Adrenal fatigue is a common problem caused by exposure to chronic stresses of modern life, such as shift work, being a single parent, being financially insecure, having a severe illness, and so forth. In response to the prolonged period of stress, the adrenal glands stop making adequate amounts of hormones. As a consequence, sufferers experience fatigue, salt and sugar cravings, and digestive disorders, and sometimes they also experience hair thinning and weight loss. A metabolic medicine approach can be used to reset the adrenal glands and restore their function.
There are two adrenal glands, one above each kidney in the lower back area. They produce male hormones (even in women), cortisol, aldosterone, and adrenaline. These various hormones have many important functions, such as:
- Regulating blood pressure
- Regulating inflammation and blood sugar levels
- Regulating water and electrolyte balance
- Helping to maintain a pregnancy
- Playing key roles in regulating the process of puberty
- Responding to stress
Severe alterations in the levels of hormones produced by the adrenal gland can lead to serious illnesses, such as life-threatening adrenal crises, Cushing’s disease, extremely elevated blood pressure, and potentially life-threatening abnormalities of blood electrolyte levels. However, in adrenal fatigue, the reduction in the levels of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands caused by exposure to prolonged stress are not severe enough to cause serious illnesses, but nonetheless, they cause symptoms that reduce quality of life and impair the ability to work and perform daily activities.
One important part of treating adrenal fatigue is changing to a healthier lifestyle. Many sufferers of this condition have become dependent on caffeine to function, and it is essential to eliminate caffeine from the diet completely in order to let the adrenal glands rest. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seafood, and low-fat protein sources like beans or lean meats is essential to allow the adrenal glands to heal. You want exercises that relieve stress and boost endorphins, which can help the adrenal glands reset back to normal.
In addition to lifestyle changes, supplements to restore the metabolism to normal are necessary to treat this condition. Metabolic medicines to help heal and restore the adrenal glands usually contain B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and probiotics, as well as a number of herbal supplements that support adrenal health by regulating cortisol levels.
If you are suffering from adrenal fatigue symptoms, make an appointment at Family Wellness Centre to discuss addressing it with metabolic medicine. Contact us today to set up your consultation at our office in Freeport The Bahamas.