a degree in medicine, dietetics, or nutrition. I make no claims to any specialized medical training, nor do I dispense medical advice or prescriptions. This content is not intended to diagnose or treat any diseases. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes ONLY. Please consult with your doctor or wellness team if you have any questions regarding this whole foods program, and then make your own well-informed decisions based on what is best for your unique genetics, culture, conditions, and stage of life.