Are you regularly feeling burnout, constantly exhausted, irritable and perhaps lacking in sex drive? This may be because you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue. Often people that suffer from this condition use coffee, sugary soft drinks and other stimulants to pep themselves up during the day.
Adrenal glands are small pyramid shaped organs that sit just above each kidney in the lower back. The adrenals release their own stress hormones in response to certain situations or environmental conditions. They control the release of many important hormones in the body such as DHEA, estrogen and testosterone. The adrenal’s main function is to assist the body to deal with life-threating, or stressful situations. The adrenal responses to such situations by determining the amount of energy level available for the necessary response.
In many western cultures, due to the fast paced lifestyles that many of us live, as many as 75 percent of individuals suffer from adrenal fatigue sometime in their lives. This occurs when the adrenal glands can no longer keep up with the pace of release of stress hormones or no longer respond to repeated demands.
Symptoms may include severe fatigue, light-headedness upon standing, depression, irritability, lack of sex drive, exhaustion and general uneasiness or discomfort. This condition is often associated with intense or prolonged stress, life crisis, trauma, and chronic illness.
When your adrenals responds to stress your metabolism speeds up burning more nutrients than needed. With adrenal fatigue, the cells have used up much of your body’s nutrient stores, creating a nutritional void.
You therefore need to replenish the nutritional stores with high quality food at frequent intervals, thereby avoid low drops in blood sugar, which will make a difference to your adrenal health and energy levels.
Timing of when you eat is important if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue. Eat before 10.00 am to restore depleted blood sugar levels from the previous night. Then eat an early lunch preferably before noon because your body will have quickly used up the morning’s nourishment. Eat a healthy snack between 2 and 3 pm to sustain yourself before the cortisol dip which typically occurs between 3 and 4 pm. And finally, your evening meal should be eaten around 5 and 6 pm and a small healthy snack before you go to bed can help you get through sleep disturbances.
Stick with low glycemic index foods as these will moderate your blood sugar levels and your insulin response. In addition low GI will also provide your body with a variety of nutrients that it needs on a daily basis. Its best to also avoid sugary products and too much caffeine if at all possible.