Today, our lifestyles are full of haste and stress. Our body deals with such situations with the support of adrenal glands, which are the size of a walnut, and secrete stress hormones like adrenaline, cortisol and DHEA. If stress has disrupted the balance of any of these hormones, your adrenal glands will not function optimally, leading to adrenal fatigue syndrome.
Its symptoms include excessive fatigue and exhaustion, craving for salty and sweet foods, feeling of not being restored after full night sleep or having sleep disturbances, low stamina, slow to recover from injury, illness or stress, lack of concentration, poor digestion, irritability, depression, low blood sugar, consistent low blood pressure and extreme sensitivity to cold. In addition, you also tend to gain weight around your middle.
There are foods that help you rejuvenate your adrenal glands:
Milk helps rejuvenate the adrenal glands as it is a complete food with protein of a high biological value:Drink a glass of warm milk with a pinch of turmeric in the morning or at bed time.
Metal and chemical toxins add to adrenal fatigue:Detoxify your body by having at least two glasses of fresh vegetable juice like wheat grass, tomato and dudhi (gourd) or mint and coriander juice.
Consume salt. sodium is critical for adrenal function. It’s low when adrenals are depleted. Those suffering from adrenal fatigue as well as high blood pressure, should added salt.
Add foods like fish, eggs, dairy products, soya milk, nuts and seeds to your diet to increase protein levels.
Eat frequent mini meals and snacks.
Include good fats like olive oil or canola oil in your diet.
Supplements of pantothenic acid (B5), Yashtimadhu, vitamin C, magnesium, B vitamins, along with liver tonic helps combat adrenal fatigue.
In addition to dietary management, you can also make these lifestyle changes:
Shallow breathing, that most of us do, compounds adrenal fatigue. Make a conscious effort to breathe deeply. Set aside five minutes in a day (three times). Breathe through the nose, counting 1 to 4. Hold breath for four counts, exhale through mouth counting from 1 to 4.
Take small breaks from stressful activity. n Go in for activities such as yoga, meditation, and prayer.
Chew your food properly.
Sleep early, preferably by 10:30 at night.
Regular physical activity helps overcome stress, tension, and anxiety by increasing blood flow to the brain. It stimulates the nervous system and releases feel good hormones.
Adrenal glands are most important for sustaining life and health. Just a few changes in the right direction are all you need to speed your recovery.
Dr Anjali Mukerjee is a nutritionist and founder of Health Total, a nutrition counselling centre