Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is a collection of symptoms that result from low-functioning adrenal glands. Although it is often linked to prolonged stress, it an also occur after a serious injury, illness, or infection (such as influenza or pneumonia). Adrenal fatigue happens when your body cannot meet the demands of stress. The adrenal glands signal your body’ s response to stress, whether it is physical or psychological. When the stress becomes chronic, the adrenal glands are overworked and fatigue sets in.
The syndrome is aptly named because its main symptom is excessive tiredness (many sufferers describe it as a permanent case of the ‘ blahs’ ). In extreme cases, the adrenal fatigue becomes so intense that sufferers find it difficult to get out of bed for more than a couple of hours each day. Over time, adrenal fatigue takes a toll on the body, mind, and soul.
There are certain factors that can make a person more susceptible to the syndrome. Poor dietary habits, lack of sleep, substance abuse, repeated respiratory illnesses, and excessive stress can trigger the problem.
Fortunately there are steps you can take to deal with adrenal fatigue. Some of those include:
- Healthy Diet: Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Avoid sugary or processed foods which have little nutritional value and adversely affect energy levels.
- Eliminate Caffeine: The adrenal gland is stimulated by caffeine, which puts the body in a hyperactive state. Caffeine also raises blood pressure and makes it difficult to get a good night’ s sleep. The caffeine-laden power drinks that are so popular these days can exacerbate symptoms.
- Nutritional Supplements: Many people find that adding nutritional supplements to your daily routine can be very helpful. Vitamin C, Magnesium, and GABA are often recommended.
- Stress management: Because stress plays a central role in adrenal fatigue, relaxation techniques are vital for treatment. Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises support the body’ s relaxation response. Treat yourself to a massage, take a walk in the woods, listen to soothing music, or brew some herbal teas. Spend time with positive people who increase your sense of self-worth and wellbeing. To the extent that you can, avoid negative people who “push your buttons” and create undue stress in your life.
Because no two people are alike, the treatment plan for adrenal fatigue will vary from person to person. If you are suffering symptoms of adrenal fatigue, talk to your wellness practitioner to determine the best plan for you.