An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue
Stress is one of the most common complaints in the modern world. It causes a variety of symptoms and illnesses and can even lead to long-term damage or disease. Despite the danger of stress, most people dismiss it as an unavoidable consequence of living a busy, successful life. Unfortunately, this can lead to further problems such as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). This stress-related disorder is becoming more common these days because of high-stress levels and misunderstandings about the danger of stress for the adrenal glands. And this means that people who suffer from AFS aren’t getting the help they need to support and boost their adrenal health and overall wellbeing.
Stress and the Neuroendometabolic Stress Response
Stress is very damaging and toxic for your body, which is why it has a system that is in charge of how your body reacts to it. This system is called the neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response. When you’re under stress, this system activates and prepares your body to react. For instance, essential hormones are released that increase overall wakefulness and prepare the brain to respond to the threat that’s causing the stress. But today’s threats aren’t usually physical. They’re abstract and ongoing threats and stressors that often can’t be eliminated from your life. Unfortunately, your NEM stress response doesn’t know that.
The NEM stress response is meant to turn on and off as needed. However, if you’re under prolonged periods of stress it can cause this system to be overworked. This can cause damage to the system and to the organs that are a part of it. Your adrenal glands are often the first place where problems appear after periods of overwork because they’re so essential to the NEM stress response. They excrete the hormones that are essential both for daily functioning and for responding to stress. But when the demand for these hormones is high over a long period of time, it can lead to adrenal fatigue and a host of other problems.
What is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome?
If you experience adrenal fatigue because of a prolonged period of stress, your adrenal glands will have trouble keeping up with the body’s hormone demands. This can cause a variety of debilitating and elusive symptoms such as palpitations, digestive problems, low blood sugar, fatigue, brain fog, and insomnia. This is not to be confused with diseases such as Addison’s disease, which is caused by auto-immune dysfunction. AFS is caused by stress and presents quite differently to this disease.
Unfortunately, if you go to your doctor with these symptoms they will probably just tell you that you need to relax. In addition, any medical tests they perform will probably come up normal because the adrenal glands are typically structurally normal until the final stage of this disorder. If you have AFS, this confusion and lack of support can lead to a long period of increased stress as you struggle to maintain or regain your health and wellbeing. That’s why you need to seek out expert help if you think you might suffer from AFS.
Identifying Adrenal Fatigue Early
One of the problems with AFS is the fact that many of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are vague and can be dismissed as something else. In fact, you may think your symptoms are nothing more than an unavoidable part of having a busy, stressful life. Unfortunately, this could make you dismiss the idea that something’s really wrong until the symptoms become severe, which will make your recovery longer and harder than it needs to be. To avoid this situation, you need to be aware of 4 key symptoms that appear early in the cycle and should be taken as a sign of a problem that needs to be addressed.
These symptoms are:
· Fatigue that doesn’t lift after a rest period.
· Mental impairment such as brain fog, anxiety or depression.
· Low blood pressure coupled with salt cravings.
· Weight gain, particularly around the middle, despite attempts to diet.
A Guide to AFS Recovery
AFS recovery is based on a personalized program that is designed to improve every aspect of your life. This type of program will support your health and your healing in a way that most suits your lifestyle and your physical, mental and emotional condition and needs. Some important elements of your AFS recovery include the following:
· Reducing stressors wherever possible.
· Getting 8 hours of good quality sleep every night.
· Eliminating foods that contain caffeine.
· Exercising regularly and in a way that supports rather than harms your health.
· Try some adrenal fatigue vitamins under expert supervision.
· Making dietary changes.
Adrenal Fatigue Nutrition
One of the keys to healing your body is to evaluate and make dietary changes. Your diet is pivotal in providing your adrenals with the nutrition they need to function correctly and to heal any damage. This means changing to a diet that is based on fresh vegetables, with lean meats and fats as well as whole grains and fruits. You should not be eating processed foods or anything that’s high in sugar on this dietary regime. There are also supplements for adrenal fatigue that will support your recovery. Make sure you get expert advice before taking supplements as the wrong choices can further damage your health.
AFS can be a frustrating and debilitating disease that’s caused by ongoing stress and the resulting adrenal fatigue. Recovering from this disorder isn’t easy. It requires an individual approach that addresses your diet as well as any lifestyle choices and factors that could be contributing to your stress levels. But it can be done. If your adrenals are fatigued, you can find a recovery program that works for your condition and your life and breaks out of the destructive cycle of fatigue and confusion. This is the only way to regain your health and start enjoying your life once more.
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome can occur as a result of the damage caused by ongoing stress. Learn about AFS as well as some recovery strategies in this article.