If you are feeling tired, overwhelmed, and have a million things on the go then chances are your adrenals need some TLC.
Your adrenals are small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Despite their small size they have a big impact on your energy levels, mojo, sex drive and even your immune system. Frequent colds and flu are often a clear warning that you are pushing yourself (and your adrenals) too hard.
The main role of your adrenal glands is to secrete a hormone cortisol.
In a healthy person cortisol production is peaks in the morning, around 6-8am enabling you to be alert and energetic from the moment you wake up! Cortisol production should then gradually fall over the day until it reaches its lowest point in the early evening to prepare you for a good night’s sleep.
Ongoing, prolonged stress including constant busyness can disrupt the normal production of cortisol resulting in low cortisol in the morning - making it difficult to get out of bed each morning and higher cortisol in the evening resulting in difficulties getting to sleep.
Adrenal burnout occurs when our ongoing busyness tires the adrenals out and they are no longer able to secrete cortisol appropriately. This stage of adrenal fatigue results in feelings of extreme lethargy and apathy.
The 9 common signs of adrenal fatigue
So, how do you know if your adrenal glands are tired?
Here is a list of the 9 most common signs of adrenal fatigue. If you are experiencing any of these then you are probably on the path to adrenal fatigue.
Waking up tired despite a good night’s sleep
If you have a love/hate relationship with your "snooze button" and find it hard to get up in the morning then chances are that low morning cortisol levels due to a degree of adrenal fatigue are the culprit. B vitamins especially B5, B6 and adrenal herbs can make the world of difference to how you get up each morning. i
Need coffee or energy drinks to get through the day
When your adrenal function is low you begin to turn to stimulants like coffee to kick-start the adrenals into making cortisol to give you more energy. Unfortunately this effect only lasts as long as the caffeine is in your system, and your energy will “crash” once the caffeine is gone. If you can't start your day without a coffee or you need 2+ coffees to get you through the day, the gods are trying to tell you something.....your adrenals need some loving!
Can’t get to sleep at night
If you find that you get a second wind when you get home from work or find it difficult to get to sleep because of your "busy" mind then chances are your cortisol levels are higher in the evening than they should be. Key herbs and some magnesium should sort you out!
Flat all day
You’ve woken up tired, you feel tired all day and by the time you get home you're too tired to even think about cooking dinner. If this sounds like you then this is one of the key signs that your adrenals are exhausted due to long term stress and busyness. Comprehensive adrenal support including a good quality B complex, Vitamin C, Magnesium, good doses of adrenal tonics and a super clean diet will help you regain your mojo for life again.
Craving salty foods
Have you noticed that you are craving salty foods when you are feeling tired? This can also be a sign that your adrenals are fatigued. As well as making the stress and energy hormones, the adrenals also make hormones that help the body regulate salt levels. Your body can take advantage of this relationship as a “hit” of salt can stimulate fatigued adrenals to make some cortisol even when they aren’t responding to the regular signals.
Frequent colds and flus
A prominent feature for the adrenally fatigued is frequent colds and flus. The stress response is often referred to as the flight or fight response. Immune function is one of the systems that takes a backseat when your stress response is heightened making you much more prone to picking up infections.
Lowered libido, impotence
Do you feel like you have lost your mojo? The lower energy levels associated with adrenal fatigue are enough on their own to reduce libido but changes in sexual function run deeper than just being tired. The hormone cortisol is made from the same building blocks as the sex hormones (oestrogen and testosterone) and as your stressed body has been concentrating on using all the building blocks it can to make cortisol there is little left over for anything else. The key to getting your sex drive back is to nourish the adrenals.
Irregular menstrual cycle/Lowered fertility
If you have been stressed, tired and your cycle has become irregular then adrenal fatigue may be the culprit. The production of oestrogen and progesterone, two hormones that are vital in keeping your menstrual cycle regular, can be reduced when you are adrenally fatigued. Hormone production takes second place to cortisol production.
Do you have a problem with your thyroid? They thyroid and adrenals have a very intimate relationship. The thyroid hates stress and gets negatively affected when the adrenals are struggling to cope with all that you continue to do. One way to help a thyroid problem is to nourish those good old adrenal glands.
The good news is that there is a great test to assess adrenal function and what state of adrenal fatigue you are in.
If you are tired or think you may have adrenal fatigue and want some answers then book an appointment online or give us a call on 9247 4633.