What steps can I take myself?
In the previous blogs, we looked at why and how our adrenals can become exhausted. We also touched on how this can affect so many other body systems, including our thyroid glands. Lots of wonderful people contacted me to say this sounded like them - and it was great to be able to help them start on a new track. So maybe you've had these symptoms. Maybe you've had thyroid diagnoses. Maybe you are "just" tired all the time. Maybe your GP says you're fine, or even says he can't give you the medication you'd like.
Would you like to be able to take some control yourself? Well you can!
The good news is there are lots of things you can do to get started on your own. We are all very individual and what works for one might not work for another - which is why it really helps if you work with a professional. However, there is nothing wrong with trying things and seeing how they work for you, and trying something different if they don't. One of the most important things to remember is keeping your mindset positive. If you feel hardship, then it's unlikely to work out for you.
These are some of the things that work for many people to help heal our adrenals:
Switching some drinks to decaf
Reducing or substituting grains (wheat, rice, etc)
Reducing refined sugar (try switching to honey or maple syrup)
Trying to lean your diet away from high carbohydrate and more towards high fat
Finding a practice you can do for a few minutes every day (yoga / meditation / praying)
We all know that caffeine is a stimulant, and we might even think that maybe we should cut down on the amount we consume, but if you are suffering, or potentially suffering adrenal fatigue, it really is quite important to find ways to reduce it. Caffeine stimulating an already depleted body can only make things worse, so try to look at what you are having. Perhaps have caffeine only in the morning, and try something new later in the day. Perhaps decaf, perhaps a tea of some kind. There are also coffee substitutes like chicory that many people like. It can be difficult to take the first step as it is addictive, but it gets easier once you start.
The normal, westernised, high carb diet, especially refined sugar and grains, is stressful on any body. When we eat refined sugar and refined carbs, this sharply raises our blood sugar, moreso if done in the absence of a good fat. When our blood sugar spikes our body goes into more of a stress condition - we lean more towards the sympathetic nervous system, instead of the parasympathetic. This means that all processes in our body, including repair, cannot function as well as they should, and in the long term we can end up with major repair issues, when organs cannot get themselves back to health. We see this often with fatty liver disease, which used to be a disease only of older men, usually in high powered stressful jobs with very rich diets; now we are seeing it in teenagers.
The knock on effect of a sluggish liver is gall bladder disease. The gall bladder cannot drain itself if the liver isn't draining properly. Doctors see a faulty gall bladder and think it should be removed, when actually the gall bladder isn't the issue. The gall bladder can fix itself given the right conditions. These are just some examples of issues of living in a stress response. Any body system can be affected - joints, lungs, muscles, gastric tract, bladder - the list goes on.
So, as you can see, reducing grains and sugars can really make a big difference. This doesn't mean you can no longer eat sweet things or your favourite treats. It means rethinking things.
What could I add into my diet that could satisfy me? Is there a way to have less sugar / grains? Could I have a day per week without? Could I go a short period with none to kickstart healing? Can I reproduce these things i want with better sugars or better ingredients? And most importantly, how can I incorporate good fats into this so as to buffer the sugar and help my body process it in a more healthful way?
Working towards real health can never about deprivation or "dieting" - it must be about support and nourishment. If you're keen to learn more - please drop me a quick message and we can arrange a FREE preliminary consultation.