So, let’s talk about this little thing called adrenal fatigue. I mentioned in my most recent Raw Vegan for the Summer Update that I was concerned I might be giving myself it. I talked about how I went from being light and full of energy to lethargic and unmotivated (not my norm).
I’d never heard of it before reading Woman Code, and I didn't know it wasn’t something recognized by modern medicine, until I saw a comment or two under the video. So, I decided to look into it.
The argument is that adrenal fatigue is not a real diagnosis. It’s not something you can test for. That it’s a blanket term for all the symptoms that we have from a overbooked, over stressed life.
There is “adrenal insufficiency” or Addison’s disease, which can be diagnosed through blood tests. But the treatments for this are steroid replacement therapy and hormone replacement therapy.
Now, I find it somewhat frustrating when someone gets harped on by suggesting something that you treat though diet and lifestyle changes. Where’s the harm in that?
I’m not discounting those with adrenal insufficiency.
I look at it somewhat like I look at Celiacs vs. a gluten intolerance. While there’s no one arguing that they’re on the same level, what’s wrong with people trying to cut out processed wheat, barley and rye from their diet because it makes them feel better?
People say gluten intolerance is just a fad and that adrenal fatigue is a fake disease, and maybe they are.
But I think it’s great when there are things that encourage a healthier lifestyle, things that make us reach towards unprocessed whole foods, and things that make us want to get outside and go for a walk.
Because as much as we’re told what to do for our health, sometimes it takes viewing it through a different light, or term, before it clicks, before that light bulb goes off.
From the moment I decided I wanted to try out a raw vegan diet for the summer, I made the decision to be completely open and honest about it. Because I know no one is going to be perfect from the start. And if all people hear are "this sucks don’t do this", or “I’m a perfect raw vegan” then they’re going to get discouraged when it doesn’t work out right away.
It’s not all or nothing. Maybe you’re really interested in it, but going 100% raw isn’t for you at this point. You are more than welcome to ease into it. Start with just one raw meal a day and go from there. This could be a smoothie for breakfast, a salad for lunch or raw tacos for dinner.
You’re allowed to move at your own pace. This is YOUR journey. It doesn’t have to look exactly like everyone else’s. You don’t have to mimic that person that inspires you. Learn all that you can, and choose what works best for you.
Now, saying that let’s talk about adrenal fatigue. This is what I’ve learned from reading and researching it for myself. And I know there’s much more to learn.
The argument is that Adrenal Fatigue isn’t a “real” medical condition, meaning that it’s not recognized by modern, western medicine.
If you look up the symptoms, they’re somewhat overwhelming:
+ inability to handle stress
+ sugar/salt cravings
+ high energy in the evening
+ dry skin
+ joint pain
+ low libido
+ ongoing tiredness
+ general lack of vitality
+ feeling depressed
And that’s just to name a few. This doesn’t include the menstrual issues like anovulatory cycles, progesterone deficiency and PMS.
These could be the symptoms of other issues you’ve got going on. But my argument for adrenal fatigue is that the “treatment” is all general good to do things for your health. So where’s the harm in that?
Sometimes we just need a gentle reminder to reevaluate our health and how we’re taking care of ourselves.
Reading through these, they all seem like obvious, no brainer, things to do. But, like I said before, sometime we just need to see it laid out in front of us for it to click.
+ get 8 hours of sleep (rest when tired)
+ put yourself on a sleep schedule (I shoot for bed by 10, wake up at 6)
+ eat breakfast (I’m bad at this)
+ don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach, or not at all (also bad at this)
+ nix sugar, caffeine, processed foods, hydrogenated oils
+ eat things like coconut, avocado, cruciferous veggies, nuts and seeds
+ do something active (get outside, bike, walk, hike, dance, do yoga)
+ research supplements like ashwagandha, magnesium, zinc and vitamins B5, C and D3
+ minimize or remove the negativity and stress in your life (this can be people, activities, etc.)
In the end, you can decide for yourself whether you think it’s a real thing or not. What I’m taking from this is that I need to look into my day to day life to see what things I’m doing that are harmful to my well being.
This isn’t a one time thing, a quick fix. It’s an ongoing process. Something you need to step back and look at every so often.
I’m not perfect, I don’t pretend to be, and sometimes even I like to be reminded of what I need to be doing, eating and avoiding.