Adrenal fatigue is about as much fun as riding a bike with no wheels. It manifests as chronically low energy, not just physically but mentally as well. Having abundant energy is one of life’s pleasures. Energy is what enables us to go out and do the things we enjoy with the people we love.
Often low energy can get in the way of relationships, work, exercise and play. We need energy to sustain a stimulating conversation. To have fulfilling interactions. To concentrate on work, hobbies and things we enjoy.
Lacking energy to do these things is draining in itself. Having enough vitality is important in providing a good quality of life. Energy allows us to harness every moment out of everyday.
Recovery from adrenal fatigue can take time as it has developed over time. As a result of chronic stress the HPA axis, where the adrenals lie, has become fatigued. Vitality will take a little time to recover. Its not all bad though. There are ways to help the adrenal glands do their thing once again to provide mental clarity and physical vigour.
An Adaptogenic herb from India
To compliment any changes you have made to your lifestyle and diet you might consider using an herb called Ashwaganda.
Ashwaganda is a type of ginseng that hails from india. Its has properties as an adaptogenic herb – that which adapts to suit the needs of your body. Adaptogens help restore your natural state of balance – homeostasis. They help you adapt to a range of stressors:
- Sleep deprivation
- Toxic exposure
- Psychological stress
- Emotional stress
After chronic stress the HPA axis is no longer able to produce stress hormones in optimal amounts. Cortisol and adrenalin are the primary stress hormones which influence your energy. They regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and energy production from fats and proteins.
Cortisol and adrenalin are responsible for providing energy in the form of blood glucose. When these hormones are low, so is blood glucose resulting in slumps in energy. When energy is low, concentration becomes a chore, interactions are challenging and your body feels like a lifeless corpse.
A way to restore energy
Ashwagandha, as an adaptogen works some real magic with stress hormones. It acts on the adrenals to signal an increase in cortisol which stabilises low blood sugar. When balanced, cortisol also enables the efficient burning of fat as fuel – another means of providing energy. It does this by offsetting the action of insulin, our fat storage hormone.
Adrenalin is also stimulated by Ashwagandha. Adrenalin signals for the tightening of blood vessels at the periphery of the body increasing blood pressure. This allows more blood flow to muscles, allowing a faster and more efficient transportation of oxygen. Oxygen gets used in the muscle to make energy. With worn out adrenals blood pressure is often low. Depleted energy and fatigue can ensue as a result.
When our stress hormones operate in balance we are stable, energised and in control. Having a better state of balance will enable consistent energy. So you can enjoy charged interactions, better concentration, and more vitality to enjoy exercise and hobbies.
A way to reduce stress
Adaptogens provide strength and resilience against stress, be it emotional, physical or mental. This magic happens through the regulation of stress hormones from the adrenal glands.
Stress hormones Cortisol and Adrenalin are more harmoniously regulated with Ashwagandha. This manifests as decreases in blood pressure, balanced blood sugar and thyroid function. All of these are thrown off with an increase in the stress response.
With greater resilience to stress comes and ability to focus and recall memories under pressure. Ashwagandha provides enhanced cognition through antioxidant activity and increase memory through acetylcholine receptor activity. Acetylcholine is our brainy, memory neurotransmitter.
Find Ashwagandha in the form of a root, powder or extract. A smoothie is a great way of consuming it in powder form.
Doses and Preparations
You can enjoy Ashwaganda in several forms. It typically comes in powdered root form or tincture and you can but it online here.
To experience the beneficial effects from Ashwaganda you can supplement it at doses of 2g/serving of powdered root three times a day. The optimal dose may vary for you but a ballpark is 6g/day. Find out more dosing options.
If you already have a supplement mix or neurotropic cocktail then reduce the dose and check for any interactions before adding it in.
To enjoy this rejuvenating herb you can mix it into a smoothie, protein shake or in the form of an edible.