Adrenal health….Still tired when you wake up?
Many people suffer from fatigue that is not relieved by rest and sleep. This is just one of the symptoms poor adrenal health.
The adrenal glands sit above each kidney.
More symptoms of poor adrenal health
- Low stamina
- Joint aches & pains
- Low blood sugar
- Poor digestion
- Tendency towards constipation
- Lowered resistance to infection
- Inability to lose weight
- Inability to handle stress
- Decreased tolerance to cold
- Exhaustion/poor energy all day
- Cravings for salt or sugar
- Inability to fall asleep /racing mind
- Lose interest in friends, family or work. Relationships can sometimes suffer.
NB: You don’t have to suffer from ALL of these symptoms. Just some of them may apply to you.
What do the adrenal glands do?
These small organs (the size of a pea!) play a HUGE role in every cell of the body. Here’s just a few things they do:
One of the biggest roles they have is to secrete hormones that enable your body to deal with stress (whatever the source of stress; arguments, not enough sleep, injury or disease).
The hormones they secrete also suppress inflammatory reactions such as allergies/autoimmune conditions, control blood pressure, regulate blood sugar and the conversion of food into energy (metabolism) Source.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
Many factors can affect adrenal health:
- Any type of stress. If stress is ongoing, the adrenals will get overworked and fatigued and we will constantly be in a ‘fight or flight’ mode.
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Excessive exercise
- Poor digestion
- Poor diet
- Infections, toxins or heavy metals
How to assess your adrenal health
There are various tests (which I have had in the past), but by far, the one I recommend is the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA) as it gives you more information.
The sodium to magnesium ratio on the HTMA shows us how our adrenals are functioning and whether they are over or underactive. It also provides an overview of our digestion and how well we are using nutrients that are needed for adrenal health.
The HTMA also tells us a great deal about the nervous system, which is closely connected to the adrenal glands.
Treatment to support the adrenals
Treatment is different for each person. It depends what nutrients you are deficient in, whether your adrenals are under or overactive. Some people may need more magnesium, some may need more sodium.
It’s important you don’t guess your mineral status and adrenal health before treatment, as you may make issues worse if you take the wrong supplement or mineral. It is advisable to work with a practioner to help restore your adrenal health.
- Nutrient rich foods or supplements (e.g. containing vitamin A, healthy fats and minerals).
- Adaptogen herbs can help balance, restore and protect the body. They may help the body deal with stress and lower cortisol. Examples include ashwaganda, ginseng, licorice root and rhodiola (Source). NB: Again the type of adaptogen you require, depends on your own set of symptoms and nutritional needs.
- Glandulars are another option, some people do well on them, some don’t. They’re certainly not for everyone. There are different types of glandulars, but they are all derived from animals, most commonly cows (source).
- Plenty of sleep, rest and relaxation techniques (e.g. mediation) to heal the adrenals!
Adrenal issues are now also affecting our children. Mine included!