We are all for Treating the cause, not the symptom. As I have explained in our previous parts of this series, when it comes to adrenal fatigue.. this is really just a blanket term through on underlying causes.
The truth is that your gut health, thyroid function, iron levels, blood sugar levels, food sensitivities, and stress tolerance are more likely to be underlying causes of your fatigue. Focusing on treating these, rather than the symptom of fatigue, are the key to getting your energy back.
1. GET A GOOD MEDICAL ASSESSMENT
Understanding what is causing your fatigue is very important to creating the best treatment plan. For example, if your fatigue is from gut dysbiosis, taking an iron supplement may not help. A little advise from me… get a holistic practitioner to help you with this testing. It is all too common to have your symptoms such as fatigue disregarded from your general GP. Many practitioners broadly label all fatigue as adrenal fatigue that is quickly treated with iron supplements. Please reach out to our amazing naturopath Miriam Connelly Naturopath through https://www.loveyagutsbox.com/pages/book-a-naturopath to book an appointment as she will take your fatigue symptoms seriously and can help asses your root cause.
If you can’t do this then here are some practical steps to take.
1. IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH
You must heal your gut to overcome adrenal fatigue. It is as simple as that. - if you are in our program already then you are already half way there as we address all the lifestyle steps necessary to heal your gut.
If not, here are some simple things you can do to improve your gut health.
- focus on removing inflammatory foods from your diet. Things like refined sugar, gluten, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, vegetable oils. These increase the stress load on the gut and body, create an imbalanced gut environment and influence blood sugar levels.
- Include probiotic rich foods. Studies have found that using probiotics can improve fatigue by reducing inflammation, crowd out bad bacteria and improve leaky gut. There are more active probiotics in one tbsp of sauerkraut than taking a supplement.
- Include lots of collagen and gelatin rich foods such as bone broths/stocks, slow cooked meats, meat with the bone in, stews.
- Include good amounts of DHA/EPA fats such as fatty fish such as sardines and salmon, avocado, flaxseeds, grass fed butter, ghee, tallow.
- Get adequate vitamin D. Daily exposure to the sun on arms and legs is perfect!
- Prioritise 6-8 hours of good, deep sleep.
- Drink lots of filtered water!
2. ADDRESS ANY UNDERLYING THYROID DYSFUNCTION
If you have hypothyroid symptoms, including fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, dry skin— reach our to Miriam first. OTHERWISE…
There is a STRONG connection between thyroid health and gut health so you will benefit greatly from addressing your gut health in which case go back to the list above!
3. EAT FOR BLOOD SUGAR BALANCE
Low blood sugar levels can be a cause of fatigue and brain fog.
- To keep your blood sugar stable, aim to eat a diet low in processed carbohydrates like bread, pasta, sweets, chips etc.
- Refer to the list above about how to improve your gut health
4. AVOID FOOD SENSITIVITIES
Eating foods that you react too can be the cause of your fatigue. For example gluten is a major cause of tiredness, fatigue and brain fog.
- Eat a diet low in common inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy refined sugars, alcohol etc.
- Eat a diet rich in fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut
5. REDUCE YOUR STRESS LOAD
This is a BIG issue that contributes to adrenal fatigue symptoms. Adrenal fatigue is when your body becomes hormonally imbalanced due to chronic stress. The Above are internal stressors, the below are external stressors.
As we know, stress is a direct cause of adrenal fatigue, so if you are focusing on treating the symptoms of adrenal fatigue then you need to focus on reducing stress.
Example of External stressors are:
- Being too busy all the time
- Over exercising
- Lack of sleep
- Under/Over eating
- Saying yes to everyone
- Pressure we place on ourselves
- Social media/ t.v.
- Environmental toxins
Of course it is hard to address all of these external stressors as they are apart of our life. What you can control is how you respond to them and how you deal with the stress.
Here are my top tips to address these external stressors:
1. Identify what is triggering your stress/ anxiety. It may be some of the examples above or something different. But you need to acknowledge what is triggering you. That way you can put a plan in place to control your response.
2. Google the box breathing method. This is a very quick breathing technique that will calm your body immediately. You can do it anywhere at anytime. No hummmmmming required.
3. Find some simple things that can help you find your sense of calm. This could be:
- Eating a meal outside
- Going for a walk
- Catching up with a friend
- Have breakfast out
- Reading a book
- Remember everyone is different. What works for one person won’t work for another.
4. Increase your sleep! This can help manage your stress and help you feel less overwhelmed and fatigued by day-to-day stress.
5. Have a close friend/ family member that you can talk to. Support is everything
6. Focus on your nutrition! The food you eat while stressed can impact your emotions/ feelings. Remember nutrient dense and nourishing foods will make you feel good!
7. Give yourself time away from social media/ tv/ technology.
8. Reduce any high impact exercise and focus on low impact movement for a while. You can still get your heart rate up with this.
9. Start making the shift to a clean home. Removing any harsh chemicals that can go on your skin or in cleaning products. You may not realise but these can impact how our body deals with stress and can increase the stress/toxic load on the body.