What is adrenal fatigue? It is a syndrome characterized by a list of symptoms a mile long. Because it is such a long list many doctors don’t recognize it. It can be misdiagnosed as depression or stress, or thyroid problems, because the symptoms of these things overlap and contribute to the problem.
What to the adrenals do? Although the adrenal gland makes the stress hormone cortisol it makes other hormones that are critical to our everyday life. These include:
- Mineralcorticoids. These regulate the balance of salt to water within the body and help to maintain blood pressure.
- Glucocorticoids. These increase blood glucose levels by regulating the conversion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure, immune response and inflammation reactions.
- Gonadocorticois: These are the sex hormones.
- Epinephrine: This is the fight of flight hormone. It raises your heart rate and your blood sugar and rushes that blood to the muscles and the brain.
- Norepinephrine: Works with epinephrine.
- Plus many more
What overworks the adrenal gland? The biggest cause is stress, but there are many types of stress that we don’t think about.
- Traffic Jams
- Poor sleep habits
- Feeling out of control
- Striving for good grades
- Work pressures
- Poor diet
- Poor relationships
- Losing a job
- Losing a loved one
- Losing a pet
- Not getting enough exercise
- Getting too much exercise
- Stimulants such as coffee and sugar
- Poor digestion
- Money problems
- Tax time
- Exciting television shows
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Over packed schedule
- Processed foods
- Sugars (including excess natural sugars)
Herbs can also be extremely helpful in healing your body. The types you are looking for in order to heal your adrenals are called adaptogenic herbs, because they help your body adapt to stress. These include:
- Holy Basal
- Cutting back on your activities. Saying ‘no’ to things that aren’t critical.
- Spend time in meditation or prayer
- Get gentle activity every day.
- Stay hydrated
- Let go of stressors you can’t change. (Your attitude about being stuck in traffic)
- Pamper yourself. A warm bath with Epsom salts can be very relaxing.