As a mom, you have a unique ability to juggle work, family and dozens of responsibilities. You manage to get things done and get them done well. You do in a day what it would take 5 people to do in a week, getting it done well, often without skipping a beat.
However, did you know that your hectic schedule may be affecting our adrenal glands?
Are You Suffering From Any Of The Following Symptoms?
- You’re having trouble falling asleep even when you’re tired (“tired and wired”) and even when you do sleep, you’re not rested when you wake.
- You get irritable or angry really quickly or more often than you want to.
- You’re craving sugar/carbs, fat, salt – or all of the above!
- You get tired around 3-4 most afternoons, and that’s when you really want something sweet or some extra caffeine.
- You’ve been gaining weight, perhaps noticing a spare tire growing around your middle.
- You feel anxious or blue.
- You’re getting sick more often than you used to.
- Your hormones are all over the place, you’re having fertility problems, and perhaps your libido is nowhere to be found.
- Your memory and focus are not what you think they should be.
- Your digestive system is a mess.
If you answered yest to 1 or more of these questions, you are likely experiencing adrenal fatigue.
According to expert dietician Debi Silber, excess levels of stress, when unchecked, can raises your blood sugar level. This leads to insulin resistance (the precursor to diabetes), higher cholesterol levels, disrupted sleep and more. Low immunity is making you more susceptible to illness and makes it harder to recover from illness. Your thyroid will be suppressed which will slow down your metabolism. The high sugar level is also causing inflammation, which is the root cause of just about every illness, condition and disease you can think of. Keep this up and you’re headed for chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease and more while speeding up the aging process, losing your vitality, enjoyment and quality of life.
Now Some Good News
Believe it or not, there is some exciting news. Some simple tweaks in your everyday lifestyle can reverse years of adrenal abuse and put you back on the path to long term health and wellness.
Step 1: Take it Easy
Relaxation techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, and active stress reduction help to let your adrenals know that you are safe – and this allows your system to recalibrate to a lower stress state, including pumping out fewer stress hormones. If you have already progressed from adrenal overdrive into adrenal fatigue, relaxation techniques can help your adrenals to heal and restore themselves.
Step 2: Cut Down on Sugar & Caffeine
When your blood sugar drops, it tells your body you are starving – and this is perceived as danger by your adrenal system. Keeping your blood sugar steady lets your adrenals know you are not in survival mode and that they do not have to go into action. Allowing your blood sugar to dip by skipping meals, living on coffee, and then spiking it up with sugary foods when you’re famished, taxes your adrenals. The most important step to blood sugar balance is starting your day – every day – with a high protein breakfast, and then eating a diet high in protein, good quality fats, and vegetables regularly throughout the day. Don’t let yourself get hypoglycemic and avoid sugary foods that give you a blood sugar spike.
Caffeine allows us to push past our natural energy limits and triggers some of the same adrenal chemicals (adrenaline, for example) that get fired up when we’re under stress, leading to increased cortisol production and adrenal overdrive. I know it’s hard to cut back on caffeine when you’re exhausted and hitting that 4 pm slump, but cutting back (or completely cutting it out) is the only way to break that vicious cycle. I can promise you that after you get through caffeine withdrawal (takes a few days, drink a lot of water to avoid headaches!) you will actually have more natural energy, not less!
While you might be feeling wired, especially if you are in adrenal overdrive or if adrenal fatigue led you to a 4 pm cup of coffee, your body actually needs 7-8 hours of sleep each night to restore your body and for your adrenals to have time to rebound.
Step 3: Take a Special Class of Herbs Called Adaptogens
There are a special class of herbs called adaptogens that work wonders for adrenal fatigue!
Adaptogens are a special class of herbal medicines that have been used in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for centuries to promote a sense of well-being. In those systems, these herbs are considered the “Kings” and “Queens” of herbal medicines for restoring health, vitality, immunity, stamina, and promoting longevity. The term adaptogen refers to the unique ability of these herbs to help you adapt to the stress in your life. They do this by “normalizing” or “regulating” the adrenal stress response.
Adaptagens help your body to cope more effectively with the demands of everyday life. They provide a sustained sense of calm, and while they increase energy, with the exception of Chinese ginseng, they are non-stimulating.
In addition to their effects on adapting to stress, adaptogens have profound antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that protect your cells from damage from a variety of chemical exposures. Also, one of the definitions of adaptogens is that they are non-toxic, even with long-term use. You can rely on these herbs to be safe and gentle.
Adaptogens are truly remarkable in that the chemicals they contain actually help to normalize adrenal function. They calm and nourish the adrenal glands, and support the processes that are controlled by the adrenals – from blood sugar and immune system regulation, to hormones and blood pressure. Amazingly, they work whether you are experiencing adrenal over-stimulation or adrenal fatigue. In fact, not only do they help you to adapt, but they also adapt to your particular biochemical needs!
While some adaptogens can work fairly quickly, in just a matter of days, their actions tend to be more subtle, with benefits building up over months of taking them regularly, either in capsules, tablets, or tinctures, as discussed below.
Most herbal experts recommend a combination of 3 or more of these herbs and work best when taken for a minimum of 3 months, and for as long as a year!
Not all herbs referred to in the popular media as adaptogens truly are; however, the ones below meet all the scientific criteria for being in this category. There is quite a bit of cross-over in the effects of these herbs, so they can be used somewhat interchangeably, but each also has its own slightly unique “personality,” or what it is especially known for, as emphasized in the descriptions. All of these can be used in any combination.
Remember, there’s more to living a balanced life than just taking herbs – but these botanicals can go a long way to helping you to restore your balance, your health, and your sense of well-being.
The folks at Botanica Research recently formulated a new blend specifically for addressing adrenal fatigue. Adrenal PS contains herbs such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea, both of which have been critically acclaimed by Dr Josh Axe and Dr Andrew Weil.
RHODIOLA: THE SPIRIT CALMING, ANTI-ANXIETY ADAPTAGEN
Rhodiola extract helps promote a calm emotional state and supports strong mental performance, optimal immune function, and hormonal balance. It is a key adaptogen for reducing anxiety. It improves mental and physical stamina, improves sleep, and reduces stress, “burn out,” and irritability. It boosts the immune system, decreases the frequency of colds and infections, and reduces inflammation. It is used in the treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome as well as fibromyalgia. It can be beneficial for poor appetite and as part of a treatment plan for chronic stress headaches.
Dose: 200-400 mg in capsules or tablets daily OR 2-3 mL (40-60 drops) of tincture, in water, 2-3 times daily. Use products standardized to 2-3% rosavin and 0.8-1% salidroside
Cautions: Avoid if you have bipolar depression with manic behavior.
HOLY BASIL: THE VITALIZER
Holy or “sacred” basil has been revered in India for over 5,000 years as an herb that calms the mind and spirit, and promotes longevity. In Ayurvedic medicine it is called Tulsi, which means “incomparable one.” It is used to improve energy and relieve fatigue, for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions, and to lower blood glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Holy basil may also protect the liver, helps with nicotine withdrawal, and elevates the mood, especially providing relief from mild depression. While this herb is related to common basil, it is a different species and common basil is not a substitute.
ASTRALAGUS: THE IMMUNE BUILDER
Astragalus has been used historically for strengthening and regulating the immune system, as a tonic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and to protect the liver. A lengthy list for sure. There is preliminary research that indicates that Astragalus extracts restore or improve immune function in immune deficient cases. It may be able to restore suppressed T-cell function in patients with long term illness. Abnormal liver enzyme tests have improved in people with chronic hepatitis when taking Astragalus. Astragalus is also thought to increase cardiac output and may be beneficial in individuals with congestive heart failure and compromised blood flow to the heart muscle.
No surprise then that Adrenal PS is getting a 5 star review at Amazon.com by shoppers, many of whom end up re-purchasing after seeing the results.
Check out the page to preview all the product details.
If Low Energy Levels, Anxiety and Fatigue are a concern, Adrenal PS can balance cortisol imbalances and put us on a path to high energy levels and lower levels of stress.
P.S. Remember, there’s more to living a balanced life than just taking herbs. These botanical herbs can go a long way to helping you to restore your balance, your health, and your sense of well-being 🙂 🙂