Adrenal Exhaustion: What to do?
Updated: May 15, 2019
The Adrenal glands sit atop of the kidneys in the middle of the back. They are small but powerful glands and produce many of our hormones, including some of our sex hormones. The adrenals respond to our stress reaction and protect us in survival situations using the ‘acute stress response’ also known as our fight/flight response.
For our ancestors, it was imperative for the protection of the species and a perfectly appropriate response provided that once out of harm’s way that the body finds rest and recovery.
However, today we seem to produce large amounts of stress hormone on an ongoing basis. We are burning the candle at both ends and trying to be all things to everyone. I instead of taking time out our adrenals are being asked to produce cortisol and adrenaline for prolonged periods of time. This eventually results in exhaustion and more reliance upon stimulants such as coffee, asking the adrenals to produce more adrenaline, just to get through the day.
Stress can also be caused by inflammation within the body so it is important to understand that stress is not only emotional but can be coming from other areas too.
The adrenal glands also produce some of our sex hormones adrenal fatigue may present with hormonal imbalances. With this in mind, it is beneficial to have a consultation with a trained heath professional to pinpoint and address inflammatory processes in the body.
Causes of adrenal fatigue can include smoking, fear, worry, food intolerances, over or under exercising, inflammatory driven issues such as arthritis, chronic infection, leaky gut just to name a few.
Some signs and symptoms may include: Dizziness, Muscle twitches,Light sensitivity, Heart palpitations, irritated easily, salt/sugar cravings, chronic infections, light headedness, extreme mood response to carbohydrate foods, exhaustion, premature aging, lower back pain, excessive sweating upon minimal exertion, dry skin, low libido and easily startled.
So, what is the best way to help rebalance the body. First, make sure you implement as many lifestyle changes as possible. Get adequate sleep, change your diet, allow for relaxation time, implement strategies to lower anxiety and ask for help.
Then look at supplements that will strengthen your coping mechanisms. An adrenal herbal tonic can assist to restore adrenal function and calm the nervous system so that we respond better to stressful situations. It may assist with adrenal fatigue related anxiety by nourishing the glands and soothing the nervous system as well as balancing hormones that are out of whack because of overworked adrenal glands.