In this article I am going to talk about the warning signs that your body has had enough. I will focus on adrenal fatigue and what it is, the warning signs of adrenal fatigue, and ways to heal your body naturally. Especially as competitors, serious athletes, and very extremely busy people we need to listen to our bodies, realize the warnings signs, and take care of ourselves.
Adrenal fatigue is basically extreme fatigue caused in people who are under mental, emotional, or physical stress but it is not a proven medical condition. Our adrenal glands make hormones for us to function properly. Your adrenal glands are responsible for many functions we need to stay alive and healthy. They control things like fluid and electrolyte balance, fat storage in our bodies, and the conversion of fats, carbohydrates, and protein to blood glucose for energy.
One of the hormones that can be affected during adrenal fatigue is cortisol “the stress hormone”. Cortisol influences, regulates, or modulates many changes that occur in our bodies such as blood sugars levels, fat, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism, immune responses (your immune system), anti-inflammatory actions in our bodies, blood pressure, heart and blood vessel contraction, and our central nervous system (CNS).
Going into some of the warning signs that your body has had enough and could be going into adrenal fatigue there are many signs. It is important that we listen to our bodies before it becomes extremely serious. I will go through a list of symptoms as follows, severe cravings for salt or sugar, muscle weakness, high blood pressure or light headedness when you stand up.
Check your blood pressure while sitting down then again while standing if it is normal while sitting then high when you stand this could be a big red flag! Or evenly low blood pressure could be a sign, feeling wired but exhausted all the time, lack of stamina, feeling overwhelmed with a very short fuse, anxiety attacks, mental fog, fuzzy thinking, chronic racing thoughts and not being able to focus on tasks.
Not being able to fall asleep well or falling asleep well but waking up nightly feeling exhausted – much like your body just will not stop – or sleeping soundly but always waking up completely exhausted and drained, feeling much like you have been hit by a bus daily.
If you are an athlete or very active person especially listen to the warning signs your body is trying to send. REMEMBER that a physician will not necessarily diagnose you with this condition unless it is an extreme case, so it is very important that we listen to our bodies and try to heal ourselves by maybe slowing down a bit which I will go into in the next paragraph.
If symptoms are more than you can handle then see a doctor right away. Have some tests run to see what they say then use your own judgment and go with your gut and what you feel your body is trying to say.
Causes of adrenal fatigue are usually excessive stress from our lifestyles. If you are a competitor it could come from extreme nutrition (low calories, low fats and carbs) causing nutrition deficiencies then causing us to get sick with infections, extreme cardio (over 1 hour a day), using crazy supplements, and over training never resting.
GOOD NEWS is that if we pay attention to the warning signs we can actually heal our bodies naturally simply by finding ways to manage our stress (not doing over an hour or 45 minutes of cardio a day) and resting… TAKING DAYS OFF!
Get as much rest as you can period! This goes for anyone. Try to stay away from a lot of caffeine or overuse of stimulants. Just because you feel exhausted doesn’t mean you need a heavy stimulant to keep you going. That will only make matters worse.
Try supplementing with a good vitamin B for energy and a natural caffeine like a green tea. Make sure you are eating enough protein for your body (1.5 grams per body pound). Make dietary changes to eating only whole natural foods, stay away from sugars, alcohols, white flower and processed foods as they are not nutrient dense and have no nutritional value.
Eat 5-6 servings of veggies with your meals each day and eat every 2-3 hours to keep your blood sugar stable because a drop in blood sugar causes stress on the body and you adrenal glands. Make sure you stay WELL HYDRATED (spring water is one of the best) and keep a good electrolyte balance (calcium, potassium, and sodium in your body) especially if you sweat a lot daily.
Replace your table salt with sea salt and salt your foods. It’s okay to use sodium (sea salt) as sea salt is very high in minerals and is good for the body in moderation of course. Supplement with 2000-5000 mg of vitamin C daily, B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and a high quality fish oil daily. I feel most things can be controlled and helped with proper nutrition before medication.
Other ways to naturally heal your body are things like finding down-time or time for yourself. Take a relaxing yoga class, relaxing baths, meditation practices or just a few minutes for a time-out each day. Mental stress will cause just as much damage as physical stress to our bodies, so time-outs are something you should take very seriously.
Detox your body by sitting in a sauna or infra-red sauna, don’t do any crazy fad cleanses just pay attention to what you put into your body. Don’t treat it like a garbage disposal.
Try to set a normal bedtime routine and get to sleep around the same time each night. Take natural things to relax you like chamomile herbal tea, anything with passion flower in it or maybe another herbal tea, melatonin and my favorite is called NIGHT REST! You can find it at the local vitamin store and it has everything you will need to relax your body naturally.
Also my favorite thing to do is really cut negativity out of your life. Things that affect you negatively will affect your health in that way also. A positive mind leads to a positive body. Remember that all of our bodies are different and maybe you have tried things to help you feel better and it is not working. Remember that it might not happen right away. It could take anywhere from six months to two years or who really knows depending on the severity of your condition.
The important thing is that you try to change your lifestyle and be persistent. Don’t give up on your body or let someone prescribe you a medication for an illness you may not have. I am not saying diagnose yourself by any means. Have the proper tests run to see if it could actually be a thyroid problem or something else more serious and if those things come back negative keep trying to heal naturally and see what happens!
I will end with this… IN MY OPINON and the way I have personally done things has been through a natural lifestyle change of rest, proper nutrition, and proper supplementation and it has worked for me. We go through so much in life and the bottom line is that we all need to make more time for ourselves and truly cherish our bodies because it is the only we have. Listen to your body and take care of yourself out there!