By Sam Botica, Naturopath
Sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Does every day feel like groundhog day? Maybe it’s time to assess your adrenal function as you might be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue, or Hypoadrenia is something GP’s don’t diagnose, despite being described in medical texts as far back as the 1800’s. Conventional blood tests often come back as ‘normal’, even though sufferes can have debilitating fatigue that can’t be overcome.
Some of The Many Symptoms Include:
- Continuing fatigue, not relieved by sleep
- Lack of energy
- Low sex drive
- Inability to handle stress
- Cravings for salt
- Constant illnesses
- Increasing allergies,food intolerances
- Poor memory and inability to focus
- Body aches and pains
- Weight gain
- Feeling better at the end of the day but can’t sleep at night
WHAT ARE YOUR ADRENAL GLANDS?
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys, pumping out hormones to help you cope with stressors. This is their job, and they will do this very effectively, unless there is some ongoing major form of stress. This can be emotional, psychological, physical, environmental, infectious or a combination of these.
Some of The Cause Include:
- Sleep deprivation
- Poor diet and nutritional deficiencies
- Trauma and abuse
- Long-term anxiety
- Poor lifestyle
- Ongoing illness
- Excessive exercising
- Chronic long-term stress
Stages of adrenal response to these include an ‘Alarm Reaction’, a fight or flight response to an initial stressor. Hormones such as adrenalin, noradrenalin and cortisol are released into the body, so that you can immediately respond to the situation. The heart rate rises, blood pressure rises, you sweat more, muscle tension increases and your digestion shuts down.
After the ‘Alarm Reaction’, there is a short recovery phase of 24 to 48 hours, where your body feels more tired and needs rest. This is normal. If after this, there are additional stressors – the body goes into a phase of ‘Resistance’ that can last months or even years. However if this phase continues with no reduction in stress levels, the body continues to pump out cortisol and eventually the body systems weaken, leading to ‘Exhaustion’.
Diagnosing Adrenal Fatigue can be done through Quantum Analysis, which is immediate, or saliva tests that take a few weeks. Signs can often be detected through Iridology.
If you want to regain your energy, you’ll need to look at these factors:
- Improving your diet (guidelines will be given)
- Removing major sources of stress
- Lifestyle change
- Improving your ability to handle stress
Nutrient deficiencies need to be addressed along with specific herbs and amino acids to rebalance your adrenal glands, nervous system, immune system and any other organ systems that may need support.
There are strategies you can follow to improve your ability to cope with stress and they include meditation, mindfulness, deep breathing, light exercise and using essential oils.
The road to recovery can vary with each individual, but typically takes 3 months in less severe cases and up to 1 or even 2 years in severe cases. Improvements will be seen along the way and will occur more quickly in those who embrace diet and lifestyle changes.