Adrenal fatigue is when your body’s adrenal glands are struggling to cope with the stress you’re facing along with a overly hectic schedule. In today’s world, it is becoming increasingly common to suffer from too much stress and overwork ourselves, which means that many of us are at risk for adrenal fatigue. Since the adrenal glands are overworked, it leads to lower levels of various hormones and neurotransmitters that are important for healthy body functioning. Adrenal fatigue is a precursor to adrenal insufficiency, which is a much more serious condition and more difficult to treat. Look out for adrenal fatigue because they act like warning signs, and remind you to do something before your body is significantly affected.
1. You Can’t Sleep
Sleep is vital for optimal body functioning because your body resets and re-energizes itself at this time. We should ideally be getting 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted and restful sleep every night, but our lifestyles hinder this. Most of us spend too much time on our phones or laptops, trying to finish up extra work or get in some more internet time before we switch off. Not only does this lead to less sleep, but it also affects how our body sleeps as our melatonin production is interrupted. Try getting more sleep at night by switching all gadgets off by 10:30 and indulging in some relaxing activities like mediation or reading before you sleep.
2. Hormonal Problems
If you’ve been suffering from adrenal fatigue for a while, your glands stop producing hormones the way they used to. This may end up affecting the thyroid, which leads to symptoms of hyperthyroidism. This causes weight gain, hair loss, poor circulation, fatigue, and a disrupted menstrual cycle. In order to bring balance to your hormone cycle, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, increased water intake and eliminating caffeine can help to reduce the symptoms.
3. You Feel Overwhelmed
You might start feeling overwhelmed about your responsibilities and time constraints, especially if you’re trying to move up the corporate ladder or want to get that promotion. This may also lead to extreme anxiety or depression about your work life, or the lack of a personal life. It’s easy to think that you can handle everything, but self-care is extremely important, and you need to make more time to relax your mind and body. Find time to indulge in a hobby or activity that you like, or take some time to visit a spa or salon to relax better.
4. Digestion Problems
When your adrenal glands are overworking, they down-regulate the digestive processes which causes your body to absorb less nutrition from anything you eat. This may cause bloating, weight gain, indigestion, constipation and diarrhea. Moreover, since your body is not absorbing nutritional content of the food, it can lead to salt cravings as your body needs sodium and other minerals. This decrease of sodium in the body could further lead to low blood pressure, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, and dizziness while standing. Try drinking lemon water every morning to help flush out your system, savor your food and be mindful of what you eat and try taking extra minerals or probiotics to get the right nutrition.
If you exercise often, you might know that a workout makes you feel energized and happy but you might start to only feel exhaustion when you have adrenal fatigue. Physical stress is a stressor for the adrenal glands, and too much exercise might actually be bad for you. If you feel like you’re not reaching your workout goals despite exercising constantly, this could be the reason. Try gentler forms of exercise, like walking, yoga or Pilates to take the stressor away for some time, and concentrate on proper nutrition for weight loss.
6. Stiff And Sore Body
Your body is always tense when you’re stressed, and if you’re not getting enough sleep, your body becomes really stiff and sore all the time. You might feel this tension in your back, neck, shoulders, legs and arms. Stretching and yoga can help immensely to get rid of these kinks, as well as meditation and guided mindfulness. A good sleep cycle is also really important to help your body relax and rejuvenate.
7. Complete Dependency On Caffeine
Finally, if you’ve become dependent on caffeine to give you a jolt of energy in the morning, and you’re constantly drinking it through the day to make you less sleepy, it might be time to rethink and redo your lifestyle. Caffeine can help your brain to focus, but it also further weakens your adrenal glands. This is because caffeine keeps your body in stress more and creates even more cortisol and epinephrine that make things worse. Try substituting caffeinated drinks for more natural, herbal drinks like chamomile, dandelion root and mint teas.