Stressed? Tired? Craving sugar? Can’t sleep?
All of these can be related to the constant stress we feel in our lives. We know that stress can have a huge impact on our health and wellness. And, since your adrenal glands produce stress hormones, adrenal fatigue (or “HPA Axis Dysregulation,”) is a popular theme lately.
I’m doing an awesome workshop called STRESS-BUSTERS, where I role-play the HPA dysfunction with the participants. It creates big a-ha moments. So make sure to sign up for my workshop.
Your adrenal glands look like walnuts that live on top of both of your kidneys. These important glands produce many hormones, including stress hormones.
But what happens when they become “overworked”?
You’ve heard of “adrenaline junkies,” right?
Adrenaline and cortisol are the stress hormones that give you the commonly known adrenaline rush; when you’re totally alert and living in the moment. This feeling is known as your body’s “fight or flight” response.
Some people (perhaps you?) just love that intense feeling.
The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is your body’s normal reaction to stress. Stress can sometimes be positive, like when it helps you swerve and prevent a crash.
After a short time, the flight or flight response dissipates, your body goes back to normal and all is good.
But what would happen if you felt constant stress? Like all day, every day? Like “chronic” stress? Your stress gets triggered all the time and the response in your body does not get turned off.
It wouldn’t feel like an awesome (once-in-a-while) “rush” anymore, would it?
And what do you think happens to your poor adrenal glands when they’re constantly working?
They’d get fatigued, right?
Do I have adrenal fatigue?
When your adrenal glands start getting tired of secreting stress hormones day in and out, you can start getting other symptoms.
Symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, weight loss or gain, joint pain, sugar cravings, even frequent infections like colds and the flu are signs that your adrenals are overworked.
First off, I have to tell you that there aren’t medically accepted blood tests for adrenal fatigue. In fact, it’s not recognized by most medical professionals until the point when your adrenals are so fatigued they almost stop working. At that point, the official diagnoses of “Adrenal Insufficiency” or “Addison’s Disease” may apply.
However, if you do have symptoms, you should see your doctor to rule out other conditions. He or she may even be open to discussing adrenal fatigue, or at the very least, wellness strategies that can help to reduce your stress (and symptoms).
What to do if I have these symptoms?
There are many actions you can take to reduce your stress and improve your health and energy levels.
I have written several blogs on strategies to reduce stress. Make sure to check out my blog section.
Ideally, if you think stress is starting to burn you out, stress reduction is key. There are tons of ideas how you can reduce your stress. My favourites are meditation, walking in nature, light exercise, more sleep or taking a bath. Those are also often referred to as self-care activities.
How we perceive stress is another big topic, I am very passionate about. Check out my mindset blog post under the 3-in 5 Health Transformation Method. I will also be teaching tools on mindset shifts in my STRESS-BUSTERS workshop.
Of course, I also recommend reducing sugar and processed food intake and eating more fruits and vegetables. Better nutrition can only help your body. So go ahead and do it.
Your adrenal glands produce hormones in response to stress. After long-term daily stress, they may get tired.
Adrenal fatigue is a controversial disease that doesn’t have a true diagnostic test, nor specific telltale symptoms.
The most important thing you can do is to get tested to rule out other potential conditions. You can also try stress reduction techniques like meditation, walks in nature, light exercise, more sleep, or even a lovely bath.