Posted on Dec 04, 2018, 7 p.m.
Are you feeling like you have no energy and coffee makes it worse; having feelings of haze/brain fog; struggling to maintain weight; having trouble sleeping and are tired even with sleep? If you can answer yes all of these symptoms may be connected, and are a sign of an organ being overworked and strained by chronic stress.
These symptoms are all reversible, and can be relieved in as little as 60 days when this organ gets the support it needs, you will notice changes such as energy flooding back, focus improving, better sleep, and plaguing irritability disappearing.
The adrenals can become overworked and strained, this pair of little organs are important, their job is to flood the body with immediate fight or flight energy when needed, aka adrenaline. Pumping out adrenaline is a vital part of healthy living, although we don’t need this sudden burst of energy to say outrun a predator anymore but the adrenals are still getting shocked all the time as the modern world still hits you with varied levels of relentless stress.
You may or may not be feeling this stress, however biologically the adrenals are getting hit with it without you being aware. For example having an argument, or worrying about bills, thinking about politics, being upset about how you look, running late for an appointment, not getting that task done at work/home, or dwelling on something that upsets you all stresses the adrenals. To add to this the adrenals get stressed from poor diet, lack of sleep, too much/little exercise, mold, pollution, chemicals and electronics all assaulting them at a biological level each and every day.
All of this can have an effect on the adrenals similar to draining a battery, instead of pumping out the energy when needed they can’t function as well as they should and become sluggish; meaning energy levels keep dropping, with increased feelings of forgetfulness, irritation, burn out, and being scattered. Stressed adrenals can even upset the balance of the metabolism making it harder to lose/gain/maintain weight regardless of how hard you try.
Stressed adrenals can be very troublesome, but it all fits together, and that’s the good part. Being all tied together means once the core issue is resolved everything should return to normal. To accomplish this, just as a battery, you must reset the adrenals by giving them the biological version of a jump start. Science has been able to identify how to do the same thing and boost the adrenals to help eliminate brain fog, poor sleep, and fatigue.
Withania somnifera botanicals have been used for thousand of years in Ayurvedic medicines to restore strength, stamina, energy, and focus. In a 60 day double blind placebo controlled study 100 volunteers were measured in 3 ways: brainpower, hormone levels/blood testing, and individual interviews which was published in the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association. Participants benefited from improved sleep, headaches and feelings of irritability diminishing, energy improving by 79%, memory and concentration increased by 75%, levels of cortisol dropped by 24%, cholesterol levels decreased, levels of triglycerides lowered, inflammatory responses lowered by 36%, fasting blood sugar improved, and DHEA was 32% higher.
The key change was the 24% lower cortisol as it is behind all those symptoms being produced and released by the adrenals. Lower levels of cortisol means lower biological stress, which translates to the adrenals being able to recover and strengthen leading to more energy and mental clarity.
Proper vitamins are needed to build and sustain energy, provide relief from fatigue, scattered thoughts, and poor sleep. B Vitamins, especially B12 are vital to creating hormones to keep the mind focused and motivated. Harvard Health has found that B12 deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency with 60% of older people being affected. Oxford University has found that lower levels of B12 may mean the brain could be shrinking and recommends supplementation for older adults.
L-theanine a Japanese extract can relieve brain fog, which was demonstrated with EEG brain scans in a study from Nagoya University in which volunteers were put through stressful tasks and then given either placebo or the extract. Those who had the extract were 4 time less stressed after performing difficult tasks, and stress chemicals measured in saliva were lower than those who had been given placebo.
The combination of withania somnifera which may help to lower cortisol and directly support the adrenals; B vitamins B6, B5, B3, and B12 to provide the vitamins needed to feel more focused, motivated, and have a better libido; and L-theanine for a more focused and calm mind; all will support the adrenals and help to relieve fatigue at the possible root cause.
Cutting out sugar, refined carbs, alcohol, and other inflammatory foods and replacing them with good fats, antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables, and grass fed or wild caught meat can also go along way to help. Intermittent fasting is a stressor that promotes release of cortisol and is probably best to refrain from while the adrenals are recovering.
Cortisol is all over the place with adrenal fatigue which is why often there is trouble falling to sleep and staying asleep, which in turn causes more stress in a vicious cycle, but sleep is very important especially with adrenal fatigue; the trick is to get into a deep sleep and stay there as long as possible and meditation may help to deal with some of the stress to help you sleep.
As with any route what works for one may not work for another, and it is always best to consult a medical professional to make sure it is best for you, especially if you are taking medications, are pregnant, or have existing conditions. Adrenal fatigue can’t always be diagnosed by blood tests, and it is thought to be related to chronic stress. If you are experiencing fatigue, feeling tired, having trouble sleeping, anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, body aches, unexplained weight loss/gain, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, loss of body hair, and skin discoloration you may be experiencing adrenal insufficiency.
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