Adrenal fatigue, depletion and how to recognise if you are close to burning out

Finding it hard to get out of bed then relying on caffeine to deliver your energy is a familiar routine for many people. The stresses of modern day living can really overload the body, late nights, early mornings and rushing around in-between can leave you feeling pretty exhausted. Stress can have a massive impact on your adrenal glands and how they function, when these hormone-secreting glands are under stress or overactive, your adrenals have the ability to damage cells and burn energy. This will cause your body to become fatigued which can lead to a range of health problems from high blood pressure, weight gain, anxiety, digestive issues to sleep problems.

Here’s some advice to help bring you back to optimum health and nip any stresses in the bud.

What are the signs?

Tiredness and general fatigue, anxiety, sleep issues and mood disorders from irritability, anger to depression. Stress depletes the body of vitamins, minerals and key nutrients. Digestive issues then lead to an increase in appetite, weight gain, particularly around the middle of the body. The immune system is challenged and susceptible to illnesses, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes.

What should you do immediately? How can you properly rest up and ensure you get back to full strength?

Events that trigger stress responses happen throughout the day, and only once we recognise our individual stressors, can learn how to handle them more efficiently. Everyone has different ways of dealing and handling stress - some are innately better than others. The right food choices can assist the body and reduce our reactions to stress. Choosing the correct foods and practicing restorative stretches can help bring back some much needed calm and control.

Sleep - rest and repair the mind and body.

Aim for some good quality sleep as this plays a huge role in our personal health. The amount of sleep you need will differ between individuals but aim for 7-8 hours per night. Cortisol (stress hormone) naturally falls at night. It is best to fall asleep before midnight for ensure the best quality sleep.

Magnesium spray post shower or magnesium salts in the bath is a good way to unwind. Make your bedroom a restful sanctuary with the therapeutic scent of Lavender oil, drink chamomile tea, reduce phone or laptop use before bed and keep your bedroom cool and dark.

Nutrition - fuel the mind and body

Aim to eat regularly and try not to skip meals as blood cortisol levels and blood sugar levels work closely together. If you haven’t got time to fit in a proper meal select smart snacks on the go (Loveraw bars, The Primal Pantry grain free bars, Superseeds Punch Foods, Early Bird Snack boxes). Fresh fruit, smoothie, hard boiled eggs, egg pots, a handful of nuts and seeds will work wonders to refuel your body.

Each meal should contain complex carbohydrates, quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice, a selection of vegetables, in particular leafy greens and protein. This delivers a steady release of glucose into the blood. Avoid stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol and replace with herbal teas, water, and nutrient dense juice.

Foods to reduce stresses in the body

Maca - root vegetable that helps your body adapt to stress.
Reishi & Cordyceps - Medicinal mushroom magic these are natural performance enhancers and fatigue fighters.
Beetroot - great for stamina and endurance
Spirulina - kickstart the day by adding to juices/smoothies.
Ginseng - overall energy. Add to juices and smoothies.

Louisa Drake
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