Trying to work out why you’re so tired lately, needing that mid-afternoon sugar or caffeine hit to get you through your day? Do you get a second wind in the early evening then end up staying up too late because you feel too wired to sleep? Do you have a short fuse these days, finding yourself feeling impatient and irritated by things that never used to bother you as much? Do you experience “brain fog,” frequently forgetting details that in the past were easy to remember? Do everyday tasks seem to require more effort than ever before?
Have you talked to your doctor only to be told it is “all part and parcel of being a busy mum ” but you still continue to feel zapped of energy? So, what is really going on with your health? These are all symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Your adrenal glands produce the “get up and go” hormone cortisol. Adrenal fatigue occurs when, after a long period of pumping out high levels of cortisol, your adrenal glands become no longer capable of producing enough cortisol. In essence, you have reached the bottom of your fuel tank, no more “get up and go”. And, if there’s one group of people that seems to be most at risk of developing adrenal fatigue, it is mums.
Why, because as a mum, you juggle many responsibilities – parenting, relationship, family, friend, work and volunteer commitments. You manage to get at least twice as many things done than you did before the kids came along. Unfortunately, this productivity does not come without a price. These symptoms are your body’s way of letting you know that this pace and lifestyle is impossible to maintain. As a mum you often put everyone else’s needs first, trying to ignore these symptoms and push on through the day.
Eventually your adrenal glands become exhausted and can no longer produce an adequate supply of cortisol. Low levels of cortisol cause extreme fatigue, where you can no longer complete anywhere near the amount of tasks you used to in a day, in fact, it is often hard just to get out bed, or get through the day without a nap. You are left feeling completely overwhelmed by the amount of stuff you need to do and the fact that you have no energy to do it!
If that sounds all too much like you, my advice is to start prioritising and delegating tasks and putting some of your own needs first, primarily your health. As the saying goes, “If mama aint happy, aint nobody happy”! You need to refill your fuel tank so you can be the best person and mum you can be.
The good news is - adrenal fatigue is entirely preventable, treatable and curable with the right combination of dietary and lifestyle changes to help to rebuild the adrenal glands. In the next few blogs I will discuss how: when; what; and how you eat, can help you to have sustained energy all through the day, and get a great night’s sleep. Life becomes much more enjoyable when you have the energy you need!