Have you been constantly feeling weak, tired and unable to focus? You can't go a day without caffeine and sugary or salty snacks? If you add insomnia and brain fog to the list it almost certainly must be adrenal fatigue, right?
Well, as with diagnosing any other condition - it's not that simple. First of all, we always recommend checking ANY symptoms you may have with your doctor, to eliminate other reasons. There are a lot of conditions such as depression, anxiety or hormonal imbalance, that can cause similar symptoms.
WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?
The adrenals are two small glands situated on top of your kidneys. They are responsible for producing several hormones, including cortisol. In stressful situations, we produce and release short bursts of cortisol into the bloodstream. The Adrenal Fatigue theory suggests that when we're exposed to stress for a long period of time our adrenal glands can become drained which would lead to a low cortisol state. That could then cause all the symptoms mentioned before.
Although the adrenal fatigue theory hasn't been scientifically proven and is not acknowledged by western medicine, it's got many supporters.
FINDING THE UNDERLYING ISSUE
Our bodies are complex machines! Each and every part of us work together to accomplish specific tasks and generally speaking, to make us healthy and happy. Everything is connected and so treating any symptom without identifying the underlying issue is like topping up the leaky bucket with water - pointless. Modern medicine is amazing, however, it focuses on treating the symptoms, not the causes. If you'd like to get to know your body a little better and learn how to take care of it on a daily basis try visiting a registered Ayurvedic Practitioner in your area. They will definitely help you see the bigger picture!
BURNOUT OR DISEASE?
Yep, this one is hard. How can we know whether what we're feeling is just our body being fed up with all the stress we're putting it through or something much more serious? The truth is, we can't really. At least not until we get a specialist opinion on the matter. Anyway, even when you're being told there's nothing wrong, you shouldn't just ignore what your body's trying to tell you. Something is not just right and it's up to you to figure out what. Even if it seems trivial now, one day turn into a serious disease. With all that extra time on our hands, now is the perfect time to reevaluate some things in our lives. For starters try answering those two not-so-simple questions:
1. Are my actions supporting or damaging my body and mind?
2. What is my purpose in this world? Are my actions helping me fulfil that purpose?
You may already know the answers to those questions or you may need some time to think about it. Don't worry! This is just a starting point to living a more conscious life.
ALL STRESSED OUT
Regardless if you are for or against the Adrenal Fatigue theory, you can't deny the toll stress can take on our bodies. Chronic stress is a cause of many life-threatening conditions including heart disease, depression and stroke. Stress is a normal part of a 21st-century life, however, if you find yourself constantly unable to function, that's a sign that something needs changing. We all know it's easier to pop a pill instead of trying to address the larger issue, but unfortunately, that's the reason why so many people are so dependent on anti-anxiety medication. The good news is - you are able to make choices, and if something is really harming you maybe it's time to let it go?
You can also incorporate some natural substances called adaptogens into your daily routine. They can help the body adapt to stress better. You can read more about them on our Home page. Stress can also be managed in many different ways, including sports, taking regular breaks and healthy eating. We'll talk about them in our future posts.
THE DOCTOR SAYS I'M FINE. NOW, WHAT?
If you've done your check-ups and everything seems ok, then that's great news! But it doesn't make you feel any better, right? There is a series of things you can try to start feeling good again, but remember consistency is the key, so don't give up if you can't see immediate changes!
Find out what's wrong. An Ayurvedic Practitioner will help you look at your health more holistically. They will help you identify your body-mind type and find the imbalances which can make you feel this way. They will work with you to establish a new eating plan and a treatment plan if needed. You may also discover something that modern medicine had missed at this stage!
Move! Sport is a proven way of improving mood and sleep, and reducing anxiety and stress! Opt out for something you can do outdoors to make sure you get a daily dose of fresh air and sunlight - now it's more important than ever!
Get the right supplements! If you decide to go to an Ayurvedic Practitioner, they will help you (or often prepare for you) the right herbal supplements. If you'd rather do it yourself, opt out for high-quality, well-absorbed vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, vitamin D, Magnesium and Vitamins from group B, are essential to maintaining a
healthy nervous system!
Go natural! Nature's got so much to offer! Try adaptogenic herbs such as Gotu Kola or Jiaogulan, to help your body adapt to stress better. You should also go for nootropics such as Brahmi and Gingko Biloba to sharpen your mind, and nervines such as Chamomile to help calm the nerves and relieve stress. You can find all of them in our blends! *wink wink*
Detox. If your way of life may have caused this, you should try something different for a change. We can also call it detoxing. Try spending less time in front of the screens and more time in nature. Ditch social media for meaningful conversations with your family and friends! Try eating better food and stay away from stimulants such as coffee and cigarettes!
Most important of all remember that your body wants to be healthy! That's why you should make the effort and take proper care of yourself. Try working with it, not against it. Every great journey starts with a first step, so why not take yours now?