Have you ever said to yourself, Gosh, I’m really exhausted! I see so many patients with fatigue and exhaustion. Adrenal fatigue is becoming so common. But what does that really mean, and how does it happen?
What is adrenal fatigue?
Here is a profile of my typical adrenal fatigued patient. She is 35-55yo., a working mom with young kids, a high-powered job and busy life. She is always on the go, even vacations are jammed packed with sightseeing rather than relaxation. Her body holds onto weight around the waistline and she can’t seem to shake it off, even with more exercise. She is usually on a healthy-ish diet but that doesn’t seem to bring down the weight either.
This patient is fatigued and exhausted all the time, even with 8 hours of sleep. She’ll find herself irritable and brain-fogged as a result of the fatigue. She drinks 2-3 cups of coffee just to make it through the day. After a long day of work, she comes home to make dinner and take care of the kids. Then she goes back to work on her laptop in bed staying up way too late. Sometimes she gets energized when it was time for bed and other times she just hits the pillow and zonks out.
This is the typical adrenal fatigue picture. Sound like anyone you know?
Three stages of adrenal fatigue.
Each stage is a different level of cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is measured in a saliva test. You do 4 samples at various times throughout the day and then you can see where your levels are.
- Stage 1: Wired and tired – This stage is where you have high cortisol levels, especially at night. This can cause insomnia as well as insulin resistance that, in turn, causes abdominal weight gain. You often feel energized but more “wired” than natural energy.
- Stage 2: Stressed and tired – This is the stage where the nightly 3 am wake up happens. This also corresponds to the time of the liver in Chinese Medicine. And, when you’re stressed, it will involve the liver meridian. Once awake, you can’t fall back asleep very easily. This is the picture of your cortisol levels peaking too early and then dropping mid-morning and then an increase in the early evening. So this leaves you with energy when you need to sleep and fatigue when you need to be alert.
- Stage 3: Burnout – This is when you are flat-out exhausted day in and day out. The cortisol levels are almost flat and at this point, the thyroid may also be going a bit off track.
How to repair tired adrenals?
Are you fatigued and exhausted on a daily basis? Do you have muscle pain all over your body? Are you tired all day and then wake up when it’s time for bed? Have you gained weight and can’t lose it no matter what you do? Are you irritable and short tempered with your family and friends? Do you wake up at 33 am feeling anxious for no real reason? Do you feel so overwhelmed that everything in your life is too much to handle?
Well, here’s the good news. The Real problem is you haven’t been given the tools to repair your adrenals. Once you have these tools…You’ll sleep through the night and wake up vibrant and ready to face the day and move easily through your day without the constant overwhelming anxiety and exhausted feelings. And you will have the energy to play with your kids or spend time with friends. I promise you will be in love with your life again. And, you’ll do all this while reconnecting with who you want to be in your life.
I’m going to walk you through exactly what those 5 steps are today. But first, I want to share with you how I discovered these 5 steps.
I was in acupuncture school at the age of 38 when I met my husband. My life consisted of working 3 days a week, 10 hours a day, going to school 3 days a week, 8 hours a day, and on Sundays studying and doing homework. We got married when I 39 and pregnant 6 weeks later. And I continued my crazy schedule throughout my pregnancy. I remember being 1 day away from my due date and still working an 8-hour shift at the acupuncture clinic at my school. There was no other option because the school didn’t allow missed clinic days. Crazy, I know.
I was able to take off 4 weeks for maternity leave, which wasn’t much at all. My son had trouble during the birthing process and ended up in the NICU for 6 days. I was allowed to stay in the hospital for 2 days and then went home without my baby. Then I would sleep for a couple of hours and then drive back to the hospital to breastfeed him. I did this all day long until about 8 pm. Then I would pump breast milk and leave it at the hospital for them to feed him overnight. I would return by 7 am for his morning feeding.
When he eventually came home, I was thrilled. But then started a 2-year cycle of being woken up about every 2 hours for feedings. During this time, I was graduating from acupuncture school, studying for and then passing 2 different licensing exams, working part-time and finally opening my acupuncture business. When I look back, I can see now how exhausted I was for the first 3 years of my son’s life. I thought it was just my body getting older, but it wasn’t that. My body would ache all over and I was irritable more often than I liked. I strived to be a great mom, wife, and acupuncturist and I didn’t know how I could do that feeling as exhausted as I did.
It was then that I knew I needed to make a change.
It took several years and trying many paths before I discovered the 5 steps to repairing adrenal fatigue. If you follow my 5 steps, you will be on the path to recovery and get your energy and life back. There are 5 shifts you need to do to repair your adrenals so you can feel more energy, sleep better, and be happier in your life.
#1 Self-Sabotage is Common
Most People Self Sabotage Their Success. If you don’t change your internal mechanism for sabotage, you will just keep repeating this pattern. Healing your adrenal fatigue takes real commitment to the process; changing old habits and replacing them with new, healthier ones.Once you stop the self-sabotage loop, you will be able to move forward in your healing process.
#2 Clean out your pantry and your brain
When your house is filled with nutrient dense foods, you will eat better and crave less sugar. When you stop negative thoughts and stop taking in negative information, your serotonin (happy hormones) will increase.
I’m always amazed when people come to me and say “I eat well, so I don’t take supplements.” Or “I just take whatever supplements are in the big box stores or local drug store.” First, I can’t image eating several pounds of spinach a day to get my daily allowance of iron. Second, those commercial brands are not regulated like pharmaceutical brands. You have no idea what’s really in them, their true potency, or if they will even dissolve when you take them.
I can’t tell you how many patients get stuck in the negative thought loop. This creates anxiety and stress for them. Once you are able to stop that loop, your body will have more energy to heal and repair itself. Cleaning out your home, your brain and taking supplements are all keys to laying the foundation for a healthier life.
#3 Healing your gut will make you happier
The gut is referred to as your second brain. We used to think our digestive system was just that, digestion. Now, there is lots of scientific evidence to show how your gut affects your brain and your body. When you are stressed and eating poorly, your gut takes the brunt of it. Over time, the lining of the gut becomes impaired and allows microscopic food particles to slip out and circulate in the blood stream. This is not where you want food particles to be. This wreaks havoc on your immune system and can trigger not only food allergies, but also autoimmune conditions. Repairing your gut and changing some habits like eating too quickly can be the key to your health.
#4 Better sleep helps you lose weight
Getting good sleep on a nightly basis is crucial for good health. Establishing a nightly sleep routine will help you do this most effectively. Regular and early bed times work with your body’s natural circadian rhythms. When you are in harmony with that rhythm, you will sleep more soundly and wake more energized.
Now, I know you may have small children and can’t help being woken up, but there are ways to get better quality, deeper sleep and fall back to sleep more easily so you can feel refreshed in the morning.
I’m often surprised when a client swears to be a “night owl.” Sure burning the midnight oil might be fine when you’re a teenager and your melatonin rhythm matches that, but once you are in your 20’s that all changes. Staying up late burns out the Qi or energy that is meant to restore, rejuvenate, and replenish your body.
#5 Invest in a Support System
In my Facebook group, we have people at all stages of adrenal fatigue who share their experiences and support each other without judgment.
To summarize what you need to repair your adrenals and boost your energy:
- Shift self-limiting beliefs
- Make smart food choices and reduce your stress
- Heal your gut
- Restful sleep through the entire night
- Invest in a support system
These 5 shifts alone will get you more energy and repair your adrenal fatigue.
Now You Have a Choice
This can be just another show where you get some nice ideas and go back to your life of fatigue. You will continue to slug through your days feeling exhausted, irritable and foggy brained. There’s a reason you’re listening to my show today. You are ready to heal your body, feel joy again, and get your life back, that’s why you’re here today.
Here’s how I Can Help
Go to this website and schedule a call with me today.