Fighting Adrenal Fatigue with Ashwagandha - Fresh Body Mind

Fighting Adrenal Fatigue with Ashwagandha

Adrenal gland and internal organ x-ray

In our busy modern world, the day feels like a never ending uphill fight to simply stay awake. Why do so many of us struggle with fatigue on a daily basis? For some, this isn’t simply a symptom of too many late nights, but could be a condition known as adrenal fatigue and it’s a much misunderstood but worryingly common condition.

What is adrenal fatigue?

The human adrenal glands are associated with our “fight or flight” response. These tiny organs sit on top of our kidneys and are there to help protect us from immediate danger. They do this by pumping adrenaline and cortisol into our bodies in response to a threat. These chemical changes in our bodies are essential in prompting us to take action against the threat, but as a side effect the rush of chemicals increases our blood sugar and our blood pressure.

The problem comes when we are in a near-perpetual state of stress. If our bodies perceive us as always being in some level of danger, our adrenal system never switches off. This is how adrenal fatigue develops. The glands produce excessive cortisol and other hormones either due to the body misinterpreting daily stresses as regular threats or through a number of other potential contributors including heavy metal toxicity, caffeine, cigarettes, or other stimulants, a poor immune system, or low blood pressure.

Some people have suggested that electromagnetic fields from WiFi signals and mobile phones could also be interfering with our adrenal glands, but studies are yet to prove this is the case.

How do I know if I have adrenal fatigue?

The condition is not easy to diagnose as it is easy to misinterpret the symptoms. However, if you are experiencing multiple symptoms from the list below, then you may have adrenal fatigue and might wish to talk to a health professional to find out more:

  • Trouble concentrating, regularly experiencing ‘brain fog’
  • Restless sleep or difficulty in falling asleep in the first place
  • Fatigue on a regular, almost daily basis
  • Feeling as if you are constantly in overdrive
  • Digestive difficulties
  • Food cravings, particularly for sweet or fatty foods
  • Frequent colds or flu
  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes
  • Hormonal imbalances, PMS, fertility problems, menopause symptoms
  • Inflammation, joint pain, fibromyalgia
  • Irritability, anxiety, or depression
  • Weight gain

What can I do to treat adrenal fatigue?

If you are experiencing a number of the symptoms above there are two stages to tackling what may be adrenal fatigue.

The first is to look at your lifestyle. Are you stressed? Drinking a lot of alcohol? Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day? Eliminate any stimulants you can and do everything you can to create a sleeping space that is peaceful; that means no phones or other screens in the bedroom. Finally, follow a healthy, balanced and where possible organic diet and look to eat natural homemade food whenever you can.

With the above sorted out, it’s time to look at what treatments you can add to this basic healthy lifestyle to specifically target problems with your adrenal glands. The must-try natural remedies here are called adaptongenic herbs, of which Ashwagandha is one of the most popular.

Ashwagandha has been used as a traditional treatment in India for thousands of years and has developed a reputation as a food and a medicine celebrated for its calming and anti-inflammatory effects. It is also known to delay the release of cortisol and reduce stress – both crucial in tackling adrenal fatigue.

It’s advisable to take three to six grams of the dried herb a day in capsule form and to give the treatment a full three months to ascertain if your body is responding to it or not.

Find out more about the health benefits of ashwagandha here.