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Is Adrenal Fatigue a real thing?

Is Adrenal Fatigue a real thing?

Hello sisters,

This week we're going to talk about adrenal fatigue. What is adrenal fatigue and what are some of the symptoms? Is it even a real thing?

Why do I know anything about Adrenal Fatigue?

Just to give you a little bit of background information, I have studied under the leading expert for stress and adrenal fatigue, Dr. James L. Wilson, for almost the past six years. Through his education, training, mentorship, and his knowledge, I have been able to help so many women (including teaching other practitioners to the same for their patients) beat burnout, by addressing these symptoms of stress and helping them overcome the obstacles that are preventing them from leading the best life that they possibly can.

Going through my own journey of recovery from Adrenal Fatigue has helped me help others. It also drove me to continue my education; I became a certified wellness coach to focus on guiding my clients through a change model to get to the root cause of stress and Adrenal Fatigue.

I also became a certified nutritionist to help my clients promote healing through nutrition.

What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue was coined as the Twenty-first-century Syndrome by Dr. James L. Wilson. It's considered the twenty-first-century stress syndrome simply because of the lifestyle we lead as a society; our constant need to be more efficient, to always be doing more, to always be busy, and to be accomplishing all the time is causing chronic stress. There's very little room for rest.

Adrenal Fatigue is considered to be a collection of signs and symptoms which are often stress related and there have been many studies on the impact of stress to your health. Specifically, there have been some recent studies by the American Psychological Association and the Journal of the American Medical Association, where they have shown that approximately 60 to 90 percent of all office visits to a primary care physician are to address symptoms of stress. That is such a staggering number!

That means that we are so stressed out that we're causing all of these symptoms and a majority of what doctors are seeing in their offices every single day often has to do with stress, and that's just staggering to me because it's completely preventable, for the most part.

What are some of the stress-related symptoms? What are symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is really a way of giving a name to something that's happening within your body. Your body is basically under a chronic stress response (fight or flight) and it becomes unable to deal with the demand to respond to heightened stress after a prolonged amount of time.

The busier we are, the frenzied state and emotional distress becomes a playground for inflammation as elevated cortisol tries to bring our body back to a parasympathetic state (rest and digest). Leading to many of these symptoms because of chronic stress, we become a society that is facing the epidemic of burnout.

Chronic fatigue

One of the top signs and probably the most complained about symptom is chronic fatigue. This is a fatigue that is not relieved by sleep. So even though you may get eight to 10 hours of sleep at night, you still feel exhausted throughout the day. You have a really hard time waking up in the morning and, in fact, if this is really true for you, you are often hitting that snooze button or sleeping through the alarm, and then finding yourself panicked and rushed in the morning because you've slept completely through your alarm. Worst part- you're not waking up feeling rested and rejuvenated!

Zero Energy/Energy Crashes

Another symptom is zero energy. You feel completely rundown and totally lethargic and that lack of energy continues throughout your day so much, leaving you completely dependent on caffeine and sugar to keep you going throughout the day. This leads to a temporary burst of false energy that is followed by a severe sugar crash.

And the cycle continues. Coffee. Candy. Crash. Repeat. Welcome blood sugar imbalance.

Brain fog

Brain fog is a terrible thing because it makes you feel like you're almost losing your mind. You can't concentrate on anything, your memory is terrible, and you're just not thinking clearly. In fact, you may even be making some poor decisions because of the fact that you are having chronic stress symptoms.

And it's leading to a decreased cognitive function when stress increases, your brain is working a lot harder and not as efficiently as it could be. You may have trouble sleeping because of the stress and imbalanced cortisol. And even though I previously mentioned that you don't feel rested and you feel so tired all the time, your body is completely unable to wind down. So you lay awake all night long thinking of all the things that you need to do and really wishing that you could just fall asleep.

Your body is not able to regenerate cells and repair tissue because of the stress and lack of sleep, therefore increasing the brain fog.

Sick often

Another symptom is you are getting sick often. Your immune system is compromised because all of the nutrients and the vital minerals that are needed to promote a healthy immune system are being shunted away from the processes of keeping you healthy and to recover faster through a built-up immune system. The vitamins and minerals are being shunted away to protect you during times of stress and aid the stress response system within your HPA axis.

Something to note, the adrenal glands demand the most Vitamin C than any other tissue or gland in the body and that need increases exponentially as stress increases. Vitamin C is critical to the immune system as it gives antioxidant protection

You may also have difficultly getting over sicknesses. Colds and infections linger longer and it seems like you never fully recover. Ever had a month of sickness? This is a sign of stress.

Decreased sex drive

Another symptom of adrenal fatigue and chronic stress is you have a decreased sex drive and how horrible is that?!? I mean at least you could enjoy that, right? Unfortunately, your hormones are completely imbalanced because your body is saying you are so stressed and now is not the time for reproduction. So again, it's shunting away those resources that lead to a healthy hormone balance to instead keeping your body in that fight or flight response.

There can be other repercussions of hormone imbalance: weight gain, fatigue, irritability, increased PMS or menopause symptoms.

If any of these symptoms ring true for you then you very well could have adrenal fatigue. In fact, in some studies, it has been shown that approximately eight out of ten people have some degree of adrenal fatigue. It could be mild, moderate, or severe and any where in between those lines.

If you feel that this is something that you are dealing with I encourage you to download my five signs of burnout, where I go a little bit deeper into some of these signs that could be leading you to a burnout very quickly. If you go to erickaeller.com/burnout, you will get your hands on that PDF immediately!

You can also read more about Adrenal Fatigue HERE.

In the meantime, if you have any questions feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you!

Whole Health. Whole Love. Whole Success.

~Ericka

Stress Management: Women-Balance, Self-Esteem, & Body Image

Stress Management: Women-Balance, Self-Esteem, & Body Image

I interviewed Dr. Ariane Machin, co-founder of Conscious Coaching Collective, to discuss modern issues that we, as women, deal with. There are impossible societal standards that are placed upon us requiring unachievable perfection. It negatively impacts our body image, self-esteem, relationships, and overall self-worth. This discussion is rich in grace, humor, and balanced perspective that gives women permission to say no and embrace your space. 

I hope you love this interview as much as I do! Isn't Dr. Machin the greatest?!?! I could talk to her allllll day. If this spoke to you the way I think it will, then make sure you head over here to get on the waitlist for INTENTIONAL WELLNESS! It is a whole wellness program that flips "diets" on their heads! It's time to look at stress management, gain energy, and feel healthy & whole again. JOIN THE WAITLIST!

Until next time, sisters!

Whole Health. Whole Love. Whole Success. 

Happy International Women's Day!

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It’s about time. The world gave ME a day….today is International Women’s Day!! I have one day to bask in all of womanhood and delight in the estrogen flowing through my body. Break out the piñata! Fiesta! Such joy! 

However, the ironic humor is that this very celebrated (everybody celebrates, right??), festive, pinnacle of all peaks, day that the world has given ME…..is the day that nature gives me the swift kick in the pants and I get my period. Of course. Happy International Women’s Day to ME. To begin the celebration, here is the fiercest of cycles! Of course. I feel like my body turned on me. 

Nonetheless, I do celebrate being a woman. I celebrate all of my femininity each day.  I don’t need a day to celebrate or acknowledge that I have a uterus. I celebrate all the good and bad of being a woman. The best part for me was that God made me a woman because He knew I could do hard things. Each day I am given breath, I am thankful for the women who have gone before me and done hard things. I am thankful that I have gifts and talents and I can share those with others. I am grateful that I have a chance to impact my children in a positive way, especially our daughters. I am grateful for women who will come alongside and help mentor me to become a better wife, mother, leader, and friend.   

I celebrate the hormone shifts because it reminds me that even on my fiercest of days, when it seems as though I have no heart, I can still cry at someone being compassionate to another human. I celebrate my changing body, because I grew three babies inside and they are miracles! Who cares if it’s softer and I have stretch marks?!! Without this body, those amazing people wouldn’t be here….there are days I wish I could shove them back inside to give me some quiet, but they are still amazing and I love them with all my heart. I celebrate all that I have accomplished. Life is tough and we have each been knocked down. There were times that I thought there was no way I could get back up. But God. He has a way of leading us down the dimly lit path. I celebrate having courage. I celebrate having faith. I celebrate being bold. I celebrate being quiet. I celebrate being thoughtful. I celebrate being scared. 

 

We are busy. We are tired. We are overwhelmed. We are over-scheduled. We sleep too little. We worry too much. Sometimes, it’s just one day at time. And that’s ok. We are loved. We are precious. Take a deep breath. There is always something to be thankful for. 

Each day, I choose to celebrate and love myself so that I can also love others better. It’s a choice. I haven’t perfected it. Some days are easier than others. Each of us, as women, have gifts that we must share with the world. Don’t keep it to yourself. You are a gift. Celebrate it. Make a cake...You are THAT special!

Today, try these three things to celebrate yourself:

  1. Be thankful. Take time to write down 3 things you are thankful for right now. Anything. Gratitude breeds joy.
  2. Do something kind for someone else. Nobody ever feels bad after doing a good deed for someone else.
  3. Love yourself. Speak kind words to yourself.  Take some time for you. Take a nap. Whatever you need today. 

Don't just celebrate being a woman today. Celebrate every single day. Celebrate you. Don't forget the cake. 

 

 

 

 

 

Room To Grow

This past weekend I decided to tackle the most giant of tasks. The Goliath of tasks. I didn’t want to. I thought it wasn’t bad enough. I’ve procrastinated for months already. Life was still continuing to move forward without this task being finished. I was getting by. 

What was the task that made me feel a little nauseous every time I thought about it? Purging and organizing my closet. I can hear the collective groan from all of you too. I dreaded this task. But I couldn’t stand it anymore. 

Many of you may know that I became the happiest of brides last September. God heard my most fervent of prayers and blessed me with an amazing husband. Jeff moved into the house and it was a challenge to find room for his things. I didn’t realize the amount of shifting, moving, donating, and selling that we would each have to do! I thought he was coming with his toothbrush and a bag full of underwear and socks and we would live happily ever after. I figured I would give him my side of the bed (because it turned out we both slept on the left side of the bed on our own and I can compromise) and it would all be good. Then I see a moving truck pulling up. And it was FULL. 

Fast forward to the master bedroom closet. We needed to make room for his clothes! I let go of 5 tops and what felt like 1,000 pairs of shoes and it didn’t even look like I made a dent, but we carried on with the tight closet. I knew I needed to get rid of so much more but I just couldn’t. I’d sacrificed so much already! I NEEDED all of that stuff! I put it off and procrastinated. Then finally I decided it was time to rip off the band-aid. 

I had been inspired last week when I listened to this podcast on closet organization by Chalene Johnson. She inspired me to make the move I was dreading, my conviction and need flipped the internal switch and I began the dirty work. Within two days of listening to Chalene, I went through every single piece of clothing and purged what was no longer in style or fit. I was ruthless. It was liberating. 

Cleaning the closet made me think…how many times have there been things in our life that we are afraid to change? How often have we known that in order to grow, we need to move past something holding us back? How often have we let fear of the unknown prevent us from experiencing a “clean closet”? How many times have we told God, “not now”?

You see, there can’t be growth when things remain unchanged. In the same way, I couldn’t appreciate so many pieces of great clothing because they were being hidden by items that I would maybe one day wear again. Never mind that it has been over a year or more since I’d worn it, one perfect day, when all was right in the world, I would be glad I hung on the cardigan with layer upon layer of ruffles or that skirt or blouse! Those extra, unnecessary, items were preventing me from having an organized, open space. I was being greedy and selfish by holding on to items of material worth. I wasn’t willing to let go and allow someone else to be blessed by what I no longer used. I wasn’t allowing myself to dwell in the place of contentment of what I have. Cleaning my closet allowed me to see my blessings and find contentment. 

Similarly, we prevent our own personal growth because we allow the clutter in our lives to hold us hostage. We don’t allow God to use the old to bring forth the new. We don’t allow the growth. We seek “perfection”and acceptance through new things. 

We allow the fear to creep in, we stay safe. 

We don’t share that idea at work because nobody will care, or worse, they will think it’s dumb. 

We don’t reach out to that person because they probably aren’t interested or are too busy to have another friendship. 

We don’t participate in groups or activities because we probably wouldn’t fit in. 

We don’t change our diet and lifestyle because it’s too hard and we won’t be successful again. 

We don’t jump forward with the business plan because we would probably fail. 

We don’t leave toxic relationships because what if we end up alone?

We don’t join in conversations because what we have to say is probably not valuable. 

We don’t submit our resume because we probably won’t get the job. 

We don’t give up the addiction because it brings us comfort. 

Think about this. What if we did? What if we said yes to what God has placed in our hearts? What if we stepped out in faith and allowed God to work through us? What if instead of fighting the pruning that will come anyway, we submitted? 

I have had some hard lessons in life. I have regrets. I’ve hung on so tightly to things, and sometimes I still do. I’ve looked for people and things to fill my needs. Slowly, I am learning that when God says it is time to move forward, it’s at that time I need to obey. Letting God do what He needs to do while I have a willing heart is so much easier than acting like the toddler who you’re practically sitting on to get the medicine in their mouth because they NEED the medicine to get better.  If I just took the medicine or washed my hands so that I wouldn’t get sick in the first place, it’s much easier to handle. The medicine can still be bitter but it allows us to grow, regenerate, and stay healthy. 

I know, such a life lesson from a closet about to explode, right?  But God uses everything. And there lies the blessing.