heal adrenal fatigue naturally

How Adrenal Fatigue Changed My Life

My struggle with adrenal fatigue was a big wake up call for me, one that I needed so desperately. Adrenal fatigue saved me from the mediocre and unconscious life I was living. By saying this, I don’t mean to undermine the struggle that you are going through right now; because, I get it. It sucks! I remember the sleepless nights, the debilitating exhaustion, the fear that I wouldn’t get better, the digestion issues, the food sensitivities, the mood swings, the dry skin, not being able to eat anything but vegetables, having to pee every 20 minutes…

But I also know my suffering was a true awakening for me. Without this illness I would not have gotten so low and hit rock bottom. It was hitting rock bottom that really made it clear that I had two choices; I could let this condition take over my body and my life or I could choose to keep fighting and believe in my healing.

I didn’t exactly like life I was leading before adrenal fatigue or the person I was becoming.

Let me give you a glimpse of my old life. Ever since I can remember I loved getting things done. I loved accomplishing things and as a result I learned at an early age to never slowed down. I started working when I was 14 and never stopped. I was putting myself through college working 2 jobs with a full load of classes. When I wasn’t working or going to school I was filling my time with working out, trying to finish my to-do list, trying to do everything and be everywhere. This incessant doing followed me into adulthood and I continued this same pattern. I would never take time out for lunch breaks, self-care and always chose to fill my free time with busy-ness.

I know now that me, my A-type personality and addiction to incessant doing is what got me sick in the first place. And all the things I was doing to be “happy” wasn’t making me happy at all infact, I was miserable. Even when I was doing something I should “enjoy”, I was constantly focused on the next thing really missing out on being in the moment and being “in joy”. I didn’t want to keep living that existence.

So once I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, it all started to make sense. The root cause of my condition was my chronic stress and addictive to incessant doing. It made me really stop and think about the choices I had made. I realized that if I kept on living like this, I would miss out on my life completely. Does this sound familiar? If so, I want to give you a great tool that helped me break the vicious cycle of busyness so I could finally LIVE more and heal my adrenals for good.

I didn’t get this realization overnight, but it was a process.

I started to work with a spiritual mentor. With her guidance, I started incorporating a simple gratitude exercise which little did I know at the time was going to transform my life.

Every night before bed I would write down 3 things I was grateful for from the day. It didn’t take long for me to recognize that this simple practice was not only changing my perspective, but had a positive impact on my body’s ability to heal as well. This practice quickly started to trickle into more of my day. I started to think about gratitude more often, not just at night.

I began to recognize in the moment when something magical happened, even something really small and felt grateful. Also, with this shift in perspective, I started to notice I had more energy throughout the day. I started to look at life through a more positive and healthy lens.

So for me it was such an important lesson in life, that my health crisis was an opportunity for me to make a have more awareness, fill my life with gratitude and that all I needed to do was choose healing and happiness. I chose to believe in my healing and trust my process and my body.

So now you know my story and how adrenal fatigue changes my life -  for the better.

 

Now we'd love to hear from you in the comments below. How has your struggle with adrenal fatigue shaped your life? What are the biggest lessons you have learned? You are part of our healing community and your comments could be just what someone else needs to hear. So take a moment to drop us a line below.

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Treating Adrenal Fatigue Naturally with Meditation

What if I told you there was something you could do for just a few minutes every day that is proven to decrease your stress and anxiety, reduce pain, cure insomnia and boost your energy. Would you do it? I’m talking about meditation. And in this blog, I'm going to tell you exactly how meditation works for treating adrenal fatigue naturally. Why is only 8% of the population meditating despite all the great research of its health benefits?

When I mention meditation to my clients they say “I can’t meditate, I have a hard time sitting still” And to be honest, I felt the same way and for years I was trying to meditate like a monk. Then I realized I was doing it all “wrong”. Mediation is fairly new to the western world so no wonder there is some misconceptions out there. Well, I want to help set the record straight because these myths are causing most people to give up after the first try.

We are going to debunk 4 myths about meditation and give you 5 easy steps to start meditating right away, even if you’re never meditated before.

Now let me explain how meditation is effective in treating adrenal fatigue naturally.

#1 Meditation Decreases Stress and Anxiety

When we are anxious our minds constantly race. Most often we are lamenting about experiences of the past or fearfully anticipating the future. As a result, we become prisoners to these thoughts and feelings. And we replay them over and over in our minds. Meditation, on the other hand, teaches us how to slow down our “monkey” mind and connect to the present moment. When we focus on the present moment we have less time to be anxious. Also, through meditation, we learn how to observe what is happening in the moment rather than judging ourselves, others or fearing everyone or everything.

#2 Meditation Reduces Pain

It is important we first make the distinction between physical pain and emotional pain, known as suffering. A new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center discovered 2 fascinating effects of meditation. Meditation allows us to 1) activate higher-order brain regions associated with attention control and enhanced cognitive control and 2) deactivate the thalamus, which acts as the gatekeeper for pain to enter the brain. So when we meditate we learn how to feel less pain and suffering.  How does it get any better?

#3 Meditation Cures Insomnia

Research shows that an overly stimulated sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) is a major contributing factor in chronic insomnia. A fast-paced and overstimulating lifestyles can be part to blame: staying up late, the overuse of TVs and computers, especially before bed, along with our dietary vices of too many stimulants, coffee, sweets, etc.  or maybe it’s more so that your current life situations are stressing you out and keeping you up at night. Although meditation can’t directly change the issues you are having at work or troubles in your relationships, or having to take care of a sick relative, meditation CAN definitely help you change how you react to these various stressors. Meditation gives us the time and space in our busy lives to get a fresh perspective on tough situations and allow us to have new insights to solve these issues.

#4 Meditation Boosts Energy

Many of us want more energy to get through the day. Unfortunately, we turn to stimulants that give us quick energy which then leads to an energy crash. Calming and focusing the mind with meditation is a highly effective way to increase energy and with no negative side effects.

Also, it’s important to realize that when it comes to energy, our reaction to stress can drain us much faster than even an intense workout. It less about how much you do in a day and more about HOW you do it.

And chemically, DHEA a steroid hormone made by the adrenals in charge of energy levels. If you suffer from adrenal fatigue you might have low levels of DHEA. If so, it feels like you’re operating from rock bottom each day. Meditation luckily is a very healthy and natural way to stimulates the production of DHEA.

 

Now we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Have you tried meditation? What was your experience? And what was most helpful piece of information shared here? We are a healing community and your comments could be just what someone else needs to hear. So take a moment to drop us a line below.

3 Reasons Why Skipping Meals Is Bad For Your Adrenals

If you're exhausted and stressed-out, your day probably looks something like this:  You wake up in the morning feeling exhausted; you hit the snooze button several times hoping a few more minutes will make you feel better. You stay in bed till as long as you can and then you don't have time to "break the fast". Or, if you do eat breakfast, its on-the-go and it might not be the most nourishing choice to kick-start your busy day ahead. Maybe you depend on your coffee to not only wake you up, but to satisfy your hunger. Then your morning is so busy that you don’t feel you have time for lunch so you skip it or delay it an hour or two. Instead, you rely on sugar or other snacks to get you through. Sound familiar? Believe me, I get it. I've been there. But let me share with you 3 reasons why skipping meals with adrenal fatigue is bad news.

1.Slows down your metabolism  

Skipping meals gives your body the message that it needs to conserve energy by storing calories as fat.

2. Causes Your Blood Sugar to Drop

When you skip meals it allows your blood sugar to drop. A drop in blood sugar puts added stress on your adrenal glands because the adrenals are responsible for maintaining your blood sugar levels. So your adrenals, that are already exhausted, to begin with, have to work even harder now.

3. Limits Glucose Production  

When you eat, the body breaks down your food and produces glucose. Glucose is the primary source of energy for your brain and your nervous system. So when you don’t eat, the glucose in your brain decreases, which means less energy. This lack of glucose impairs your concentration, focus, mood and memory.]

I just gave you 3 important reasons why skipping meals with adrenal fatigue is a bad idea. Here are a few tips to help you avoid this.

4 Tips to Avoid Skipping Meals:

  1. Make eating a priority. Eat every 3 hours (meals and snacks in between or 5-6 small meals.)

  2. Go to bed at a reasonable time, preferably before 10 pm in order to wake up a bit earlier.

  3. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you do now, in order to make and eat breakfast

  4. Stock up with lots of healthy snacks on Sunday. Bring several pieces of fruit, some veggies and/or an energy bar to eat for snacks in between meals.

Why Adrenal Fatigue Makes You A Hypochondriac

 A hypochondriac by definition is someone who is abnormally anxious about their health. If you’ve been suffering from adrenal fatigue chances are you’ve felt this way at some point. Or, maybe your friends and family members have suggested you’re a hypochondriac. You’re not crazy! Here's why adrenal fatigue makes you a hypochondriac:

4 Ways Adrenal Fatigue Makes You a Hypochondriac

1. Mystery Symptoms

Because adrenal fatigue is often overlooked or misunderstood by mainstream medicine often people experience many symptoms, have chronic pain or irritability, and are constantly exhausted without an explanation. The “unknown” can make anyone abnormally anxious as the future seems uncertain and somewhat scary.

That was me before I was diagnosed with adrenal fatigue. My symptoms all across the board, something was physically wrong with me, and I knew that, but doctors couldn’t find anything. I was beginning to feel as though they thought I was making it all up, but I knew my symptoms were NOT in my head.  I felt frustrated and hopeless.

2. Basic Needs Aren’t Being Met

It’s hard to think of anything else when your basic needs aren’t being met. Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, based on the idea that people are motivated to achieve certain needs. When one need is fulfilled a person seeks to fulfill the next one, and so on. The most basic needs being food, water, shelter, sleep, etc. Next in order is protection, security. After that are the “higher” needs like love, friendship, intimacy, personal growth and so on.

When you have chronic health issues often times you’re basic needs like getting enough sleep and having good health aren’t being met making it hard to focus on other “higher” needs. This means you’re missing out on so much. Your life is consumed with your illness and your ability to be happy and focus on “higher” needs is seriously compromised.

Maybe your friends notice that you are preoccupied or anxious about lots of things and that is why they're calling you a hypochondriac.

3. Have to Watch What You Eat

Every time after I ate, I felt horrible. I would feel itchy and tingly. At first, I thought I was just allergic to everything: gluten, dairy, sugar…

Little did I know, I had low blood sugar. Adrenal fatigue often contributes to blood sugar imbalance because the hormones produced by the adrenal glands play an important role in the way we metabolize and regulate blood sugar.

When you have low blood sugar it can cause many symptoms like blurry vision, rapid heartbeat, sudden nervousness, unexplained fatigue, shaking, skin tingles and trouble concentrating.

It’s easy to think these symptoms are a reaction to what you just ate, that you must be allergic to it. This might not be “it” at all. The symptoms you are experiencing could be a result of a blood sugar imbalance.

Again, how could you ignore symptoms like this, especially when they are happening every day?  Anxiety seems like a normal response to a prolonged struggle with the basic practice of eating!

4. Seems Like Your Sensitive to Everything

At the height of my untreated adrenal fatigue, my allergies became so severe that I couldn’t breathe through my nose or taste, or smell for months at a time. I became hyper aware of the environment around me because I was afraid of what I would react to; trees, plants, pets, dust, chemicals, intense smells…I was never sure what would set off a mild or a severe reaction.

I had to avoid people’s houses with pets. During allergy season, I would choose to miss out on outdoor activities rather than deal with the aftermath. I had to avoid certain beauty products and clothing that caused allergic reactions.  People noticed, and I’m sure their feelings were hurt when I stopped coming over or participating in events, but I had to take care of myself.

Nevertheless, I am sure that without a full appreciation of the ongoing discomfort and pain I was experiencing every day, it was easier for them to think my behavior was “excessive” or “crazy”.

In fact, it was simply a matter of doing what I needed to do to keep myself safe and functional.

These four examples are all excellent reasons why you might feel anxious about your health even if you are not usually an anxious person.  Any anxiety you feel given these challenges is completely justified and it’s important to remember that.

But how can you cope with the daily anxiety or the pressure that comes from judgment, even if it is rooted in loving concern?

I am about to give you 5 Simple ways to deal with this.

5 Things to Do About It

1. Stop Caring What Others Think

If your family and friends don’t understand what you’re going through, it is natural for them to feel confused, which can often resolve itself in judgmental behaviors. Try to explain what you're experiencing in an effort to help everyone. You will get more support from people who don’t think you’re crazy, exaggerating or just like to complain.

If they don’t get it, don’t waste your precious time and energy worrying about them. Save that energy for your healing. If you believe in yourself they will come around.

2. Get Support

If you find yourself without enough (or any) supportive friends, find some.  It may help everyone if you explained to them the basic challenges you’re facing in your life: perhaps they will be willing and able to help provide for some of those more basic unmet needs, freeing you up to enjoy those “higher levels” again!

Make an effort to reach out to a friend or family member you think will listen while you talk about what you’re going through from your own perspective. You can also work with health coach like me or another health professional who recognizes adrenal fatigue and is dedicated to your healing journey. There are also support groups on Facebook such as Holistic Healing from Adrenal Fatigue.

3. Give Yourself Some Credit

I applaud you for seeing the warning signs and listening to your body. Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. Ignoring them is only going to make it worse.

But, don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you focus all your energy on what is wrong. That’s only going to make matters worse. Instead…

4. Start Asking Questions

Get ready because I am going to be real HONEST with you. You might not like it, but it’s necessary. At this stage, complaining won’t help. Each time you notice you’re feeling sick or sorry for yourself, don’t beat yourself up—break that habit! Instead, document your symptoms and ask yourself a few constructive questions in order to shift your focus from your pain to your healing:

  • What could this symptom be telling me?
  • What can I be grateful for in this moment?
  • What is the next best step for me?

5. Stay committed To Your Healing and Trust

Whether you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue or another illness that results in chronic fatigue, don’t give up hope. You’re not alone and you’re not crazy.

You deserve great health, we all do. Stay committed by envisioning great health and trust you will find the answers in the right time

Now I would love to hear from you. Do you feel like a hypochondriac? Or have others suggested you are? How do you deal with it? Please share in the comments below.

Lots of Love,
Angela

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