Tag: Adrenal Fatigue

The Magic of Electrolytes

Okay, so there’s nothing magic about them…but seriously. They are IMPORTANT! Listen up!!
What exactly are electrolytes? I’m sure most of us are at least vaguely aware. I mean who doesn’t notice the electrolyte infused crap drinks at the store? You can even get electrolyte enhanced water. So, we’re paying attention…but perhaps not in the best way. Here’s some more insight:

Electrolytes are ionic solutions that are essential for basic functions. They are in our bodily fluids {urine, blood, sweat…}. These minerals occur in our bodies in the forms of sodium, potassium, bicarbonate, chloride, calcium, and phosphates. This is a little nerdy/sciency…but it’s important to understand this stuff because it will seriously affect how you feel. These little guys have an electric charge {hence the name}. According to Dr. Josh Axe once they dissolve, they separate in to positive and negative charged ions and our nerves react to this process! Hello. Are you already getting that these things are important? Our nerves talk to each other and send signals based on the messages they receive from these chemical exchanges.

So. Really. What does this all mean?

Here’s a little snap shot for you from Dr. Josh Axe:

Some of the major roles that electrolytes have within the body include:

  • Calcium: helping with muscle contractions, nerve signaling, blood clotting, cell division, and forming/maintaining bones and teeth
  • Potassium: helping keep blood pressure levels stable, regulating heart contractions, helping with muscle functions
  • Magnesium: needed for muscle contractions, proper heart rhythms, nerve functioning, bone-building and strength, reducing anxiety, digestion, and keeping a stable protein-fluid balance
  • Sodium: helps maintain fluid balance, needed for muscle contractions, and helps with nerve signaling
  • Chloride: maintains fluid balance

We typically pay attention to our multi-vitamins and macros more than we do electrolytes. In fact, I’m not sure I really hear people say much about it when they are talking about their own health. I’ve experienced some things that I’ve realized were the result of not watching my electrolytes. For a time I was having heart palpitations that really scared me. Not surprisingly, this would pretty much happen only when I was running. You know… when I’m depleting my body of electrolytes. I like to run hard to, so it really all adds up.

I have also struggled with {and I have written about it} adrenal fatigue. It is crazy how much electrolytes help us maintain a good solid level of energy, clarity and vibrancy. With adrenal fatigue in particular certain things are typical such as insomnia and fatigue. A lack of electrolytes can exacerbate this and in turn, making sure you get enough can be paramount in getting your body back in balance.

Here are some common symptoms of electrolyte imbalance {from dr.axe.com}:

  • Muscle aches, spasms, twitches and weakness
  • Restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Frequent headaches
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Insomnia
  • Fever
  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeats
  • Digestive issues like cramps, constipation or diarrhea
  • Confusion and trouble concentrating
  • Bone disorders
  • Joint pain
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Changes in appetite or body weight
  • Fatigue (including chronic fatigue syndrome)
  • Numbness and pain in joints
  • Dizziness, especially when standing up suddenly

I cannot write about this subject without touching on the huge disservice that has been done to us regarding SALT. We have been told for years that salt {along with fat} is EVIL. We’ve been eating taste free, salt free, fat free foods for years and getting SICKER! What happened is that people blamed sodium for things like high blood pressure when there really wasn’t solid evidence to back it up. In fact, at a closer look it became more evident that people who had good results, such as lower blood pressure, as a result of lower sodium levels in their diet, were really getting results from less processed foods in general. Sugar and foods that are void of nutrients are a problem that deserve the kind of attention salt was getting. If you are eating all sorts of highly processed foods with little to no nutrients, you will be causing all sorts of inflammation in your body and stripping it of the essentials it needs to be able to heal itself and function properly. If you would like to know more about the salt conundrum, a great place to visit is Chris Kresser’s website and series on salt.

Another important thing to note: if you have regular table salt sitting in your kitchen, throw it out! Table salt is highly processed, minerals are removed and usually there is an additive used to prevent clumping. Gross. Sea salt, on the other hand, is produced through evaporation and is far less processed typically. You will get more trace minerals and elements and it will be more flavorful. Himalayan Pink Salt has an enormous amount of minerals… a few of which happen to be: calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

If you happen to be following the ketogenic protocol, electrolytes are even more critical for you to pay attention to. As you enter into ketosis, your kidneys shift from retaining water and sodium to releasing them. As your sodium level decreases, your kidneys will also get rid of potassium in effort to keep a sodium-potassium equilibrium. This is when you get headaches, brain fog, dizziness, irritability… so, take note! This is just as important as paying attention to how much fat/protein/carbs you’re eating! If you ignore your electrolytes you can end up feeling like a pile of lethargic poo. That is not the goal and just does not need to happen.

Where to get electrolytes:

Sodium is obvious. I’ve already touched on sea salt & Himalayan salt. Don’t be afraid to use it! Dump the old “salt is evil” messages! I will add sea salt, lemon juice and a good quality lemon essential oil with to a big glass of ice water, especially after a hard run. LOVE it! Recovery is amazing with this!

Potassium: you can up your potassium levels with foods such as: salmon, avocado, broccoli, spinach, coconut water {make sure it doesn’t have added sugar}

Magnesium: Spinach, pumpkin seeds, yogurt or kefir, almonds, chard. But I would recommend a supplement. I love Natural Calm by Natural Vitality. You can find it at your local health food store or order on Amazon.

If you are really struggling and want to know just where your body is with your electrolytes and what you need to specifically pay attention to, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND seeing a holistic/functional practitioner. So many main stream medical doctors are not up on current science regarding such topics {especially things like salt}. Rather than get put on some sort of medication, dig a little deeper and see what you can do naturally!

KETO: My Story

The first time I heard anything about the Ketogenic diet was in the late ’90’s. Well…I thought it was the Ketogenic diet. It was Atkins and it was all the rage {more about this later}. I was just on the brink of turning 20. I had bounced around with my weight a lot since my first “diet” {no coincidence it’s a four letter word} in the 7th grade. I had lost 20 pounds on my first diet following a very strict plan resembling something like: dry toast & plain tea for breakfast, salad with cottage cheese and 6 walnuts for lunch and chicken and veggies for dinner. It was tough but I managed to stick to it and lose my adolescent chub. However, I am sure anyone reading this knows that the plan I was on was not in any way sustainable. Nor was it likely good for long-term metabolism vitality. The calories had to have been ridiculously low, which it’s no wonder my body adapted and then struggled later. I was a stereo-typical yo-yo dieter for a long time after that {Atkins was one of many diets I tried}. Lucky for me, I was into sports and that led me to seek other activities that helped keep me active after high school {step aerobics anyone?!}. I still struggled with being super over the top with my exercise regime…but I did find a healthier balance…eventually.

Fast forward to September 6, 2016. I turned 40 on this day {cue scary music}. In all seriousness, 40 doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is what happened when I turned 40. Aside from the fact that I swear to you that very day I suddenly needed reading glasses for the first time {funny but so true} hormone issues became something real to me rather than something “other people” deal with that I somehow believed I would always be immune to.

In between my 20th birthday and 40th birthday quite a lot happened. I took on the title “runner” more seriously than I had as a high school athlete and it became a huge part of who I was. I went through treatment for an eating disorder and learned how much food was a drug for me and that I needed to deal with the underlying issues in a healthier way. I got married, had a baby, got divorced, finished my bachelors degree, then my masters degree sometimes working 5 different jobs to support myself an my kiddo. I was always engrossed in science and research having to do with health and fitness as I pursued my degree, made friends with food and became a fitness instructor.

One day, though…things just hit me in the face. I was pretty convinced I was balancing my life very well. Yes, I had a lot of stress if you looked at my life on paper…but to me I managed well. After all, health and well-being was my field of study. I worked hard, but I was deeply connected with my friends, church family and I even had a moms group that I ran. I felt like that all balanced out rather nicely. Why, when I was one of the healthier people I knew, did I have ZERO energy? Was I lacking in vitamins & essential nutrients? Was something seriously wrong that I needed to figure out? It really didn’t make sense. So, I went to a holistic practitioner for the first time {as I was not interested in someone listening to me for 5 minutes and then handing me a prescription}. I had learned enough to connect the dots with how EVERYTHING in our lives, physically, biologically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, are very strongly connected. I was not interested in a band-aid. Well the doctor came in, sat down and started asking me about EVERYTHING, including my childhood, sleep, stress… I was impressed. He also really opened my eyes to what I was unknowingly doing to my body.

Even though I felt I had great balance even in my busy, stressful life… I rarely asked for help. Sleep was not something I felt I needed much of. When I was exhausted or not feeling well, I would exercise anyway. Too much sugar for sure. Likely too many environmental toxins….and the list goes on.

So what did this all mean? I was dealing with adrenal fatigue. This is a whole big issues that I have covered before and will cover some more in another upcoming post. The point is, I was running myself into the ground in ways I didn’t give enough value to. As time went on I am sorry to say that I did not take enough steps to get myself back on track.

This brings us to present day. I got remarried last summer, started and then closed a business. We moved out to the country and have started building a {tiny} house. My husband totally changed up his job situation. We are now both working from home. Is it any surprise that in the midst of all this and turning 40…last summer this “runner girl” couldn’t run? Literally my body would not allow it. I had adrenal fatigue worse than EVER. My immune system tanked. I actually had bronchitis when we got married {had it for a month}. I ended up coughing so hard I tore a rib muscle and was prescribed an inhaler for the bronchitis induced asthma I suddenly had. *whew*

SO. I dove deeper than ever into research with all of this.

{I have to share that during this time my mom was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. That lit a fire under me even more.}

I’ve learned so much more about listening to your body… What inflammation means… What causes inflammation… How this plays into hormones… How stress is related to all of this… How critically important sleep is… How I thought I was avoiding crap food, but really not nearly enough… How toxins in your environment can affect you mentally & physically {all our artificially scented stuff we use for example!}… what a lie the whole FAT FREE era was…and on and on…

My hubby an I decided to go Paleo after doing a lot of research and really being encouraged by how healing it can be. We LOVED it! We had so much fun trying new recipes and cooking together. We both felt pretty good. But then after a time it seemed perhaps it wasn’t enough. Not for us. I for sure was still really struggling and my sleep was just crap.

This is when I started taking a closer look at the Ketogenic diet. I admit, I had been super turned off by it back in the day when Atkins was all the rage. Seriously, it lasted like 2 days for me. I thought it was so lame. I gained weight and really didn’t understand it. Now, I realize that it was not what I needed at all. I wouldn’t characterize it as ketogenic. It was higher in protein and honestly, the foods that company markets I would NEVER eat! FULL of chemicals and preservatives! Not at all what our bodies need to operate at their optimum level of health! I finally decided to give the Keto concept another glance after hearing so many health professionals that I respect and admire and who are science and research based in their perspectives advocate for it.

The more I learned, the more intrigued I was.

So, my hubby and I dove in. Honestly, after living Paleo for a time, it wasn’t a hard adjustment. Some things we have LOVED: more energy, my sleep went back to normal {hallelujah!}, better mental clarity {people talk about it…but it’s really a thing!}, WAY less cravings {this is the sugar princess talking…and I am telling you I NEVER crave sweets like I did! Give me one of my hubbies homemade jalapeno poppers ANYTIME over something sweet!}. We even went on vacation and lost weight which was pretty amazing to us. Our appetites are way down as well. That’s just what happens as your body adapts …and it’s pretty great! Oh, and you may have seen one of my social media posts recently: my nails are amazing! They have been a mess for so long and I couldn’t figure out why. Healthy fats for the win!

I have also integrated essential oils into my life. I love that not only are they amazingly beneficial: the simple act of removing harmful chemicals, cleaners, artificial scents and other junk from your home and body and using theses natural products is quite the gift to your overall health and that of your loved ones.

If you are interested in trying the Keto approach yourself and/or if you have any questions {same goes for essential oils}, please shoot me an email: jessica@healthwithjess.com I would love to help!

Shutting it Down

I am going to attempt to write what is on my heart and mind without sounding super esoteric and “woo woo” as I hear people say. First of all I am neither of those things and secondly, I really don’t take myself so seriously.

I am sure I’m not the only person bouncing through life who feels that the messages out there regarding health and fitness are just OVERWHELMING. I mean how is anyone supposed to figure ANYTHING out and stick to anything long enough to solve a problem for themselves? And, the impression I get from some schools of thought is that I just am not safe ANYWHERE eating ANYTHING. In truth, our environment is CRAZY compared to how it was during our grandparent’s generation. The water was better, the soil was richer and cleaner, we weren’t inundated by chemicals, relationships were better, technology was far less distracting and all consuming, people were less busy (understatement), our movies and music polluted our hearts and minds with WAY less CRAP. This is just the surface of what I could go on and on about. But what the heck are we supposed to do about the stress on our bodies, our relationships and mental and spiritual health short of packing up and moving to some remote island where we can live a sustainable lifestyle with a small tribe of people (sound like a cult yet?).

What I see more and more with folks trying to figure out why their body doesn’t cooperate with them anymore, why they have weird ailments, can’t lose weight, have zero energy, etc. is that they get swept up in a whirlwind of mixed messages. Anyone relate to this?? Yes, all of this stuff is tied together. Yes, we are complex creatures with complex bodies and complex lives. Yes, we need to fix things at a fundamental level. However, we don’t have to stress ourselves out MORE and add to the problem on the way to figuring it all out. Right? Right.

Let me just take a minute to look you in the eye (figuratively of course) and give you permission to just shut that junk down. Quiet all the chatter for a bit. Listen to what the heck is going on in YOUR body, your spirit, your mind. What is going on in your life, with your relationships, with your home, with your surroundings? NONE of the other stuff matters if you aren’t in touch with this stuff.

Now, please hear me out. My faith is most important to me and I am not saying you need to go meditate in the desert until your inner child emerges. What I am saying is that we are so confused with messages being shouted at us in so many different forms of media daily, and we are so DISTRACTED from how our lives were divinely designed to be that… DUH… of course we’re sick! Of course our hormones are revolting against us. Of course we are gaining weight, stressed out, have all sorts of health issues and are taking 9 different pills. That is the perfect image of a modern day American right there. But, it doesn’t have to be YOU.

Okay, so you agree to turn off the noise for a bit, stop being quite so busy and turn things OFF (cell phone, TV, computer…) long enough to think and be real with yourself. Now what?

On the journey to better health and vitality it is important to try things out and figure out what works for YOU. There just is no one size fits all with any of it. What is pretty universal is all the stuff I already mentioned that we need LESS of. Now what do YOU need MORE of? More prayer? More time outside? More uninterrupted time with your family? More time away? More real, whole foods? More sleep? More movement? More water? I mean it can be pretty basic. However, we tend to ignore all these things and it just piles up until the mountain of neglect is so huge we just don’t know where to start. That’s when the messages around us really become tempting and we forget that we are our own experts.

I hope that you feel even a little inspired to turn down the noise of our modern life and get in touch with your reality. From there, I hope you make some small changes toward a healthier, more balanced you. Don’t for a minute think this is selfish. Your kids will thank you. Your spouse will thank you. Your coworkers and friends… people will thank you because you will be more present and happier and I can guarantee that you will inspire someone along the way.

The Sweet Spot

When I was younger…in my 20’s (I swear that was just yesterday), I was so obsessive about my fitness that I would be a bear if I didn’t get my minimum number of workouts in per week and it had to be for a minimum amount of time as well. It’s as though I thought my body would puff up in one day if I missed a workout. I struggled hard with body image and weight in childhood & adolescence. It’s amazing how wide that pendulum swing can be. It took several years to settle. Thank you, God, that it did.The journey has been interesting and eye opening, however.

A few years ago I went to see a holistic doctor after struggling with my energy level and being confused by it. After all, health and fitness is my thing…I thought I was doing everything right. My diet was spot on, my exercise was spot on…what the heck? To my surprise, the doctor sat down in the office and started asking me about my life starting back in childhood. I was very impressed by this, given that I was in the midst of earning my masters degree in Health Psychology and really learning how tangled the web is that connects our physical, mental/emotional and spiritual selves. What a concept that a doctor would ask me about my mental/emotional health from childhood on. I had never had a doctor spend time fully listening to me about surface level issues let alone asking me all this stuff. This is when I first learned about Adrenal Fatigue.

Truly the man scared me. He talked about what chronic stress can do to a body and there I was thinking I was not part of that population. I have never smoked, drinking has amounted to one or two glasses of wine a few times a week (hello antioxidants). I never eat fast food. I exercise 5+ days a week. I have awesome friends and a solid network and my faith is integral to me. What’s the problem? What stress? If there’s any there I know how to deal with it…or did I? I was a single mom, working and earning my masters degree at the same time. Sleep was something I did not do much of.

So really, what does all of this mean? Since that appointment I have done a lot of research on Adrenal Fatigue and it has made a lot of sense looking back. I realize this has been something I’ve struggled with for years. Now, I know when I am dipping back into it. In fact, this past year has been the worst ever (you’d think a girl would learn, right?). I had so much transition in my life, a lot of it actually good, but change nonetheless, that my body just decided it had had enough. My energy levels plummeted, my immune system took a nose dive, my sleep suffered horribly…

What do you do when you hit bottom?

You breathe. You pray. You rest. You take care of your body by not overworking it.

This stuff is NOT easy for me! Thankfully I found PiYo a few years back and started teaching. It has been such a Godsend for my body. The strength and balance I get without the hard impact has been amazing. However, I stopped teaching classes at night for now. That was a huge step for me toward simplifying my life. I didn’t like leaving a dinner time and coming back when it was pretty much bedtime 3 times a week. Plus it made it hard for my body to settle down at night. I gave up running for several months to let my body heal as well. Running is such a love of mine, but it can also be so hard on the body. I’m back at it and thankfully it feels good again!

I have been practicing the art of saying “no” as well. Seriously not easy for me! And I say “practicing” because I have a ways to go yet. But, it’s amazing how freeing it feels to protect your little world by saying that. When I say no to something that doesn’t fit my own schedule or goals or that of my family, I am saying yes to the direction I am really trying to go in and I am saying yes to my family. That part feels amazing.

So now, I am enjoying exercise on my own terms rather than having it dictate me and how I feel about myself. I am being more purposeful in decisions I make and making sure they line up with what I want life to look like for my family and myself. I am embracing “no” as something that can can be such a gift. It’s always an adventure, life is. I love that I am operating less on caffeine and autopilot and more from intention. It’s kind of nice.

If you are caught up in the constant going, always busy, saying yes to everything cycle….I encourage you to sit back and breathe. Then pick something today to say no too and say yes to something better.

Stress and adrenal fatigue

Chances are if you’re part of this fast paced, over stuffed, over stimulated, over stressed culture you have experienced adrenal fatigue. This is an issue plenty of people deal with, however there is very little knowledge about it in mainstream medicine and therefore our society in general. Typically, doctors don’t recognize a problem until the adrenal issues have gone to an extreme level and thyroid issues ensue. This is not to point at doctors, it is simply outside of the realm of the modern medical perspective at this point in time. I will add though…awareness seems to be slowly occurring and I remain hopeful.

So what exactly is adrenal fatigue? Our adrenal glands are small walnut sized glands located above the kidneys. They create corticosteroids like cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline that then communicate specific messages to our brains that release certain hormones in response. I am going to keep it simple for the moment and focus on “CORTISOL”.

Our bodies are amazing and designed to work in very intricate ways with impressive communication skills. Cortisol may be a familiar word to some as it is linked to stress and weight gain.

Here is what happens: stress comes in different forms, physical, emotional, mental. What is stressful to me may not be to you and vice versa. We all have different tolerance levels of stress as well as different ways in which we deal with (or avoid) stress. However, when stress becomes chronic, our bodies become overwhelmed.

If I am dealing with a high level of stress for a prolonged period of time, rather than stress hormones spiking and then returning to normal, they will remain at an elevated level. Specifically focusing on cortisol today…if I have an overload of cortisol I will likely experience things such as headaches and backaches, cravings for junk foods (salty and sweet…refined stuff), sleep will be an issue perhaps having a hard time falling or staying asleep and then feeling tired even if I do get an adequate amount of sleep. A big one for a lot of people is weight gain and difficulty losing weight. Cortisol tends to make us hold on to body fat especially around the belly (aren’t we lucky?). Then it gets overzealous and won’t let go. Some people will experience depression and/or anxiety as well as gastrointestinal issues. Infections and allergies are also more prevalent with high levels of cortisol. And one more…it can kill your sex drive.

Anyone relate to any of this stuff in conjunction with some stress you’ve been dealing with? Yup. We all do at least at some point in life…especially in our crazy, fast paced society that has too much, is too busy and far too distracted.

If these type of stress responses continue for long, because we are not able to change the level of stress in our lives or haven’t figured out how, then our adrenal glands get worn down. **newsflash** We are not meant to have chronic stress in our lives. After a while our adrenal glands say…”well, I’ve put in my hours. This ‘overtime’ was not in my job description…I’m out”. They end up slacking off, but it’s because they aren’t equipped for the overload.

When adrenal glands become fatigued, the symptoms are like those I mentioned above. The symptoms often become more pronounced and you will likely have a more difficult time “shaking” whatever you feel you are dealing with.

I went to a naturopath several years ago because of this heavy fatigue I was experiencing that I didn’t understand. I eat healthy and balanced and exercise regularly…but the doctor sat and talked to me about my life in general. He even talked about past stress (yes, some childhood questions came up). He essentially brought to light how spread thin I was and how my body just needed rest (not just the sleep kind of rest) and more balance in all areas. I do struggle with this and have learned to be aware of it and manage it far better than ever before. This whole issue with our adrenal glands can really be a good thing…IF we listen!! It can motivate you to seek balance in your life. And balance, as we know, is one of my favorite things. <3 My hope is to help individuals to start recognizing the havoc that is being reaped on their bodies BEFORE it gets to such a critical level that medication and other things are necessary just to regain some form of “normal”. ATTENTION: once we reach critical levels with our health in general, we risk never being able to return to “normal” without the aid of modern medicine…which can often lead to other issues. It is super important to address problems and symptoms when they are manageable! Our issues are an opportunity to create healthy change!!! As I finish this I am noticing it is nearing midnight. Oops. I am a work in progress 😉 Good night sweet friends…

Stress and Adrenal Fatigue: What next??

I particularly run across women who deal with adrenal fatigue to the point that it has really messed with their hormones (however this is not just a female issue). What does this look like? It’s different for each person depending upon the severity of the adrenal issues, the health and balance in their body and life in general, their diet, age, etc. It is, obviously, a multidimensional issue.

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone….say that three times fast!) is one main androgen produced by the adrenal glands. DHEA is our support when cortisol is out of control. It helps to balance out of balance cortisol issues. DHEA works to protect our bone density and cardiovascular health. It fights bad cholesterol and gives us energy both physically and mentally as well as helps us maintain normal sleep patterns. DHEA is our friend especially when fighting stress of any kind (this can be physical stress just as much as emotional or mental, etc.). DHEA is key in the manufacturing of testosterone as well, therefore libido is at the mercy of DHEA levels. Anyone experience a good amount of stress for a prolonged period and find that you’re just not “in the mood”? Bingo.

Something important to understand is that when stress becomes chronic, it will damage adrenal functioning in such a way that symptoms just don’t go away once the stress is relieved. When you’re body has been out of balance long enough and depending upon the severity, it takes a good amount of work to get things back to a healthy point. Sometimes damage is permanent. Here is a perfect example: my mom was engaged to a man when she was in her early 20’s. From the stories I hear they had quite a close relationship. He became terminally ill. My mom spent months taking care of him. Think of what occurs mentally, emotionally and physically when we encounter such circumstances in our lives. Physical demands of taking care of someone who is terminally ill can be extreme, sleep deprivation, lifting, cleaning up, around the clock work, etc. The mental strain of figuring out how to manage finances, understand medical issues… Then the biggest piece is emotional. I really cannot even imagine. In that position you are likely tying to remain strong while caring for your loved one and yet your world is falling apart and chaotic. When my mom’s fiance passed away, her thyroid quit. Period. It was done.

This example shows us what can happen on an extreme level. My mom’s doctor said that this is something that may not happen to everyone in such a situation, but it definitely happens. Essentially, her body was in a high state of stress for such a period of time that things went to the next level. If you can imagine a little factory inside each of us with the workers trying to do their job… Her adrenal glands were working triple time trying to manage levels such as cortisol that become out of control in response to stress. They got tired. They just couldn’t keep up with it for that long and to that level. When your adrenal glands get tired and take a time out, then everything else is affected. Your thyroid is next to give.

Please understand that this is not a situation in which there is a quick switch. There is a gradual eroding that occurs. We can deal with quite a good amount of stress and bounce back. However, if the stress continues or if you aren’t eating right, sleeping enough, if you smoke, etc., or if the stress is beyond what a human being is designed to handle (unthinkable situations unfortunately), then this downward spiral will start.

If you are in the beginning stages of adrenal fatigue, simple steps can be taken to help remedy the situation. I know when I am dipping into the “danger zone” because I am tired no matter how much sleep I get, I might become more emotional, I don’t have energy to do things I love, my immune system isn’t strong, I get depressed, etc. My stress comes from a busy lifestyle and raising a kiddo on my own. So, for people like me it’s fairly straight forward. I know this is when I need to take some things off my plate, say “no” to some stuff. This is when I need a night out with friends (seriously) to take my mom hat off and not worry about my five jobs! Ha! Funny, but true. However, I also know its when I need to ask for help, because when I am home from my girls night out, I still have a ton of stuff to do that is too much for one person. So, I have learned to say “help”. I eat well and exercise and rely on my faith…these are POWERFUL tools, my friends!! So, for me I know my problem is that I have become overloaded.

For others it is not such an easy fix. My mom’s example is one such situation. When the stress is more involved with emotion, it gets tricky. There are plenty of people walking around this earth who deal with PTSD that is from crazy childhoods or abusive relationships in some form or fashion or severe self-esteem issues. This is very real and will absolutely have a detrimental impact on your physical body as much as any other kind of stress, in fact, quite possibly more than other forms of stress! I am a huge advocate of therapy for really anyone. We all go through things that require a third party, a professional, to guide us through more healthy ways of dealing. For those who have experienced chronic abuse of any form or deal with more deep emotional and mental issues ongoing professional help is essential. This is not to be taken lightly. Our society is so backwards with mental health issues. There is nothing wrong with seeing a counselor. If my body is sick somehow, I take myself to the doctor. If you’re sick more on the inside…your having heart and head issues…take yourself to the doctor! There are some very wonderful therapists that can help you really change the course of your life. You don’t need to suffer. And, I promise, you’re not the only one. Us Americans like to make sure everything looks good on the outside and we like to focus on our cool “stuff” and having our kids involved in every sport available and just being “so busy”…but often times there are a lot of things we are unnecessarily masking with all of that. It’s not worth it. If you ignore it for too long, you will most definitely pay for it physically. Take care of yourself! If not for yourself…for your loved ones.

If you have crossed the line into extreme levels and it’s not just a matter of taking better care of yourself via better diet, exercise, decreasing stress…you will need to work with a doctor. Here’s where things get tricky. I mentioned in my previous post on adrenal fatigue that main stream medicine doesn’t necessarily recognize adrenal fatigue. They’ll help you when you reach the point that your thyroid is broken. I would highly recommend a doctor who practices naturopathic medicine if you feel your doc isn’t on the same page. I am not discounting main stream doctors! I go to one…I work for one! I really believe we need both. I pray and rely on my faith a lot, but I take ibuprofen if I have cramps. That’s a very simplified example of what I am trying to say. Naturopathic doctors will look at things main stream docs won’t and vice versa. With stuff like this you want to make sure you have someone who is looking at the full spectrum, because this is about seeking good health before it gets to a critical point in which you will most assuredly need some medication. Bioidential hormone therapy, DHEA, etc…these are things you might be looking at in terms of help if you are at this point and seek out a naturopathic doc. You will go through extensive testing as well. It is worth it to be your own advocate friends!


Love & Blessings