Do you feel exhausted all the time? Maybe you feel unable to handle stress during your day? Perhaps you crave salty foods and have difficulty sleeping? While these are symptoms of a wide range of illnesses and problems, they are most indicative of adrenal fatigue.
What is adrenal fatigue and its symptoms?
Though your adrenals are tiny glands found in your kidneys, they are extremely important to your overall wellbeing. They provide your body with two stress hormones – cortisol and adrenaline – that allow you to cope with regular stress levels. Cortisol in particular helps you to calm down when you are afraid, angry, sad or anxious and is directly involved in your immune function, alertness levels and regulation of blood sugar levels. In addition, the adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones to assist in regulating blood sugar and inflammation, regulating mineral balance, and producing sex hormones.
While a certain level of stress is normal in everyday life, a "chronic" stress response in the body can lead to a host of health issues. Poor diet, environmental toxins, drugs/alcohol, prescription medication, digestive conditions, and emotional stress leads to the chronic output of cortisol. Constant high levels of cortisol not only burn the adrenals out, but impact the liver, pancreas, the reproductive system, metabolic pathways, and overall immune system. Adrenal fatigue will not allow the body to properly regulate stress, which can lead to symptoms such as include difficulty waking up, insomnia, IBS, panic/anxiety attacks, bursts of energy during the evening, trouble recovering from sickness, brain fog and mild depression.
"Your adrenals are tiny glands found in your kidneys."
It's time to start listening to your body's needs
Dr. Campbell-McBride believes the GAPS Diet provides essential nutrients to nourish the adrenals necessary for rebalancing the immune system, healing the gut wall, and balancing blood sugar, which in turn will reduce toxic stressors within the body. When your digestive system is functioning properly, it halts the flood of toxins from dominating the GI tract , which would otherwise lead to a vast range of autoimmune symptoms and other illnesses, such as adrenal fatigue.
If your adrenals aren't operating in high-risk mode, they will do what they were meant to do – create energy during times of stress, maintain proper blood sugar, and produce proper levels of hormones within the endocrine system. What is important to remember it that, while your body's adrenals are designed to help support you during times of stress, they are not meant to withstand chronic, debilitating periods of stress.
Dr. Campbell-McBride has stated, "Cortisol is made from cholesterol in the adrenals. People with poor adrenal function need to increase their fat and cholesterol consumption: plenty of animal fats, eggs, oily fish, red meats with fat on them, raw butter, sour cream and ghee. If you find it difficult to digest fats, supplement with digestive enzymes and ox bile at the end of every meal."
Dr. Campbell-McBride also recommends herbal supplements, called adaptogens, to support adrenal insufficiency such as ginseng, rhodiola, medicinal mushrooms, sea buckthorn, goji, jujube, ginkgo, aswagandha, and bitter gourd. She also recommends regular water and coffee enemas to keep the bowel functioning properly and getting adequate sleep each night. It takes time to realign your gut and feel relief from your adrenal fatigue, so stay strong and keeping listening to your body's needs. For additional information about the GAPS Diet and how to get started, you can consult with a Certified GAPS Practitioner and visit the rest of our website today!