When Your Brain and Body are Overtired, Check Your Adrenals

Recently, a lot of our friends and acquaintances in the community have been sharing unexpected changes in their bodies. They have trouble sleeping, feel anxious for no reason and have aches or pains without any major changes associated with these symptoms. One of the things I always consider is adrenal health, especially when the symptoms describe a feeling of persistent brain or body fatigue. 

Your adrenals control your stress response (think fight-or-flight), among other functions. When you’re in a stressed state over a prolonged period of time, your adrenals get overworked. This is often referred to as chronic or adrenal fatigue, which basically means that your adrenals are tired and running out of steam to maintain the level of stress you’re putting on them.  

When you’re feeling stressed, you often have or feel:

  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep 
  • Difficulty making simple decisions or feel overwhelmed by them
  • Weak or depressed 
  • Low energy or body aches

I took a multi-prong approach to adrenal health that worked for me and may work for you:

  • Optional: Complete the DUTCH Plus test, which is a comprehensive dried urine and saliva test that will give you useful information about your sex and adrenal hormone production and metabolism.
  • Try supportive supplements that boost your adrenal function (Adren-All, PS150 and SPMActive). These have no fillers and have high-quality ingredients that work, so you won’t have to waste money on trying a bunch of different supplements. Get 20% off on us through Fullscript.
  • Say no to obligations that don’t support your health and daily living so you can spend more time taking care of yourself – this may mean saying no to things like extra work/meetings or social gatherings (unless they provide you connection and value). 
  • Eat more protein and fiber, less sugar and alcohol. Don’t make extreme changes, as this will cause undue stress, which defeats the purpose.
  • Exercise – whether it’s a walk or yoga, be active for an hour every day (phone a friend, take a work call, or listen to a podcast while you’re walking)
  • Prioritize sleep – choose your wake and sleep hours. This requires saying no to any activity that does not fit into the “wake” window. 

It is not realistic to make all of these changes at once. I made one change at a time over the course of a year, to see which methods worked and were sustainable for me and my lifestyle. One year later, I assessed my initial symptoms and found that I reversed every, single one. Most notable is my brain function – I no longer feel persistently tired, in a brain fog or depressed. 

Each person’s approach to adrenal health will vary because our hormones and lifestyles are unique. Targeting stress as the primary focus of any adrenal plan will lead to effective results, but this requires major life changes that you may not be ready to make. That is okay, your body is very resilient and there is a lot you can do to support your mental and physical health at any age, in most situations. The key is being mentally ready to commit to changes that will support you through aging and long-term wellness. 

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