Living today’s busy modern lifestyle, can make trying to get a little “OM” time quite hard for most people. Pressure to be in a lucrative position, external & self- imposed expectations, juggling deadlines, bills, exercise, relationships & families. It’s easy to see how stress can sneak in & over stimulate our adrenals.
Are you tired, wired or on edge 24/7? Find it a monumental effort just to get out of bed? Lack the energy just to get through your day? Resolve to remedy by going to the Gym, but need Coffee or Redbull just to get there?
In my Kinesiology clinic I work with many clients who come in feeling disconnected and fatigued and they don’t know why. I find this such a common dysfunction within our hectic lifestyles.
So what could be causing this?
Enter cortisol & the adrenals………
Your adrenal glands are one of your main inbuilt stress fighters, cortisol is one of the hormones that is released by your adrenal glands to help you mobilize your body’s fight /flight response to any kind of stress in your day- to- day life on a physical emotional & psychological level.
Throughout the day, they send out hormones to keep up our fluid and electrolyte balance, to regulate our carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism and even to keep our sex drive healthy.
The stress response (fight or flight) is ingrained in our body for physical survival, when faced with a stressful situation or threat, the adrenals send a rush of adrenaline followed by a huge dose of cortisol increasing the flow of glucose (as well as protein and fat) from our tissues and into the bloodstream which in turn increase energy and physical readiness to handle threat. It affects the heart rate, causes increased blood flow and an activation of the nervous response.
The whole body effects of excess cortisol levels & prolonged stress are;
•Blood sugar imbalance
•Craving “comfort” foods like fats & sugars
•overeating, feel fatigued, store excess body fat usually around the tummy
•Immune system suppression
•Gastro intestinal problems
Some common adrenal & cortisol culprits;
•Excess coffee ,soft drinks & sugary drinks including energy drinks
•Processed foods and a diet devoid of vital nutrients
•Poor diets, dieting , long-term malnutrition
•Drugs & alcohol
•Trauma ,shock & stress
•Negative personal relationships
•Doing too much
•Exposure to toxic chemical (eg; hairdressers) and pollutants for a long time
What I find to be the most contributing factors of adrenal fatigue in men;
•The problem fixer – He Thinks, Thinks Thinks…(about an issue or problem) but never translates said thought into emotionalaction. He is taking action physically but failing to change the inner emotional perspective & dialogue. Exhausting!
•The disconnected- He has forgotten he has a life outside of work & family. He is up to his eyeballs in mortgage repayments living his days “going through the motions” with little or no outlet.
•Negative self -talk – I should have done this or that, usually in relation to career & money
•The man cave! When there is no healthy outlet to diffuse emotions, suppressions occur followed by lethargy & irritation and a severe lack of communication. Quick fixes such as sugar or coffee will be employed & tension maybe held in the jaw (TMJ)
Bad diet, candida, dehydration, stress followed by a potential magnesium & mineral deficiency, lowered B vitamin & low stomach acid,
What I find to be the most contributing factors of adrenal fatigue in women;
•The Martyr- She sacrifices by doing too much for others and forgets about herself. This can trigger resentment when she is not appreciated or acknowledged in return, but continues to give, give, give.
•The Judge- Perfection is not achieved, consequentially she turns inward in self-judgment , outward in judgment of others & then feels judged by others.
•The Disconnected- She has forgotten how to make decisions for herself away from the needs and expectations of others consequently conforming into a people pleaser.
•The stuck – She Thinks, Thinks, Thinks ….(about an issue or problem )but never translates said thought into physical action. As opposed to the male Stuck, she changes the inner perspective…fails to Act. This is an exhausting output of worry & negative energy.
Once again, quick fixes such as sugar or coffee may be employed as well as the potential to purge & yo- yo diet followed by negative self- talk .Candida may be present as well as a magnesium & zinc deficiency, low stomach acid, lowered B vitamins & tension held in the jaw (TMJ).
The best approach to keeping cortisol levels at bay is mastering stress management and optimizing diet
•Slow down ….manage your time more efficiently…stop to smell the roses! & try not to eat on the run
•Laugh, smile & get silly …your inner child wants to play…and your body will love the endorphins!
•Don’t take on more that you can handle
•Include plenty of whole foods ,fruits & veggies
•Cut down or eliminate coffee, sugar and process foods
•Manage stress by finding a positive yet realistic & sustainable outlet that fits your schedule, like a quick 15 minute walk around the block
•Be gentle with yourself , treat yourself like you are your own best friend
•Drink at least 2 litres of pure water daily
•Avoid negative draining people in favor of positive uplifting people
•Avoid drama or gossiping
•Take a good magnesium supplement and B vitamins to manage stress levels.
•Have a go at tai chi, yoga, meditation, Qi gong ,swimming…anything that will help toquieten the mind, reconnect & feel a sense of inner peace.
Herbs for adrenal support
•Astragalus root , Cordyceps , siberian ginseng , Licorice root Adrenal nutrition
•Vit B3 ,Vit B5,Vit B12, Folic Acid , Vit C, Vit E, Sodium, Potassium, Salmon oil