Lydia Houlahan

Modern life offers us many perks, but one of the downfalls is that our health is suffering. So often from burning the candle at both ends, being too busy and never slowing down.

Adrenal fatigue is the most common scenario that I see within my Naturopathic clinic. Adrenal fatigue is a common condition where the adrenal glands no longer function at their optimal level. It occurs after weeks, months or even years of overproduction of cortisol and adrenaline in response to stress.

Your adrenal glands are two walnut shaped glands that sit above each of the kidneys. Despite their small size they have a powerful effect upon our entire wellbeing. For many people stress hormones are being secreted all day, every day. This is due to over – activation of the nervous system and a dominance of “flight or fight” response. Our bodies enter a state of “flight or fight” whenever we find ourselves in a challenging
situation. Back in caveman time this mechanism of the body would occur when facing a life threatening situation. In the modern world “flight or flight” can occur with everyday stressors such as: running late,  getting the kids out the door to school, a stressful conversation or an excessively tight schedule. In modern life, it’s literally happening all day, every day for so many people.

When we exist in this state of “flight or fight” for too long, it’s easy to enter a state of adrenal fatigue, where our adrenal glands can no longer keep up with the required stress hormone production. It’s not normal to feel chronically exhausted, all the time. Sure, we all have busy periods in life where we get run down. When you are experiencing one health problem after the other, when you’re snappy, irritable and rundown all the time you can be fairly sure that your adrenal function and stress hormones are having something to do with it.

In our busy modern world, where stress and busy schedules take priority this condition is becoming more and more common. Many people are finding it harder to get out of bed in the morning, let alone getting themselves through the day. We are relying more and more on stimulants such as coffee, chocolate and alcohol to keep us going – but in the long run, this simply isn’t beneficial to our health.

So, how do we give back to our adrenal glands?

Every person has an individual health picture and every person needs their own health plan to suit their own individual requirements. However, here are a few tips to help get your adrenal health back on track:

  • Moderate caffeine and alcohol: Both caffeine and alcohol are stimulants for the nervous system and adrenals and neither of them are doing you any favours when you’re rundown and trying to get your stress hormones back into balance.
  • Eat loads of Veggies: Add in as many extra salads and veggies onto your daily meals as you can.
  • Eat regularly: restricted your food actually stresses the adrenal glands out even more. Ensure to include small amounts of healthy fats and proteins in each meal.
  • Sleep: Sleep is the most underrated practice for supporting your hormones. Make the effort to get to bed earlier than you normally would for 2wks and aim to get 7 – 8 hours (at least) each night. You’ll feel like a new person.
  • Herbs and supplements: With adrenal fatigue clients I always give a personalised treatment plan of various adrenal and nervous system restoring herbs and nutrients. This is something that you should receive individualised advice for.

There is no quick fix for calming down the nervous system and restoring balance and proper function to the adrenal glands. Remember you can be functioning in “flight or fight” for years, so it is going to take some time and hard work to get yourself back to health.

Take the first step today to begin rebalancing your adrenal glands and nervous system by making an appointment with our in store Naturopath.