Always Feeling Drained? 10 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue
by Samantha Coogan, MS, RDN, LD
Do you always feel tired or exhausted? It could be more than just a bad night’s sleep or tough workout. Adrenal fatigue is a condition in which more stress is put on the body and adrenal glands than it can handle, and the adrenal glands begin to shut down.
The adrenal glands are responsible for a multitude of functions in the body, including: blood sugar regulation, sex-hormone production, energy and vitality control, immunity and tissue repair. So it’s pretty important that we keep these glands happy and healthy.
Here are the signs that you may have adrenal fatigue:
1. You’re a Night Owl. It’s difficult for you to wake up in the morning, and you have a tough time falling asleep at night.
2. Your blood pressure is either above 120/80 or below 105/70.
3. You experience post-exercise headaches.
4. You clench or grind your teeth (either at night and/or throughout the day).
5. You get dizzy upon standing, most often if done quickly.
6. You crave salty/savory foods.
7. You sweat easily.
8. You’re always tired, even after a nap, great workout, or with adequate nutrition.
9. You need to wear sunglasses outside during the day (out of necessity, not just because you want to rock your Ray Bans).
10. You wake up often throughout the night getting a lot of interrupted sleep.
How do we fix it?
Luckily, it doesn’t require medication, and really just entails some simple lifestyle changes.
Cut out anything refined or processed, especially sugar. If you follow the Dolce Diet Principles, this should already be done anyway. Check it off the list.
2. Retrain your brain to think happy
Don’t obsess, overanalyze, overthink or worry about things out of your control. You can only control the present. Don’t let your own worst enemy be stuck between your own ears. If you have clinical anxiety and/or depression, be sure to visit a doctor for a more rigorous course of action.
3. Don’t stretch yourself too thin
Give yourself time to relax. Being a workaholic isn’t healthy, you need mental breaks. A great rule to go by is the 45/15 rule. For every 45 minutes of work, take a short 15 minute mental break. That could be mindlessly surfing the internet for more “fun” (appropriate) stuff, taking a short walk, stretching, reading, etc. Also, learn to say ‘no’ without needing a reason and without feeling guilty. You need YOU time!
4. Get regular health check-ups, and do some type of physical activity
The body goes into a sort of euphoric state after exercise. It’s a great way to relax and unwind, whether it’s a long run to clear your head, or a heavy lifting day to blow off some steam (I personally like some heavy squats and/or deadlifts when I’m having a bad day). And don’t neglect the doctor. Yeah, it may be annoying to fit in an appointment with your busy schedule, but what’s more important than your health?