Stress is a real inhibitor to good physical, mental and emotional health. Specifically, our adrenal glands, which sit on top of our kidneys, help regulate stress. When they are working overtime, our body experiences unwanted symptoms.
To know if stress and adrenal fatigue is something you need to address, check out the most common symptoms and my healing recommendations below.
The Stress Effect: And Could It Be Adrenal Fatigue?
The most common symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
- Poor Sleep: Do you feel wired but tired, experiencing sleepiness during the day or unable to fall and stay asleep at night? Stress may be the culprit.
- Food Cravings: Do you experience strong cravings for salt, sweets, or carbs? Do these foods boost your mood quickly, but then wear off just as fast? While the occasional craving is normal, consistent cravings for these foods may point to adrenal fatigue.
- Excessive Sweating: Do you sweat heavily without engaging in moderate physical activity? This could point to overworking adrenals.
Other symptoms include:
- Discomfort or pain in the back or knees
- Dry, blemished, or unhealthy skin
- Weakened immune system / chronic infections
- Dark circles under eyes
- Lightheadedness when standing up
If you think you are overstressed or have adrenal fatigue, it’s important to address it right away. Luckily, a great place to start is with the food you eat and lifestyle habits you live by. Here are a few tips to combat stress and heal your adrenals!
Natural Ways to Take Care of Stress and Adrenal Fatigue
- SLEEP!: Finding a regular sleep routine is critical to improving stress and healing adrenal fatigue. This means sleeping 7-9 hours a night, creating ways to wind down before bedtime, and getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. I find that clients who decrease their screen time or add in an herbal tea at night are easy-to-implement ways to improve sleep habits.
- Eliminate Sugar: While sugar might give you a boost of feel-good energy temporarily, it puts the body into a blood sugar rollercoaster that isn’t helpful for stress. Start by looking at packaged food in your pantry. Can you find any “sneaky sugars” hiding in your foods? You can also check out this blog post on sugar to learn more about how to decrease the amount of sugar you’re eating.
- Eat Clean, Whole Foods: Foods have the power to heal the body if given half a chance. With adrenal fatigue or excess stress, the body uses up nutrients more quickly, so you want to add in lots of colorful, nutrient-dense foods as well as healthy protein and fat while you’re healing. Things like dark leafy greens, vibrant dark berries, and a wholesome breakfast of protein, fat, and fiber have all been ways I’ve seen clients balance their blood sugar, increase nutrients, and find sustained energy to respond to stress.
- Decrease Caffeine and Increase Hydration: Caffeine affects everyone differently. I recommend my clients replace caffeine with another nourishing beverage while repairing adrenals or working through stress. Try herbal teas or organic decaf coffee while increasing your water intake to help with this.
- Implement Stress-Coping Strategies and Self-Care: It’s important to take care of our body, mind, and spirit. A healthy mindset can be as powerful as a healthy body! Our team at Holistic Wellness Practice will be able to support your ability to cope with stress using a variety of strategies and self-care tools.
For more education, support, and accountability in improving your health while decreasing stress, visit our Health Coaching service page.