Adrenal fatigue – the heart rate of the entire gym

Adrenal fatigue is a huge buzz these days. The other day I was browsing the nutritional supplement section of our local health food store and the area designated for fatigue, anxiety and depression was SOLD! Why? This is because most people deal with the pressures of success with too many daily stressors, such as bills, relationships, unhealthy work environments, traffic, caffeine overuse, social media overuse. Our "to do" lists are too long. Half the time we think and react and just can't keep up with our racing attitude !!

What are Adrenal Glands?

The adrenal glands are two tiny glands located on the kidneys. When a person experiences stress, the part of the brain called the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH then causes the pituitary gland to release ACTH, which circulates and attaches to the adrenal glands. It is this ACTH that causes the release of various adrenal stress hormones, including cortisol and epinephrine. These hormones stimulate cells throughout the body to transfer their stored sugar into the bloodstream for use as energy during a crisis. Today, approximately 80% of adults suffer from adrenal fatigue due to chronic body-mind stress and chronic activation of the so-called flight or fight mechanism.

Ref James Wilson – 21st Century Stress Syndrome

Fight or flight

In the past, a stress reaction often triggered a tiger running in the jungle. Initially, sugar-saturated blood is directed to the musculoskeletal system to provide the muscles with enormous amounts of energy so that we can both run and fight, and the use of blood sugar is relatively local to the muscles used. When the source of stress stops, blood is distributed evenly throughout the body.

The difference today, however, is that when a person's stress response is activated (sitting in traffic or spending hours on a computer in the name of a project), high concentrations of sugar persist and cortisol stays in the blood for an extended period of time, reducing adrenal glands.

If we deal with too many stressors, we overpower our adrenal glands and damage the adrenal gland and the brain (HPA AXIS). This leads to burning and exhaustion.

Hans Selye, a Vienna-born psychologist, was known for his research on the effects of stress on the human body. His theory of GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome) deals with stress in three stages – disorder, endurance and fatigue. He explains that if your body stays in the second light sensitivity (stamina) for too long, it can cause fatigue or burn out.

Warning signs of adrenal fatigue

It is important to pay attention to the signs and symptoms your body expresses so that you do not fall into the danger zone of anxiety, burnout or adrenal fatigue. Some of the symptoms to look out for are irritability, frustration, poor concentration, headaches, sleep disturbances, heavy morning waking.

Eating a healthy diet, ie eating all organic food, emphasizing a lot of fruits and vegetables, and keeping away from processed shell foods is extremely important. In addition to eating healthy, priority should be given to exercising and making sure that you take time off during the day.

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