Not having to rush everywhere can bring a lovely sense of relief. But what if despite less activity, your energy tanks still feel empty? It seems contradictory. With fewer commitments and places to be, you’d expect to have more energy, not less. So, what’s going on?
Adrenal fatigue symptoms
Your adrenal glands might need extra support. The signs below might indicate an imbalance:
- Feeling super-alert at bedtime or trouble falling sleep
- Frequent waking during the night
- Waking up feeling tired
- Mentally wound-up but physically tired
- Feeling flatter than usual
- Foggy brain, trouble focusing
- Craving salty foods or sweets
- Changes in libido
Do two or more of these strike a chord? Your adrenals might need some extra love and care. The good news is that diet, adrenal fatigue supplements and lifestyle tweaks can all support adrenal health.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Orange, and roughly the size of a teabag, the adrenals are our ‘stress glands’. They crank out stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. They switch our bodies into ‘high alert mode’ making us more capable of springing into action so we can get out of a stressful situation or immediate danger. It’s also called the ‘fight or flight’ response. High-alert mode is only meant to be short-lived. If our adrenals are pumping out too many stress hormones long term it can lead to an imbalance.
We all know chronic stress takes a toll. But, did you know that being super busy all the time can too? Being constantly busy means our adrenals are constantly releasing stress hormones to try and keep up. To our bodies, chronic stress and chronic rushing elicit the same body response. Adrenal fatigue centres around over-worked stress glands and stress hormone imbalances.
Interestingly, after menopause, the adrenals take over some of our female hormone production. Healthy adrenal function supports an easier and smoother menopausal journey. For men, adrenals play a major role throughout their life in producing sex hormones.
Adrenal fatigue supplements
There’s a very helpful group of plants called ‘adaptogens’. They’re defined as herbs that support adrenal function and the body’s healthy response to stress. Read about three of our favourites below, Rhodiola, Withania and Korean Ginseng.
Rhodiola for mood and energy
Research supports the use of Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) for supporting healthy mood and feelings of wellbeing. Rhodiola is also popular with sports people for healthy endurance and energy levels. Try Solgar Rhodiola Root Extract.
Withania for sleep and energy
Withania (Withania somnifera)supports healthy energy levels during the day and supports balanced sleep patterns. This unique herb is excellent for people who are ‘wired and tired’. While it supports healthy energy levels, it can support feelings of calmness too. Kiwiherb StressCare contains Withania and calming Lemon balm Melissa officinalis.
Korean Ginseng for healthy mental focus and energy
Korean ginseng (Panax ginseng) is a great choice for people who need support for healthy energy levels. Taken in the morning, Korean ginseng supports healthy sexual interest and performance for all genders too. Ethical Nutrients Ginseng 5 contains Korean ginseng in combination with 4 other types of ginseng.
You’ll find these and other adrenal fatigue supplements here: Adrenal Health & Stress Support
Adrenal fatigue diet
Support your adrenals with a healthy diet
- Enjoy lots of whole foods, try to limit refined carbs and processed foods
- Eat plenty of lean protein like meat, fish and eggs
- Make sure you get your omega-3 fatty acids, olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds
- Consider sea vegetables for extra fibre and minerals
- Always include high fibre foods - flaxseeds, chia seeds, kumara
- Try fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut
- Consume a good quality sea salt
Here are some tweaks to support adrenal health and balance:
- Limit caffeine and set a cut off time of 1pm for your afternoon coffee. Caffeine stimulates stress hormones, and can affect sleep
- Watch a comedy or chat to a funny friend. Laughter reduces stress hormone levels
- Exercise at moderate intensity for 30 mins reduces stress hormones and increases happy hormones
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep minimum per night. Sleep balances all our body systems, including our adrenals
Our lifestyles have changed over the last couple of months – which might be good news for our adrenals. They can switch out of constant high-alert mode. With less rushing around our bodies have a chance to reset. That means this is an excellent time to pause, reflect and make some proactive changes for our all-important adrenal health.
Always read the label and use as directed. If symptoms persist see your healthcare professional.