Monday, January 24, 2011

Stressed Out? Burned Out?

Book Review - Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.

This book caught my eye because I experienced a significant burnout in the fall of 2009 and I wanted to learn more about the physiological side of it. It addresses a common health issue that modern medicine and doctors don’t accept, except in extreme cases. Wilson gives an estimate that up to 80% of adult Americans will suffer with adrenal fatigue in their lifetime, however it is extremely under-diagnosed. Your doc might just say you need more sleep, your too stressed or your depressed.

The adrenal glands are located on top of your kidneys at the bottom of your ribcage. They are considered the “glands of stress” and allow your body to deal with stress, including physical, emotional, psychological, infectious and environmental. However, when you are under too much stress for too long a period of time, it weakens your adrenal glands. If you have a handful of the following symptoms you might suffer from adrenal fatigue:
o You have difficulty getting out of bed and are still tired
o You don’t have energy or enjoyment with life or are mildly depressed
o You aren’t as interested in sex
o It takes you a long time to recover from an injury or illness
o You get light headed when you stand up quickly
o You have increased PMS and probably chocolate cravings
o You get worse when you skip meals or you drive yourself with coffee, cola or snacks – sweet or salty
o Your thoughts are fuzzy or your memory suffering
o You have decreased productivity and ability to handle stress

Wilson’s book includes a comprehensive look at how to recover from adrenal fatigue naturally. It requires a lifestyle change not a medication. Nutrition is a big part of the recovery equation. He recommends eating a balanced diet of whole grains, plenty of vegetables, a small amount of fruit, a combination of protein from plants and animals along with appropriate oils and fats (eg. butter, coconut, olive and essential oils). He recommends cutting sugar and white flour products because they are nutritionally void and cause blood sugar to spike and plummet, which aggravates adrenal fatigue. Also avoid the foods you are addicted to (or crave often) and any foods you are allergic or sensitive to. Other elements of recovery that he addresses are exercise, sleep, proper supplementation, coping with stress through reframing and removing “energy robbers” from your life.

If you think you are way too stressed out (and have been for a while) I highly recommend picking up a copy of “Adrenal Fatigue.” You can also visit his website at for more information. His book is easy to read and includes a lot of helpful diagrams, a questionnaire and some at-home tests for a self-diagnosis. This book will empower you with the knowledge and tools to improve your adrenal health and get the most out of life.


.Cheryl. said...

that's really cool. i'd never heard that before (except from elina when referencing this post). good things to know.

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