Adrenal fatigue- What’s behind it?
More and more frequently, we hear about people who suffer from adrenal fatigue.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Our adrenals are two glands that sit atop each of our kidneys, and they are responsible secreting “the stress hormones” among many other hormones.
Our ancient ancestors lived in a world that’s much different than our own. In order to survive life on the savannahs, where predators looking for their next meal lurked, we adopted a mechanism that we now call “flight or fight.” This heavy surge of stress hormones allowed us to run from danger or stand and fight at a moment’s notice.
In the course of our evolution, the ability to call on stress hormones was vital to our species survive. Now, fast-forward to today. Our bodies still respond in the same way to perceived threats. When we feel stressed, overwhelmed or “threatened,” our adrenals release the hormones to enable flight or fight.
The problem is, our threats are no longer hungry saber tooth tigers, but our bodies don’t know the difference. Physiologically, we respond the same to a traffic jam that makes us late for work, as our ancestors did when they were being hunted by predators.
The response evolved to give us a quick jolt of power. It was never intended to be a prolonged, drawn out occurrence that happens several times a day, several days at a time. The result of prolonged stress is overworked adrenals.
Yes, adrenal fatigue is a result of the times we live in and the stress we endure day after day. Eventually, your body can endure no more, and it will begin to react. You may suffer symptoms of extreme fatigue, feelings of overwhelm, insomnia, and poor digestion, just to name of few.
How do we heal ourselves?
I often use Chinese medicine to understand the interwoven patterns of our bodies functions. According to Chinese medicine, our kidneys are the roots of our lives. Kidneys do more than simply regulate water balance. They also affect our metabolism and our sexual function. The Chinese believe that we are born with a reservoir of life energy; they call essence.
When you waste your essence, or in other words, when you burn the candle on both ends, you inevitably shorten your life.
To heal your body of this debilitating illness, you must slow down, rest, practice deep self care and change your habits. Meditation, a balanced diet of whole foods and changing patterns that lead to stress are crucial.