8 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue & What To Do About It

Adrenal fatigue is a term to describe your adrenal glands when they are struggling to cope with your underlying stress and overly busy schedule. When your adrenals are overworked, you will likely end up feeling burnt out, and tired all the time.

Your adrenals can only handle so much. Playing an important role in your endocrine system, these small but mighty glands produce key hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline. If you’re undergoing daily stress and triggers, these teeny glands become overworked, pumping out stress hormones in response to your life. There’s a point where your adrenals may seek help from other systems to keep up with the increased workload.

While it’s nice to know your systems work together to help you out, if we continue on this tunnel-vision path, we may end up weakening other systems in return. Unaddressed stress can have some serious repercussions, if you surpass the 4 stages of adrenal fatigue, you may enter insufficiency or exhaustion, which could manifest as an autoimmune condition. So how do you know if you’re experiencing adrenal fatigue? 

8 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue & What To Do About It

8 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue That You Should Never Ignore

1. Feeling Overwhelmed by Life

So many of us put self-care at the bottom of our to-do list. If you’re not balancing your busy lifestyle you may be printing your ticket to burnout city. It’s ok to be a go-getter with over-achiever tendencies, but a key to your success resides in your self-care practices, not just how hard you can work. Because let’s be real, how can you be your best if you don't feel your best? You can’t and you can only fake it for so long. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life, take a step back and check-in with yourself.

  • Can you rid yourself of some commitments that do not serve you?

  • Can you spare a few minutes to take a few deep breaths and stretch it out?

  • Can you make it to bed a little earlier?

  • Can you schedule untouchable ‘you’ time in your planner to remind you what life is about?

2. Not Sleeping Well

Ideally, we should all be getting between 7 to 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Your body needs this time to recover, reset and recharge for a new day. You should wake up every morning feeling refreshed and energized. However, many of us are actually being counter-productive by giving up sleep to continue with more work. Unless you’ve actually found the 25th hour in the day, all of this busy-bee behaviour throws off your balance and makes it harder for you to fall/stay asleep. It's time to introduce a healthy new habit to improve your rhythm. Here are 5 Tips for Better Sleep:

  1. Plan your bedtime, this may mean winding down at 9:30pm so that you can be asleep by 10pm, and up at 6am. Even if you can't fall asleep quite yet, being in the dark helps your body to produce melatonin – your sleepy-time hormone

  2. If your mind is racing before bed – try taking Reishi Mushroom, practice some guided meditation, or listen to a calming instrumental playlist to clear your mind

  3. Take a warm bath before bed with your favourite therapeutic bath bomb, helping you to relax

  4. Diffuse essential oils such as Highland Lavender, which promote the feeling of being calm and relaxed

  5. Avoid screens before bed, and adjust blue light settings on your devices so that they activate once the sun goes down. These screens emit light that interferes with your natural melatonin production
Creating Healthy Sleep Habits

3. Exhausted After Working Out

Exercise should make you feel more energized, it shouldn't make you exhausted and fatigued afterwards. Physical stress can be troublesome for your adrenal glands - too much exercise can actually do the opposite of what you want. If your workouts make you feel drained for the rest of the day — what you’re doing isn’t working for your body right now. Switch up your routine when you’re feeling overworked – take part in lower-intensity exercises to create more balance. Don’t underestimate the power of a nature walk, pilates, and an at-home yoga session. Support yourself in feeling better, not worse. 

4. Hormones Feel Unbalanced

When your adrenals are overworked, they may start calling in for help from other systems. In stage 2 of adrenal fatigue, oftentimes we see that the thyroid is affected. If your adrenals cannot keep up, hormone precursor material will be redirected for use in cortisol production – which may lead to a hormonal imbalance.

  • Focus on following a nourishing diet with healthy fats, protein and an abundance of vibrant vegetables and dark leafy greens, and a high-quality greens powder
  • Make sure you’re getting adequate sleep, reference those tips above! 
  • Benefit from the adaptogenic herbs found in RelaxZen which create balance and adapt to what your body needs
  • Drink enough water and avoid excessive caffeine intake

5. Anxious or Depressed

When you've got too much going on, anxiety kicks in. The pressure of deadlines and that busy schedule can bring on little spurts of adrenaline. Adrenal hormones are involved in cognitive function, mood and overall mental state. Unaddressed stress can create anxiety and depression, as when we are less tolerant than we normally are when we are already stressed, we are more easily frustrated.

  • Reminder: Take more time for you

  • Reminder: You do enough, you give enough, you are enough

  • Reminder: Your health and well-being is more important than a clean kitchen and a social event that you really don't want to go to

6. Craving Salt

If you’re on team salt - you may be craving salty snacks for a reason. If your body is looking for more stress-fighting minerals, your body knows it can find comfort in sodium. Aldosterone is a salt-retaining hormone produced by your adrenals, when our adrenals can’t keep up with aldosterone production, cravings for salt may increase.

  • Utilize a high-quality Himalayan salt in your cooking, which naturally contains 76 trace minerals

  • Add sustainably sourced seaweeds such as dulse, kelp and nori to your meals

  • Include a Humic & Fulvic acid mineral supplement 

7. Relying on Caffeine to Get Through The Day

Coffee does not give you energy - you are borrowing that energy. While your brain might tell you that it needs caffeine to get through the day, it also keeps your body in stress mode as it signals the production of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine. Mornings can be tough when you have adrenal fatigue, but coffees initial surge of energy wears off and that innocent cup can leave you feeling even more tired and crabby than you did when you woke up. Start your morning with a high-quality greens powder, or a whole-food mushroom blend

8. Digestion is Stressed and 'Off'

When you're under stress, your body is not focusing on optimally digesting and absorbing the nutrients in your healthy meal... Your body is responding to stress! Functions like digestion and metabolism are downregulated in adrenal fatigue mode, which increases the likelihood of you being bloated after eating - you may also experience weight gain, indigestion or constipation/diarrhea.

You can be creating super healthy recipes, and you should continue to do so, however, if your body is under stress, you may not be optimally absorbing and assimilating the nutrition within. At this point, you may need supplementation along with following these better digestion tricks:

  • Take Black Seed Oil or a Digestive Enzyme before meals to help with enzymatic activity for optimal nutrient breakdown and absorption

  • Take time to properly chew and savour your meals

  • Drink enough water between meals

  • Take a daily probiotic and include fermented foods

It's Time for Some Herbal Meditation

Release tension, support your adrenals, reduce anxiety and depression with RelaxZen – it’s just like herbal meditation. Formulated with revered adaptogenic herbs: Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Saffron, and Rhodiola help you adapt to change, calming nerves & lifting your spirits by rebalancing adrenal hormones. Along with body-mind soothing Magnesium that we don’t get enough of, and well-known amino acid L-Theanine & clinically proven GABA. React with ease toward daily challenges with health-enhancing botanicals & nutrients that offer a side-effect-free SOS for stress.

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