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CHRONIC FATIGUE

Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue

Symptoms like frequent sighing, digestive discomfort caused by foods containing high carbohydrate and potassium levels, decreased sex drive, increased allergies, muscular weakness, lack of energy, mild depression, increased menopausal and pre-menopausal symptoms, cravings for food with high fat and salt content, sleepiness and morning fatigue may indicate adrenal fatigue. But not all physicians will associate the symptoms with the health condition but will instead look at other probable causes like stress, depression and fibromyalgia.

There are a few ways to self-diagnose adrenal fatigue. But these methods will only produce preliminary evidence and the advice of a medical expert will still be needed before seeking treatment. But in any case, adrenal fatigue is a health condition that can be managed through natural treatment methods and by simply eating the right kind of foods.

One simple way of diagnosing adrenal fatigue is by taking a blood pressure test while sitting. The person's systolic number should rise by 8 to 10 mm after immediately standing up. But if the numbers drop, this can be a strong indication of adrenal fatigue. Another test is by facing a mirror while holding a small flashlight against the eyes. If the pupil dilates or fails to contract and stays the same after 30 seconds, it might be proper to seek the advice of a medical expert.

Adrenal fatigue is a poorly diagnosed health condition since doctors, more often than not, won't diagnose the problem. Medical experts only recognize more serious adrenal disorders like Addison's disease, or the insufficient production of cortisol, and Cushing's syndrome, wherein the adrenal glands  produce too much of, again, the hormone cortisol. The body's adrenal function is tested through a procedure called ACTH test which shows abnormal adrenaline productions. But the adrenal glands are only considered to be malfunctioning if the curve is below or above 2 percent of normal adrenaline function. This means than anything in between is not recognized as a problem despite the appearance of symptoms caused by minor adrenaline malfunction.

Licorice to Alleviate the Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

The adrenal glands are very important for the proper functioning of the body. They are responsible for the production of hormones that are essential for emotional and physical responses. But the adrenal glands are not limited to this. They can also cause chemically-induced stress which leads to stamina issues and adrenal fatigue. Studies show that licorice root can boost the body's energy levels, increase the body's endurance to stress and improve the production of hormones in the adrenal glands.

Licorice root is one of the most prescribed Chinese medicines and has been used to treat certain diseases since ancient times. Fatigue, on the other hand, is caused by different factors like the lack of sleep, relationship issues, family affairs, work and other stressors. In response to these stressors, the adrenal glands produce hormones like cortisol to let the body better cope with the circumstances. But if the body fails to respond to the hormone, it starts to build up and will ultimately result to adrenal exhaustion and even high blood pressure. These, in turn, can cause fatigue.

Licorice is very easy to prepare. Licorice tea is readily available and a cup of the beverage can help in restoring proper adrenal function. This makes a person feel better and more energetic during stressful situations. Preparing licorice tea using powdered or dried licorice root boiled in water for at least three minutes can be helpful in coping with stressful moments. Honey, peppermint leaves and cinnamon stick can be added to improve the taste. Licorice powder can be used in baking and cooking. Supplement brands also manufacture licorice food supplements in tablet and capsule.

Different studies have found that over-consumption of licorice root can result to a few side effects like headaches, high blood pressure, and it also causes water retention. People suffering from high blood pressure, migraines and diabetes should need to avoid licorice.

Natural Ways to Prevent and Manage Adrenal Fatigue

Because adrenal fatigue is often left undiagnosed, it is essential that we all implement ways to prevent it altogether. Here are a few ways to prevent and treat manage fatigue:

  • Exercising in most days of the week can help relieve anxiety, tension, and stress by stimulating the release of hormones which acts like morphine in the body and improving the circulation of blood to the brain. People suffering from adrenal fatigue may have a hard time finding the energy and motivation to exercise but exercising for at least 20 minutes 3 to 4 times a week has been found to help in alleviating the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Studies show that exercise can significantly motivate sleep, improve overall health and increase energy levels. Stress is one of the primary causes of adrenal fatigue syndrome. Managing stress through exercise can help in treating and preventing the health condition.
  • People who had been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue syndrome are advised to eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber. A few rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids are sprouted walnuts, tuna, salmon and fish oil. Ground flax meal, on the other hand, is a rich source of dietary fiber. Eating light-cooked vegetables and meat, unrefined carbohydrates like winter squash, sprouted grains and brown rice, and drinking plenty of fruit juices and purified drinking water can help treat adrenal fatigue.
  • The foods to avoid for people with adrenal fatigue are hydrogenated oils; monosodium glutamate; sodium nitrite from processed meats like bacon, luncheon meats and hotdogs; wheat products containing gluten; sea foods that may contain mercury; carbonated drinks that tends to increase the blood's level of acidity; fruit juices with artificial sweeteners; pickled foods; fungi like mushrooms; alcoholic beverages; and other foods rich in refined sugar, aspartame and other sugar substitutes.
  • Laughing often can stimulate the production of adrenaline to produce hormones that helps in alleviating stress. Participating in activities like meditation and yoga can train the mind to better response to stress and improve relaxation. It is also advisable to eat 5 to 6 small meals in a day instead of 3 heavy meals for the better metabolism of food.

 

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