Chronic stress makes the aging process go wild and wreaks havoc on your skin. Acupuncturist and naturopathic practicioner, Carina Harkin, states that high stress hormones at night not only impedes restorative sleep, but also prevents the skin from regenerating.
According to Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D. on the Mayo Clinic website, adrenal fatigue is brought on by constant stress, “perpetual fight-or-flight arousal” of the adrenal glands which are unable to produce enough hormones (adrenaline and cortisol), resulting in feeling constantly worn out. Although not recognized by allopathic medicine as a legit diagnosis, complementary approaches do regard it as a something not to be ignored.
Take a quiz to see where you stand – adrenally.
- Do you feel tired for no reason.
- Are you having trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
- Do you feel rundown or overwhelmed.
- Do you have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness.
- Are you craving salty and sweet snacks.
- Do you feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day.
Fortunately, the treatment for adrenal fatigue is a common-sense approach. It boils down to self care basics – sleep, eat, breathe.
Sleep well by maintaining a sleep schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night, preferably before 10:30. Exposure to darkness and keeping a regular bedtime maintains melatonin production. According to Harkin, “melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland and functions to regulate circadian rhythm and induce sleep. Melatonin circadian secretion in patients with adrenal-dependent Cushing’s syndrome was shown to be significantly lower compared to healthy control groups.”
Eat well by cutting out processed foods, refined sugar, and caffeine since they can stress adrenals to work harder, further depleting hormones. Harkin states, “An excessive ratio of carbohydrates to protein results in excess secretion of insulin, which often leads to intervals of hypoglycemia. Sugar and simple carbohydrates put stress on the adrenal glands due to rapidly shifting blood sugar levels.” Think vegetables and high quality proteins. Make it easy on yourself by having it delivered to your house from Johnson’s Backyard Garden or Farmhouse Delivery.
Live well by caring for yourself. Carina’s advice for stress reduction include calming exercise (yoga, tai chi, walking), aromatherapy, and massage therapy to relieve muscle tension. I also advocate scheduling a regular blow-out, facial, mani/pedi, or lash session!