First of all, adrenal fatigue is a real thing. Our adrenals sit right on top of our kidneys, and produce numerous hormones like adrenaline, sex hormones, and cortisol—the hormone that responds when we are stressed. We can think of our adrenals as the “fight or flight” production center. They are hard at work when we are a little too hard at work.
As you can imagine, the adrenals are such an important aspect of survival, as they kick us into high gear when need be, so you better believe we feel the effects of faulty adrenals.
So what happens when our adrenals get overworked? Well, we crash, and they use up a lot of the vitamins they need to function, and have a much more difficult time producing hormones appropriately.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include: sugar cravings, fatigue, difficulty concentrating/thinking, sleep issues, energy crash in the afternoon, and/or difficulty waking up in the morning. Often times, those of us with depleted adrenals are those of us looking for coffee before any chance of functioning.
So what helps? The first piece is slowing down and addressing the stress so that the adrenals actually get rest. The other piece includes ensuring we are eating a diet rich in nutrients to replenish the adrenal glands, and at times supplementing as well.
We work with adrenal fatigue at Starkel Nutrition, using food first, counseling to help address the stress, and supplements for bringing the body back into balance.
By Grace Lautman, MS, CN, LMHCA
Nutritionist and Psychotherapist