Four years ago, I found myself crying out for more sleep. I had a nursing infant, was working from home up to 12-15 hours a day and I was exhausted. So exhausted, I was ready for a nap before the kids were and I needed 3 cups of coffee to get me through the afternoon.
Looking back now, I realize I was in adrenal fatigue and didn’t know it. Adrenal fatigue is largely unrecognized by medical doctors.
A year prior, I had been to my naturopathic doctor for depression and was only prescribed an anti-depressant.
Some signs of adrenal fatigue are low energy, dependent on caffeine, hard time sleeping, hard time waking up in the morning, getting a second wind after 6pm, and resistant to weight loss.
It is often caused by chronic stress levels. The adrenals are largely responsible for managing hormones. During times of stress, cortisol is raised and we go into fight or flight mode.
In modern times of hustle and bustle and the on the go lifestyle, we are faced with stressful situations and often fight or flight mode never gets turned off. Eventually, the adrenals are overworked and they tire out – leading to adrenal fatigue and eventually adrenal failure. This is very common in women who are perfectionists or workaholics.
Unfortunately, doctors don’t recognize it for treatment until it is in it’s final stage of adrenal failure.
Some steps I took to heal myself and get more energy
Switched from coffee to green tea and reduced my sugar intake.
Supplementing with nutritional shakes and flooded my body with nutrients
Started walking 3-4 days a week.
Caffeine and sugar are stimulants and aggravate the adrenals, when they are already taxed. By switching my coffee to green tea, I reduced both caffeine and sugar intake. I don’t know about you, but I only really drink coffee with a lot of cream and sugar, further worsening my condition. Eventually, you want to wean yourself off of caffeine, all together.
At the same time as switching from coffee, I started supplementing breakfast and lunch with a meal replacement shake and eating a whole foods based diet. The extra nutrients I was getting helped me regain some energy and allowed me to back off the caffeine some more.
I still use the meal replacement shakes, on days when I am away from home or too busy to eat a regular lunch.
Within a few weeks, I noticed more and more energy and felt good enough to start walking. As a child care provider and mom of 2, it wasn’t always easy to get time to myself, so I packed up all the kids – often 3-4 at a time and we started walking together.
The sit and stand stroller and ergo carrier became my new best friends!
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