(A Woman’s Guide To Reclaiming Wholeness After Sexual Abuse)
Blog and Podcast Show notes
By Simone N
For a more in depth discussion, check out the podcast episode for this blog, to listen.
What is adrenaline fatigue, and it’s relationship to stress?
Do you know if you are suffering from it? What are the signs and symptoms?
what can you do to recover from it, and help to manage stress?
We are continuing with our discussion on stress. today we will be focusing more in adrenaline fatigue.
Let’s define adrenaline fatigue and what it entails. Adrenaline fatigue is a syndrome in which the adrenals (that produce stress hormones) are exhausted, functioning inadequately. They do not produce enough hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
I briefly (very briefly) stated in my last episode that adrenaline fatigue occurs from stress; but was not mentioned is intense and prolonged stress. Your body begins to suffer, as a result going into overdrive to cope with high amount of stress it’s under.
Your adrenals are always working to pump out these necessary hormones whenever you are under stress; anxiety, worry, frustration, anger, and other forms, until it is too much, and they become overtaxed. This is your body’s very real way to communicate with you that you are too stressed, and need more self care. Make a change.
When these adrenal are overtaxed, it affects the other organs it works in conjunction with; the hypothalamus (which is charge of homeostasis, the balance of the body; the nervous system, metabolism, sleep, sex drive, blood pressure, and mood stability, etc), the pituitary gland (the master gland which produces hormones to communicate and control other organs to produce other hormones and how they function; including the adrenal gland, helps with metabolism, and reproduction). These organs and their function, are affected greatly, causing them to work below optimum level as well.
Let’s look at the symptoms of adrenaline fatigue:
- Disturbances in sleep. You may be unable to fall asleep at night due to high energy, and low energy in the morning. This is due to the abnormal levels and fluctuations of cortisol in the body
- As a result, high levels of fatigue happen during the day everyday. It takes a lot more effort to tackle simple tasks due to low energy, irritability, and anxiety
- Disturbances of the menstrual cycle.The hypothalamus, and pituitary gland function at lowered optimum level as a result of adrenaline fatigue. They all pay a role in the production, and distribution of sex hormones, of reproduction and all pertaining to
- Sensitivities/in tolerances to food you don’t normally have with; digestive issues, and as a result of not being able to digest foods due to this, low blood sugar occurs
- Craving salty, sugary foods. Depleted adrenals (decreased cortisol levels; which helps with digestion, metabolism) causes an imbalance of minerals; like sodium in the blood, The body desperately tries to replace it with these cravings.
- Lowered immune system.Caused by the lack of cortisol, to strengthen it, will cause this problem
Do you have any of these symptoms? You can also benefit from visiting your doctor to check. If you know, or suspect you do here are some points.
To recover from adrenal fatigue, ultimately is to lower our stress levels. That’s what has gotten into trouble in the first place. So with that said, this list can be applied to our overall self care in the combat with stress, and to boost our overall health.( Sometimes adrenal fatigue is caused by other factors; overload of toxins, other physical issues and ailments, so this would only pertain to if it is stress based):
- Get adequate sleep (8-10 hours). Also, and this is very important: sleep no later than 10 pm. This helps to regulate your hormone levels. Naturally, corisol levels begin to rise around 6 am, peaks at 8am, fluctuating throughout the day, then tapers off at night.With adrenaline fatigue, the levels are messed up, and causes disturbances in our sleep. What needs to be done is to very conciously and physically regulate it ourselves by our sleep patterns, and diet
- Eat small meals often (to regulate blood sugar levels). Have a bigger meal in the morning, shortly after awakening. This also helps to increase cortisol levels; producing more energy and longevity throughout the day. At night, don’t eat to close to bed time, as this can further irregulate blood sugar levels.
- Avoid foods you have an allergy/intolerance of, as it further creates problems with the digestive system (which is already not functioning at prime). When you do this, it aggravates and inflames the adrenals worsening the issue. In this case, among the other issues in the body, it further decreases the absorption of minerals and vitamins (that help the body heal). In short, don’t do that.
- Also, avoid foods that spike, and drop blood blood sugar level quickly like caffeine, and refined sugars (candies, baked goods, sweet drinks, etc.)
- Avoid other foods that further inflame the adrenals; processed foods, those with preservatives, chemicals, artificial dyes, hydrogenated oils.
- Eat foods rich in B vitamins (B5, B6, B12, etc); vitamin C, zinc, magnesium, selenium, omega fatty acids. These help to heal the adrenals. Lean meats (chicken,turkey, fish), whole grains, coniferous vegetables(broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, etc), good fats; coconut, olive, almond, salmon, nuts and seeds, avocado, seaweed. For better digestion, eat proteins, fats and carbohydrates with each meal.
- Adaptogen herbs in the form of supplements are good too. Ashagandha, licorice root, ginseng, and others are excellent for giving your body a boost, and simultaneously help to heal your adrenals. B vitamins taken in supplement form are effective as well.
- Minimize stress, whichever way you can; cut work hours, setting schedules and routines, cutting off toxic relationships, delegating tasks at home and work (asking for help!), deep breathing/meditation, having fun/enjoying something everyday, more alone time, spending more time with nurturing, loving, positive people can make all the difference.
- Positive affirmations and good self talk. Watch the words you use to describe your life, yourself and your body. Your body, literally takes you seriously when you say “I am so sick of…..I am so tired….”etc. Affirm good health, wellness, and all the blessings of life.
- Light exercise like walking, stretching, yoga. Avoid intensive workouts if your an adrenal sufferer, it can further damage and tax your adrenals, and ultimately your overall health. If you are just stressed, with no adrenal issues, go for it.
There is one thing i would to conclude this topic with.Sometimes all we really need to do in the midst of these problems, to start healing the issues we face, is just to have an awareness; of what we are doing, or did to create it, to identify specifically what is (to put a name to it). It can make all the world of difference for us. And, of course, we must do the work, put in the effort to make that change in our lives.
check out the next article: Dealing With: Upheavals, Triggers, and Delayed-Onset PTSD