How can you tell when your body is at an overload point? Sometimes if you take the time to listen to your body, you will become in tune with what is going on and realize potential warning signs that your body is in distress. I am going to talk about a very serious issue that causes an overload on your body. This serious issue is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is considered extreme fatigue caused in people who are under mental, emotional, or physical stress but it is not a proven medical condition.
You may not even know the importance of your adrenal glands or why they
cause havoc on your body. Your adrenal glands are responsible for many
functions we need to stay alive and healthy. They control things like
fluid and electrolyte balance, fat storage in your body, and the
conversion of fats, carbohydrates, and protein to blood glucose for
energy. Those are some very important components that your body utilizes
to function properly.
One of the hormones that can be
affected during adrenal fatigue is cortisol “the stress hormone”.
Cortisol influences, regulates, or modulates many changes that occur in
our bodies such as blood sugars levels, fat, protein, and carbohydrate
metabolism, immune responses (your immune system), anti-inflammatory
actions in our bodies, blood pressure, heart and blood vessel
contraction, and our central nervous system (CNS).
A quick breakdown of cortisol and what your body does with this hormone:
-Cortisol is produced by the adrenal gland
-It’s controlled by the hypothalamus
-It’s activated during times of stress (among other processes)
Cortisol does have its benefits, but elevated levels need to be
controlled. When cortisol remains elevated for longer durations (i.e.
lengthy workouts) it leads to muscle wasting. Your body should NOT be at
peak levels all the time. Cortisol is released during times of stress
to protect the body.When you are constantly stressed both mentally and
physically, these levels stay elevated which directly affects your
adrenal glands. Also prolonged workouts drain your body of energy and
vital nutrients in which cortisol is released and inhibits the body’s
release of fats to protect them for future energy use. Cortisol then
attacks muscles for quick fuel which is why it needs to be regulated,
especially around your workouts.
But how do you know if your
affected by adrenal fatigue?? Here are some warning signs leading to
adrenal fatigue. Common symptoms are as follows, severe cravings for
salt or sugar, muscle weakness, high blood pressure or light headedness
when you stand up.
Check your blood pressure while sitting
down then again while standing if it is normal while sitting then high
when you stand this could be a big red flag! Or evenly low blood
pressure could be a sign, feeling wired but exhausted all the time, lack
of stamina, feeling overwhelmed with a very short fuse, anxiety
attacks, mental fog, fuzzy thinking, chronic racing thoughts and not
being able to focus on tasks.
Another sign is not being able
to fall asleep or stay asleep. Feelings like you can't turn your mind
or body off is a red flag that something is not working
efficiently.Causes of adrenal fatigue are usually excessive stress from
If you pay attention to the warning signs you
can actually heal our bodies naturally simply by finding ways to manage
our stress (not doing over an hour or 45 minutes of cardio a day) and
resting… TAKING DAYS OFF is key...
Try to stay away from
stimulants, caffeine and energy drinks AT LEAST 6 hours before bed. Just
because you are tired doesn't mean you need more stimulants it means
you need REST. Also clean up your diet.Try supplementing with a good
vitamin B for energy and a natural caffeine like a green tea. Make sure
you are eating enough protein for your body (1.5 grams per body pound).
Make dietary changes to eating only whole natural foods, stay away from
sugars, alcohols, white flower and processed foods as they are not
nutrient dense and have no nutritional value. Don’t treat your body
like a garbage disposal!!
Set a normal bedtime routine and get
to sleep around the same time each night. Take natural things to relax
you like chamomile herbal tea, anything with passion flower in it or
maybe another herbal tea, and melatonin.
Finding balance to
create a less stressful situation will only lead you into a place of
peace. Rid your life of negative things. That might be a habit or people
but toxic elements only bring you down. Find positive. A positive mind
leads to a positive body. Remember that all of our bodies are different
and maybe you have tried things to help you feel better and it is not
Remember that it might not happen right away!! Your
body needs time to heal after all the stress it has been under. Find
time for YOU!!! Change your lifestyle, slow down, and listen to your
body. You only have one body to take care of so make sure you treat it
as such !!!