Category Archives for Adrenal Fatigue

3 Completely Unknown Side Effects of Birth Control Pills

 

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Hello, how’s it going? I’m Kendra Perry from Kendra Kendra Perry Nutrition, and I’m coming to you from my very cold house.

 

It’s getting into October now and I didn’t feel like making a fire because I was lazy so I’ve got my toque on I got my … jacket on and I even got my booties on, those are my favorite little booties, but anyways, today we’re going to be talking about a very very important topic and also maybe a bit of a controversial topic because I know a lot of you ladies out there take the birth control pill and you’re getting a lot of benefits from it

 

You know you don’t have to think much and you’re not getting pregnant you don’t have to worry about that which is awesome.

 

But of course that does come with some side effects,  and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today; three unknown very very commonly unknown side effects that are very long-term and these side effects can affect you even if you were on the birth control years ago and you’ve been off it for years, so maybe it’s something you took in your 20s and it’s been five or ten years since you’ve been off of it.

 

Unfortunately, some of these side effects can still be affecting you and I’m going to get into that a little bit today. So if this is your first time joining in for one of my videos. Welcome, I’m Kendra Perry from Kendra Perry Nutrition like I mentioned before and I’m a functional diagnostic nutritionist and what I do is I help women generally in their 30s and 40s.

 

I help them balance their hormones so they can stop feeling fatigued, crazy overweight and super unsexy and they can start feeling awesome, so that’s what I do and if you haven’t already I have an awesome freebie right now if you are wondering what’s up with your hormones? If maybe you suspect your hormones have to do some of the symptoms that you’re experiencing lately,

 

I have a free self-test it’s pinned to the top of this page and you can use that to get a good idea if you might be at risk for a specific hormone imbalance and which imbalance that might be, okay.

 

So let’s get into it, but before we get started, I just want to ask you guys a question and please answer even if you’re just watching this video if even if you’re just watching the replay of this video.

 

I know there’s a bunch of you guys with me live today but even if you’re watching the replay I come back and look at these comments for weeks, so please answer so I just want to know and this is a bit of a personal question but sometimes

 

I like to get personal, let me know if you are currently taking the birth control pill and if so, what’s the reason that you are taking it is it to avoid pregnancy, or is it some other reason?

 

Maybe you’re taking it to regulate a hormone imbalance that your doctor said you have or maybe it’s to regulate a very irregular cycle?

 

Just let me know drop it in the comments box below, and that would be great, okay? So let’s first kind of talk about the birth control what’s actually kind of happening in the body so of course this like starts with what the female cycle is really supposed to look like okay, so in a woman who’s not taking any hormone, so no birth control typically what happens is estrogen is very dominant in the first half of the cycle so days 1 to 14.

 

Estrogen is what’s considered, it’s a growth hormone so it makes things grow and what it does is it grows the lining of the uterus it starts to grow that lining and basically, that’s your body preparing for pregnancy because if you were to say get pregnant or if there was a sperm and it connected with that egg in your body which is terrifying, but anyway is that they connect that egg will go into your uterus and implant on the wall, and that’s where it’ll start to grow and eventually turn into a baby.

 

So that’s what happens in day 1 to 14 is estrogen is pumping and then at some point around ovulation so that usually happens around day 14 middle of the cycle an egg is released from the ovaries and that ovary or that that egg basically is looking for a sperm to fertilize it and if it doesn’t get fertilized it actually starts to break down and degrade because we don’t need it anymore so your body gets rid of it.

 

And as that egg breaks down and degrades it actually releases a significant amount of progesterone, and that’s why progesterone is very important in the second half of the menstrual cycle, so estrogen goes down progesterone goes up as that a starts to degrade and then when it comes up to your period that’s actually when hormones drop super low so they’re at their lowest and that’s actually what triggers the menstrual cycle is a drop in both estrogen and progesterone, okay.

 

So what happens when you were on the pill? So basically the pill kind of hijacks your hormone control, so it dumps a bunch of synthetic estrogen and progesterone into the body in really high amounts which actually mimics pregnancy so when you’re pregnant your hormones are just pumping right, these things help maintain the pregnancy and keep a fetus healthy so the hormones are just kind of going off the radar they’re super high and that’s what hormonal birth control does is it lets these hormones become super high with synthetic hormones.

 

And it actually tricks the body into thinking that you’re pregnant so that’s why if you end up with another sperm inside your body because you’re still having sex there’s not going to be any eggs released because the body thinks you’re already pregnant.

 

So that’s what happens when you take that pill every single day and the same is true for IUD’s and also the patch or the ring I know there’s a lot of different types of birth control methods out there right now, but basically, they are pumping hormones and hijacking control of your hormones.

 

And then what happens when you get the period so that’s when you start taking those sugar pills, right? So what happens is you’re not actually getting a real period you’re actually getting what’s called sort of breakthrough bleeding. So you’re stopping those pills and that basically causes your hormones to drop and suddenly the body can’t maintain that lining anymore, so it starts to shed it so you’re kind of getting I guess what’s more like an artificial period you’re not actually getting a real period okay.

 

And this is a big reason why a lot of women take birth control pills even if it has nothing to do with preventing pregnancy so I know a lot of women take them because you know they have a very heavy period or maybe they have a very irregular cycle, maybe they have severe period cramps those are a lot of reasons people or women take birth control pills that really has nothing to do with actually not being, not getting pregnant, okay.

 

And the reason and so you know being on the pill is going to alleviate a lot of those symptoms because it does hijack hormone control and regulate things but it doesn’t actually fix the root cause so what a lot of women find is they feel really good on the pill.

 

But at some point they’re gonna want to go off it maybe because they want to get pregnant or they’ve just been on it. Too long and those hormone issues will come back and often with a vengeance because it’s basically just masking hormonal issues, so I think you know and that that I find quite unnerving.

 

You know I was like you I was on birth control for a really long time I think from the time I was 16 she about 23, so I guess what’s that 7 years? Maybe even longer than that and you know I got a ton of hormonal issues when I got off the pill and you know it’s because it sort of masks these hormonal issues, and they continue to persist in your body but unknown to you because you feel great while you’re on the pill, okay.

 

Anyways, I’m getting a bit off-track here But I want to get into those 3 reasons why? Or those 3 long-term side effects of birth control pills and again use can affect you even if you’ve been off the birth control pill for many years, even 10 or 15 years, and I’m gonna give you one bonus piece of info at the end.

 

So if you stay till the end, I’m gonna give you one complete and total shocker, it’s gonna blow your fucking head off! Seriously. It’s crazy when I learned about this I was completely shocked. Ok, so number one is it disrupts your gut flora, so the pill you know it doesn’t only have synthetic hormones in there, but it also has a lot of other synthetic additives and you take the pill in your mouth orally, and it actually kills your gut flora ok

 

And if you are someone who knows about gut health and knows the importance of the microbiome we know, this is a big problem so the microbiome is basically a bacterial community that you have living in your gut andwe have billions and billions and billions of these species in our gut and they play a huge role in our digestion our mood and pretty much a lot of our internal gut physiology and beyond. So it’s very very important to have healthy gut flora but you are taking a pill every single day that is killing the gut flora okay?

 

And this is probably one of the big reasons that women who are on birth control pills are significantly more likely to have issues with Candida.

 

Okay, so Candida is a yeast that naturally lives in the large intestine, and it’s always naturally there but when the gut floor is healthy it’s largely kept in check and it kind of just exists in those dark dark like deep corners of the large intestine but when that gut flora gets imbalance then the Candida can over grow and it can thrive and that can cause a lot of issues.

 

You know a lot of people are pretty familiar with the issues associated with Candida, but you know weight gain, fatigue, sugar cravings can be a really big one. It can cause a lot of issues because it causes a lot of inflammation it secretes a lot of toxins and it really does reduce your ability to digest and absorb nutrients.

 

So that’s a really big one so the way that it damages your gut flora and when your gut flora is not a good place so you just don’t have those healthy communities it puts you at risk for not only candida but also a lot of other gut infections so things like parasites and also other nasty bacteria because we are exposed to these things all the time, you know we don’t have to go to a third world country to get exposed to something like a parasite.

 

But when your gut flora is healthy it’s not a big deal because your immune system kind of deals with it it gets out you know overcrowded by the other healthy communities around it, so these things can tend to just get flushed out or at least kept …

 

There we go, sorry my timer, I need to put the turkey in the oven it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada. And I had to set myself a timer so i got to get that turkey and we’re having a big big dinner probably tonight and my boyfriend will kill me if I forget anyways, okay, so talking about yeah, so you just put risk for a lot of infections when your gut flora is disrupted and once your gut flora is disrupted you know a lot of things can happen and it can really set the stage for you know long-term chronic health problems specifically mood and digestive problems.

So a lot of women you know they were on birth control pills in their 20s and they find in their 30s; they have a ton of GI symptoms, and they don’t really know what’s going on and a big part of that is the fact that they’ve spent many years depleting their incredibly important and sensitive gut flora.

 

So that’s the first way that birth control can really harm you for the long term.

 

Number two is relatively unknown, but this one is insane. Okay, so I see so I’m going to tell you about copper toxicity so birth controls really push up copper in your body, okay, and copper toxicity is something that I see in almost every woman is crazy and so when I work with women

 

I always want a hair mineral analysis. I’m really big into remineralizing the body right now. And so when I do this I tend to see in the results that their copper is completely imbalanced. It’s through the roof and copper toxicity can cause a significant amount of issues.

 

I’m just going to read you off some of the symptoms here because you might be able to relate to this but hypothyroid, mind racing, mood swing, diet, dry skin, depression, feeling of loss of control, chocolate cravings, constipation, adverse reaction to vitamin and minerals b12 deficiency, iron deficiency,haemorrhoids, osteoporosis, fatigue, anemia, decrease in white blood cells, problems of concentration, memory, acne, paranoia, arthritis it goes on and on and on and these are all issues of copper imbalance.

 

And it is crazy how much birth control pills can dis regulate your copper, and there are people out there so one of the experts that trained under for hair mineral analysis his name’s Rick Mulder it’s his opinion, and I mean he’s been doing this for 30 to 40 years, he’s tested tens of thousands of people and it’s his opinion that copper imbalance is the main cause of the majority of the health problems that we experienced because copper really needs to be tightly controlled in the body.

 

You don’t want too much, but you don’t want too little you have too much or too little you’re going to have health problems and so it’s really interesting, so sometimes so what happened so sorry I’m getting a little off track here, but I really want to tell you about this, it’s really interesting, so the birth control pill can put a lot of stress on the adrenals on the thyroid and when the adrenals and the thyroid are sluggish this actually reduces your body’s ability to make something called ceruloplasmin and ceruloplasmin is basically a compound in the body that allows you to use copper so you get into the situation where you know your thyroid and adrenal are sluggish from you know maybe they’ve always been a bit sluggish and now the birth control is making them more sluggish.

 

So and then on top of this the birth control pill is also pushing up copper so you end up in a situation where you’re totally copper toxic!

 

Because the birth control is pushing up copper but you’re also copper deficient because you have now a limited ability to produce ceruloplasmin and which means you have a limited ability to use copper and this is actually the most common situation i’ve seen and women who’ve been on birth control even if it was like 15 years ago is they have this severe copper imbalance where they’re totally copper toxic the body is storing copper in the tissues in the organs especially the liver and the kidneys and then because they can’t use it they’re completely copper deficient, so they have symptoms of both.

 

And it takes years to detox copper from the body it can take a really long time so I’ve seen this in women who have only been on birth control for a year and now we’re doing this test ten years later, but it’s gonna be even more crazy in women who’ve been on birth control pills for multiple years because it pushes up your copper and then another really interesting thing about copper is copper pushes up estrogen levels so when your copper is high your estrogen will be high, so taking birth control pills pushes up copper which can then push up your estrogen which leads to estrogen dominance.

 

And I’ve talked a lot about estrogen dominance I’ve written about a lot of it on my website Kendraperry.net but this is one of the nastiest hormone imbalances that you can have and it’s also one of the most common I see in women over 30 and even some women over 25 between like 25 and 30.

 

And so when your estrogen dominant it really does predispose you for estrogen dominant cancers things like cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, it also gives you crazy PMS, tender breast, bloating, acne, irritability, insomnia around your period, it just kind of makes you miserable.

 

And it’s just really crazy how much birth control pill can really lead to a long-term copper issue and thus estrogen dominant issue and sometimes this estrogen dominance won’t show up on a test and I’ve seen this again where we won’t see it in the test, but because it’s the copper that’s pushing up estrogen during certain times of the month we actually will never find the estrogen so we just have to go with the copper toxicity and assume estrogen dominance.

 

And I think another way that birth control can really affect your copper level is the fact that actually depletes a zinc so zinc is a very important mineral for the immune system, so when zinc goes down you start to have more issues with infections you get sick all the time and of course that does put you a bigger risk for things like parasites and candida as well.

 

But zinc and copper are antagonists so as one goes up the other goes down. So as zinc goes down copper goes up. So not only is birth control pushing more copper into your system but it’s also depleting zinc which naturally will make your copper levels more high and unless you address copper toxicity directly and you start to detox copper from the body. These issues and these symptoms and that list that I mentioned can affect you for the rest of your life

 

It’s crazy, so that’s a really big one, okay. So number three is magnesium deficiency so birth control pills deplete magnesium. It’s well known it’s been shown in a ton of research and magnesium and you might know that it’s super important, so it’s involved in over 300 different enzyme reactions in the entire body, you need it to relax the entire nervous system you need sleep you need it to feel calm and not totally crazy and stressed out and birth control pills actually deplete magnesium and so this is a really big issue as well.

 

Another thing that happens is because magnesium is an antagonist with cut with calcium so as magnesium goes down calcium goes up and if calcium gets too high in your system your body does start to store it in different parts of the body and it can lead to a lot of joint pain, and it can actually really change your personality and lead to a lot of mood disorders as well, so magnesium is huge. We’re already deficient in it, and then if you’re taking birth control pills. You’re gonna be even more magnesium deficient okay, so that’s number three is in the way that magnesium causes or sorry birth control causes magnesium deficiency.

 

So I just want to quickly recap and then I’m gonna give you the bonus side effect the one that’s gonna just like blow your head off. It’s crazy! I can’t even believe this is a thing but anyways, So number one is birth control pills will deplete your gut flora so it does lead to long-term mood disorders and GI problems, does increase your likelihood for getting a parasite or candida.

 

Number two is that birth control will cause copper imbalance so it can make you deficient and toxic at the same time that leads to a ton of symptoms, very hard to get out of the body if your body can’t use it, it can’t move it out and then you are just copper toxic and dealing with so many health problems that you can’t connect to anything for the rest of your life.

 

And number three is magnesium deficiency, so it does push down your magnesium, okay. And now for the bonus so the bonus so I heard this from dr.

 

Sarah Gottfried so she is an MD who does a lot of work with hormones, but more for women who are postmenopausal, But she said in a podcast that I was listening to that birth control pills reduce the size of clitores by twenty to thirty percent.

 

They shrink your clit. That’s crazy. It’s crazy, and I was pretty skeptical about this, so I looked it up, and I did find a research study on PubMed that did indicate that the birth control pill can actually shrink your clitoris.

 

Which is shocking, it’s just shocking like that is horrible right? I mean the reason we have sex is for pleasure and enjoyment and being on the birth control pillcan actually shrink your clitoris, and you know I was on the birth control pill for probably seven or eight years

 

I wish I had measured. I have no idea if mine is smaller than it used to be but I think that’s pretty significant and these are side effects that nobody is talking about and your you will never hear this from your doctor when you go on the pill they will tell you that maybe you have a higher risk for blood clots, but that you have a lower risk for certain types of cancer, and you know nobody’s gonna tell you about deficient gut flora, no one’s going to tell you about copper imbalance and nobody’s gonna tell you about magnesium deficiency, and I know nobody is gonna tell you about clit shrinkage, okay, so you know you really need to take these things into consideration when making a decision to go on the pill.

 

You know I understand that there’s times in your life where you absolutely do not want to get pregnant and I get that but you know 60 to 70 percent of women go on the pill for reasons that have nothing to do with avoiding pregnancy and they are not told about these side-effects.

 

They have no idea and you know as someone who works with women’s health, I mean it is crazy how often I work with women who have come off the birth control pill, and they are a mess. You know, it’s just it’s crazy, and we’re just not being given the proper information.

 

You know if you want to make the decision to go on birth control knowing those side effects that’s good, because you’re making an informed decision but most of us aren’t even making informed decisions because we never get the information to begin with okay, so I hope you found this video helpful

 

I love bringing you these live videos. I love hanging out with you, so if you like this video give me the hearts give me the likes

 

I love these, it shows Facebook that you like my content and it will help me reach more women because my mission is to help as many women as possible heal from hormonal imbalance, so they can take control of their bodies again because when your hormones are out of whack you feel like you have no control, it changes your personality

 

You’re on edge and you know you’re fatigued you’re gaining weight and you just can’t live that incredible life that you absolutely deserve to live so give me a like and let me know if you’d like this video if you have any questions even if you’re not with me live today

 

I will answer them. I keep checking these comments for weeks and weeks and weeks and if you haven’t done so already pick up my freebie is pinned to the top of this page

 

It’s my hormone imbalance self-test cheat sheet, and you can learn in five minutes or less if you might have a hormone imbalance and which imbalance you might be at risk for one more thing join my group. I have a free Facebook group called hormonal Imbalance with Kendra Perry

 

I give free weekly master classes. I answer all your questions. There are a ton of women in there we’re growing every day, and if you want to connect and get some support this is a great place

 

I know when my hormones were a mess I felt super alone I felt that nobody cared or understood what I was going through but in this group everyone understands what you’re going through so make sure to join my group as well.

 

That’s it for me. I hope you guys, if you’re in Canada Happy Thanksgiving!

 

I hope you have a delicious turkey dinner, and if you’re elsewhere. I hope you just have a fantastic weekend

 

I will see you next week.

 

I’m going to be coming to you live four times next week Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday.

 

So I’m gonna be talking about lots of hot topics so I will see you guys all next week. Bye!

5 Benefits of Coffee Enemas

Many people have recently begun utilizing enemas to improve their overall health. Over a period of many years, excess waste that hasn’t been eliminated can build up inside of your colon. In fact, anecdotal reports say that as much as 10 pounds of waste may accumulate in your body at one time. That’s a lot of excess baggage you don’t want to be carrying around.

 

When you perform a cleanse with an enema, it helps to remove toxic build-up, which will in turn provide immediate health benefits and relief from certain conditions.

 

There are many different ways to perform an enema, but today we will be focusing on one of the more ‘taboo methods’—the coffee enema.

 

If you are new to the idea of enemas, the use of coffee may shock you. However, it can indeed help detoxify your body and remove the excess waste that could be accumulating within your body.

 

5 Benefits of Coffee Enemas

 

Coffee enemas can prevent the overgrowth of Candida.

 

Overgrowth of the Candida albicans fungus inside your intestines can cause a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, from fatigue, to brain fog, to a weakened immune system.

 

However, you should be happy to note that a coffee enema may help prevent the overgrowth of Candida, along with other bad bacteria. (1)

 

Coffee enemas can help detoxify your liver and bloodstream.

 

A coffee enema is a great way to detoxify your liver and bloodstream. Symptoms such as bloating, stomach aches, and intestinal disturbances can usually be traced back to an overworked liver.

 

When performing a coffee enema, the coffee is absorbed into the liver through the intestinal wall where it helps to take on some of that toxic load that the liver is unable to process on it’s own. (2)

 

Exposure to environmental toxins cannot be avoided, but there are ways to mitigate the potential damages that result from excessive exposure. Detoxes help tremendously with this, as do proper nutrition and regular exercise.

 

Coffee enemas can promote better digestion and regularity.

 

A coffee enema can help to improve the flow of bile. (3) This helps to alkalinize your small intestines, which promotes better overall digestion.

 

When food that you consume is not properly digested, it can generate toxic chemicals within your intestines. These toxins are then absorbed by your liver. Utilizing a coffee enema not only helps your liver with this load, but it also will improve your digestion to make it so your liver doesn’t have to work so hard in the first place.

 

Coffee enemas may help relieve anxiety and provide mental clarity.

 

Coffee is well known for its antioxidant properties. Many people who perform a coffee enema report a feeling of increased wellbeing and mental clarity, which also helps to provide relief for anxiety. The colon and liver are both parasympathetic organs, which have been shown play a role in anxiety disorders (4), meaning the cleanse from the enema helps to promote overall relaxation within your nervous system which helps ease anxiety symptoms.

 

Coffee enemas can help regulate hormones and restore balance to your endocrine system.

 

Your liver actually plays a very important role in the metabolism of hormones within your body. (5) Estrogen toxicity can actually develop from too much of the wrong type of estrogen accumulating within the liver. This can lead into a wide range of health issues for women, not least of all being a decreased ability to detoxify carcinogens. (6)

 

When you use a coffee enema with the intent of detoxifying your liver, an added benefit is the removal of these “bad” estrogen hormones that get flushed out as well. This helps to maintain proper hormonal balance for women.

 

Hormonal imbalances can also cause a wide range of symptoms such as fatigue, depression, low energy levels, and infertility.

 

Potential Side Effects

 

Coffee enemas can provide several great benefits for your health, with little to no side effects. Most of the unpleasant side effects can be negated by drinking plenty of fluids and staying properly hydrated. Once you have performed the enema, you expel a multitude of toxins and some water and electrolytes along with it.

 

Is A Coffee Enema Right for You?

 

If you’re looking for a natural way to detoxify your body, a coffee enema is a good place to start. Other measures to consider include evaluation of your gut bacteria and incorporating some physical activity in your routine.

 

The Final Word

 

You don’t have to wait until you exhibit symptoms of illness before performing a coffee enema. Preventive measures are always better than having to find a cure, so be proactive in protecting your health and wellbeing. Your body will thank you.

 

Always check with your doctor if you’re unsure about the effects of a coffee enema on your body, and whether or not it is right for you.

 

 

Is Adrenal Fatigue to Blame for Fatigue, PMS and Hormone Imbalance? (The Answer Might Surprise You)

 

Most people know that stress is a huge contributor to fatigue. It makes sense. Stress is something we experience daily and so many of us are also struggling with stubborn fatigue and unpredictable hormones.

 

Adrenal fatigue has gotten a lot of attention these days. On a weekly basis, I encounter women who either believe they have Adrenal Fatigue (as it is often self-diagnosed from the internet) or have been told they have it by a health practitioner.

 

Many of them are at a total loss of what to do. They are taking adaptogens, bio-identical hormones and Vitamin C. They are meditating. They are doing yoga. They are doing the best they can to nourish their adrenals and get back to feeling more in control of their life.

 

Unfortunately, many of their efforts fall short. They continue to feel fatigued, burnt out, overwhelmed, crazy, stressed and out of shape.

 

If you feel that you are struggling with Adrenal Fatigue, you are likely experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Poor sleep
  • Weight gain
  • Overwhelm
  • Sugar cravings
  • Blood sugar problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Brain fog
  • PMS
  • Hormonal Imbalance

 

If I ask you how stress leads to fatigue, you might tell me a story about your adrenal glands. You might tell me that the adrenal glands produce cortisol. And when you are continually stressed, these hard-working glands are forced to produce excessive amounts of cortisol. Overtime, as stress continues, these glands wear out and eventually burn out. Enter Adrenal Fatigue.

 

In Adrenal Fatigue, all hormones are depleted, including estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and testosterone since the adrenals play a huge role in the production of these steroid hormones. 

 

What I just described is basically the three stage theory of Adrenal Fatigue. Stage 1 or Acute describes the initial stress. Cortisol is high. As stress continues, and the adrenal glands start to wear out, you enter Stage 2; the Compensatory phase where cortisol levels decline and so do energy levels. Eventually the adrenal glands are overwhelmed, cortisol levels plummet and enter into Stage 3; exhaustion. In the exhaustion phase, the adrenals are burned out and sex hormones are depleted. Enter hormone imbalance, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, sugar cravings and PMS. 

 

But what if I told you that the symptoms you are experiencing have little to do with your adrenal glands or even cortisol levels for that matter?

 

I have been questioning the cortisol model of fatigue for some time now. In the past four years I have run hundreds of saliva and urine hormones panels on both men and women. I have yet to see a strong connection between cortisol levels, PMS and fatigue.

 

If the 3 stage model of Adrenal Fatigue is true then my clients in the Acute phase should feel energetic and my clients in the Exhaustion phase should feel fatigued and burnt out. But I have often seen the opposite and everything else in between.

 

Ari Whitten, researcher and nutrition expert, compiled all the research he could find on fatigue, burnout and exhaustion (about 130 studies) and found that about 25% of the studies linked these symptoms with high cortisol levels. He found that another 25% linked these symptoms with low cortisol levels while, 50% of more of the studies found no abnormality between cortisol levels and stress, burnout, exhaustion and fatigue.

 

Based on this data, and according to Ari, cortisol is not a great measure of exhaustion and fatigue. I tend to agree. This is something I have seen over and over and it has left me with more questions than answers.

 

As It turns out that there are over a dozen physiological pathways in the body that can link stress to health problems, and most of them have nothing to with “fatigued” adrenal glands.

 

It’s very likely that stress is causing your fatigue (and all sorts of other hormonal symptoms) without anything being wrong with your adrenal glands or your cortisol levels.

 

The truth is the theory of Adrenal Fatigue is flawed and according to research does not actually exist. While the medical community tends to brush those aside who struggle with Adrenal Fatigue type symptoms, these people ARE struggling and should not be treated as hypochondriacs.

 

What many educated health practitioners are now calling this condition is HPA-axis Dysfunction which stands for Hypothalamus-Pituitary Adrenal Axis Dysfunction. This system is responsible for mitigating the stress response.

 

Let’s say you are out for a walk in the woods. You encounter a bear. Now that’s stressful! You initially get that instant adrenalin rush. Adrenalin is instant but it is not long lasting. The adrenalin travels to your hypothalamus (located in your brain) which signals that stress is present. The hypothalamus sends corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) to the pituitary gland (located at the base of the skull), which then sends adrenocorticotropic releasing hormones (ACTH) to the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands receive the message and produce cortisol accordingly.

 

Many now believe that it is dysregulation in the HPA axis that leads to many of the symptoms that are associated with Adrenal Fatigue. Over time the system starts to become resistant to the negative feedback loop telling it to calm down (similar to insulin resistance), which leads to abnormal function of the axis.  When the HPA Axis dysfunctions, many symptoms can arise.

 

HPA axis dysfunction has been associated with everything from Multiple Schlerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome to anxiety, depression and burnout.

 

For the most part when people say they have Adrenal Fatigue, they more likely have HPA-axis Dysfunction. It’s clear that if we focus our protocols on the adrenal glands, we are missing the mark. Are you following me? It’s not an adrenal issue to begin with.

 

What is Stress Really?

When most people talk about stress, they are referring to the mental and emotional stress that we experience daily. This might refer to relationship stress, professional stress, financial stress or even the stress of driving in traffic.

 

Stress is much more than this.

 

Stress refers to anything that causes the body to lose homeostasis (that happy balance when everything is working as it should).

 

These types of stress aren’t always obvious to the average person. They might include;

  • Exposure to environmental toxins
  • Liver congestion
  • Food intolerances
  • Inflammation
  • Gut infections
  • Heavy metal accumulation
  • Leaky Gut
  • Physical Injury
  • Bio-mechanical issues (like poor posture for example)

 

As you can see stress can be many things. The above can result in activation of the HPA axis and eventually lead to it’s dysfunction, especially if these stressors become chronic (rather than quick and easily resolved)

 

Let’s discuss some of the other factors that link the stress system to a change in your energy and hormone levels.

 

Thyroid Hormone Down Regulation

Your thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the center of your throat. This gland is the regulator of your metabolism. Its job is to produce T4, an inactive thyroid hormone, which then gets converted to T3, the active thyroid hormone. T3 regulates the rate of your metabolism.

 

There are receptors for thyroid hormone in every single cell in the body. If your metabolism is sluggish then you will not produce energy at a rate that keeps you energized. Therefore people who struggle with hypothyroid (an underactive thyroid) usually have low energy and struggle to lose weight. They are also more susceptible to imbalanced sex hormones because low thyroid slows down the rate at which hormones and made and broken down in the body. 

 

When your thyroid hormone production is low everything from your brain cells to your heart cells struggle to produce energy.

 

Stress is known to reduce both T4 and T3. Additionally, stress may lower Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) which is the main signalling hormone that the pituitary sends the thyroid to tell it to produce thyroid hormone.

 

This is a common way that hypothyroid gets misdiagnosed. Some thyroid issues are primary, meaning that the thyroid is not functioning as it should and the result is decreasing thyroid hormone.

 

Other thyroid issues are secondary, meaning the thyroid is functioning as it should but is listening to the instructions it receives from stress, causing it to reduce hormone production.

 

Secondary hypothyroidism is often missed and while hormone replacement therapy may offer a short term boost, it does little to address the reason why the thyroid is under producing hormones in the first place (ie. Stress!)

 

Immune System Suppression

Most people believe that getting sick is a result of “catching” a bug or virus. This may be true in some cases but the truth is we are always full of harmful bacteria. They are already in us!

 

They lurk in the deepest corners of our digestive system and cells. When we are healthy, well-fed, and the immune system is strong, these bugs are not an issue. They are kept in check and do not make us sick.

 

But when we are stressed, certain arms of the immune system are depressed. This means we are less likely to be able to keep those nasty bugs in check, they are able to outnumber the beneficial bacteria and make us sick.

 

Therefore you easily get sick when you are more stressed out and run down. An example is shingles. Shingles is an illness caused by the same virus that leads to chicken pox. The virus, called varicella zoster, lies dormant in nerve cells near the spinal cord after one has been exposed to chicken pox. It should remain there, dormant, not causing any issues, unless the host gets weakened and it is able to emerge. The result is shingles.  

 

Neurotransmitter Dysregulation

Neurotransmitters are the compounds which the brain uses to communicate. Many people have heard of serotonin and dopamine before. Other neurotransmitters also include histamine, GABA, norepinephrine and epinephrine.

 

Healthy levels of neurotransmitters lead to a healthy and stable mood. They also contribute to your energy levels. Symptoms caused by both low dopamine and serotonin include fatigue.

 

Several studies have shown that chronic stress can induce deficiencies in numerous neurotransmitters.

 

Chronic stress can lead to GABA resistance, meaning that your brain resists GABA. GABA is your main inhibitory neurotransmitter which inhibits excitatory neurotransmitters and helps you relax. If you lack GABA sensitivity you are more likely to feel wired, have racing thoughts and struggle to calm down at night.

 

Serotonin and dopamine are also impacted by chronic stress, which not only affects your mood but means your energy levels are less than optimal.

 

Leaky Gut

Stress is thought to be the number one cause of Leaky Gut. To learn more about Leaky Gut, click here.

 

We are all familiar with the gut-brain connection. Remember how your stomach felt the last time you had to give a public speech? That feeling of “butterflies” is evidence that what’s going on in your head has the ability to affect what’s going on in your gut.

 

When we are having a stress response, your energy moves away from rest and digest processes and is funneled into the muscular and skeletal system. Your body is preparing you to run or fight for your life. That means that if your stressed, digestion is slowed or even halted.

 

If there is food in your gut then it doesn’t get digested. It just sits there and is fermented by bacteria which produce toxins that can contributed to leaky gut.

 

Additionally, exposure to food sensitivities, toxins and pathogens can also increase intestinal permeability and lead to leaky gut. When your gut is leaky, you struggle to breakdown, absorb and assimilate nutrients and minerals.

 

Lack of mineral and nutrients can affect every system in your body. Clearly if you do not have nutrients to function properly, you might struggle with energy levels.

 

Gut inflammation can also affect neurotransmitter production (much of your neurotransmitters are produced in your gut), lead to more food sensitivities and also cause IBS, autoimmune conditions and small intestine bacterial overgrowth.

 

Circadian Rhythm Issues

Many people who are chronically stressed also have trouble sleeping at night. Many of these people describe feeling fatigued upon waking, despite sleeping eight hours or more. They also tend to feel wired at night and are often unable to sleep. They might describe a “second wind” that comes about in the evening even after feeling exhausted and drained throughout the day.

 

It is also no secret that having a stressful day can lead to loss of sleep. Many people are unable to stop thinking about the stress that plagues them as they fall asleep.

 

This can lead to issues falling asleep or the inability to stay asleep during the night. Stress also reduces our ability to get into the deep sleep needed for repair and regeneration. If our endocrine system is unable to repair itself, our hormones might go a little wacky. 

 

Lack of sleep is incredibly hard on the body and can lead to many health problems. The impact that stress has on sleep patterns is probably one of the most common ways that stress can impact your energy and hormones levels. Click here to improve your sleep.

 

If low energy is your main issue, start by looking at your sleep patterns. If you can find a way to sleep better than there is a good chance you can cultivate more energy for yourself.

 

Mineral Deficiency

Stress increases the rate at which you burn minerals. Minerals are the spark plugs of the body and are needed as co-factors in every single chemical reaction in the body.

 

Stress means you use minerals like magnesium and potassium at a higher rate. Lacking in these critical nutrients mean that your cell doesn’t have what it needs to function optimally or give you the energy you need to feel your best. Minerals are needed to produce all hormones, including sex hormones, in proper amounts. Mineral deficiency not only leads to fatigue but it leads to hormone imbalance and symptoms of PMS. 

 

Deficient minerals also make it more likely that your body will hold onto toxic metals. Why? Because metals, although toxic, can perform similar tasks that minerals can. If you don’t have a certain mineral your body may use a metal instead. Your body then holds onto this metal instead of detoxing it through the liver.

 

A deficiency in potassium, for example, means you are more likely to hold onto Thallium. Thallium is an extremely toxic meal, 10 times more toxic then mercury. Thallium was added to gasoline after lead was removed from it years ago. It is in our air, soil and water. Having good mineral status is key to avoiding heavy metal toxicity which can greatly interfere with cellular function and lead to numerous health issues.

 

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Your mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells. They are organisms whose main job is to produce Adenosine Triphosphate, the main source of energy for your cells.

 

Your cells are the building block of every organ, gland and system in your body. It’s simple. If your mitochondria is unable to produce cellular energy, you won’t be feeling very energetic either. You mitochondria in the cells in your adrenal glands are also needed to churn out sex hormone. Unhealthy mitochondria means hormonal imbalance and stubborn fatigue. 

 

It is the opinion of some health practitioners that the main component of fatigue is mitochondrial dysfunction. The more and more I read and understand, the more I am starting to switch from a cortisol model of fatigue to a mitochondria model of fatigue.

 

Robert Naviaux et al. did a study involving 84 subjects. 45 of these subjects were diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, while the other 39 individuals were normal controls. In the subjects with CFS, 80% had an abnormal blood markers, which was suggestive of a low metabolic state. They concluded that CFS is a state in which the metabolism has slowed in response to environmental stress.

 

This is really interesting. These researchers also discovered that the mitochondria has more functions than just producing energy. They are also responsible for cellular defense, or protecting the cell from threats.

 

What types of things can threaten the cells? Viruses, parasites, bacteria, heavy metals, environmental toxins and psychological traumas. All these things can turn on the cellular defense system. The problem is the mitochondria can only do one of these jobs at a time. Either they make energy or they defend the cell.

 

If any of these factors or present, your mitochondria will be busy protecting you and will not be allocating resources for energy production. This is the number one reason why sickness makes you tired. All your mitochondria have shifted away from energy production to protecting you from whatever virus, bacteria or parasite is attacking your system.

 

I find this so interesting. In the past year I have really started to understand the role of heavy metal and environmental toxin accumulation in health.

 

After eliminating a ton of gut infections (including parasites and candida), getting rid of SIBO and doing significant gut healing, I saw little improvement in my energy. Upon running a hair mineral analysis and two heavy metal panels, I found that I was toxic in metals.

 

It wasn’t until I started addressing these metals that I finally saw a shift in my energy. I now do the same with all my clients and not only can we resolve their fatigue but we can re-balance hormones which means no PMS, no mood swings, easier weight loss and more restful sleep. 

 

I recently did a webinar with Wendy Myers, heavy metal detox expert, who said that heavy metal toxicity underlies every single case of chronic fatigue. If you are eating a healthy diet, living a healthy lifestyle and you still feel exhausted and struggle with hormone imbalance, you are likely toxic with metals. I am in complete agreement with Wendy.

Since shifting my thinking, I have began addressing heavy metals in all my clients and the results have been profound.

 

5 Solutions to Enhance Energy & Hormone Balance Right Now

 

1. Get Light Exposure First Thing in the Morning

We discuss the importance of having a healthy and normal circadian rhythm. It is cues from the rising and setting sun that signals our body to do certain tasks at certain times. For example, darkness tells your body it’s bed time and stimulates the production of melatonin, your sleep hormone.

 

The rising sun has a similar effect. It tells your body, “Hey, it’s morning time. Get out there.” Many of us live inside, have curtains on our windows and do not get direct light exposure when we first get out of bed. My advise is to turn on every single artificial light in your house and open every single window.

 

Even better, wake up, grab a tea and go for a walk or sip your tea in your back yard. Even if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes, this can greatly increase your energy, jump start your circadian rhythm and reduce that dreaded morning fatigue. 

 

Ditch the Gluten

Gluten, by far, is the most important factor when it comes to boosting the energy levels of my client. Gluten is a funny thing. You may have heard a lot of competing views on the gluten-free trend. It depends on who you are talking to.

 

In my clinical experience it is the one thing I can take out of a clients diet that always, without fail, leads to increased energy and better hormone balance. Gluten seems to have a negative effect on your thyroid. Gluten closely resembles that of the thyroid gland. When gluten gets into the bloodstream, the immune system tags it for destruction. These antibodies to gluten also cause the body to attack thyroid tissue. Thyroid tissue and gluten are structurally similar. It is a case of mistaken identity and your immune system can attack your thyroid.

If you have followed this article so far, you know that healthy thyroid function is critical to healthy energy levels. Time and time again I have seen gluten-free diets leads to more energy. Give it a try!

 

Heal Your Gut

Easier said then done but there is no question that improving your digestion will also boost energy and promote healthy hormone production. Many people don’t know this, but every single hormone is metabolized in the gut. So you if you struggle with PMS, you have gut problems. Period. 

The best way to start healing your gut is to eat fresh, organic whole foods. You can also supplement your diet with homemade bone broth and fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir. 

Other great tools to help you heal your gut are l-glutamine, aloe vera juice, collagen and my very favorite product, GI Revive from Designs for Health. If you want access to these high quality supplements, you can sign up free for my online dispensary

 

Take a Multi-Mineral Complex

As we discussed, mineral status is crucial to healthy energy levels and hormone production. Unfortunately, many mineral supplements are low quality and do not contain a healthy combination of minerals. If you want to talk a multi-mineral make sure you take a good one. The only one I currently recommend to my clients is Ocean’s Alive Marine PhytoPlankton. To get access to this and other high quality supplements, you can sign up free for my online dispensary.

 

If you struggle with nasty symptoms in the week before your period like fatigue, cramps, swollen breasts, migraines, water retention and moodiness, doubling up on your multi-mineral can help alleviate these symptoms. If you are taking Ocean’s Alive, you can take 2-4 full droppers every day in the week before your period. 

 

 

Sit in an Infrared Sauna

If you are chronically fatigued or you are dealing with stubborn hormone imbalance that won’t shift no matter what you do, you are likely toxic to some degree with metals and environmental toxins. Did you know infrared sauna sessions are one of the most effective ways to detox metals and toxins? It’s true. 

 

If you have access to sauna, I recommend using it as often as possible. I like to sit in a sauna 3-4 times per week. It not only helps you detox but it also improves your skin, boosts your immune system (another way to enhance energy) and reduces inflammation and chronic pain. 

 

 

Final Thoughts

The cause of fatigue, PMS and hormone imbalance is complicated and multi factorial. Your symptoms are likely being cause by a combination of the above and not just one. Whether you think you have Adrenal Fatigue, have hormone imbalance or you are just sick of being tired, getting well involves changing diet and lifestyle and addressing detoxification and toxicity. Start with my 5 solutions to get quick results. 

If you want to learn more about hormone balance and how you can start balancing your hormones and eliminating PMS right now, grab my 3-Part Mini-Course. 

 

 

References:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022399902004294

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/784520/

http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00061/full

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28641771

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16020927

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079864/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16020927

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7938514/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12199158/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14993070

http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/180/2/99

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways to Boost Energy Levels (Without Caffeine)

 

Today is the 1st day of December and I couldn’t be happier. Unlike a lot of people out there, I love winter. Skiing is one of my favorite sports and my winter is spent maneuvering my work schedule around my play schedule.

 

It has been an incredibly rainy fall. I can count every moment on one hand when I felt the sun on my face in the last couple of month. And all three of those times I was literally blinded by it’s intensity.

 

As much as I love winter, I struggle, like many people, with the lack of day light. I am an early riser so waking up at 6am isn’t easy when it’s pitch black out and it feels like the middle of the night.

 

These days my energy levels have been pretty low. I always struggle to feel as energetic in winter as I do in the summer. Anyway, enough about me. Let’s talk about you and your energy levels!

 

I feel that we could also use a little bit more energy. Low energy is one of the most common complaints I get from clients, and well, just about anyone else. With busy lives, questionable diets and poor sleep habits, most of us struggle to feel energized all day long.

 

That’s why I put together this list of 6 ways to improve energy levels.

 

1. Eat a High Protein Breakfast

 

I doubt I am the first person to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s true. Breakfast sets the stage for your energy levels and blood sugar balance for the rest of the day.

 

Many people eat a breakfast that is too high in sugar or carbohydrates and too low in protein. Things like granola, cereal, toast and pastries do you no energy favors. Opt for a breakie higher in protein like eggs, non-starchy vegetables and meat.

 

Protein is fantastic for stabilizing your blood sugar and helps keep you energized all morning long. My favorite breakfast? Poached eggs on roasted yams with sauerkraut and avocado.

 

2. Take B Vitamins

 

B vitamins are incredibly important for your energy levels. They power important chemical reactions involved in cellular metabolism. They are water soluble and not easily stored in the body. They are also easily depleted by stress.

 

You can think of B vitamins as catalytic sparks plugs for the body. They function as co-enzymes to catalyze many reactions including ones that convert carbohydrates into glucose.

 

Make sure you eat a diet rich in B vitamins. Highest food sources are animals products, nutritional yeast and organ meats.

 

If you are under a lot of stress, it may also be useful to supplement with B vitamins. My favorite product is Stress B Complex from Thorne Research.

 

 

3. Get to bed for 11pm

 

If low energy is your issue, the first thing to consider is your sleep habits. If you don’t get enough sleep, or go to bed too late, you will be tired the next day.

 

Shift your bed time to sometime before 11pm. Also make sure you are getting 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

 

If you struggle to get to sleep at night, examine your sleep hygiene. Make sure to avoid looking at screens an hour before bed time. Sleep in a dark, cool room and turn off your wifi.

 

If you need to more tips on how to get a better night’s sleep, click here.

 

4. Stay Hydrated, but Not Too Hydrated

 

Who knew? Water is healthy! While many of us don’t drink enough water, some of us drink way too much water. The media and beverage companies have led you to believe that you need to be drinking water and sports drinks all day long.

 

When was the last time you saw a deer walking around with a Nalgene bottle? Hopefully never.

 

How much water a person needs to drink depends on each person, their activity levels and their diet. If you exercise more, you need more water. If you eat lots of veggies, you need less water than your friend on the meat and cheese diet.

 

The best way to stay hydrated is to monitor your urine color. If it’s clear, you are over hydrated, probably depleting your electrolytes and taxing your kidneys. If it’s brown, you need to increase your fluid intake. You urine should be a pale yellow. Make pale yellow your goal.

 

Additionally, make sure to consume electrolytes with every glass of water. I am not talking about the electrolyte packets that are full of sugar and chemicals. Try sea salt. It’s cheap and you only need a pinch.

 

5. Ditch the Gluten

 

I know, gluten-free is trendy. There are more and more people these days on a gluten-free diet. Hold the bread please!

 

I don’t necessarily believe that everyone in the world needs to be gluten free. But what I can say is that removing gluten from the diet seems to be the single quickest way to giving a person more energy.

 

Give it a try. Cut gluten out for 30 days and see if your energy levels improve.

 

6. Get a Light Box

 

I went on a bit of an Amazon shopping spree last night. I feel my recent low energy levels have a lot to do with the lack of light in my life.

 

Normally, I get up and go for a walk or run first thing in the morning. The point is to expose myself to light and get my circadian rhythm firing for the day. Now that winter is nearing, my morning walk/run is in darkness. And when the sun finally does come up, it’s generally cloudy and dark out.

 

So I bought myself a light box. Apparently using one of these light boxes (which mimics the wavelengths of a sunny day) for 20-30 minutes a day can improve energy levels, mood and sleep.

 

It was inexpensive and I am willing to give it a try. I will keep you posted.

 

Final Thoughts

If energy is a struggle the first thing to examine is your diet and lifestyle Get the basics in place before spending money on supplements. Make sure you eat a healthy, whole foods diet, get enough sleep and exercise and reduce stress. If you are doing all these things and you still feel exhausted, it may be hormonal or digestive. Consider lab testing.

3 Hormone Imbalances That Ruin Your Endurance

 

You used to be so fit. You run, bike or climb anything. But these days exercise is a struggle. Instead of making you feel energized, exercise now makes you feel exhausted. You find yourself avoiding the activities you used to love because you just don’t have the energy or the motivation.

 

I can relate to this. When my hormones crashed a few years ago I went from being super fit and athletic to tired, lazy and exhausted. I desperately wanted to keep doing sports with my friends but I had no juice left. I would often go skiing for a couple of hours and then come home and pass out. It was one of the hardest times in my life.

 

The good news is, you aren’t lazy. Your body is likely deliberately trying to get you to slow down so that you can heal from whatever is going on inside of you. Having balanced hormones is crucial to healthy energy production and you having enough strength to exercise at the level you want to.

 

Unbalanced hormones suck. No matter how hard to you try to push through the fatigue, you never seem to feel like you did just a few years ago. Here are three hormone imbalances that can ruin your endurance and crush your stamina.

 

Low Testosterone

 

Testosterone is crucial to energy production and athletic performance. If your testosterone is low you may experience some of the following symptoms;

 

  • Low energy
  • Difficulty building muscle
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Low sex drive

 

Testosterone is the reason why men gain muscle more easily than women and have more physical strength. When I raise testosterone production in women, they usually feel fantastic. They feel energized, confident and can easily maintain a healthy weight.

 

How Can You Boost Testosterone?

  • Shellfish
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Weight Training
  • Maca Root

 

High Estrogen

 

Elevated estrogen is a nasty hormone imbalance, especially when you don’t have enough progesterone to balance it out. Elevated estrogen is often the culprit behind painful periods, endometriosis, uterine fibroids and pre-menstrual migraines.

 

Elevated estrogen can ruin your endurance because it can cause unexplained weight gain, especially in the hips and thighs. As you gain fat and lose muscle, your endurance often goes with it. If you have recently gained weight for no rhyme or reason, you should consider your estrogen levels. If your estrogen is too high it may actually be impossible for you to lose weight even when you are eating healthy and exercising regularly.

 

What To Do About High Estrogen?

 

The first thing is to consider environmental sources of estrogen. This includes personal care products, household cleaning products, BPA plastic, birth control pills, soy and even flax seed.

 

If you know you have high estrogen and you have made a solid effort to reduce external estrogen exposure you can try this next:

 

  • Diindolylmethane (DIM). This is a chemical derived from cruciferous vegetables. It is fantastic at low estrogen levels and improving estrogen metabolism. Note: Only take this under the guidance of a practitioner. DIM can work quickly and easily push your estrogen too low if you aren’t careful.
  • Cruciferous vegetables. If you suspect your estrogen is low but haven’t confirmed it, you can start with veggies like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale and Brussel sprouts before supplementing with DIM

 

To learn more about estrogen dominance, click here.

 

Low Free Cortisol

 

Most know cortisol as a stress hormone but what many don’t know is that one of cortisol’s main roles is to immobilize blood sugar. When you blood sugar is stable, you have good energy production and you feel strong.

 

Low cortisol often means a person feels fatigued, has difficulty sleeping and struggles with sugar cravings. They have a poor ability to keep their blood sugar stable, even when they eat multiple meals a day. The result is energy is low or fluctuates throughout the day.

 

When your cortisol is low, exercise is depleting. Since exercise actively pushes out cortisol, it leaves you little cortisol for energy later in the day. People with low cortisol often struggle with motivation to exercise as well.

 

How to manage low cortisol?

  • Reduce Stress. Go to a yoga class or learn to deep breathe. Managing stress is one of the quickest ways to restore healthy cortisol levels.
  • Quit caffeine. Drinking coffee or caffeinated tea throughout the day messes with your cortisol rhythm and leads to energy crashes. Ditch the caffeine and switch to water and herbal tea
  • Get to bed before 10:30pm. Staying up late messes with your natural circadian rhythm. Inevitably, this leads to cortisol production at the wrong times of day (at night, verses in the morning). Turn down the lights, turn off your screens and get yourself to sleep.
  • Licorice Root. This root blocks the enzyme which converts cortisol into cortisone (the inactive form of cortisol). Drinking licorice tea or taking a licorice root tincture will help cortisol last longer in your system and give you an energy boost. Note that you do not want to take licorice long term or if you have high blood pressure. If you take cortisol and it makes you feel awful, stop taking it. There may be a metabolic issue at play.

 

Final Thoughts

 

If you just don’t have the juice for exercise that you used to, there is a probably a hormonal problem driving your fatigue. While the above suggestions can be extremely helpful, what is more helpful is determining what is driving your hormonal chaos. The main culprits are usually poor diet, poor sleep, an overscheduled life and toxicity.

If you are struggling with poor energy and the inability to participate in the activities that drive your passions, then please don’t hesitate to contact me and schedule a free 30 minute call with me. We can discuss your challenges and determine if there is a way I can help you. You can book the appointment here.

 

Are you struggling with low endurance levels? Please share your exercise below in the comments section and I will do my best to help you!

 

The Adrenal Fatigue Diet – Foods to Avoid & Include to Heal Your Adrenals

 

The theme of the past few weeks has been adrenal fatigue. I also wrote about cortisol and it’s impact on your health when it is dyregulated. You can learn more about the important of balanced cortisol and how to manage your levels here. Finally, I talked about ten very important strategies you can start doing now to help heal your Adrenal Fatigue. To learn more about those ten strategies, click here.

 

To answer a few of your questions, I made a quick Q&A video and this is available on my Facebook Page. Head over there to check that out.

 

Today I want talk specifically about the foods to avoid and the foods to include in your diet if you want to shake Adrenal Fatigue and get back to feeling like a normal human being.

 

Foods to Avoid Include:

 
Caffeine: Don’t hate me for saying this. I mentioned this last week in the post I wrote about healing from adrenal fatigue but it’s worth mentioning again.

 

If you are fatigued and exhausted, caffeine is not your friend. While it may give you energy now to get through today, it will put you at a disadvantage for tomorrow. The more caffeine you use now, the more you will need later.

 

If your adrenals are producing cortisol all over the map, caffeine will push out even more cortisol and just add to the cortisol rollarcoaster.

 

Caffeine can also interfere with your sleep cycle which makes it hard for the adrenals to heal and restore themselves. If you absolutely must have caffeine, stick to one cup before 10:30am.

 

Sugar and Sweeteners: Anything that can profoundly impact your blood sugar levels can also profoundly affect your cortisol levels. Messing with your cortisol directly messes with your adrenal function.

 

You should avoid all refined sugar including high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners.

 

You should also be wary of eating too much fruit. While fruit is not necessarily bad in itself, you do need to beware of the quantity that you eat. It’s not hard to overdo it. Try to stick to 1-2 servings of fruit a day. Emphasize fruit that contains less sugar like berries, apples, pears and peaches. Grapes and tropical fruits are all very high in sugar and should probably be avoided on a regular basis.

 

Processed Foods: This is a no brainer but I have to say it. Processed foods not only contain added sugar but also contains added sodium and other nasty food additives. These will not support your adrenal function. Get rid of them and eat real food. Your adrenals will thank you.

 

Inflammatory Oils: Polyunsaturated oils, when eaten in excess, can cause inflammation in the body. These include canola oil, safflower oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil and vegetable oil.

In order to extract oil from foods that are no naturally high in fat, industrial processing is needed. Since foods that contain primarily polyunsaturated fats (like those listed above) are highly susceptible to heat and light, many of these oils are rancid and toxic before you even open them.

Stick to the healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee, lard and tallow.

 

Commerical Meat and Dairy Products: Commercially produced meat and dairy products have a lot of issues. For one, the animals are generally fed a significant amount of hormones to fatten and increase their growth. And two, they are also fed antibiotics to keep them from getting sick in unsanitary conditions.

 

High amounts of hormones and antibiotics have been found in these products that sit on your grocery store shelves. One of the most important things you can do for your adrenals is to avoid factory farmed meat and buy organic and local whenever possible.

 

This is getting easier these days. I do a lot of road trips in Canada and the US and I have never had an issue finding some meat in the grocery store that was at least antibiotic and hormone free.

 

Alcohol: Alcohol in moderation may be fine for some people but in large qualities it can negatively affect your adrenals. Alcohol stresses the liver which is a problem for hormones. The liver’s job is to clear excess hormones from the blood. If the liver is unable to do this, it will interfere with your body’s ability to metabolize cortisol and your other sex hormones.

 

Poor liver function can lead to Estrogen Dominance, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome and Thyroid Problems.

 

Once you start to eliminate foods from your diet that can hurt your adrenal health, you should consider adding in nutrient dense super foods that support healthy adrenals.

 

These adrenal superfoods include:

 

      • Coconut
      • Avocado
      • Cruciferous Vegetables (ie. broccoli, kale, cauliflower, etc.)
      • Fatty Fish
      • Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
      • Chicken and Turkey
      • Olives
      • Seeds (ie. pumpkin seeds, chia and flax)
      • Kelp and seaweed

 

I feel like a broken record but one of the best ways to reset your adrenal glands is to effectively manage your blood sugar levels. This mean eating enough high quality protein and fat and determining your unique carbohydrate tolerance. You don’t want to eat too many carbs but you also do not want to eat too many. This is going to be different for each person.

 

The best way to determine this is with a glucometer. Taking your blood sugar readings throughout the day can be incredibly helpful for not only managing your blood sugar but for assessing your unique carbohydrate tolerance.

 

You can take a reading on an empty stomach prior to eating each meal. Ideally, your reading should be between 80 and 90mg/dL. If you are lower than this, it means that you waited too long to eat that meal. Make sure to have a snack in between this meal next time or shorten the time between meals.

 

You can also take a reading 2 hours after a meal. This is called a post-prandial measurement. Two hours after eating your blood sugar should be below 120mg/dL (ideally it should be below 100mg/dL). If it is above 120, it means you ate too many carbohydrates or sugar at the previous meal. Reduce carbohydrates and increase protein and healthy fat.

 

Final Thoughts

 
If you are struggling with Adrenal Fatigue, you need to get your diet dialed in. Eating a healthy diet is the basis for any healing protocol. If you diet isn’t healthy, then no amount of supplements is going to help you heal.

 

Start with diet and see how it makes you feel. You should hopefully notice a huge difference in your energy levels once you remove all the crap. Once you feel confident that you have found a healthy diet you can stick with, start to consider some of the other factors like sleep, stress reduction and supplementation.

 

 

 

 

 

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