In the 21st century we have created lifestyles that are full of constant stimulation. There is always something going on: 24-hour restaurants, cell phones, children’s activities, gym memberships, cooking, cleaning, working, laptops, Ipods, wifi everywhere, emails, and hundreds of cable TV channels. With full access to almost anything, we are constantly being bombarded by stimuli and it takes its toll on our health. Specifically all of these stressors impact our energy levels during the day, ability to sleep or lose weight, our mood, food cravings, menstrual cycle, and so much more. Our body responds to anything we perceive as a stress, good or bad, by initiating our fight or flight response. Our adrenal glands release a stress hormone called cortisol. This fight or flight response was originally designed to handle life-threatening situations like being eaten by a saber-tooth tiger. Once the situation passes our body moves out of the stressful state and back into balance.
However, now in our all-access lifestyles our bodies can be in a constant state of chronic stress, where the fight or flight response occurs constantly. This constant requirement of cortisol is a heavy demand for the body to maintain especially if we are not providing the building blocks for adrenal glands to replenish themselves. Appropriate sleep and nutrition are necessary for the body to have the building blocks it needs to restore your adrenal gland to produce hormones on demand when needed. Exercise and stress management tools prevent you from using up your reserves.
This overwhelming of the adrenal glands is called adrenal fatigue or mild adrenal insufficiency, and it is gaining popularity in holistic medical circles. Adrenal fatigue is believed to be one of the factors that can exacerbate other chronic conditions like high blood pressure, weight gain, heart conditions, or diabetes. Adrenal insufficiency is best measured by looking at twenty four hour cortisol and DHEA levels. There are normal cycles that occur in the body and when someone has adrenal fatigue those patterns are altered or below normal levels.
In essence, treating adrenal fatigue is as simple as a change of lifestyle. The challenge of treating adrenal fatigue is getting you to change your lifestyle. Adrenal fatigue usually occurs over years of constant stress. In order to treat this depletion it will take several months of consciously monitoring your stress and also getting proper sleep, nutrition, and adrenal support. It is amazing how an appropriate treatment plan from a licensed naturopathic doctor or healthcare practitioner can improve your symptoms in few weeks as your body continues to restore itself to vibrant health over the course of several months.
Dr. Daemon Jones
[box] Dr. Dae maintains a private practice and see patients as a naturopathic physician. If you are interested in becoming a patient, know that Dr Dae also offers services via Skype and through phone consultations. Her office phone is 202-248-1907 or email her with questions drdae@ healthydaes.org[/box]