Could it be Adrenal Fatigue?

Do you wake up tired and need caffeine to get going? Do you have a tendency to gain weight and a hard time bouncing back from illness? You may be pushing your adrenals to the brink of exhaustion. Emotional stress, illness, surgeries, chemical pollutants, junk food, sugar, too much caffeine, poor nutrition, and lack of sleep all contribute to adrenal fatigue. There are some medical conditions that can also affect the adrenals. One of these is Addison’s disease which is sometimes referred to as primary adrenal insufficiency. These small but vital glands are about the size of a walnut and sit like a small cap on top of each kidney. They secrete hormones that affect several major physiological processes in the body. Adrenalin gives you that extra burst of energy when you suddenly need it. Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant hormones secreted by the adrenals help minimize the negative effects of alcohol, drugs, and other inflammatory factors. They help the conversion of fats and protein, and blood sugar regulation. After menopause, they are a source of estrogen. To strengthen and nourish your adrenals, identify and avoid stressful situations when possible. Get some fresh air and light exercise. Turn off the TV and computers and go to bed by 10:30 and sleep til 8:00 if possible. Stay away or limit sugar, caffeine, and processed foods. Try trading coffee or colas for herbal teas or water and sugary snacks for live fresh fruit. Add foods high in vitamin B (Brazil nuts, bananas, potatoes, avocadoes and beans). Include foods high in vitamin C such as berries, peaches, broccoli and tomatoes. Melatonin taken thirty minutes before bedtime can help establish normal sleep patterns. Remember, healthy sleep is beauty sleep. Vitamin C increases adrenal function. Supplement with a Vitamin C with bioflavonoid for superior absorption. Pantothenic acid (vitamin B 5) is needed for proper adrenal cortex function and is known as the “anti-stress vitamin”. Fatigue is a common symptom of pantothenic acid deficiency. Recommended daily requirement is 50-100 mg. and therapeutic doses of 250-500 are safe. It is best to take with a B complex to avoid a metabolic imbalance. “Adrenal Fatigue, The 21st Century Stress Syndrome” by James L. Wilson has an extensive questionnaire and guide to diet, lifestyle and supplements. He also has an informative website and blog, AdrenalFatigue.org.

Margie LaFleur is a licensed massage therapist who has been in practice since 1991. She is passionate about nutrition consciousness and healthy living and is committed to encouraging others to be aware of their bodies and to maintain good physical health.  Margie LaFleur is the owner of LaFleur Healing Arts.

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