Are you struggling with chronic exhaustion? Do you often feel so tired, that you can’t get up in the morning and during the day you wish you had more energy to get on top of your daily task? Is gulping down large amounts of coffee the only way you can make it through the day? If your lack of energy has been following a prolonged period of time with heightened stress and even anxiety, chances are that you may suffer from adrenal fatigue. According to my special guest, Marcelle Pick, author of Is it Me or My Adrenals?, there are three typical scenarios for adrenal imbalance: You can’t slow down and feel constantly wired and even when you are completely exhausted. Or, you can’t sleep at night, feeling awake and alert, but can’t get out of bed in the morning. Or you have no energy at all, can barely move and deal with intense food cravings and weight gain.
Marcelle Pick, who holds a MS in nursing from Boston College-Harvard University, explains how adrenal fatigue develops: “To understand adrenal imbalance, it is helpful to consider the original, evolutionary function of the adrenal glands. The adrenals are walnut-sized glands located on top of each kidney that serve as important manufacturing centers for many of the body’s hormones. The innermost section of each gland produces adrenaline (which you may know as epinephrine), and noradrenaline (also called norepinephrine). The layers outside the center, known as the adrenal cortex, produce several other hormones, including cortisol, as well as DHEA, and the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone.
Along with several other key responsibilities, your adrenal glands’ primary purpose is to help you survive in the face of a threat, rallying all your body’s resources into “fight or flight” mode by increasing production of adrenaline and cortisol. Healthy adrenals instantaneously increase your heart rate and blood pressure, release your energy stores for immediate use, shut down digestion and other secondary functions, and sharpen your senses.
We need all of these systems supported during times of intense, immediate stress – and these amazing glands respond to every kind of stress – emotional, psychological, physical, environmental, even infectious! When we have chronic, unrelenting stress, our adrenals don’t give up on us! They keep producing what we need – and the domino effect in our body begins. Fatigue, weight gain, moodiness, hormone imbalance, thyroid imbalance and irritability may follow.
Let’s emphasize two points about this healthy stress response. First, it takes priority over all other metabolic functions. Second, it wasn’t designed to last very long. It is important to remember that the hormone cortisol converts fats and proteins into energy – just what we need during those stressful times! But prolonged high levels of cortisol are actually damaging to your body. Let’s look at the ways prolonged high levels of cortisol impact your body’s functions:
- Digestion, metabolism and mental clarity are impaired.
- Normal cell regeneration and healing slow down.
- Healthy muscle and tissue are compromised.
- Healthy endocrine function and immune function are compromised.
- Hormone production is impacted.
The cumulative effect of high cortisol levels can take a toll on even the healthiest of bodies. We’ve talked about fatigue, weight gain and sleep issues – but there are other symptoms, too. Adrenal imbalance may also be a factor in depression, fibromyalgia, arthritis, hypothyroidism, hair loss and acne.”
The good news is, that our adrenals’ health can be restored naturally. According to Marcelle, who has helped thousands patients to heal their adrenal fatigue, most feel ‘like themselves again’ already just after a few months of following her treatment protocol. Listen to Marcelle Pick and I on my Podcast to learn more about how you can take care of your health.