Hay House Radio Episode Recap
- Episode Name: “Solutions to End Adrenal Fatigue”
- Live Broadcast: August 1st, 2017 at 3:00 pm Pacific Time
Episode Summary Re-cap
Do you experience fatigue? Trouble sleeping? Mood swings or a tired and wired feeling? Brain fog? Weight gain, cravings, and hormonal imbalance? You may have adrenal fatigue. Learn some innovative solutions.
Energy – We All Seem to Want and Need More Of It These Days
If you were to do an informal poll, asking your friends if they have all the energy they need, you might be surprised to find that the most common answer is “no.” Fatigue is one of those symptoms that people often don’t talk about. And yet, approximately 80% of people will suffer from some type of fatigue related to adrenal insufficiency in their lifetime.[i]
At the same time, there is a controversy over adrenal fatigue. While natural health practitioners focusing on wellness recognize adrenal fatigue as a condition, the allopathic medical community does not recognize it as a true diagnosis. According to the Mayo Clinic, “adrenal fatigue is considered by some as a mild form of adrenal insufficiency caused by chronic stress, but is not a recognized medical diagnosis.”
Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenals no longer produce the hormones you need for balanced energy and overall wellness. So how does adrenal fatigue happen and why is it so common?
Your adrenals are two walnut-shaped glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They are responsible for energy production, hormone balance, and your stress response. Here’s the thing to ask yourself: how are your stress levels? It’s very likely that anyone who feels short on energy is long on stress. In fact, stress is the main cause of adrenal fatigue, particularly, chronic stress.
Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
It seems to be a modern conundrum: we have so much to do and yet, so little time and energy with which to get it done. The fatality in this vicious cycle is our energy and down the road, our health.
By now, most of us know that stress is behind up to 90% of illness and disease. Each time we experience stress, an alarm reaction happens in the base of our brain called the hypothalamus. This signals the adrenals to come to our rescue. With a chronic stressful lifestyle, there are three hormones that become mainstays in the body: adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol.
Adrenaline is like slamming your foot on the gas pedal when driving up a big hill; it provides your body with the resources to get up and go. Norepinepherine has a similar response, making sure the body’s resources are focused on flight. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, is what happens once the engine power kicks into the car and you’re speeding up the hill. It allows you to keep going.
We know that driving up a steep hill with the pedal to the metal is not great for our car, but we’re often doing this to our bodies. Over time, chronic stress diverts the body’s attention from wellness, such as digestion, growth processes, immunity, reproduction, balanced moods, memory, and detoxification, because the priority becomes dealing with the stressful emergency. When the adrenals bail us out of stressful situations too often, they become depleted of the resources they need for our ongoing well-being.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Examples of adrenal fatigue symptoms are:
- Blood sugar swings, often with related low mood and energy
- Cravings (often for salty or sweet foods)
- Cold hands and feet
- Difficulty having energy for exercise or crashing after exercise
- Digestive problems (gas, bloating, nausea, food allergies or intolerances, etc.)
- Everyday tasks feel like too much effort, decreased productivity
- Fatigue (from mild fatigue or lack of energy to exhaustion)
- Feeling light-headed or blood pressure changes when getting up from sitting or lying down.
- Hair loss.
- Hormone imbalances or increased PMS symptoms or perimenopause symptoms
- Increased energy after 10 am or in the evening (getting a second wind late at night)
- Increased feelings of overwhelm or stress over even small things
- Low libido
- Mood issues (often depression and anxiety)
- Memory issues or brain fog
- Relying on caffeine or stimulants for energy – this can also include being addicted to adrenaline from stress, last-minute deadlines or drama to get through the day or complete task.
- Skin problems.
- Sleep problems (difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep, or tired but wired)
- Thyroid issues (thyroid health often goes in the same direction as adrenal health)
- Waking up unrefreshed or difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
- Weight gain or loss
As you can see, the symptoms are wide-ranging and it’s important to know that there may be other reasons for many of these, besides adrenal fatigue. If you feel like you have many of these symptoms, it’s best to work with your health practitioner to do some tests and rule out other potential root causes. The tests I recommend to my clients are the saliva hormone test, the DUTCH (dried urine testing) and the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). Your health practitioner can identify which test is best for you.
Stressful Lifestyles: The Addictive Adrenaline Rush
Once stress becomes chronic and your adrenals are fatigued, you may find that the rush of adrenaline helps you get through the day. Adrenaline can feel a bit like a rush of caffeine, giving you just the jolt you need to make things happen. These days, everything from the World Health Organization to the Human Genome Project is pointing to the fact that most conditions are less about our genetics and more about our lifestyle. As a health coach and nutritionist, I find that when a client comes to me with symptoms of adrenal fatigue, we can often find the root cause in their mindset and lifestyle habits. This is great news because it means we can begin to make lasting changes!
If health issues, like an injury, infection, chronic illness or autoimmune condition is contributing to or related to adrenal fatigue symptoms in your personal situation, your health practitioner can help you identify a plan for resolving your health and adrenal function. You may still find that these lifestyle contributors of interest as you assess your habits.
Practical Solutions for Resolving Adrenal Fatigue & Building Lasting Energy
For food and lifestyle tips to resolve adrenal fatigue,
download this article, chock full of steps you can take.
Supplements for Energy and Adrenal Health
These are some of the supplements I’ve had great success with in resolving adrenal fatigue with my clients. The goal with these supplements is to gently boost energy while supporting the adrenals and overall physical well-being.
B Complex Vitamins
B vitamins help with cellular metabolism, moods a, d energy. They also help with a process called methylation, which supports energy, digestion, sleep, hormone balance and detoxification. Look for a B complex with B5 (pantethine) and active forms of B12 (as methylcobolamin and adenosylcobolamin), folate (5-MTHF) and B6 (as P5P).
Whole Food Vitamin C
Avoid ascorbic acid, which is only part of the vitamin C molecule and can cause a paradoxical vitamin C deficiency and lead to thyroid hormone production failure. Thyroid and adrenal function often go hand in hand. Additionally, tyrosinase, a component of the whole food vitamin C molecule, is important for mineral balance and minerals are critical nutrients for adrenal health. Innate Response and Mega Food are good brands for whole food vitamin C.
Some people do very well with glandulars, like adrenal cortex, because they support the health of the adrenals. Make sure to choose a brand that uses glandulars from grass-fed animals, like Nutricology.
Adaptogens are herbs that help regulate the body’s response to stress while providing gentle energy. Examples are: ashwaganda, astragalus, holy basil, licorice root, rhodiola, schisandra and Siberian ginseng. I recommend my clients take tinctures in water or make teas with these herbs to sip during the day. You can also take a supplement that contains multiple adaptogens, like Innate Response Adrenal Response Complete Care.
Pyrroloquinoline quinone is an essential micronutrient that has antioxidant and anti-aging properties and works at the cellular level. PQQ helps produce energy at the mitochondrial level. Your mitochondria are the engines that run almost all energy production in your body.
Coenzyme Q10 is another micronutrient that works at the mitochondrial level. CoQ10 supports the mitochondria in doing their job and it’s different from PQQ in that PQQ helps the mitochondria reproduce, regenerate and repair. Both tend to be very helpful in resolving adrenal fatigue.
Ribose is a form of natural sugar that supports energy at the ATP level.
Acetyl-l-carnatine helps with moods and helps move fatty acids into the mitochondria for energy production.
Recipes for Adrenal Health
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