Craving for salty and sugary foods
Adrenal fatigue leads to lower blood sugar levels. This increases cravings for energy foods. The patient takes lots of sugary foods to compensate. Some patients have salty food cravings. This is brought about by mineral fluctuations. Adrenal glands control the manner by which kidneys regulate minerals. When fatigued, more salt is released into the urine and has to be compensated by salt craving.
Excessive tiredness that cannot be explained
One wakes up very tired. The continued alertness makes it hard to sleep. The body’s cortisol levels are increased. Thus, one wakes up fatigued even with enough sleep.
Difficulty in handling stress
The body reacts to stressors by releasing stress hormones. This includes cortisol, adrenalin, and norepinephrine. However, with increased stress, the amounts of stress hormones produced in the body is reduced over time. This causes the body to become less prepared in handling stress.
Feeling a burst of energy in the evenings
A patient suffering from adrenal fatigue may spend the whole day feeling excessively fatigued once to experience bursts of energy in the evening. This is because the cortisol hormone reaches its peak in the morning and then goes down during the day. It may be very high at night making hard for one to fall asleep.
The adrenal glands does repair and regeneration between about 10pm and 2.00 am in the morning. If the person is awake, he or she may experience poor cardiac health and chronic fatigue.
Repeated daily stress has a cumulative effect on the body. As for the women, adrenal fatigue during the menopausal period is made worse by naturally low production of hormones like progesterone. Progesterone is broken into cortisol. When it is low, cortisol will also be low.
Increased risks of infections
Cortisol is an inflammatory hormone that regulates the functionality of the immune system. When it is produced for an extended periods, it affects the functioning of the immune system making it hard to fight infections. When the hormone levels go down after continued production, the immune system goes on a hyper-drive causing autoimmune disorders.
Diet for people with adrenal fatigue
If you are taking a diet meant for a healthy lifestyle, you have what it takes for the adrenal fatigue. Highly nutritional food is important in maintaining the sugar levels stable and maintaining the adrenal function.
Here are the main foods in your diet
Take the right fruits especially during breakfast. Fruits contain fructose and potassium, which is detrimental to the fatigued adrenals, avoid citrus fruits due to acids, but can take berries and apples.
Include 6-8 servings of green leafy vegetables as well as orange and purple vegetables. These vegetables contain the minerals, vitamins, high fiber, and antioxidants that are important healing of the adrenals. Cook your vegetables less so that you retain most of the nutrients.
You could also make a vegetable soup that is made of tomato juice, chopped onions, chicken broth, and green beans to balance the acidity in the body.
Protein maintains your energy levels without increasing the blood sugar levels. Good sources of proteins include eggs, wild fish, free-range chicken, beef and concentrated protein powders. Buy as much organic meat as possible.
Superfoods are easy to digest and have lots of nutrients that enable fast healing. They are your best bet to fight adrenal insufficiency. They include coconut, avocado, AWS Red and Green superfoods, celtic salt, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds and chia, nuts such as almonds and seaweed among others. When preparing, the seeds consider taking them raw. They are much healthier in that form. However, if the taste is not that good, you may as well roast them.
• Lots of water
Water is very essential for your body health. When suffering from adrenal fatigue, consider taking at least 1.5 litters of water daily. You can add some lemon or sea salt in the water to add in some lost salts. A pinch of baking soda also helps. This is because people that suffer from adrenal fatigue are usually acidic in nature.
The earlier you work on your diet, the faster you start healing from adrenal fatigue. Even when taking other medication, be sure to keep a close eye on your food. This helps in increasing your full recovery.
Normally we would expect a balanced diet to provide the body with the nutrients it needs.
However when under stress, these same nutrients we find in a healthy diet are depleted faster.
When the body is suffering from fatigue, the nutrients needed to help heal the body are no longer present due to the stress response, this in turn holds back the recovery period and prolongs the problem.
This was the findings of Dr James Wilson after working with his own clients. After changing their lifestyle and dietary habits their energy levels while slightly better were still not recovering.
He realized that when the adrenal system responds to high-stress levels, cell metabolism speeds up. By the time the body has reached a point of adrenal fatigue, the body has used up the critical nutrients that are needed to help in the recovery process.
Dr. James Wilson authored the book "Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome," developed adrenal fatigue supplements and his adrenal fatigue relief program is used with clients around the world.
When we talk about adrenal fatigue, we use a general term for all the different stages the body goes through as it progresses to adrenal exhaustion. Most of the patients recover in the first and the second stage even with minimal diagnosis. As the condition progresses, the neurotransmitter and hormone levels continue to fluctuate.
Here are the four basic stages of the adrenal exhaustion process.
The first stage: The start of the ‘alarm’ phase
This phase begins when the body reacts to a stressor. The reaction is usually immediate. The stressor could be a presentation in waiting or some other physical threat.
To enable the body to respond, the adrenal glands make small amounts hormones such as cortisol, insulin, DHEA, norepinephrine and adrenalin. The person in question may become increasingly alert and aroused. On the other hand, one may experience intermittent alertness and problems getting sleepy. Normally, we all go through this phase when reacting to different stressors.
The second stage: Continuation of the alarm phase
The body reaction to the stressor does not end. The endocrine system gets prepared for more hormones. However, there is lower production of the sex hormones as well as DHEA as their resources are used to develop stress hormones like cortisol.
The patient starts to feel the effects of adrenals over-exertion. One feels wired but still tired when trying to stay alert only to crash in the evening.
The third phase: The resistance
The endocrine system at this stage continues creating stress hormones and lowering the production of sex hormones. This is because material for sex hormones such as DHEA and testosterone is used to create stress hormones. The patient experiences regular tiredness, lack of enthusiasm, low sex drive, and regular infections
The fourth phase: The ‘burnout’
After continuous production of the stress hormones, the body runs out of material. Now that the sex hormones are also low, the neurotransmitters also get low. This stage is called the burnout and happens when we crash after lengthy period of dealing with stress. The common symptoms include lack of sex drive, irritability, anxiety, depression, apathy, weight loss, extreme tiredness, and general disinterest. The hormonal insufficiency affects nearly all parts of the body. Recovering from this stage takes long and often calls for a complete overhaul of the lifestyle.
Adrenal fatigue is caused by the adrenal glands prolonged response against stress. The glands produce cortisol to improve your body’s response. However, with prolonged stress, the body depletes nutrients important for the rebuilding of other important hormones such as testosterone and DHEA.
Treating adrenal fatigue takes a multi-pronged approach that focuses on lifestyle changes, exercise, diet, and recovery. This is because all these elements are closely connected when it comes to weighing down your adrenal glands. Here are the simple changes most people know , but need to start doing
Mindfulness and meditation
Meditation is key to relaxing your body and mind. This helps keep the stressors that are causing prolonged body response at bay. It also gives you confidence to face the challenge.
Listening to the body
Your body tells you when it needs rest. Listen to it and take a nap when you feel tired. This will also help increase your performance.
Exercise regularly but right
Ensure that you have regular exercise in interval training, aerobics, core, and strength training. However, have limits beyond which you cannot overwork.
Ensure that you have a daily serving of a diet that includes fruits, vegetables, unprocessed beef, eggs, raw nuts, seeds, and gluten-free grains. Avoid stimulants and sugary carbonated drinks such as soda and coffee. These drinks temporary increase your sugars levels but ultimately stress your adrenal glands. It is important that you control your sugar levels to maintain proper adrenal function.
Plan your meals such that you have a small snack every three to four hours. Moreover, ensure that you eat within the first hour of waking up. Have a small snack before bedtime. Finally, do not wait until you get hungry to eat. By the time you are hungry, you have lowered your blood sugar, which strains your adrenal glands.