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What is adrenal fatigue?
September 15, 2013
12:19 PM
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Diane Sanfilippo
New Jersey
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The simplified answer is that adrenal fatigue is when your body has exceeded it’s capacity to efficiently deal with stress, leaving you out of balance and at risk for serious heath conditions if not addressed. You might even have your Paleo nutrition dialed in, but not the “lifestyle” part, leading to some of these (but not limited to) common symptoms of adrenal fatigue: exhaustion, depression, cravings, low libido, brain fog, hypoglycemic type symptoms, muscle & joint pain, and difficulty waking but being wired at night.

Adrenal Fatigue is essentially a result of chronic stress. People often think of stress in terms of psychological stress but stress can also result from an injury, from over-training (which is all too common in the Paleo community), from a bacterial or viral infection, or really anything that chronically puts your body out of balance.

The mechanisms leading to adrenal fatigue are actually complex and in reality, your adrenal glands wait for signals that originate in your brain to do their job. The consequences of chronic psychological and/or physical stress disrupt and inhibit proper signaling of your hormones, nervous system, and immune system and consequently affect the messaging to your adrenal glands. So, in truth, your adrenal glands might actually be okay—it’s the proper signaling that needs to be restored.

Regardless of whether your adrenal glands are actually fatigued or they are simply not getting the signals they need to do their job, it’s imperative to take steps to reduce chronic stress and to restore balance in your body. Foundationally, you need to ensure your nutrition is dialed in (see Real Food 101), address digestion (see Healthy Digestion ) and address blood sugar regulation (see 21-Day Sugar Detox ). Lifestyle factors such as adequate rest, quality sleep, and stress reduction are critical for healing to take place. In tandem, on my Balanced Bites website, you can find a number of articles and podcasts on adrenal fatigue and how to restore and maintain adrenal health.

February 3, 2014
1:16 AM
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Holly Morello, NTP
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Wendy123 said

Would this cause a person to because very tired after eating? To the point of needing to take a nap?

Hi Wendy,

Being sleepy after meals if often a sign of blood sugar dysregulation or disrupted digestion. WIth blood sugar dysregulation, it is typically a result of too much sugar and/or carbs and perhaps not enough protein and/or fat in a meal. This leads to increased insulin, lowering blood sugar and contributing to you feeling tired and sleepy. If digestion is the issue and your gastric juices and enzymes are not working optimally, then your body is forced to use extra energy to digest your food, contributing to sleepiness.

I recommend reading the digestion series in "Healthy Digestion" http://balancedbites.com/healt.....-digestion to see if any of the issues resonate with you and start there. If you have not checked out The 21-Day Sugar Detox, http://www.amazon.com/gp/produ.....abite04-20, I highly recommend you check it out for blood sugar regulation. Also see http://balancedbites.com/21dsd to find out more.

I hope that help!

Best,

Holly Morello, NTP Nutritional Therapy Practitioner & Lead Content Developer/Researcher for Balanced Bites & Nourishing Excellence Nutritional Therapy, LLC
January 31, 2014
10:38 PM
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Would this cause a person to because very tired after eating? To the point of needing to take a nap?

October 12, 2013
12:34 AM
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Holly Morello, NTP
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Way to go Heidi!

And JessV, I agree with Brooke. You haven't provided much information but make sure you are getting more than enough sleep, not drinking caffeinated beverages. Also make sure your digestion is really optimal. A lot of people don't recognize digestive dysfunction and you need optimal digestion for healthy adrenal function. Read through Diane's 4-part series on Troubleshooting Your Digestive Issues: http://balancedbites.com/healt.....-digestion to get some ideas on how to support it. I like to make tea with Licorice Root that I buy in the bulk spices and herbs section of my local grocery store, however, I encourage you to investigate further, as you shouldn't supplement with Licorice root long term and it can exasperate hypertension.

Best,

Holly Morello, NTP Nutritional Therapy Practitioner & Lead Content Developer/Researcher for Balanced Bites & Nourishing Excellence Nutritional Therapy, LLC
October 1, 2013
2:40 PM
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Heidi
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Chiming in...

I'm a mom to four kids, aged 6 to 5mo. I was the poster child for adrenal exhaustion!! While not 100% perfect all the time, I was keeping to a very clean paleo approach for quite some time, both before and post delivery. A little over a month ago, I called up a local ND and asked for help.

Long story short, she was impressed with my nutritional habits (totally a shout to to Balanced Bites & Diane big time!!!), but because of the chronic state of sleep deprivation & physical stress my body has undergone (remember, 4 kids in a blink of an eye), she smiled and said my adrenals were totally maxed :)

I'm on supplements now. I am currently only in my first month of treatment. Looking forward to making progression. Talking about it HELPS especially when you suspect but don't know if you are for certain. Post partum gets overlooked sometimes in a bigger picture outlook.

Thank you BB for getting me on the path to help that I clearly needed!!! :) )

September 30, 2013
8:51 PM
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Brooke Hartle
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JessV said

If I have my food dialed in, and I'm taking FCLO/Butter Oil blend and probiotics and drinking bone broth as supplements, and I'm doing low-stress exercises like yoga and pilates, and I'm making a conscious effort to de-stress...when will I see these symptoms ease? I feel so...un-me.

Hi JessV! Usually this depends on how far your adrenal fatigue has gone on, and how quickly your body decides to bounce back. It isn’t something you can rush and may take 3 months, 6 months, even a year in severe cases to feel back up to par. Hang in there and keep doing the right things. If you feel you should be feeling better but you aren’t, try to find a good naturopath to help you on this. -Brooke

September 30, 2013
8:27 PM
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JessV
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If I have my food dialed in, and I'm taking FCLO/Butter Oil blend and probiotics and drinking bone broth as supplements, and I'm doing low-stress exercises like yoga and pilates, and I'm making a conscious effort to de-stress...when will I see these symptoms ease? I feel so...un-me.

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