Are the following symptoms familiar to you?
• Tendency to gain weight and unable to loose it, especially around the waist.
• High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory disease.
• Tendency to tremble when under pressure.
• Reduced sex drive.
• Lightheaded when rising from a laying down position.
• Unable to remember things.
• Lack of energy in the mornings and also in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
• Often feel tired between 9 - 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
• Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.
• Crave for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.
• Increase symptoms of PMS for women; period are heavy and then stop, or almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
• Pain in the upper back or neck with no apparent reason.
If many of these symptoms are familiar to you, you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue has a broad spectrum yet somewhat non-specific set of symptoms, which makes it easy for doctors to miss.
The adrenal glands are two small glands, located at the top of the kidneys. Their main function is to help the body cope with stress and help it survive.
Each adrenal gland has two compartments. The inner or medulla, modulate the sympathetic nervous system through secretion and regulation of two hormones called epinephrine and nor epinephrine that are responsible for the fight or flight response. The outer adrenal cortex comprises 80 percent of the adrenal gland and is responsible for producing over 50 different types of hormones. One of which is called cortisol. When our cortisol is lowered, our body is unable to deal with stress.
When a person experiences chronic stress, the cortisol level may rise to such a high level that its production reduces as the adrenal becomes exhausted. When this happens, DHEA, a hormone normally produced in the adrenal glands, starts to decrease.
Our adrenals after time cannot keep up with the increased demand for cortisol production. In response, cortisol output is therefore reduced.
Eventually our adrenals become totally exhausted.
But don’t despair. The good news is that adrenal fatigue can be reversed. It takes between six months to two years for the recover process to take place. To start, try these steps:
1. Remove life stressors. Look at what is causing stress in your life and find ways to work with them if not remove them.
2. Sleep. Get plenty of sleep. Try going to bed by at least 10 p.m. before the adrenal glands kick in its ‘second wind’ keeping us up between 11 p.m. and 1 p.m. This is also the time our adrenals work the hardest.
3. Avoid caffeine if possible. Try herbal teas or decaf coffee. Caffeine can interrupt your sleep patterns.
4. Exercise. Exercise reduces depression, increases blood flow and normalizes levels of cortisol, insulin, blood glucose, and helps with your thyroid
5. Nutritional Supplements. Supplements such as DHEA at 15 to 30 mg helps. Vitamin C, 500 mg to 3,000 mg; Vitamin B5, 900 to 1,500 mg; Vitamin E, 400 to 800 I.U; Beta-Carotene, 10,000 to 25,000 I.U.
6. Diet. Combine unrefined carbohydrates (whole grains) with protein and oils (nuts and seeds) at most meals—olive, walnut, fiber, flax and high-quality fish oil. Eat regular meals, chew food well, and eat by 10 AM and again for lunch. Avoid any hydrogenated fats, caffeine, chocolate, white carbohydrates, and junk foods. Diets should have a heavy emphasis on vegetables.
R. Fredriksen is the Vice President of Nutrition Dome, a leading provider of pioneer nutritional formulas. For more information, please visitwww.nutritiondome.com
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