Adrenal Fatigue? 7 Tips to Fight Back Naturally

adrenal fatigue

Everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives.  That feeling of being so overwhelmed and overworked that you can’t eat or sleep.  Unfortunately, stress has become ingrained in our culture.  We associate it with hard work and success, assuming that we can’t have one without the other.   Though some stress is necessary, we often bite off more than we can chew.  We fail to realize that the more stressed we are, the less efficient we are.  We ignore the negative effects stress has on our bodies but unnecessary stress can lead to a multitude of symptoms including:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

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adrenal glands

What Are Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do?

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys.  The adrenal glands are hormone producing glands similar to ovaries, testicles and the thyroid.  They are the regulators of your body as they’re responsible for regulating stress responses and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Adrenal glands are key contributors to:
  • Proper thyroid function
  • Balance of hormones
  • Maintaining one’s ideal weight
  • Stabilizing emotions
  • Controlling cravings

Multiple studies have proven that the health of the adrenal glands will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illnesses.  Since chronic stress is the main cause of overactive adrenals, it’s important that we find a way to control and eliminate stress.

Click here to read, “CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions”.

Moreover, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise is also very important. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of people suffer from adrenal fatigue due to lifestyle factors that are often overlooked.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a common side effect of stress and has three phases:
  1. The Alarm Phase – when the body is acknowledging stress
  2. The Resistance Phase – when the body is trying to fight stress
  3. The Exhaustion Phase – when the adrenals become tapped out.

Depending the phase a person is in, the levels of cortisol (produced by the adrenals) will range from high or low at different points in the day.  Cortisol levels should be at their peak in the morning.  So, when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to go.  Alternatively, they should be at their lowest at night when it’s time to go to bed.  Any variation of these levels will affect a person’s well-being.  Especially if stress is experienced for long periods of time.  Hence the last phase being exhaustion.

Click here to read, “Bedtime Woe’s? – 5 Simple Tips For Blissful Zzzz’s”.

Other than exhaustion, additional symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Cravings for salt
  • Chronic infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Muscle twitches
  • Lack of libido
  • Light headed
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbance (typically waking up between 2-4 am)

So what can you do?  There are numerous natural ways to support the adrenals.

adrenal fatigue

Are Your Adrenals Fatigued?

I see the following scenario regularly in my practice.  A busy mom with a demanding career comes in complaining of;

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Feeling low

For the last 15 years she has been dealing with;

  • Work deadlines
  • Kid’s sports
  • Homework
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

She goes from morning to night with little sleep.  Her adrenals are tired but she pushes through the chronic fatigue and insomnia.  She notices other symptoms such as headaches, inability to lose weight, and mood swings.  This common scenario is what many natural health professionals refer to as, “adrenal steal”.

Unable to function properly due to years of stress, the adrenals are forced to steal key hormonal building blocks from other hormones like:

  • Progesterone
  • DHEA
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone

Hence contributing to hormonal imbalances and a slew of side effects that come with them.  Keeping the adrenal glands in check is the best way for women to avoid fatigue and keep their hormones happy.

How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue

chiropractor

See a Chiropractor – Chiropractic care plays a crucial role in adrenal health.  Physical, chemical or emotional stressors can cause stress on the spine and nervous system.  The goal of chiropractic care is to balance and optimize the entire nervous system contributing to healthy adrenal function in addition to a multitude of other health benefits.

early to bed

Go to Bed Early – You should be sleeping 7 to 8 hours and preferably going to bed before midnight.  Make sure you allow some time to wind down and relax to help your cortisol level lower before bed.

clean eating

Eat Clean – Avoid processed foods and sugar.  Focus on good fats, moderate protein, and tons of veggies that are phytonutrient rich.  You are what you eat, so feed your body the right fuel.

vitamins

Take an Adrenal Support Supplement – Consuming whole, organic foods rich in phytonutrients is great for adrenal support.  However, supplementation is sometime needed to support proper adrenal function.

Beneficial supplements Include:
  • B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

Also beneficial are botanical adaptogens.  They can be taken to help support the adrenal glands throughout the stress response process.

Examples of botanical adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha root
  • Rhodiola rosea extract
  • Suma
  • Schisandra chinensis berry extract
yoga, meditation

Exercise – Regular exercise is known to combat stress, which helps to improve adrenal function.  But be aware that if your adrenals are exhausted, intense exercise may be more detrimental than beneficial.  Try yoga or meditation.

Click here to read, “Put A Little Namaste In Your Life”.

cortisol saliva test

Get Tested! – Measuring cortisol levels can help determine adrenal health.  The Cortisol Saliva Test also know as the Adrenal Stress Test, has become the preferred way of evaluating cortisol levels.

A newer test, the DUTCH test, is another method one can use.  The test involves a urine steroid hormone profile.  This measures hormones and hormone metabolites (called conjugates) in a dried sample.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) technology used by chiropractors, is another way to evaluate stress.  It measures and tracks a patient’s autonomic nervous system state.

Think your adrenals are suffering from adrenal fatigue?  Start by taking an inventory of your life stressors and see which ones you can kick to the curb following the 7 tips above.

Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

salad dressings

How is it possible that when you order a salad at many restaurants, you end up eating more fat, calories and preservatives than if you’d just ordered the hamburger?  Think salad dressing from the grocery store are any better?  No way! Most salad dressing are filled with nastiness – so let’s make our own!

But first, let’s talk about how to make a real salad as your whole meal. It’s not just a few sad pieces of romaine lettuce with some croutons anymore!

Rainbow Salad

Salads are all about colour. Throw as many colours in there as possible. Start with a huge bowl because you know it’s going to grow outta control!  To learn more about why ‘eating colour’ is so important, click here to read “Are You Eating Enough Colour?”

1/2 head of Red Leaf Lettuce
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 of red, orange and yellow peppers
15 chopped purple grapes
1/3 chopped cucumber
10 chopped cherry tomatoes
and any other colourful ingredients you like! Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, celery, broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts!

Chunky Mango-Avocado Dream

Into a bowl, chop…

2 roma tomatoes
1 soft, ripe mango
1 soft, ripe avocado
1/2 red onion

Add a few pinches of salt and the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Stir it up and pour over your salad. Mmm!! This recipe can also be used as a dip for your vegetables or eaten with a spoon. So delicious!

Caesar Dressing

Soak 1/3 cup raw cashews for 30 minutes
Then add to blender with…
1/4 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 pinches salt
4 shakes pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard.

Blend and enjoy!

Raspberry Basil Drizzle

To a high speed blender, add…

1/2 cup raspberries (or strawberries)
2 pitted dates
6 leaves fresh basil
splash of water for blending

Vegan Cheesey Sauce

Soak 10 raw cashews for 10 minutes
Then add to blender with…
1 pitted date
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 large red bell pepper
3 tbsp nutritional yeast (Bragg’s is a good brand – find it at Health Food Store)
6 shakes cayenne pepper (more or less if you like it spicy or not!)
pinch salt

Blend this up and pour over your salad. It’s also a delicious dip for your veggies or if you make kale chips.

Easy Fruit Dressing

To a blender, add…
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup strawberries
2 pitted dates
juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch salt

Blend and pour over your rainbow salad.

Sesame Salad Dressing

To a blender, add…
1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp of organic peanut or almond butter
2 tbsp hulled sesame seeds
splash water

Blend together and then add 1 tbsp of hulled sesame seeds before drizzling over your salad.

What’s in your chicken sandwich? DNA test shows Subway sandwiches contain just 50% chicken

What's in your chicken sandwich? DNA test shows Subway sandwiches contain just 50% chicken

What are you eating? Do you really have any idea what you are buying when you whip into a fast food restaurant?

CBC’s Marketplace recently had chicken from 5 fast food restaurants DNA tested to see what is actually in their chicken.

If you can believe it, DNA tests on Subway’s Oven Roasted Chicken show that just 53.6 per cent was chicken! The majority of the remaining DNA was soy.

Two major red flags are waving here.

1. What else is the company hiding in their products?
2. What if someone was allergic to soy and unknowingly eating it in a piece of chicken?! Additionally, regular consumption of soy can wreak havoc on the hormonal system.

Subway states that “Our recipe calls for one per cent or less of soy protein in our chicken products.” This is still quite concerning for those of us who like to know what we are actually consuming.

• A&W Chicken Grill Deluxe averaged 89.4 per cent chicken DNA
• McDonald’s Country Chicken – Grilled averaged 84.9 per cent chicken DNA
• Tim Hortons Chipotle Chicken Grilled Wrap averaged 86.5 per cent chicken DNA
Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich averaged 88.5 per cent chicken DNA

Each restaurant’s chicken actually averaged approximately 15 ingredients per piece of chicken.

How is this even possible? Isn’t chicken supposed to be just chicken?

These restaurant chains are actually serving meat that has been “restructured”.

Restructured products are smaller pieces of meat or ground meat that are bound together with other ingredients to make them last longer, taste better and ‘add value’ – i.e. – to make them cheaper.

The ingredients can include simple items like salt, honey or onion powder, as well as shocking industrial ingredients. They most likely also contain transglutaminase, which is meat glue. Yes – glue to hold together scraps of meat to bind them into a new form for consumption.

What is the Solution?

Plan ahead and bring your own food when you’re on the road, or when you go to work. It’s much cheaper to eat food that you prepare yourself, and you will also have a better idea as to what you are eating! Here is a quick recipe to make your own delicious chicken wrap that is actually 100% chicken, instead of just half!!

RECIPE: Savoury 100% Chicken Wrap – Great for Lunches

Slice 3 organic chicken breasts into strips and bake or fry ahead of time. (this will make several lunches for a few days for yourself or a day of lunches for your family)

Grab a whole wheat wrap and spread hummus onto it.
Place a large lettuce leaf in the middle.
Add sliced tomato, cucumber and onions.
Add your chicken slices.
Sprinkle with pepper and wrap it up!
Hold it together with a tooth pick and you’re out the door!

Whenever possible, avoid fast food by planning ahead and bringing your own food. Take control of your health and empower yourself by being proactive about your meal choices!

With Sources from:

http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/meat-glue-an-ingredient-to-fear-or-cheer-1.855985

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/marketplace-chicken-fast-food-1.3993967

In Praise of Salt

For the last 40 years or so, salt has been getting a really bad reputation. Many people are terrified of salting their food, and actually think salt is UNHEALTHY for you.

Time for MYTH BUSTING!! The body needs salt and the electrolytes it provides.

Salt, NaCl, is an ionic compound made of sodium and chloride ions. It has been important to humans for thousands of years, because all life has evolved to depend on it.

Humans, like all life, need dietary salt to survive. Salt’s ability to preserve food was a founding contributor to all civilization. It helped to eliminate dependence on seasonal availability of food, and made it possible to ship some foods over long distances. (Think preserves, pickling food etc).

However, salt was difficult to obtain, so it was a highly valued trade item, and considered a form of currency by certain peoples. In fact the Roman historian Pliny the Elder stated as an aside in his Natural History’s discussion of sea water, that “in Rome … the soldier’s pay was originally salt and the word ‘salary’ derives from it …”

I was one of these people, rarely used salt except maybe to salt the water for my gluten free pasta noodles. But I found out this summer how much my body really loves salt, when friends invited us out to swim in their salt water pool. We took my 90 year old mother, my daughter and son for a daily 30 minute swim. Mum’s wrinkles softened, her body thrived, her aches and pains disappeared and all she did was float and soak. My daughter’s persistent rashes disappeared, and her skin felt like silk. At first we thought it was because we were enjoying the sun – Barrie summers are so short – but we didn’t get the same results in a chlorine pool at all.

By the end of October, my body was missing our beautiful swims, not just because I missed the exercise, but it missed the salt waters healing properties!!

Epsom salt baths didn’t feel quite the same (my tub’s not big enough to splash around in, and I am too impatient to sit around idle in a tub, I prefer to shower).  Since my skin was getting dry I tried an experiment … mixing salt with my favorite moisturizer – coconut oil. I’ve never liked commercial moisturizers because parabens make itch and inflame my skin).

The result was: An amazingly effective and gentle exfoliant. At 62 years of age my skin is smooth, and almost entirely wrinkle free. I do not even need to moisturize afterwards! My daughter loves it too.

I used different salts till I found the right texture. Sea salt took too long to melt and was course, Himalayan salt was too rough and didn’t melt at all, but my favorite believe it or not is normal Sifto or Windsor salt. It melts quickly and isn’t abrasive, and most people are somewhat thyroid deficient in Ontario anyway so the fact that it is iodized is just fine, and I mixed it with coconut oil, added a dash of my favorite essential oil/aroma i.e calming lavender or rose, zesty tangerine or lemon to wake me up in the mornings.

Try it… I’m positive you will love it! Your body and senses will thank you. And your kids and significant other will comment on the silky smoothness of your skin.

By the way, if you have really sensitive skin use baking soda instead of salt, it’s very finely ground, and melts easily too, this is my daughter’s favourite facial scrub. You do not need a lot; a little goes a long way.

Worried about salt ingestion? Actually all the hoopla we listen to has been proven to be outdated and a result of faulty conclusions to data accumulated in the 1940’s. It comes from a time when everyone ate canned goods preserved with salt. Now we have refrigerators and we are more health conscious and eat fresh.  Enjoy, but don’t overdo the pretzels and potato chips.

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Blog by Guest Author:

01Jessy headshotJessy Morrison
For over 25 years now, Jessy Morrison has been called The UNflakey Reiki Lady/ a Body Talker/a Body Whisperer/ and a  Healing Catalyst,  but really, she is just a rebel with a cause. As single mother of a daughter who had “every allergy under the sun” and “failure to thrive” she is making sure everyone becomes their own best healer by not conforming to being a “Sheeple”, by embodying their true authentic self.
She was a Founding Member of the Ontario BodyTalk Association, co-founder of the Whole Life Learning Collective, & is the founder of Transformational Tuesdays for Soul-opreneurs. She is a contributing author to “The joy of an ex”, Another View, and Women with Vision Magazine, yet her passion is still working 1:1 with clients to heal their dis-ease labels, reclaim their bodies, refresh their mind, and renew their spirit.

Although she’s still a work in progress, her passion is to guide you on your own journey from “I can’t…” to “I AM!”

You can contact her at [email protected] 705-241-8680
www.jessymorrison.ca
www.transformationalTuesdays.ca  (soon to come)