If you are human, you have to deal with the ups and downs, the twists and turns and the daily stressors of life. We are constantly dealing with everyday inputs from family and work demands, environment, pop up ads, media, people, traffic, noise, light, social media, internal stressors, illness, physical and emotional stressors and many more.
Luckily, we have internal mechanisms and systems that help us deal with that via the HPA Axis which is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three components: the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and finally our hard-working adrenals.
The big player in this response are our adrenal glands. The adrenal glands sit right on top of our kidneys and they help us deal with our stress response. They produce hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and epinephrine. They are also our back up hormone system and help in producing DHEA, testosterone, progesterone and estrogen. They are tiny, but play a big role in our livelihood, energy and mood. We need to look after them!
Problems arise when the HPA axis and adrenal glands get overburdened with more demand than we can manage and constantly stimulate the adrenals to secrete hormones to help us cope. This can lead to excess cortisol in the body (overactive adrenals) or even worse, tired adrenals where we have trouble managing the stress response and they could become underactive.
Cortisol, for example has many functions:
- Raise blood sugar. Yes, this means we can raise our blood sugar without even eating sugar!
- Stimulate blood pressure levels
- Moderate immune function
- In addition to playing numerous other roles
If our cortisol level is low, the person may experience fatigue, low blood pressure, hypoglycemia, poor immune function, an increased tendency to allergies and environmental sensitivity, and an inability to deal with stress.
Regardless we need to take action to get ahead of stress before it gets us and symptoms set in
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include
- Fatigue, exhaustion, anxiety
- Insomnia - interrupted sleep, irritability
- Difficulty handling stress
- Hormone dysfunction
- Belly fat and weight gain
- Crave stimulants (caffeine, sugar, salt)
- Extreme menopause symptoms
- Alcohol intolerance
- IN MEN - Beer belly, breasts and erectile dysfunction
If half of these (or more) apply to you or if you know you are the type of person who takes too much on, has difficulty saying no, often feels overwhelmed, and also tends to be hard on yourself, it’s time to take measures into your own hands!
-*And of course, it is always best practise to consult your health care practitioner if your symptoms persist or worsen
Tips for overcoming adrenal fatigue
- Say no to extra tasks and requests! Be sure to Plan self care and time for yourself daily
- Breathe, incorporate meditation, yoga and other balancing activities to take you into the moment and be easy on yourself.
- Sleep – just 8 hours a night can do wonders for your well being – if only you could sleep! Don’t eat or exercise late at night and avoid caffeine after 12 noon.
- Eat colourful natural foods and avoid processed sugar laden foods.
- Take a multi-vitamin with minerals daily to suit your lifestyle. (be sure it includes lots of B vitamins, and magnesium)
- *Take adrenal support nutrients daily to reduce the effects of stress such as found in ADRENAsmart
ADRENAsmart does wonders for your adrenals. It contains four synergistic non-glandular, adaptogenic herbs that work brilliantly to offer your body and adrenals the much-needed support and balance they desperately need.
- Rhodiola- to reduce the effects of stress
- Suma- a restorative tonic especially for fatigue
- Schisandra Berries- works well for nervousness, fatigue, and insomnia
- Sensoril Ashwagandha – a superstar for anti-stress, for overall heath and energy, immune modulation
Take 2-3 capsules per day at lunchtime or mid afternoon to give your adrenals the much-needed support they need to help us cope with the world of daily stressors! That way you can show up as your best self everyday! *Always read the product label before consuming.
Now is the time to look after you and enjoy your life the way you are supposed to.
Written by: Angela Ysseldyk, CNP, Director of Education and Training – Jamieson Wellness Specialty Division