Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

It’s not uncommon for stress and anxiety to be familiar symptoms.
Unfortunately, it’s become very normalised, to be running on cortisol & adrenalin, secreted by our adrenal glands in response to our daily stressors of work, life, kids, chores and everything in between.

For many people, living in a state of fight or flight can become debilitating: with symptoms of not only stress & anxiety, but also sleep disturbance, low libido, headaches, elevated blood pressure, and the general feeling of “wired but tired”. Often, we can’t remove stressors such as our job, financial burdens, or even the housework, but we can improve how our body responds to stress, specifically, by improving our nervous system and adrenal gland function.

The nervous system consist of two key areas:
the sympathetic nervous system / SNS (our fight, flight or freeze pathways) and our parasympathetic nervous system / PNS (our rest and digest pathway).
The daily demands of life, accompanied by often poor diets, environmental toxins, lack of exercise and being out of touch with nature can lead to a poorly regulated
nervous system. We then see the dominance of our sympathetic nervous system in play.

Adrenal Fatigue

Some signs that you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue:
  1. Unexplained weight loss or gain
  2. Consistent fatigue
  3. Brain fog and forgetfulness
  4. Salt & sugar cravings
  5. Body aches
  6. Lightheadedness
  7. Low blood pressure
  8. Dehydration
  9. Hairloss
  10. Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
How to support adrenal fatigue:

When looking to improve our body’s ability to deal with stress, here are some tips to support adrenal gland function and tonify the nervous system.

Nutrients such as B vitamins are crucial for maintaining a healthy nervous system. They are a cofactor needed for the synthesis and regulation of our neurotransmitters such as GABA which helps to provide a sense of calm.

Magnesium is needed for a variety of reactions in the body, including adrenal gland function. Be sure to choose a bioavailable form of magnesium such as magnesium citrate, orotate or glycinate. Aim to take 300-350mg per day, & consume before bed, to help
improve your sleep cycle.

Vitamin C is needed during periods of stress or anxiety, during which it is rapidly utilised by the adrenal glands. Aim to consume 1000mg of vitamin C per day to maintain healthy nervous system function.

Utilise herbal medicine that calms and supports.
A variety of plants have been studied to show their beneficial effects in supporting the nervous system, improving the adrenal gland secretion of cortisol, and even modulating neurotransmitters associated with keeping us calm.

Our top picks are:

  • Withania, otherwise known as Ashwagandha in Ayurvedic medicine, a popular herb prescribed for the nervous system & stress. As an adaptogen, it helps the body adapt to stress more appropriately by helping to regulate the amount of cortisol produced and secreted.
  • Passionflower is an anxiolytic herb for reducing anxiety and stress. It can help to modulate the GABA system – one of our main inhibitory neurotransmitters which provides a calming effect.
  • Lemon balm is a nervine tonic, cognitive enhancer (nootropic) and anxiolytic, which helps to improve nervous system function and integrity. The nervous system is one of the pathways which are activated during stress, so when we support it, we can improve our body’s ability to cope with stressors.
  • Daily movement & exercise, done in moderation has been shown to positively affect cortisol regulation & our emotions. Incorporate activities such as walking, yoga, pilates and weight training to help promote overall wellbeing.
  • Earthing, yep, I said it! Go walk barefoot on the beach or in your local botanical gardens. Grounding the body by connecting to nature can help improve our mood, energy & heart rate – stimulating the PNS. Along with this, specific breathwork techniques can help bring our bodies back into PNS. Try alternate nostril breathing to reduce symptoms of a hyperactive nervous system, which may help to rebalance your body and mind.

Applying simple & practical techniques to our lifestyle can improve our stress response, lift energy levels, & add to our overall sense of wellbeing. Feel free to talk to your naturopath for personalised options to support your adrenal glands & nervous system.

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