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01/04/2010

Adrenals and fatigue

(NaturalNews) Are you sick and tired of always being sick and tired? Do you feel tired and rundown most of the time and have problems getting a good rest - and when you are able to sleep it does not seem to help much with how tired you feel? If so, your problem may be adrenal fatigue - particularly if you have experienced major stress in your life. Fortunately fixing adrenal fatigue is relatively simple to do, and if you take the right steps you may soon be able to renew your adrenals and gain back energy and wellness that you may not have expected to see again.

The adrenals are small walnut-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Normally the adrenals produce numerous important hormones, such as adrenaline, that help the body regulate blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, liver function and the immune system. They also produce two crucial stress hormones, DHEA and cortisol, which are essential in balancing blood sugar and the body's response to stress.

When a person endures stress for a prolonged period, whether mental, physical or emotional, the result is often a constant need for those two hormones; stress outstrips the adrenals' production of them. As a result of deficiencies in the hormones, cognitive function may become impaired, energy levels may drop and the body may become less able to handle stress. Deficiencies can also contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain, fatigue, allergies, infections, mood disorders and poor libido.

People who suffer from adrenal fatigue often have a distinct pattern. They are usually fatigued and dragging in the morning and often do not fully "wake up" until around mid-morning. Usually they won't feel fully awake until after a noon meal. Often, they also feel a mid-afternoon lull and then generally begin to feel better after 6 PM. By 9 PM they are usually tired again. People with adrenal fatigue often work best at night and in the morning.

Other signs of adrenal fatigue include:

Mood swings
Light-headedness after standing up
Inability to focus
Memory problems
Body aches, including pain in the lower back
Craving for salt and/or sugar
Slower recovery from illness

Correcting adrenal fatigue should begin with reducing stress and making healthy lifestyle and dietary changes. Simple changes such as more laughter, taking small breaks to lie down, increased relaxation, regular meals, moderate exercise, early bedtimes and sleeping until at least 9 AM whenever possible can all be beneficial for adrenal fatigue.

Since people with adrenal fatigue often have cravings for sweets due to blood sugar fluctuations, it is important to have breakfast and to eat small, healthy snacks between meals. It may also be helpful to eat five or six smaller meals or snacks each day in order to keep your blood sugar balanced.

Diets should have a heavy emphasis on vegetables. Combine unrefined carbohydrates with protein, oils, nuts and seeds at most meals including items such as olives, fiber, flax, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. Root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes are good. Other good complex carbs are corn, brown rice and quinoa. You may want to avoid wheat, as you may be allergic.

Other dietary considerations are: Chew your food well. Avoid processed foods, junk foods, simple sugars, refined grains, sodas, alcohol, fruit juices, caffeine, chocolate, and hydrogenated fats.

It may be beneficial to add small amounts of a healthy salt, such as sea salt, Celtic salt or Himalayan salt. However, make sure your daily salt intake is not excessive. 2,400 mg per day of sodium from all sources is usually about right.

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In part 2 of this series we will look at some of the herbs and other supplements that can help restore adrenal function and beat adrenal fatigue.

Sources included:

http://www.project-aware.org/Resour...
http://www.bottomlinesecrets.com
http://www.natural-cure-remedy.com/...

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