Signs Your Adrenals Are Burnt Out And What To Do About It
Depending on who you talk to, some people (and even doctors) may tell you that adrenal fatigue is a hoax and not a real condition people can struggle with. It’s not a commonly acknowledged condition and doesn’t have a course of medication to treat it.
The truth is though, your adrenals are working constantly and it is absolutely possible for them to become overworked, just as any part of your body can get worn out.
What Are Your Adrenals?
Your adrenals are two small glands that hangout right above your kidneys. They are primarily responsible for producing hormones, such as cortisol (stress hormone) and sex hormones.
There is a line of communication between your adrenals and brain and its this axis (known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal, or HPA) that helps take care of stress management, thyroid function, sleep, sex drive, metabolism, hormone release, etc. When overworked, it can become exhausted and start producing symptoms of adrenal fatigue or adrenal burnout.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
Because your adrenals are in charge of cortisol, chronic stress can be one of the biggest causes of adrenal fatigue. Stress is when your body shifts into a fight or flight mode to help you respond and cope with certain situations. While a little stress sometimes is okay and completely normal, when your body is constantly in this fight or flight mode, it can become overly taxed and worn out, taking a dramatic toll on your adrenals.
Other common causes of adrenal fatigue can be diet, for instance if you are frequently consuming processed foods, sugars, stimulants such as caffeine and other foods that lack in nutrients. Chronic pain and inflammation can also trigger it, as well as digestive issues, lack of sleep, autoimmune conditions, etc.
Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue can vary, which is why it can be a difficult condition to pinpoint. But if you are experiencing any number of these symptoms, it may be something worth looking into:
- Weight gain
- Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea
- Sugar and/or salt cravings
- The “3pm crash”
- Brain fog
- Increased susceptibility to illness
- Decreased ability to handle stress, feeling frazzled
- Insomnia or waking around 4am, unable to get to sleep
- PMS/hot flashes associated with menopause
- Inability to focus
- Low sex drive
What To Do About Adrenal Fatigue
While the symptoms of adrenal fatigue may vary from person to person, if you feel you may be struggling with adrenal fatigue, there are a few things you can start doing to help yourself heal:
- Stress management – since stress is one of the biggest causes of adrenal fatigue, it’s important to take a step back, breathe and figure out how to deal with your own stress. This can differ for everyone, but it may include taking some time every day to relax and do something like journal, meditate, drink some tea, read, etc.
- Clean up diet – if your diet it riddled with processed foods, sugars and other foods that aren’t doing you any favors, consider cutting down on those unhealthy foods and filling up with clean, organic choices, such as fruits, vegetables, etc.
- Hydration – drinking water is probably one of the most important things you can do. Hydration is what keeps your body functioning at its best. Be sure to be drinking at least half your body weight in ounces a day, more if you are highly active or athletic.
- Vitamins – get caught up on your vitamins, especially you B vitamins, which can profoundly help your adrenals. Vitamin D, selenium, magnesium and zinc are also important for you adrenals and overall health. Consume good nutrient sources and supplement where needed.
- Sleep – adults should be getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Prioritize sleep for your health and do whatever you need to do to get a good night’s sleep, whether that be developing a more effective nighttime routine, shutting off your electronics before bed or other new habits. Figure out what works best for you.
Start following these tips and see how they can help you then if you need additional help and guidance, consider visiting your doctor or holistic health practitioner. Adrenal fatigue is absolutely real and is also possible to heal from.
Are you familiar with adrenal fatigue? Is it something you’re struggling with or have struggled with in the past? What tips or suggestions do you have? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear and learn from you.
And remember, we’re in this together.
Sara Wylie resides in Utah where she is currently working as an Editorial Intern for Fitlife.tv while also pursuing a career in writing. She hopes that through her words and fiery passion, she will be able to not only inspire others to seek out and nourish their own passions, but to also help others feel what it’s like to truly be alive.
Latest posts by Sara Wylie (see all)
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS