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Are you constantly fatigued, always suffering from DOMS, eating clean but not getting lean?

I have come across many people in my career who suffer adrenal fatigue which affects so many aspects, but in this article I am going to focus on how it affects our muscle gains and fat loss goals, read my article below so you better understand the condition and can recognise the symptoms, as studies show this will happen to 95% of people at some time in their lives.

Adrenal glands are small disc like glands approximately the size of a grape, which situate right above each kidney. There function is to secrete a number of hormones to prepare our bodies to respond to external and internal stress, these include adrenaline, epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol and cortisone, they also produce, testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone, pregnenelone and DHEA.

Below is a list of symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  Excessive fatigue, waking up tired after sufficient sleep 
  Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope
  Craving salty and/or sweet food
  Sensitivity to light
  Slow recovery from injury, illness, exercise
  Lack of concentration, reduced memory
  Trouble with digestion, IBS
  Low immunity – always getting sick
  Severe pre menstrual, menopause
  Low blood pressure- dizziness when standing
  Anxiety, irritability, depression, panic attacks, anxiety attacks
  Low libidos, sexual drive or interest
  Excess hunger or low appetite 
  Quick to anger, impatience

When we are under stress situations we over-secrete cortisol since our adrenal glands are too fatigued to perform properly. Any little increase in cortisol will cause fat to be stored preferably around our waist. Adrenal fatigue also has an effect on our blood sugar levels, cortisol helps to keep our blood sugar at appropriate levels to meet our energy demands, so once cortisol drops due to adrenal fatigue, our body can’t maintain adequate blood sugar levels. A quick drop in blood sugar affects our ability to store nutrients where we’d like and creates a state of insulin resistance in the muscle cell therefore we store nutrients as fat, and since we have a rapid state of hypoglycemia, we’re more likely to sway from our diet and eat whatever we crave.

To make things worse, 80% of sufferers from adrenal issues also suffer from decreased thyroid function, due to the adrenal fatigue these people are unresponsive to thyroid medications, so they need to first address the adrenal issues first to rectify this. Along with all this there is an increase in allergies and joint pain since cortisol is the most powerful anti-inflammatory in the body, therefore when cortisol levels are low we have an inflammatory reaction that increases the severity of our allergies and joint pain. Lastly we will also turn to salty food therefore increasing water retention “bloated feeling”.

Adrenal fatigue is caused by many things including but not limited too:

  1. Soy
  2. Toxins from food and medication
  3. Too many carbohydrates produce’s too much insulin read as stress
  4. Not enough cholesterol in the diet (hence your cheat meal)
  5. Over consumption of caffeine
  6. Zinc deficiency
  7. Lack of salt

I will go into further detail in how the above directly affects the body in further posts. If you suspect you may have adrenal fatigue I recommend you seek a physician experienced with this condition, preferably one whom also believes in natural medicine.

In regards to training you do not need to stop but I advise you to seek an educated personal trainer who has experience with clients with adrenal fatigue as there is certain ways you should and shouldn’t train through this condition, nutrition is key to recover from this condition, so an adrenal fatigue appropriate nutritional plan is imperative.

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