Is this you?
Do you have a difficult time getting up in the morning? Even if you get seven or more hours of sleep, are you still tired and still dependent on coffee? Do you get lightheaded or dizzy when you stand up too fast sometimes? Around 3pm do you start feeling really tired and start craving sweets, refined carbohydrates, soda and/or coffee? If one or more of these symptoms are relevant to you, it is possible that you are experiencing hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction or what is commonly referred to as adrenal stress or adrenal fatigue.
You are not alone… According to James Wilson, an astounding 80% of Americans will suffer from some level of adrenal dysfunction at some point in their lives! But even with this level of prevalence, it is the most misdiagnosed and undiagnosed health condition there is!
So What’s the Big Deal? So, I’m tired—So What…
With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in the body is profoundly affected: Changes occur in your metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, digestion, heart and cardiovascular system and sex drive. The end result can be respiratory infections, allergies, asthma, frequent colds, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoglycemia, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, addictions and more. Pretty scary stuff, if you ask me!
I lead my clients through a 5 step process to uncover the causes of their fatigue, to support their adrenals, to uncover and deal with the effect that HPA axis dysfunction may have had on the rest of their body and to support them in rebuilding and thriving. There is a lot you can do to strengthen and support your adrenals, whether you have adrenal problems now or want to prevent problems in the future.
Two of the most important steps you can take are to uncover any hidden food intolerances and to balance your blood sugar. My clients think I am a broken record when it comes to these… and I guess I am! To uncover food intolerances, you might do an elimination diet and cleanse, under the guidance and supervision of your health provider or you might have your health provider order specific food intolerance tests. Email me if you want more info on this.
This week, do this!
To start balancing your blood sugar you need to be eating three meals and two to three snacks a day that contain healthy protein and healthy fats—no excuses! I’m a fan of Intermittent Fasting but not when healing from HPA dysfunction. Your breakfast needs to be consumed within an hour of waking—even if it’s just something small. And no… coffee and donuts do not qualify as healthy protein and healthy fat!!!
Snacks are where most people get stuck… Stuff a bag full of nuts in your pockets before you leave each day so that you always have access to a healthy snack that is blood sugar balancing. Hard boil a dozen eggs at the beginning of the week and bring a couple with you each day for a quick and easy snack. Pick up some all natural, healthy jerky or make your own! Slice up some veggies and eat them with hummus. The list goes on and on. Of course, only use these example snacks if they are from ingredients that are safe for you—are not food intolerances.
Most importantly get to the root of your fatigue. Have your provider order a hormone panel to know what is happening with your adrenals or order an adrenal health saliva panel. Let me know if you have any questions about this.