Modern life comes with a lot of stress and worries, which can often leave us feeling drained. Usually some rest and relaxation are all that is needed to recharge, but if that doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, you might be suffering from a condition called “adrenal fatigue.”
Although the jury is still out in the medical community as to whether adrenal fatigue is a valid illness, there are plenty of alternative medicine practitioners who believe our adrenal glands become compromised when we are over stressed. Their treatment of the condition and resulting success in helping people regain their momentum certainly suggests that adrenal fatigue deserves a look.
Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Alternative medicine practitioners believe that adrenal fatigue causes insomnia, tiredness, cravings for sugar and salt, trouble waking up and having to depend on caffeine or other stimulants to be productive. Most of these symptoms are general, and are often times presented in other recognized medical conditions; this is likely one reason why the traditional medical community is so reticent to acknowledge that a patient might be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Your adrenal glands produce cortisol, however, and since this hormone is released to respond to stress, it certainly could be argued that if you are under duress regularly, your adrenals are working overtime. If the theory that they become fatigued by excessive cortisol production is true, this may very well be the cause of your excessive tiredness.
Diagnosis For Adrenal Fatigue
Alternative medicine practitioners will base their diagnosis on your symptoms after a consultation and extensive discussion about your lifestyle. Some of the things your practitioner will take into consideration are stress, exposure to pollutants, recurrent infections, illness or disease, and traumatic events such as major surgery or drug addiction. These things compromise your body, including your adrenal glands, and should be considered when determining the cause of your fatigue.
Healthy Tips For Your Adrenals
Whether you are a supporter of adrenal fatigue or tend to lean more toward a traditional approach to your healthcare and believe this is not an actual illness, fatigue is a disruptive problem to anyone’s life and must be addressed. Fortunately, the lifestyle improvements suggested by medical practitioners who believe adrenal fatigue to be a valid medical condition are good for you anyway, so no harm no foul!
First, do visit your medical doctor to ensure that there is not an underlying medical condition other than the possibility of adrenal fatigue causing your symptoms, and then take these healthy steps to decrease your feelings of fatigue and improve your overall wellbeing.
Do not overindulge in alcohol, caffeine, drugs or smoking. In fact, it would be best if abstain from all of these. Regardless of whether you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, excessive consumption of any or all of the four is linked to many serious health problems, so stopping is sure to have a positive effect on your overall fatigue levels and feelings of wellbeing.
If you are consuming an unhealthy diet, as well, it’s time to make some changes. Not only do sugary and fat-laden foods cause all sorts of medically related problems including heart disease and diabetes, they also spike your blood glucose levels, which in turn cause your adrenal glands to have step in and take action. If your adrenals are working too hard to produce hormones to regulate your blood glucose levels, another of their important functions, they could arguably become compromised.
Follow the revised USDA food pyramid, and eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Fats should be kept at a minimum and unhealthy ones should be replaced with healthier alternatives, such as olive and canola oils instead of butter and vegetable oil. Dairy and meat consumption should also be kept at a minimum, and stay away from that sugar! Remember your adrenals have to work to help you through a sugar rush!
Finally, exercise regularly to help your body deal with the stress from which you suffer. Regular exercise, especially aerobic exercise, releases endorphins and serotonin, which help you feel good and keep you calm, even when faced with stressful situations. If you still find yourself unable to deal with your stress, consult the help of a therapist. A qualified mental health professional can help you determine the source of your stress and give you coping strategies to minimize its impact on your life.
Whether you lean toward the traditional medical belief that adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist, or you listen to your alternative medication practitioner and feel it is a valid medical concern, taking care of yourself on all fronts is a sure-fire way to increase your energy levels, ensure a good night’s sleep, and help you feel better all the way around. It can’t hurt no matter what!