It’s time to have a little heart to heart here, friends.
I know how easy it is to get caught up in the daily grind. If you have kids, it’s an entire job just to get them out of bed and to school… showered if we’re really feeling like superheroes that day. If they’re still too young to go to school, and home with you all day, being a stay-at-home-mom is one of the toughest jobs on the planet.
Then it’s off to work for you… get home, go to sports practices, pick up, feed the kids, do homework, clean up the house, and get to bed.
And even if you don’t have kids, there are still a ton of responsibilities pulling you in a hundred different directions throughout the week.
Weekends? You mean the two days to really hammer out your to-do list and pay bills? No wonder you’re exhausted, right? When you’re in a constant state of GO GO GO your body never has time to recover.
So you’re tired all day—from sun up to sun down.
And you lack energy to really take life by the horns.
You may even find yourself short on patience.
But you think it’s normal… you say “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” and laugh it off. And you keep going.
Except it may not just be “normal” fatigue. What if it’s full-blown adrenal burnout and your body is BEGGING for help? Then I say, it’s time to listen.
What Are Adrenal Glands?
The adrenal glands are the main stress responders in our bodies that signal to the brain that you are experiencing stress. Located at the top of both of your kidneys, this is where the “fight or flight” response comes from. When triggered, the hormones cortisol and adrenaline are released to help your body respond to the stress and fight it.
The adrenal glands are also responsible for helping to regulate your metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, and of course, stress.
Understanding Adrenal Fatigue
There are a few names for it these days: fatigue, burnout, distress… but at the end of the day, it means that your adrenal levels—and in turn, your hormone levels—are imbalanced. In a perfect world you wake up with the highest level of cortisol (which helps you get through your day) and it depletes accordingly throughout the day.
If your cortisol levels are imbalanced for a prolonged period of time, however, you risk experiencing “adrenal fatigue”.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Exhaustion beyond a “normal” tiredness
- Frequent illnesses (such as colds, flus, and allergies)
- Brain fog
- Digestive Issues
- Dizziness and weakness
- Body pain
- Blood sugar fluctuations
- Mood issues (including depression and anxiety)
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Hair loss
Healing Adrenal Fatigue
Ultimately it comes down to your body being under too much stress for too long of a time. Turns out, as super powered as we like to think we are, we need to learn to STOP and RESET every once in a while.
It’s actually pretty easy to test your cortisol levels to see if they are imbalanced or not. While I know I sound like a broken record here from when I wrote about leaky gut, mainstream health professionals don’t necessarily see eye to eye with the naturopathic community on adrenal health. I would suggest looking for a naturopathic doctor for a cortisol test.
You can even test at home, where it’s ideal to test morning, noon and night to see where your levels are throughout the day.
And even if you’re not ready to go the testing route, there are simple lifestyle changes you can make to work on your adrenal health.
- Sleep (you just gotta make it happen, you guys)
- Eat a real food diet (processed junk makes it SO much worse)
- Limit caffeine, sugar, and empty carbs (this creates an endless cycle)
- Up your Vitamin C intake (these levels deplete quickly in times of stress in order to be used for cortisol production)
- Check out adaptogens (these herbal remedies can be incredibly healing to adrenals)
- Do less (ignore society’s badge of honor for busyness and limit stress by taking stuff off your plate!)
- Limit your toxic load by switching to safer beauty, personal care, and cleaning products
And remember, stress isn’t just from being on the go, running around like a crazy person. You can be under emotional stress from a death; environmental stress from toxins in your household and beauty products; or stressed from food sensitivities you have causing digestive issues.
Identifying these stress triggers will absolutely help to rebalance your cortisol levels, improving your adrenal health so you can wake with ease, stay energized and clear-headed throughout the day, and get the sleep you need at night.
Imagine waking up and feeling refreshed, rested, and ready to tackle the day. Nourish those adrenals and that can be an everyday thing!