You’re a busy, efficient person, juggling a daily ‘to do’ list, racing everywhere at 100mph trying to achieve as much as you can every day.
You do so much for everyone around you, the kids, colleagues at work, your friends and partner, the neighbour, the dog the cat. You get the picture!
You are Superhuman! Super-efficient, never complaining, it’s GREAT to be able to do so much.
But you are EXHAUSTED and STRESSED. You’re definitely not FINE!!
Yes, you do perhaps rely too heavily on coffee and sugar to get you through the day. So the weight gain is probably easily sorted by reducing your intake of sweets and cookies, and if you just knocked a few things off your ‘to do’ list, you would probably be less forgetful as you’d have less to remember!
Let’s just check that you’re not TOO stressed. Let’s take a look at your adrenal glands and see if you’re showing signs of adrenal fatigue.
Most of us are so used to having some form of ongoing stress in our lives, that we actually aren’t aware of it.
Our body’s adapt to keep us going and hormones such as Cortisol are produced by the body to ‘keep us going’ Cortisol is also the hormone that gives us that ‘spare tyre’ around our midriff. Its role is to balance blood sugar and regulate inflammation in our cells and muscles, so an imbalance of this not only causes us to crave stimulants, and gain weight, but can also result in muscle pain and other inflammatory processes.
The adrenals produce hormones that affect energy, blood chemistry and are involved in the ‘fight or flight’ process that kicks in when we are in danger or stressed. For many of us, who have been in a chronic state of stress for any period of time, could find that we have been in a state of ‘fight or flight’ for months or even years.
So what happens when our adrenals respond to stress?
Our heart rate speeds up, which raises blood sugar levels and blood pressure. This would be fine if it was a short term thing because we were being chased by a tiger, it’s not a good thing if it’s minute after minute, day after day.
The ‘dangers‘ of today, meeting deadlines, juggling chores, being in the right place at the right time are all dangers that don’t go away like the tiger perhaps would.
Being in this state of constant ‘fear’ sends our adrenals into overdrive and our hormones go into melt down, often leading to adrenal fatigue or burn out.
The thing is, the adrenal glands are just one of the glands in the body, which all work together and help balance each other out. So yes, you guessed it, when one gland is out, they are all out and the entire hormonal system becomes unbalanced.
So although you think you’re OK and can deal with the stressed state you’re in, it may be that your chronic state of stress is actually the reason why your thyroid gland isn’t functioning properly, or your menstrual cycle has gone haywire or why you are constantly suffering with colds and stomach bugs.
How many of these symptoms can you recognise in yourself?
- Constant tiredness, even trying to get out of bed is an effort.
- Low blood pressure.
- Low metabolism and/or low thyroid.
- Muscle weakness/pain.
- Low immune system and catching coughs, colds and ‘flu.
- Irregular periods with sore/lumpy breasts. Also lack of ovulation and difficulty falling pregnant.
- Allergies and/or asthma.
- Trouble handling stress and coping with life.
It’s important to see you Doctor if you’re worried about your health, but what can you do to help yourself?
- Adding more stress!
- Stimulants – yes quit the caffeine…coffee, tea, chocolate, caffeinated drinks, alcohol
- Sugar and refined carbs because they send your blood sugar, energy and moods on a rollercoaster.
- Processed foods, anything with additives in, which puts a stress on the body to break down and process.
WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF
- Try to manage your stress. Get into the habit of asking for help!
- Get enough rest and sleep. ‘Me time’ is important too.
- Eat nutritionally rich foods. Plenty of fruit and veg, good fats – yes some fats are good for you! good quality protein, complex carbs. And try to drink more water!
- Take the best quality multivitamin and mineral complex you can afford. Buying the cheapest in the shop is a false economy. I particularly like those from Cytoplan, a UK based company offering high quality vitamins at an affordable price.
- Magnesium levels are often low in us all nowadays, which can add to muscle soreness and fatigue, consider adding some bath salts to your bath to improve your levels. I like Neal’s Yard bath salts with added Arnica to soothe sore muscles, you can have a browse of their lovely products via this website.
If you’d like some more help and advice on how to tackle your stress levels, drop me a line today!