In this article, we explain the physical and emotional triggers that can lead to adrenal fatigue.
But how do you know you have adrenal fatigue?
- Are you stressed, tired or moody?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating or is your libido flagging?
- Is your hair greying prematurely?
Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, or adrenal exhaustion, include:
- relentless and debilitating fatigue
- depressed mood
- loss of interest in life
- low energy
- an inability to carry out your normal day-to-day activities.
If so then you may be suffering from the Western disease of adrenal fatigue.
Our adrenal glands sit just above the kidneys and they are responsible for the production of a hormone called adrenaline in the body.
Because there has been little conclusive research on adrenal fatigue, many doctors in the US and Europe do not like to diagnose adrenal fatigue and so it generally remains within the scope of alternative medicine.
Many alternative medicine experts say that there is a correlation between adrenal fatigue and the consumption of certain substances like sugar and caffeine, found in coffee, tea, fizzy drinks such as cola and energy drinks, confectionery and cocoa powder.
How caffeine affects the body
Caffeine is well known to cause various symptoms, such as becoming irritable, tension, headaches, difficulty sleeping and general stress.
Most people tend to opt for substances containing caffeine when feeling tired or stressed because it gives a burst of energy and makes you feel more alert, but this lasts only for a very short period of time.
This is often followed by increased symptoms of fatigue, irritability an stress.
A sensation of needing high caffeine products to get through a normal day, it could be a sign that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal glands and caffeine
Most people do not realise that consuming caffeine products has an adverse effect on the body.
Caffeine is a stimulant and although it stimulates the brain, it also stimulates the adrenal glands which release hormones that cause stress.
This can lead to adrenal fatigue when your glands cannot produce enough adrenaline to cope with your stress levels.
Some alternative medicine practitioners believe that the adrenal glands reduce in functionality over time due to the prolonged effects of caffeine products, and this can cause severe adrenal fatigue problems.
Often, stress reduction activities are recommended such as retreats and regular exercise to combat the effects of stress and caffeine stimulation on the adrenal glands.
The Consequence of Adrenal Stress
In a natural environment, we would only release adrenalin during times of extreme stress, perhaps when being chased, hunting or if we were in a fight.
Under these circumstances of extreme stress our body releases adrenalin, this gives the body a massive boost of energy, senses would become heightened, muscles stronger and we become alert for the ‘flight or fight’ response.
For this short time we would be able to run faster, or fight with more strength.
In today’s Western lifestyle of stress, overwork and bad diet we are being constantly being drip fed stress.
Our adrenal glands consistently are secreting the adrenalin hormone leading to both short and long term health consequences.
Our bodies have simply not evolved for what we are putting them through.
Naturopathically speaking, caffeine and sugar can cause changes in behaviour, adverse effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems and it can also cause problems with blood pressure.
Naturopaths see caffeine as a drug that causes undesirable effects and affects the way that the body functions.
Acupuncturists have strong beliefs about caffeine and warn of more serious issues associated with the consumption of caffeine, such as exhaustion, addiction and infertility.
Most practitioners, regardless of their specialisation agree that caffeine is not good for the human body and that detox retreats are a great idea to get it out of your system.
At Amchara’s health retreat we give you and your body the time and environment it needs to self heal.
A break from your stressful life, coupled with wonderful nutrition in a peaceful, tranquil environment is the perfect tonic to help you reboot the batteries and kick start your life into a more balanced and healthier existence.
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