Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Adrenal Fatigue

You don't really wake up until 10am, even if you've been awake since 7.  You're tired all the time, even right after waking up.  You get a burst of energy in the evening or even late at night.  You crave sweets and salty foods.  You feel depressed, run down, and have no energy throughout the day.  You exercise and instead of feeling energized you just get more tired and sore.  You're lightheaded; you're muscles are weak; and you can't seem to concentrate on anything.  You sigh more often and your allergies are getting out of control.  You eat right and work out but the pounds aren't dropping.  Does that sound like you?

It sure sounds like me... 'to a t'!  I've been struggling with this for a while and couldn't figure it out.  I thought maybe I just needed more sleep, but no matter how many hours I spend in bed I never get more than 4 hours straight at a time.  Then I thought maybe if I work out I'll sleep better.  I expected to feel a high and be energized from my workouts, but they just leave me even more exhausted and sore for days.  I didn't know what I was doing wrong.  I was at such a loss that I asked my doctor on Monday to run a blood test on my thyroid.  It turned out normal.  I was relived to know I wouldn't have to take medication for the rest of my life, but I was pretty bummed that I still had no idea why I couldn't sleep or seem to "catch up" with life.  Then I read an article today talking about adrenal fatigue.   It listed the symptoms above and I checked yes to every single one of them.

We all know that we need to eat right, exercise daily, and take time to relax, but I'd been putting it off for the most part.  It's been two years since I've gotten more than 4 hours of sleep at any given time and over the last week I have been unable to read a paragraph out loud without slurring at least 5 words; it is time I stop putting off my health.  So what can you do to heal your adrenal glands?  It's pretty simple really, but it takes consistency and time.
  • Minimize stress to give your adrenal glands a rest from the "fight or flight" response
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Eat lean proteins and healthy fats
  • Keep to whole grain, complex carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar even
  • Eat 4-6 small meals throughout the day to stabilize your blood sugar levels
  • Add sea salt to your daily diet
  • Take a good B6 multivitamin
  • Laugh and have fun every day
  • Avoid stimulants like the caffeine in coffee, chocolate, sodas, and some weight loss supplements
I'll be following these guidelines for the next few weeks and letting you know how I feel.  I hope to get on a better sleep schedule and find some relaxing time for myself.  Little Bit is going through some major growing pains and it's wreaking havoc on my emotional and physical well being.  Just a couple nights ago I had to go shut myself in the closet for a cry when he was throwing a fit.  DH took care of everything and came to check on me after a few minutes.  It has been a tough couple of weeks in our household and we all need some fun for a change. That leads me to some great news... but you'll have to wait to hear about it in another post.
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