Have to sleep regularly?
Have trouble sensing ultraviolet electromagnetic radiation?
Are you someone other than Chuck Norris?
You may be experiencing adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. The term often shows up in popular health books and on alternative medicine websites, but it isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis. The public education arm of the Endocrine Society, representing 14,000 endocrinologists, recently issued the following advisory: “Adrenal fatigue” is not a real medical condition. There are no scientific facts to support the theory that long-term mental, emotional, or physical stress drains the adrenal glands.
Located near the top of each kidney, the adrenal glands are comprised of 2 parts: the adrenal medulla, which secretes the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine; and the adrenal cortex, which secretes aldosterone, cortisol, corticosterone and the androgens (sex hormones). Cortisol helps mobilize your energy levels and prepare the body for physical and emotional stress. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are responsible for the body’s biological response to danger known as the fight-or-flight response, which is characterized by heart pounding, increasing pain threshold, pupils widening, breath quickening and increased alertness. The medical term adrenal insufficiency, or Addison’s disease, refers to inadequate production of one or more of these hormones as a result of an underlying disease. Proponents of the adrenal fatigue diagnosis claim this is a mild form of adrenal insufficiency caused by chronic stress. The unproven theory is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good.
Though people often blame their hormonal glands, such as the adrenals or thyroid, for their tiredness, most studies show fatigue is most commonly due to stress. This can be lifestyle stressors including but not limited to: lack of sleep, poor food choices, use of stimulants, perfectionism, staying in no-win situations for too long, over training, lack of fun or stress-relieving practices etc.. The problem of stress might not be such an issue if we weren’t compounding many stressors over the course of days, weeks, months and years without much downtime for our systems.
What can you do about it?
- Avoid draining people or situations
- Do not over-train
- Do restorative exercises
- Keep a gratitude list
- Remember: Events + Perception = Outcome
- A well-balanced diet that focuses on quality proteins and fats, add starch pre and/or post workout as-needed for energy and recovery
- Add mineral sea salt to food / water
- Balanced meals
- Eat a small meal or snack every three to four hours
- Eat within the first hour upon awakening
- Eat before becoming hungry
While adrenal fatigue may not exist, this doesn’t mean the symptoms people experience aren’t real. There’s no question that it would be frustrating to be experiencing fatigue symptoms and then be told by a health professional that there is nothing medically wrong. But that is arguably better than the distraction of treating a fictitious condition. The “secret” to health has always been and will always be very simple. Eat right, exercise, sleep and Hakuna Matata. It means no worries……
OH AND DRINK STRONG COFFEE.