Nutrition: Stress and How Adrenal Fatigue Can Affect You
Roz Kadir, our Sports Nutritionist, explains how you may be experiencing Adrenal Fatigue and how nutrition can help you.
The Adrenal Glands
Your two adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and secrete important hormones: cortisol, adrenaline, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). These hormones help your body control blood sugar, increase the burning of protein and fat and respond to stressors like fever, major illness and injury.
When your adrenal glands are working properly and cortisol levels are in a normal cycle, stress is handled more easily, your mind is clearer, weight loss occurs with less effort and your energy levels are normal.
Adrenalin gives you a boost of energy when needed. If this becomes chronic, the adrenals can no longer keep up with the demand and this can cause you to feel anxious and nervous.
You may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue if you regularly experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- . Tired for no reason
- . Trouble getting up in the morning even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour
- . Feeling rundown or overwhelmed
- . Feeling weak or shaky
- . Can’t bounce back from stress or illness
- . Crave salty and sweet snacks
- . Feeling best only after 6 PM
- . Allergies
- . Environmental sensitivities
- . Sensitivity to light or noise
How to Manage Stress
Eat regular meals, and don’t go for hours without eating. Avoid sugary and refined carbohydrate foods and consume high quality protein and good fats that will help keep blood sugar stable.
Eat food your Grandmother would recognise including brightly coloured vegetables, oily fish, beans, nuts, particularly walnuts and almonds, seeds such as pumpkin and sunflower.
Keep well hydrated and listen to your body. If you are tired or getting lots of infections, it’s time to back off and allow your body to recover.
The Adrenal Stress Test
There are many supplements that are useful in supporting the adrenals but are best used alongside tests to reveal where the problems are. The Adrenal Stress test is a saliva test collecting samples over a 24 hour period. If you would like to have this test done, it is available at a reduced price of £55 until the end of June 2012 (usually £75).
Roz has been a practicing clinical nutritionist since 1996. She joined the Centre for Nutritional Medicine and worked with medical doctors specialising in sports and woman’s health. She is a registered nurse with specialist training in cardiovascular care and gynaecology. She is qualified in functional medicine and is part of TheTriTouch team practising from our Sigma Sport clinic.
Roz has experience working with most sports including triathletes, cyclists, rowers, footballers, shot putters, fencers, martial artists and Premier league rugby players. She spent a large amount of time providing nutritional support for the England Rugby squad up to their success in 2003.
Sports Nutrition advice from Roz is available at £50 and a a full Sports Nutrition Package is priced at £150.