Family, work, health and fitness, household chores… at any given time we can be juggling a lot of balls in the air and it can be difficult to recognise that we are feeling overwhelmed by it all until we have already hit breaking point – which could be adrenal fatigue.
Stress affects us in a number of ways both physically and mentally – this puts pressure on our adrenal glands which our body uses to process and regulate stress by releasing powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant hormones like cortisol.
What do adrenal glands do?
Our adrenal glands provide us with the energy we need and the ability to relax and unwind; a delicate balance that can greatly affect our mental state and well-being if upset.
Stress can be caused by a myriad of stress-inducing reasons including psychological or emotional unrest, lack of sleep, chronic infection, over-exertion, and a poor diet. Long-term stress can cause the adrenal glands to become over-worked and lose the ability to produce enough cortisol.
If this happens, they produce extra adrenaline which causes us to feel tired, wired and overwhelmed which can interfere with our moods, sleep, weight, blood pressure, immune function, digestion… the list goes on.
How do I know if I have adrenal fatigue?
Symptoms of over-worked adrenal glands include:
- Stress and worry
- Over-tired, regardless of ability to sleep well
- Reliant on coffee or other stimulants
- Craving sweet or salty snacks
- Mental fogginess and lack of mental focus
- Low mood
- Decreased libido
- Susceptibility to illness
- Poor circulation causing cold hands and feet
- Pre-menstrual stress
Allow yourself to ask for help
If you’re feeling constantly stressed out, exhausted, overwhelmed and suspect you have adrenal fatigue, find a healthcare practitioner who can help treat it. If your schedule is constantly overly busy, delegate parts of it to friends, family or work colleagues to lighten your load.
Focusing on making healthy lifestyle choices can also help a great deal. GO Healthy Practitioner Janeen Howard recommends setting yourself a regular sleep pattern, avoiding stimulants and too much alcohol, regular light exercise and a diet rich in nutrients (supplements may help), to support adrenal gland health.
1. GO Healthy GO Adrenal Support (RRP$36.90, 60 VegeCaps; RRP$62.90, 120 VegeCaps)
2. Blackmores Women’s D-Stress (RRP $28.95, 60 tablets)
3. Gaia Herbs Stress Response(RRP $28.50, 30 caps)
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