This little-known problem can zap your energy and kill your focus day by day. I was delighted to come across this very important issue and brilliant question from a member of Dr. Oz’s Sharecare site. The question is:
How do I know if I have adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue can be the very cause of your exhaustion and poor mental focus. Read on for my answer.
Every single day we are victims of stress – the buzzing of our phones, the demands at work, being pulled in all directions, etc. All this stress isn’t easy on the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that are on top of the kidneys. Their main responsibility is to regulate the stress response through the synthesis of corticosteroids like cortisol and catecholamines like adrenaline.
When the adrenals are tired, the body may experience a number of different symptoms. Here are the most common symptoms caused by tired or worn-out adrenal glands:
- Excessive sweating or perspiration from little activity
- Lower back pain and/or knee weakness or pain, especially on the side
- Dark circles under the eyes
- Muscle twitches
- Low blood sugar
- Heart palpitations
- Sensitivity to light, or difficulty seeing at night
- A craving for salt
- Low stamina for stress, and easily irritated
- Excessive mood responses after eating carbohydrates such as pasta, breads and sugar
- Chronic infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast)
- Low blood pressure
- Light-headedness on standing up
- Tired but wired feeling, poor sleep
- Cravings for sweets and carbs, intolerance to alcohol
- Premature aging
- Dry, unhealthy skin with excess pigmentation
- Lack of libido
- Cystic breasts
- Tendency to startle easily
- Negative response to thyroid hormone
If you are checking off the symptoms listed above you are likely to have tired adrenals. Your course of action is to address it right away. Not only are adrenal glands extremely important to a healthy immune system but they are necessary for proper thyroid function.
This is what you need to do:
- Make sleep a priority. You must rest if you are going to help your adrenals get stronger. Get your 7-9 hours of sleep each and every night. No skimping. Your adrenals need their beauty sleep!
- Eliminate sugar and processed carbs. Sugar and simple carbs (junk!) put stress on the adrenals. Adrenal glands help to regulate blood sugar levels.
- Eat clean and whole foods. (Think: a nice, green, juicy apple picked off of a real tree instead of that KIND bar that seems natural and good, but it’s not!)
- Quit the coffee habit and drink plenty of fresh filtered water every day.