Most Americans say that they feel stressed out and exhausted most of the time. Their busy lifestyles; high, consistent family, financial and work stress; and fueling their bodies with caffeine, sugar, high energy drinks and junk food to keep going are all culprits in feeling chronically tired. We are survivors! No matter how tired we are, we push our bodies and keep going. This endless cycle becomes a very bad habit and has terrible consequences to our bodies. Nevertheless, having adequate levels of energy is absolutely essential to enjoying life, lifting and maintaining our mood and helping us cope with life’s daily stressors.
One of the consequences of chronic high stress is Adrenal Fatigue. The adrenal glands are two walnut sized glands that sit above the kidneys. They are the body’s stress handling glands. The adrenal glands can become fatigued or exhausted when the body has been under chronic, high stress for a period of time causing a multitude of symptoms. Some common symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue are listed below. Do they sound familiar?
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Low energy throughout the day
- Mood swings, irritability, depression or anxiety
- Difficulty concentrating, poor memory
- Poor sleep cycle
- Hormone imbalances
- Joint and muscle pain
- Frequently sick due to weakened immune system
- Difficulty coping with minor daily stressors
- Weight gain
- Light headedness or dizziness upon standing
- Hair loss
If I suspect a patient has Adrenal Fatigue, there are a number of easy, non-invasive tests I can do in the office to rule it out.
One way to test the adrenal glands is with Applied Kinesiology. Another test is the Blood Pressure Cuff Test. Here, I take a patient’s blood pressure when lying down. Then, I have the patient stand up, and I re-take the blood pressure. If the patient is suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, the blood pressure will drop when the patient stands. This is the opposite of what should naturally occur with someone who has balanced adrenals. Generally, when someone stands up, the blood pressure will go up as well within certain parameters.
I also perform an Iris Contraction Test. A light is shined across the pupil of the patient’s eye. The pupil should contract and hold. If the Iris cannot hold the contraction, the patient’s adrenals are exhausted.
The good news is that Adrenal Fatigue can be treated and should be treated. Restoring the function of your adrenal glands will provide you with more energy and stamina, improved mood, better sleep, a stronger immune system and the ability to cope with stress more effectively.
There are several quality whole food and herbal supplements that I recommend which will support and rebuild the adrenal glands. Most patients report an increase in energy and fewer symptoms in two to four weeks with the supplement protocol. However, depending on the severity and length of time a patient has suffered from adrenal exhaustion or fatigue, it can take many months for a full recovery.
I also perform chiropractic manipulation at the vertebral levels of T11 thru L2, which correlate to the adrenal glands in the body. By keeping the low back in alignment, the nervous system has the ability to run more efficiently and support the function of the adrenal glands.
I also recommend lifestyle changes, which is very important in recovering your energy. People who suffer from Adrenal Fatigue tend to deprive themselves from activities that they enjoy. Work and personal responsibilities become an increasingly high priority and can easily overwhelm valuable personal time. Implementing even small things you enjoy doing into your day will make a big difference. For example, go for a walk and immerse yourself in nature, play with your kids, play with your dogs, start a hobby, read a good book, pray or meditate. Doing something you enjoy, even for short periods of time, is a good way to lower your stress level and calm the adrenal glands.
Initially, I recommend light exercise such as walking, yoga or Pilates. In the beginning strenuous exercise can over fatigue the adrenals causing further exhaustion, so take it easy with your exercise program. I also recommend eating whole, organic vegetables and lean protein. Avoid caffeine and high energy drinks and replace these with lots of filtered water and green teas. Also avoid sugar and empty carbohydrate foods (including fast food).
If you are tired of being tired all the time and want to rule out Adrenal Fatigue, I would be glad to help you get your energy back. As a society, time has become a premium; and we have become so busy taking care of others that we do not take proper care of ourselves. I encourage you to make your health a priority. Everyone deserves to feel their best and enjoy their life. Please contact my office at (530) 894-5990 to schedule an appointment for an adrenal evaluation, and let’s get your energy back on track!