By Joanna Rushton, Energy Coaching Institute
In 1998 Adrenal Fatigue was labelled “The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” by Adrenal Expert Dr. James Williams. Today it is a condition that 96% of my clients present with and often unknowingly.
Our energy and vitality are our most important assets to living not just a healthy life but a happy one too. For the passionately driven career women whose definition of ‘success’ includes a sense of meaning, purpose and personal achievement derived from what they do, then learning how to master their personal energy and vitality is a key component to the “success formula”.
The signs and symptoms of fatigue are varied and can often appear unrelated. When left unaddressed, Adrenal Fatigue can lead to a host of debilitating disorders and diseases such as, leaky gut, irritable bowel syndrome, Fungal & parasite infections fibromyalgia, Addison’s disease to name but a few.
Learning to listen to your body and being able to read the signs and symptoms early on can help you avoid paying a very high price for your “success” later.
The adrenal glands produce the hormones adrenaline, cortisol and DHEA to protect the body against stress. Adrenal fatigue is diagnosed by measuring the level of the hormone cortisol in your body. While it is normal for cortisol levels to fluctuate throughout the day, people with adrenal fatigue are generally deficient in cortisol in the morning and have excessive levels at night. They will find it hard to get going in the mornings and get their second wind late evening when the body should be winding down. This often leads to working late, even into the early hours because they feel more energised and focused.
If you experience any of the following symptoms on a regular basis then it is likely your levels of mental, emotional or physical stress have exceeded the adrenal glands’ ability to produce cortisol in which case it is time to take stock and do a personal energy audit on your life:
- Crave sweets – (ice cream, chocolate, candy, alcohol)
- Feeling unrested on waking up
- Short term memory loss / forgetfulness
- Low libido
- Increased susceptibility to infection, cold, flu
- Moody / depressed / oversensitive
- Night sweats
- Weight gain or loss
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle or joint pain or inflammation
- Swollen or tender Lymph nodes
- Increased sensitivity to chemicals, perfumes and odours
Finding relief from and eliminating any of these symptoms doesn’t have to be painful, arduous or difficult, it simply requires you to work more consciously with the choices you make in relationship to the 6 foundations of health and ask yourself which area/s do I need to work with to get back on track. Dr. Pain only comes knocking if were not listening!
The 6 foundation of health are:
To get you started here are my top 4 Energy Booster Tips for helping to combat the effects of adrenal fatigue. They will help you improve your choices across all 6 foundations making it simple and easy for you to get back on track and in control of your health and happiness today.
Top 4 Energy Booster Tips
- Think before you drink: Drinking adequate amounts of quality water, up to half your body weight in ounces or simply use the following formula for litres – 0.033x body weight in kg = litres per day. Cut back on caffeine, soda, alcohol and soft drinks as they all elevate your cortisol levels and increase the load on your central nervous system. Try supplementing with herbal teas.
- Eat right to think right: Reduce your intake of processed and packaged foods. These foods are nutrient deficient and actually rob you of more energy then they give you. Eating a variety of fresh pasture fed meats and poultry, fresh wild fish and a range of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds will boost your energy and your mood, providing you with the essential brain food needed. Check out my “Good Food Mood” recipes below!
- Move right to feel light: We all know the physiological and psychological benefits of exercise. However, ‘exercise’ in most people’s minds means to exert themselves through movement, often at the cost of energy that they don’t have in reserve to give. If by working out and expending energy, you do not feel energised but instead feel further depleted of energy following the initial short-lived adrenal high, then this would be a good indication that a “work in” session is what you need. You can still exercise (move your body) in ways that actually cultivate and build the body’s Chi (energy) supplies by engaging in activities such as restorative yoga, Tai Chi, Qi gong, walking mediations. The point is to use exercise as a stress management tool to support the cultivation of your health and vitality; not diminish it.
- Rest to be at your best: Going to sleep by 10 pm and rising by 6 am or with the sun has a positive effect on every system of the body, especially the Hormonal System. Remember that your circadian rhythms are governed by the rising and setting of the sun and the moon. The hormones related to physical growth and repair of the body are secreted between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. The hormones related to mental and emotional rejuvenation are secreted between the hours of 2 am and 6 am. If we were able to control or manipulate these rhythms, then we wouldn’t suffer from the effects associated with sleep deprivation but we can’t – ask any mother or shift worker!
For a better night’s sleep, minimise your exposure to bright lights, especially fluorescent lights, for at least 2 hours before bed. Light stimulates cortisol production that needs to be significantly reduced in order for melatonin (the body’s sleep hormone) to be released. If you don’t have dimmer switches, use candles or lamps with low wattage light bulbs. Avoid stimulants like a workout, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and nicotine or action/thriller movies after 2 pm as they all stimulate an increase in cortisol levels.
Want to learn more about adrenal fatigue? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.