In the world we live in of non-stop stimulation and stress, it’s easy to create adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are walnut sized glands that sit on top of your kidneys.They are responsible for producing many hormones and helping you respond to stress and perceived threats by secreting the hormone cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
Deadlines, crazy schedules and never having enough time to do what needs to be done creates an outpouring of cortisol. Eventually, your cortisol levels become elevated which can lead to difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, anxiety, blood sugar irregularities, mood issues, high blood pressure, increased belly fat and more.
The more demand you put on your adrenal glands to keep up the harder it is for them to deliver. In the long run, the adrenal glands can’t keep up with the demand and you experience low cortisol levels. At this point, you may start to experience burn out, fatigue, loss of stamina, a negative point of view, and crying jags. Your immune system may start to falter, and your GI system will be challenged.
The stress response is innate and tied to our very survival. Back in the caveman days this was a great adaptation. As soon as you saw the saber tooth tiger cross your path, your body would start to pour out substances that would increase your blood pressure, blood sugar and respirations so you could flee from the danger. In modern times our stressors are not the same. But the brain has not adapted. It perceives any threat as major. Even if it is merely a looming deadline, a schedule conflict, or too much to do with too little time.
Because the adrenals are all about our survival they tend to get priority for resources to help in hormone production. As a result, the sex hormones and the thyroid gland suffer. Feeling good, when it comes to your hormones, is all about balance. When your adrenal glands start to go sideways so can everything else.
There is a lot you can do to heal your adrenals when it comes to nutrition and lifestyle which I have outlined in 10 Steps to Heal Your Adrenals. But one of the hardest lessons my clients need to learn is that their crazy busy lifestyle must change.
You could follow every nutrition tip and take handfuls of supplements every day but none of it will work if you don’t find a way to relax on a regular basis. We live in a society that that thinks it is normal for us to experience burn out and exhaustion on a regular basis. In today’s fast paced world many of us are overworked, under-rested and it never stops. If you want your hormones to be balanced, find ways to deeply relax regularly.
This requires some soul searching on your part to figure out what really nurtures you. Is it a walk in nature? A well-deserved nap on a regular basis? A quiet weekend away? Or simply 10 to 15 minutes devoted to yourself daily? Only you know what resonates best!