What Is Adrenal Fatigue And What Are Your Treatment Options?
Adrenal fatigue treatment is not a complicated endeavor. There will be required changes, important changes, which must be acknowledged and followed. Reduction of stress will be the utmost important and best cure for Adrenal fatigue. Restful sleep is also important to insure proper recovery, because, as studies have shown, the adrenal glands are most active during late evening and very early morning hours. Caffeine intake should be abstained well before the evening hours, as caffeine will cause your sleep to be much less restful.
Though some commonalities are shared between Adrenal fatigue and Addison’s disease, the two should not be confused. Adrenal fatigue, causation being the Adrenal glands shutting down, is almost always brought about through stress. Addison’s disease, a condition caused by dysfunction of the autoimmune system, is far more a serious matter.
Adrenal Fatigue was first described in medical texts in the 1800’s. However, for most of a century, physicians argued the legitimacy of its existence. The lack of a scientifically valid testing procedure was the culprit. A dependable laboratory test has recently been developed, making proper diagnosis of this condition an afterthought. Adrenal fatigue is a recognized ailment today.
The adrenal glands, two small glands located atop the kidneys, have two compartments. The inner compartment, or medulla, affects the sympathetic nervous system producing two hormones, epinephrine and nor epinephrine. Playing a major role in as a coping mechanism for physical and emotional stress, they are primarily responsible for our responses of fight or flight. The outer compartment, the adrenal cortex, is responsible for producing over 50 different hormones of three major classes. Cortisol, the most important, is from the glucocorticoid. In addition, the adrenal cortex produces all sex hormones, with exception of DHEA, being a weak androgenic hormone produced in large doses in both males and females.
Cortisol is the most important anti-stress hormone the body produces. If the adrenal glands are working properly and producing the correct amount of cortisol, the body is able to handle stress appropriately. Cortisol labors to normalize the blood sugar and suppress the immune system, keeping white blood cells from attacking the healthy cells. It can be said then that cortisol is the primary regulator of the body’s defenses preventing the body’s defenses from over-reacting to perceived threats.
Many symptoms of adrenal fatigue exist with many of these symptoms overlapping many other maladies. Weight gain and/or the inability to lose said weight, especially mid-section weight; high frequency of flu; other respiratory diseases; experiencing frequent upper back or neck pain; reduced sex drive; a feeling of lightheadedness when rising from a prone position; obliviousness; lethargic in the late evening; increase symptoms of PMS in women; heavy periods in women; and mild depression may be recognized as a symptom as well. Given this laundry list of symptoms, none of which proves definite of adrenal fatigue, it is easy to see why a scientific test is needed for proper diagnosis. Nevertheless, what is involved in adrenal fatigue treatment?
The adrenal glands are in a constant mode of production when you experience stress. The first step to proper adrenal fatigue treatment is reduction or elimination stress or stressors from your life. It is impossible to eliminate all stress; however, effective coping of stress is of paramount importance. Relaxation, exercise and laughter are good stress relievers. Yoga, meditation, prayer, keeping of a journal and listening to music are a few other proven options.
Dietary change is another adrenal fatigue treatment method. Consumption of higher amounts of protein and healthy fats, olive oil, avocados and omega-3s, are recommended. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a very important consideration as well. A heart-healthy diet will involve limiting refined sugars, flour, caffeine and alcohol. Wheat and dairy may be suggested for removal as well. Instead of eating three large meals per day, begin eating 4-6 small meals instead. This helps the body balance the blood sugar level more easily, thus allowing the bodies systems to work in harmony with less fluctuation in chemical balances.