BY GUEST BLOGGER: Dr. Saman Rezaie is a licensed Naturopathic Physician (N.M.D), receiving his Doctorate from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. Prior to his doctorate, Dr. Rezaie completed a master’s in Molecular Biology from University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and his undergraduate degree in Biology (pre-dental) from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. He is a general practice physician with a focus on sports medicine, pain management, prolotherapy, gastrointestinal concerns, auto-immune disorders, anxiety, depression and other mental disturbances. Dr. Rezaie can be reached at www.MyIntegrativeHealth.com
The adrenal glands release hormones on a daily, rhythmic pattern to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, metabolic rates and overall energy. When stress is high, this rhythm is goofed up. Adrenal stress can result in symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, sleep disruption, mood instability, hormone imbalances and much more. Once this pattern has been disrupted, you have to come up with a plan to return back to your normal pattern. The key to resuming normalcy is Routine.
1. Renovate Your Diet
One of the first places you want to start is your diet. You want to have a protein-packed breakfast within 30-60 minutes of waking up. This helps stabilize your blood sugar first thing in the morning and sets you up for the day. Keeping your blood sugar balanced takes the stress off your adrenals from having to produce cortisol.
The next step is to continue with consistent meals throughout the day to avoid a drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Ensure all your meals have a good serving of protein. Protein keeps your blood sugar balanced for a longer period of time, avoiding spikes and crashes from sugars and refined carbs.
Adding these dietary routines takes stress off your adrenals throughout the day and allows them to recover in a stable blood sugar environment.
2. Revamp Your Exercise Regime
Your exercise routine could be one of the reasons you are experiencing adrenal fatigue; therefore, it has a major impact on your recovery. You could be working out too hard and/or too long and stressing out your body. If you are no longer thriving from your workouts and are finding you need more time to recover, then it’s time for a change.
You want to have a routine number of days you exercise per week. Exercise only three days per week and always on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This allows for a day of rest in between and weekends off for recovery. In more advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, less will accomplish more.
The intensity of your exercise should also be considered. Perhaps you need to back down to only mild to moderate (one-third to two-thirds of your max effort) activity. You should be invigorated from the exercise and able to fully recover within a day. The exercise you do should not be making the adrenal fatigue worse.
What time of day is best for you to exercise? If you are tired in the mornings, it’s not the best time for you to work out. Find the time of day you have the most energy and get your workouts in at that time. Do not try to push your body when it is tired; your cortisol could be low, and this will put even more stress on your adrenals.
3. Restore Your Sleep Patterns
The next place you want to focus is on a routine sleep pattern. You will want to get to sleep at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time each morning. This will be the first step in getting your cortisol rhythm to return back to normal. If you are wondering why this is so important, ask anyone who is a shift worker with a rotating schedule. Have you ever seen someone with this pattern look rested or energetic?
You want to get to bed before 10:00 p.m. each night and possibly sooner if you are really tired. This is important during the week and more important on the weekends. Keeping bedtime consistent will allow your cortisol patterns to normalize. Also, make sure you have the same routine before sleep each night, as this will signal to your body and brain that it’s time to go to sleep.
Turn off all electronics by 8:00 p.m. to avoid the stimulation before sleep. Make sure you remove all electronic devices from the bed, placing them at least 10 feet away to reduce EMF (electromagnetic field) emissions, which can disrupt your sleep patterns.
Avoid adrenal stimulators during the day and especially at night. This means no sugary dessert after dinner or nightcap of alcohol. The sugar spike will stress out your adrenals and cost you a good night’s sleep. Alcohol sets off a blood sugar roller coaster.
Caffeine is normally okay in the mornings before 10:00 a.m. Later in the day could cause you to toss and turn in bed at night. You might even have to remove caffeine altogether if you are a slow metabolizer.
Putting these routine tips into practice during the day and at night will help you count more sheep.
All of a sudden, routine is not looking so bad. Adding structure to your day can add a boost of energy and health, helping to go from adrenal fatigue to thriving. Perhaps John C. Maxwell was onto something when he said, “You will never change your life, until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.”
We have wonderful natural protocols to support adrenal glands and adrenal recovery including whole food complexes and herbs. Click here to set a free consultation to find out if you need additional help to allow your adrenals to recover.
Here is a writing from one of my mentors, Charlotte Kikel…
Please share with us in the comments section what you do when you feel overly tired or which of these suggestions you will start to work on to help your adrenals recover.
Stay tuned for our ongoing series HEALTHY from A-Z, an adjunct to our “7 Weeks to HEALTHY Patient Education Program”.
Any nutritional information or dietary advice is not intended as a treatment or therapy for any disease or particular bodily symptom. Nutritional counseling, food recommendations, nutritional advice and vitamin, mineral and/or phytochemical support are provided solely to upgrade the quality of foods in the patient’s diet in order to support the physiological and biomechanical processes of the human body. We make no warranties or representations expressed or implied as to the accuracy or completeness, timeliness or usefulness of any opinions, advice or information contained or referenced in this material. We also do not assume any risk for your use of this information. Any statements made have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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