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Welcome back to another episode of The Vibrant Health Podcast!
This week, Lydia and I talk about all things adrenal health. This is such a popular topic and we both get lots of questions about it. Everyone has some level of adrenal stress / fatigue today, whether it be mild or severe.
So, let’s not waste and time! Tune in below!
Listen to The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 3
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Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Transcript :: Episode 3
Jessica: Hello everyone. This is Jessica from DeliciousObsessions.com. I am here with my co-host Lydia Shatney of DivineHealthFromTheInsideOut.com. And welcome to episode number three of the Vibrant Health Podcast.
Today, we are going to talk about one of the most common questions that we get asked. It’s one of the most popular topics on both of our sites and social media and that’s adrenal health.
We’re going to give you an overview about what the adrenals are and what adrenal health really means. We’re going to talk about adrenal fatigue and pretty much everything that is adrenal-related (as much as we can cram into this little hour long session).
We are just going to take off because anytime we post information about adrenals, they get a lot of interest. That’s because we are living in a world where people have tired adrenals. I mean almost everybody on the planet, at least in the United States, is going to have adrenal issues.
It stands from a whole bunch of different things. But everybody’s just tired and stressed out. That’s just the world that we live in.
So we all need some adrenal love and we want to talk about some of the things that go into adrenal health to maybe give you some insight on how you can start working on your adrenals as well.
I’m glad you’re here to join us. Lydia, do you want to say hello?
Lydia: Hello. Yeah. Thanks for that intro. We are definitely going to talk about adrenal health like Jessica said today. I personally hear this question, or concern, I should say really. People are concerned about their adrenals.
In fact, I just had a call from someone yesterday. They’re like, “Yeah. I’m really concerned about my adrenal health. I think my adrenals are really off or tanked. I’m worried I have adrenal fatigue or whatever it may be.”
So it’s a big concern today. But what I think people need to understand is what’s really happening to their body when they talk about their adrenals. It’s really not just the two glands that are tired. It’s your whole body.
We talk about thyroid health as well. People are like, “I’m hypothyroid” or “My thyroid is not well.” Well really that’s not the only problem. Do you know what I mean?
So I want to help people understand that your whole body is under stress when your adrenal glands are low-functioning or tired or whatever it may be, whatever stage of adrenal stress your body is in. It really matters to understand that it’s your whole body.
Your lifestyle, your stress levels and so much more play into what we’re calling tanked adrenals or adrenal fatigue or whatever term people are using. It’s just so much more than just those glands although those little tiny glands play a big role in our health.
It is important to understand how they work. But I just want people to realize it’s not just those glands that are taxed.
Jessica: Absolutely. I think a lot of people don’t realize that the whole endocrine system, your adrenals, your blood sugar, your thyroid, they all have to work in harmony.
So the people that are just focusing on their thyroid maybe are not understanding that if your thyroid is out of whack, you really need to look at your blood sugar and your adrenal health at the same time. You can’t fix one without trying to fix the other. Typically if you’re showing symptoms of one of those areas being out of whack, the other areas are getting out of whack too.
So it’s really an all-encompassing healing plan. You have to look at all these different systems in the body. You can’t just focus on targeting the thyroid and improve your thyroid functioning.
That’s one thing that I’ve struggled with. In 2007, I was diagnosed as hypothyroid. I didn’t even know that the adrenal glands existed at that time. Nobody ever mentioned blood sugar or stress or anything like that.
The standard Western medicine approach to it is “Let’s just fix the thyroid. Let’s not look at all of the underlying causes that could be playing into that.” So you really have to look at the whole system and not just the one specific organ that may be giving you some trouble.
Lydia: Right, exactly. I have a little segueway here. Bear with me for a second. I want to share an observation I had.
I’m actually watching an episode of Parenthood last night. That’s my current binge obsession.
One of the mothers found out she had a cancer lump in her breast. So the whole experience the family walked through surrounding this discovery was really sad to me to watch because it was such a shock to the family. It just came out of nowhere to them.
I know it’s just a TV show, but this is a portrayal of what real life can look like. And the whole family was just in shock. There was a lot of fear. There was a lot of anxiety. They had no remote clue as to how to comprehend what’s happening other than what the doctors are telling her. It was sad to me that there was such grief and fear and anxiety all surrounding this situation.
The reason I bring this up is because I really felt like this is a sad and common story today. People are finding out bad news about their health like you did years ago with the Hashi’s diagnosis, right?
Lydia: We all know someone who’s getting the cancer diagnosis. These days, it’s becoming more and more common.
When that happens, people are really scared and afraid. They don’t know what to do, to expect, how to come up with a path to healing.
One of my biggest objectives is really to educate people about how their bodies work as a whole and how to live a preventative lifestyle and to understand we are all susceptible to things like cancer and disease, that no one is excused from this possible outlook. I’m sorry to say.
I’m not saying this to be bleak here. I’m saying this with this thought in mind. We can be better equipped now, all of us can, if we are thinking this way versus “Oh, that’s not going to touch me. I don’t have to think about cancer. I don’t have to think about some disease down the road.”
You know what? Yeah, you do because the world you’re living in is rapidly declining or degenerating.
I guess my point is really to help people understand that now is the time to understand how your body works that we’re not learning in school. We should be. There’s so much against our health today.
If we’re better equipped when these diagnoses may come – hopefully they won’t, but if and when they do – we can focus on having already understood the possibility or know more about our health or not be so fearful for these things to come. We can focus now today on creating the best health possible so we can improve the chances of recovery.
I work with people daily with failing health and they don’t understand why. And it’s upsetting to them. But then when they get some clarity, all of a sudden, it’s like this huge shift in how they approach taking care of themselves. Even though it could be a long road to get to where they really want to be, I think it’s a very hopeful, encouraging path.
I can’t help but stand up on my soapbox here and warn people in a gracious way to just prepare and take care of yourself, take action and really consider learning more about your health. That’s why we started this podcast. We want to help people to get information and take action and everything like that.
So just a little segueway there.
Jessica: I love it. I think you hit on some really important things. I think the underlying message of fear – when we get those types of diagnosis, the fear kicks in. When we hear the cancer, it’s just automatically terrifying.
There are so many different ways to treat cancer alternatively. You don’t have to go the chemo and surgery and radiation route. I think the biggest thing that we can do now in preparation, because you’re right, is none of us are going to be exempt from any debilitating disease.
Sometimes we feel like genetically if we come from a pretty healthy family that doesn’t have cancer, doesn’t have diabetes on all the family members, we’re going to be okay. That’s not true.
So we have to be prepared. I think the biggest thing is we need to feel empowered for our own health. We need to feel like we can make decisions for our health and that we can access to the information that we need and the treatments that we need.
And we don’t have to always rely on what the doctor says. We have the right to ask questions. We can challenge our doctors. If we don’t like what our doctors have to say, we can go find another doctor or go to a naturopath or whoever you need to see.
Really giving that power back to the people and removing it from the mainstream medical community that makes you feel like you have to follow everything that they say or else you’re going to die.
I think that’s a huge point that needs to be addressed. I love that you brought that up.
Lydia: No one has to be a sitting duck.
Lydia: Yeah. I think because I see the big picture day in and day out. And I spend years of my life studying, researching and learning and helping people as well as my own family.
I just really feel compelled this year with what I was just talking about. Hopefully it’s really helpful.
But now, you’re recovering your adrenals. That did correlate with what I shared because the adrenal health is so important, very, very important.
Jessica: Yes, it is.
Lydia: It’s really important to understand first that there are different stages of stress our body goes through. This impacts our vitality and energy and taxes the adrenal glands, along with other things. But we’re going to focus on these little glands here.
When the adrenal glands are weakened or exhausted, a whole host of issues can ensue. I mean it’s radical how much is tied into how well your adrenal glands are functioning based on the stage of stress they’re in.
So constant stress, that can be anything. So anything your body perceives as a stressor. I mean, we’ve got a gamut of things. We’ve got general stress, emotional stress and psychological stress. We’ve got the stress of a busy lifestyle. We’ve got toxins. We got food sensitivities, chemicals, bad digestion. I mean it’s just everything.
Over time, these stressors added up. And some people are born with weakened adrenals. I’ll get to that in a minute. But over time, you’re going to deplete your overall energy and it takes a lot of energy to handle excessive stress.
You need a lot of nutrients and minerals in your body. Most people are not getting that. They’re depleting it and they’re not replacing it adequately. So it’s really hard to begin with, to keep the body in balance, to handle the amount of ongoing stresses that come around in this modern day.
Lydia: Maybe you’re familiar, Jessica and anybody that’s listening of Dr. Selye. He identified the three stages of stress. He came up with that Stress Theory of Disease.
Jessica: Okay, yeah.
Lydia: Yeah. In your big giant adaption’s book, you probably read it in there.
Jessica: I love that book. It’s so good.
Lydia: That was awesome. I wish I’ve put a link up for that. People want to read that book.
Note from Jessica: Here is the link to the adaptogens book Lydia and I were talking about above.
Lydia: So there are three stages of stress. We’ve got the Alarm Stage of stress. That’s when you essentially are perceiving stress. We should be able to handle an alarm situation.
So today would be – if your little three year old is running towards the street, your body should be able to take in the high gear to chase that child and protect them and get them out of the road. That’s an urgent stress. The body should be able to handle that.
The problem comes when we’re getting stress every 30 minutes, driving in traffic every day and almost crashing and all those stuff. We can’t handle it.
The Alarm Stage Stress is when the body – it’s an early stage of stress. The body has got enough energy to fight back against the stress. So you may be in a sympathetic dominant state or fight or flight state. Your sympathetic nervous system is kicked into high gear.
You might be in faster oxidation rates or basically your body is burning energy quicker, faster metabolism, that kind of thing. You might have high blood pressure, high blood sugar, higher body temperature, things like that. The body reacts to acute stress by releasing hormones produced by the adrenal glands, which mobilize the body’s energy to really meet and overcome that stress.
You can be in this alarm stage for a bit and continue to be in this alarm stage. Then all of a sudden, your body’s like, “Okay.” And now you get into the Resistance Stage. This happens when the body attempts to adapt to that stress that you’ve been in, the fight or flight stress you’ve been in when it can no longer maintain it.
And then this stage really is more of a continued battle where the body is really attempting to contain the stress if you will. But it’s really unable to eliminate it. This is in most people. We have this lifestyle that’s ongoing stress.
So the Resistance Stage of stress can go actually quite a long time depending on the individual, depending on how much reserves you have. Everyone is going to be different.
The body will still have a little bit of energy reserve available to resist the stress but less than it would in the alarm stage. So we’re just slowing them down.
Then after a while in the Resistance Stage, if you are not aware of that this is happening and you don’t do anything to correct it, you’re going to end up in the Exhaustion Stage. And this is when your body is just exhausted. Its energy levels can’t attempt to contain ongoing stress. It can be lifestyle. It can be everything we just talked about.
And then you basically no longer have the necessary energy reserves left to resist stress, to manage stress. Now you will end up in this holding pattern.
I tell people they’re in a self-defense holding pattern. A lot of things in the body are low — way, way down. Essentially, the people are slowed down in general. They’re not able to muster up the energy to go, go, go anymore. And in a way, it’s the body protecting you from continuing so you can stay alive.
So someone at Exhaustion Stage of stress is going to have fatigue, depression, apathy, constipation, dry skin and hair, adrenal exhaustion. Your thyroid is probably going to take a major hit too.
This unfortunately is really the most common stage of stress people are in. I see so many people in this stage of stress unfortunately.
Basically you’re burned out. You’re just completely burned out. Your body is totally unable to cope with stress.
Really your severe mineral imbalance pattern is impacting the energy producing mechanisms of your body. That’s more than just the adrenal glands obviously. It can take a really, really long time to correct this unfortunately.
Jessica: Yeah. I know it’s hard for a lot of people to truly understand. Once you get into this chronic stage of fatigue and you’ve run your body down, the recovery period could take quite a while.
It’s frustrating because we feel like we need to get better overnight and we can really get down on ourselves whenever we’re not seeing the types of improvement that we feel like we should be seeing.
One thing is if you are realizing that you are getting burnt out or you got any sort of adrenal stress, you need to be patient with yourself. It’s going to take a while to re-correct everything that is out of whack. Just be patient and be kind to yourself while you’re doing that because you’re not going to see instantaneous results.
We’ve got generations of stress and poor food quality. Everything is building up. So we’re all just – like you said, you were going to even talk about these poor children that are even being born today that are already in adrenal stress.
I mean it’s just sad to even think that the babies that were having are already finding an uphill battle from the moment they’re conceived essentially. So we just have to be patient with ourselves.
Lydia: Yeah. My goal is to help people before they get to the stage if possible. The problem is so many people are already there, right?
Lydia: But like Jessica was just saying, if you find yourself in this fight or flight or maybe even you’re just in the Resistant Stage of stress, don’t wait. Don’t wait to work on improving your health. Don’t get to the Exhaustion Stage please. It’s not fun and it takes a long time.
Like you said, unfortunately I do see a lot of young kids in burnout. And I could speak to this very well because this is my situation. Every child’s hair test that I’ve seen, they’re almost all in burn out. We’re talking young kids. I even just had a three year old the other day in burn out.
It’s because partly their mother was probably in burn out. Mom is having a bunch of kids. She’s already taxed in a lot of ways. So each consecutive kid, things can get a little bit worse unfortunately. I’ll give myself as an example so no one else feels like they’re being put under the microscope or anything here.
My mom was pretty much – I think she’s anemic and 90 something pounds when she was pregnant with me because she was malnourished. I was born and that right there was not a great starting point for me.
So when I was young, I had a lot of allergies, a lot of health problems and they all, now that I know, correlate with weakened adrenal function. So I never knew I had this problem until I was an adult.
Then I was finally burned out. And there I was struggling to keep myself pretty much functioning. And then I have four kids. How did that happen?
When I finally was able to get a hair analysis done in all of us, it was like, “Woah! This is very eye-opening to me.” And each kid had a level of serious adrenal fatigue and exhaustion.
It was like, “Wow. Okay.” Now here I am with this information and I really wanted to make sure I can help other people because there are so many moms out there. It’s unfortunate because we’re not told any of this. We don’t understand this.
Women are just having babies. They want to have babies. They want to have a family. Or sometimes people are getting pregnant unplanned or when they aren’t prepared. That happened to me.
Honestly we’re just not thinking about this part, thinking about where our health is at so that we can create a healthy child. We just aren’t there in our culture. Traditionally people pay very close attention to this. It was vital. But we don’t anymore.
So I’m side-tracking here a little bit. I guess the big picture really is there’s no one immune to this anymore unfortunately. It is really important to understand that now is the time to really take your health seriously or you’re going to not be able to enjoy the quality of life that you really want.
Jessica: Yeah. I’ll use myself for an example too. I have dreamed for years of being able to be self-employed. I finally got that chance last year after some stressful years and years of me not taking care of myself as well as I could.
What I notice is that the stress from situational events in my life and working a job that I was not happy in, coupled with all of a sudden the stress of having to be my own boss. Now I’m in charge of ensuring that I get a paycheck to cover my bills every month and all that.
By the time November rolled around, which is when I first started working with you more in depth on my fatigue and my adrenal issues, I was seeing that I was not going to be able to live the type of life and have the type of career that I wanted unless I address these issues because I didn’t have the energy. And I was dealing with brain fog.
And I would have days where I just felt — I’ve been very thankful with my health journey that I’ve never gotten to a point where I’ve been completely debilitated. I know some people who are dealing with chronic health issues, chronic fatigue and adrenal issues where they can’t even get out of bed. I’ve been thankful that I’ve been able to function pretty normally. And I still have been able to work and do all the things that I need to do.
But I was having more and more days where I just would have a little melancholy and I wouldn’t have the clarity. I was dealing with brain fog. I just would work for a couple of hours and then I’d be tired. Then I wouldn’t want to do anything, but go sit in front of the TV and watch TV all day.
I realized if I’m going to be self-employed and I’m going to be in charge of my own destiny, I have to figure out how I can get myself the best chance to have the most energy to accomplish the things I need to accomplish and have the life that I want to have.
It was really eye-opening. I feel like the last six months, I’ve really gone through some pretty dramatic mind shifts. And I’m still going through them just how I’m viewing health and nutrition and the things that I need to implement into my life in order to give me the ability to have and create the kind of life that I want to have.
Yes. The energy is a huge thing. I mean our adrenals are in charge of our energy. Dealing with blood sugar and adrenal and thyroid issues, my energy was just starting to tank more and more and that scared me because I don’t want to be in bed not able to get out and work. I need to be able to work because we’ve got bills to pay. So it’s so scary.
Lydia: It is. It is definitely scary. It’s definitely not something people plan on happening to them.
I see people all the time, they just keep on going, going, going. And the cycle is like, “Okay, get up, rush. Get your coffee, quick breakfast, rush. Get in the car, rush in traffic. Get to work, hurry up. Make sure you’re on time so you don’t get fired. You get into work, more coffee probably.”
And then all of a sudden you got this cram day of work. You got to go, go, go. Then you come home. All the chores have to be done, and the kids have to get to this place and that place.
Nobody can live like that forever. If we don’t stop at some point, it’s like what you’re saying on how you wanted your life to go versus letting it go this way that everyone just does.
It’s definitely something worth thinking about. And more people are stopping and realizing, “I can’t maintain this.”
I see people that I know maintain a certain level and then one day, they just crash. And they’re just like, “Why can’t I have it function?” On their days off, they just want to sit around. They can’t do anything else and they have stuff to do.
When you’re under that kind of stress for so long, the normal functions of all the organs in your body are compromised. The adrenal glands are just one of them. They’re especially vulnerable to it because they’re responsible for producing the hormones that provide the stress and over a long time.
That’s why we get tanked. That’s why we say adrenal fatigue, whatever. It’s really not just adrenal fatigue. It’s your overall sympathetic system response and your HPA access and all the stuff.
But what happens is when you are in this day in, day out, it’s like your flight and you crash into each stage of stress, the blood supply – two things. It increases at first. But then eventually it gets worse.
So you get this heightened sense of where you see people with high blood pressure and all these acute, more hyper states of health responses. All of a sudden, that comes crashing down.
And then you’ve got weakened kidneys, liver and poor digestion. Detoxification pathways and elimination organs are just all slowed way down.
No one can afford that happen to them. When that happens to you, then you’re susceptible to way more problems.
Jessica: Right, yes.
Lydia: Anyway, I think you touched on something important too about mental attitude. I think our attitude makes a huge difference in determining our stress response.
The problem is – this is which came first, the chicken or the egg. I think we always have the ability to make a choice and think positively if we choose that. However some people are already depleted and it makes it harder for them to have that positive outlook. It’s not natural. In fact, it requires a lot more effort.
Jessica: That’s exactly me. I’ve always been a very standard type-A overachiever personality even when I was in grade school, middle school and high school.
My sister loves to talk about this time that I just totally cracked her up. I was in high school. I was in my senior year. And we all had to do these big senior projects in order to graduate.
So I was doing my on photography. And I was sitting at the dining room table one night with her just bawling because I only had three months to get my senior project done.
Three months. She’s like, “Jessica, I would have started my senior project the night before it was due.”
Lydia: So would I.
Jessica: “And you’re sitting here so worked up and stressed out because you only have three months to get it done.” That’s the way I’m wired. And I know that my personality type has played a very dramatic role in my overall health.
Because of that, I’m a warrior. I’m an overachiever. “Nothing is ever good enough” kind of thing. So I really had had to work hard at trying to adapt some more positive outlook on things and trying not to be a pessimist. I’m a “glass half empty” person by nature. If it feels like work and it feels unnatural for me to be a glass half full kind of person.
I think that some of that is coming into the minerals too because it was harder for me to be happy. I felt like I really had to work to be happy.
To a lot of people that doesn’t make sense to them when you tell them. So it’s hard for me to explain that to people sometimes that I actually have to work to be happy a lot of the time.
The minerals are playing a huge role. Like I was telling you two weeks ago, we’re in the middle of doing some remodeling on our house. We’re installing new floors upstairs.
The whole house has just been in total chaos. The project is taking longer than we expected. And I have not been stressed out at all.
If this has happened a year ago, I would have been so anxious and just feeling overwhelmed. “I can’t work because my computer is in a box. And I can’t find my socks. Where the heck is my deodorant? I can’t find my toothpaste.”
All these little things, I probably would have been somewhat debilitated at the time. I really feel like I’ve made a lot of progress. It was very eye-opening for me to see how much progress I made in the last year because this situation a year ago would have thrown me for a loop.
I feel like I had just powered through it. No problems. I didn’t feel stressed. I mean I would get annoyed because I couldn’t find something that I needed. But I wasn’t constantly feeling uptight and anxious about it.
That was a very big improvement for me. When you have those realizations, sometimes you don’t have them until after the fact. But when you have those, that is the biggest boost in your morale that you could get.
Lydia: You just touched on something really important. I think people don’t realize this. I was talking about how people keep on going, going, going that they think they’re going to energize their body.
When you are going like that at a high pace or even just the day to day stress. I mean maybe it’s not on high pace. Maybe you’re home all the time, but you have a lot of kids. You have to manage a lot or whatever it may be. Stress really rapidly burns through nutrients in the body, B vitamins, zinc, vitamin C.
It really burns through minerals. I wrote a post about this a while back. It’s pretty cool. But we are burning up these minerals in our body. And honestly, nobody’s giving enough minerals to begin with.
Number one, our soil has been depleted for a long time. It’s getting worse. Unless you purposely eat food only from really nutrient rich soil…
Jessica: Which is impossible.
Lydia: Nobody does, right?
Lydia: And then unless you eat this really great diet with nutrient-dense food and minerals and on top of it, you’re digesting it perfectly. Is there anyone we know? No.
So you’re burning through these minerals and most people do not realize they’re not replacing any of it. So they just keep on depleting, depleting, depleting.
It was great when you brought that up. You’re saying that now because you’re purposely rebuilding your mineral balance, your body is more able and better equipped to handle a stressful situation. That’s how it should be.
I really want people to understand this information about how their bodies work even on the most basic level here where we could get into more nitty-gritty.
Jessica: We’ll do that in some subsequent podcasts.
Lydia: And I’ll link to that post because that explains it a little bit more thoroughly. People are just not thinking this way. We’re not thinking, “Oh wait, I have to refuel my body.”
We go and give our cars tune-ups. We change the oil. We put gas in frequently. We get it tuned. If something’s wrong with the car, we get it inspected every year. If something’s wrong with it, we either have to replace it, which we can’t do with our bodies.
Jessica: We can’t find in the store.
Lydia: We don’t look at our bodies that way I guess because we didn’t purchase our body. We just were born with it.
We often unfortunately take it for granted. We really can’t afford to take it for granted. And I think some people get upset with the whole concept of taking better care of themselves because it requires effort and they’re already tired.
Nobody wants to have to think about that. They want their body to function right. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
I think we could talk about the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency. Let’s call it that so that people can maybe get a better idea of “Hey. I have all of those” and realize maybe I should take this more to heart.
So they can be mild to extreme. People who have chronic disease, they can’t even get out of bed. That’s the severe end of the spectrum there, but even things like allergies.
When I was a kid, I developed allergies, seasonal allergies. Then I had severe respiratory issues. My mom didn’t know that it was – she had no idea why. We just go to the doctor and see what they would say. We never really got anywhere with it.
I was eating cereal every day. I mean I can’t…
Jessica: Standard American diet?
Lydia: Right. It was ridiculous. And then there are symptoms like apathy, depression. You see a lot of kids today. They’re apathetic and we get upset with them.
We want them to be more driven. We want them to accomplish more. We wonder why they sit around and watch TV. And we get upset with them. There’s probably a good reason for it.
Another thing, women complain about this a lot to me. They have a decreased tolerance to cold, especially in the winter. But you may find your hands and feet are cold all the time or you get cold all the time.
That’s poor circulation. That’s low adrenal function. A lot of people correlate that with just the thyroid. But really it has to do with the adrenals too.
And then general fatigue, right?
Lydia: Fear. Fears because you were saying you would get anxious, more anxious when stress was around you, things like that.
Joint aches and pains, believe it or not. Low back pain is actually a marker for low adrenal function.
Lydia: Yeah, I have a whole post on that too.
Lydia: And then people may have low self-esteem because they just don’t have a lot of energy. The truth is I had low self-esteem whenever I go. That did not help me in any way, shape or form and for a lot of things.
Low blood pressure is common. That’s more when your adrenals are tired, when your adrenals are in a more stressed state like the Alarm Stage. You’ll end up with high blood pressure.
Jessica: That’s where I was at several years ago.
Lydia: Yeah, I remember.
Lydia: The downward spiral.
Jessica: I know.
Lydia: I’ve always had low blood pressure. So that tells me something there.
Low blood sugar too is another symptom. The unfortunate thing about this is most people don’t realize they have low blood sugar until it gets really bad because they don’t understand the symptoms.
We call it hangry. If you are getting to meal time and you’re getting angry because you’re hungry, you’re hangry. You are in a hypoglycemic state because your body is desperately needing the fuel to raise your blood sugar and not have your adrenals have to do it for you.
General low stamina, lowered resistance to infection, muscle weakness, the excessive amount of sleep you need all of a sudden. People will say, “Oh man, I just feel like I don’t wake up rested. I get a whole night sleep and I wake up and I’m still tired.”
And even things like constipation, low stomach acid or some digestive issues are symptoms as well that the adrenals are tired.
All of these things vary. And they’re mild to extreme.
Jessica: What’s interesting about all of that is that a lot of those symptoms are what’s defined as classic hypothyroid symptoms. That’s even more indication that when you have thyroid, you’re displaying these thyroid symptoms.
Maybe you’ve had your lab work and you’ve been diagnosed with hypothyroid that you need to start looking at the adrenals too. I mean so many of those are just overlapping between thyroid and adrenal.
So it could really be your adrenals need the TLC first and that would help re-regulate the thyroid problem. So that’s showing that they cross over like that.
Lydia: They definitely do.
Jessica: We got more doctors that don’t know about it.
Lydia: Right. Right. That’s the most common thing I’m dealing with right now with people.
The majority of my clients are women, anywhere from their 30s through their 70s. They got the whole gamut.
Almost at least 50% of women have had their thyroid looked at. They’re like, “Oh, I have hypothyroid. Oh, my thyroid, my thyroid, my thyroid. I’m on thyroid meds. Blah blah blah.” Then I tell them about their adrenals. They’re like, “Oh my gosh. I had no idea.”
And I make the connection. That’s the problem. All of a sudden, there’s this isolation of “Oh, it’s a thyroid problem.”
Lydia: Well, the thyroid is pretty darn important. We need thyroid hormone for a lot of things. It’s pretty darn important.
Yeah, I can understand it being looked at. It is something that the medical community is looking at. They’re not looking at the adrenal glands unless it’s severe like Addison’s or something. So it’s unfortunate.
The way that people need to get help to improve their adrenal health is through something that’s not being used commonly at all. It’s the Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis, which we’ve talked about quite a bit.
There are other ways too, but this one is a great starting point because you can see the stage of stress your body is in from your mineral patterns. So you can see if you’re in the Alarm Stage or if you’re in the Resistance Stage or if you’re on the Exhaustion Stage.
Once you know that information, you know what you’re up against in a way. At least as far as if you’re on the Exhaustion Stage, it’s going to take some time to really recover. And you’re going to need to be really careful. And you may need to change your lifestyle drastically.
Jessica: Yes. That’s the hard thing, the lifestyle changes. My mom was telling me not too long, maybe a month or two ago, that she had read a study.
They actually did a scientific study. It showed that getting people to change their diet is harder than getting them to change their religion.
Lydia: Yeah. Oh, my God!
Jessica: Oh, I know. Whenever you are faced with some chronic illness, whatever it be, you have two choices.
You can keep on going the same way you are going and follow more of the Western medicine style of treatment which is to just isolate that one problem and try to address it. But that never fixes any of the underlying causes, the rest of the body function and everything. Then you just keep going how you’re going.
Or you need to start to really take a look at your whole lifestyle, everything that you’re eating and that you’re doing and the stress that you’re exposing yourself to and even the toxins that you’re exposing yourself to. What are you putting on your skin? What are you brushing your teeth with? What kind of water are you drinking? It’s just everything, everything. That’s the harder thing for people to do.
I’m not saying this to be – you don’t have to just all of a sudden say, “Okay. I have been diagnosed with this chronic illness. I’m going to completely change my lifestyle 100% and do it all perfectly.”
You just start taking those little baby steps. Choose to change one thing. Start brushing with toothpaste that doesn’t contain fluoride in it. Or start drinking filtered water or well water that you can get that has no chlorine and fluoride in it.
Just make one little step and then those will compound. Before you know it, you’ve got some major lifestyle changes, but you do have to be willing. If you truly want to heal your body, you have to be willing to sacrifice some of the lifestyle things that you may have gotten used to. You have to be willing to make those changes in order to actually see really good progress.
That’s a hard thing for a lot of people. It has been hard for me. I still am struggling to try to make the kinds of changes that I need in certain areas. But you just have to take it one day at a time. You have to be willing and open to making those changes.
Lydia: Right. It’s never about the performance aspects of what you’re doing.
Jessica: Yes. Yes, exactly.
Lydia: You don’t have to perform one of these changes in a certain speed or rate or consistency to get benefit. I think people stop themselves and stall their progress before they even start.
They think, “Oh, I got to try to change this and that and that and this and this and that and that. Oh my gosh, holy crap. Well, I can’t do it. Forget it. Never mind, I’m not doing it.”
Jessica: You guys can’t see me, but I’m totally raising my hands right now. You know me very well after all these years.
Lydia: “I quit. I give up.”
Jessica: I know. I’m one of those people that feel like when I’m introduced with — especially the Mineral Balancing Protocols where Lydia has outlined everything that I need to do.
I looked at it and my initial response is to get overwhelmed because I feel like if I can’t do all of these things at one time, what’s the point of doing it? So I really have to work hard at choosing one little thing and trying to be consistent with it. And I still struggle in areas.
Yeah, the performance based thing – you’ve touched on that before in some of our other talks. And I think we’ll probably talk about that in some other episodes too.
But that performance based mindset that we all have that we have to do in a certain way at a certain rate and we have to make X,Y and Z milestones and all that kind of stuff, we need to disregard that mentality that has become really ingrained in us or to the society whenever it comes to healing our bodies.
Lydia: “Don’t let the enemy of the good be perfectionism.” Do you know what I mean, that saying? I don’t think I said it right.
But a lot of people look at what they have to do. They look at the whole picture and they see, “This is the goal.”
Like my protocol that I send out, I always have to disclaim the people, “Listen. I have to be thorough and touch on a lot of stuff here. But you need to understand because there are so many things. There’s diet, exercise, lifestyle, sleep, stress reduction, all the stuff.”
“I have to touch all of it, but what you need to understand are these key things. And you’re not going to do all of the stuff. You’re going to pick some of the stuff. And I’m going to help you pick the most important things.”
“This is where you’re going to start. You have this to build in a day. You’ve got three months to work on this. And even if it’s not perfect because good Lord, what is perfect anyway? What does that even mean? What does that even translate into?”
Lydia: Remember the nature analogy, okay? We got to think like this. There are ups and lows when it comes to every single day of our life. We just have to get up every day and do the best we can.
That said, I think people – part of what we’re getting at in relation to the whole adrenal fatigue scenario is people have to be gentle with themselves. They have to give themselves grace in the sense to be okay with where their body is at, instead of looking at yourself as this supermom or this rockstar or trying to keep the pace up with the Joneses.
You are worth your time to really tenderly care for yourself. Does that make sense?
Jessica: Yes, absolutely.
Lydia: So anyway, with that I mean I feel like we could carry on forever talking about this.
Lydia: I think people need the encouragement. I mean it took me years to get to this point. Honestly I’m going to be really transparent here about my life. I’m not really shy.
I went through a separation back in 2009. Honestly, it was the second or third time I had tried to go through it. So there were years and years and years of a lot of problems. Let’s just put it that way.
When I finally was, let’s call it gut-free from the situation, all of a sudden my body was just ready to fall to pieces. That’s when I knew, “You know what? I have to take care of myself because no one else is going to. No one was. And I have four kids.”
Lydia: That was when it dawned on me. It was like, “I matter a hell of a lot.” Sorry, people. But it’s just the truth. We all do.
Lydia: We do. And I don’t think that people view themselves that way, especially women. We were so nurturing. We put ourselves less a lot of the time.
So we have to stop and think about this because if we as women – I’m going to speak to women mainly here because that’s who I’m working with. But the guys can hear this too.
If we are not putting ourselves first – you’re on the plane and they say, “You got to put your own oxygen mask on first. Otherwise, you aren’t going to be any good to anybody else.”
Lydia: It’s pretty straightforward. That’s the same thing when it comes to taking care of your own health. No one else is going to do it. No one.
So if you’re a mom and you got all these people depending on you and it’s really hard, you have to stop and say, “Okay. I really do have to prioritize my health. I can’t always be expending my energy and giving to everyone else and not getting anything.” Or you’re just going to self-implode.
Lydia: Not really, but you’ll feel that way. You’ll feel like this. So let this be a pep talk and a hopefully an inspiration to wrap your mind around the whole concept of taking care of yourself in general, to help with the whole stress of life in general – everyone’s got it – to avoid getting to the severe burn out state hopefully.
If you’re already there, there’s help. You can recover, but you’re just going to need to take it seriously and you’re going to need help. You really are.
Jessica: Yes. I totally agree. I think that was a good little pep talk to end our show with. I know you want the same thing. I want the information that we share to be inspiring and uplifting.
Sometimes we’re going to talk about really serious stuff. And we might get into more of the scientific aspects of things. And really we just want to put this information out there to get the wheels turning in your head.
You don’t have to act on anything right away. But knowledge will be there and it will be percolating in your brain. And you might start getting more comfortable with the idea.
It’s uncomfortable for a lot of people, myself included, to make myself a priority. It’s uncomfortable for them to stop and say, “Okay, I need to do this for myself regardless of what anybody else says.”
It’s sometimes hard just put yourself first before everybody, especially from others. I mean I’m not a mom yet. But I see it so many times. Moms are just always going, going, going. They have to take care of everybody and they don’t take care of themselves.
It’s hard for people to have that mind shift that they need to take care of themselves first and then they can take care of everybody else much more efficiently than if they are completely burned out.
We want the information that we share in all of these podcasts to be inspiring and uplifting. And we want to hear from you too. If you have questions or comments or things that you want to talk about, leave a comment on the blog post or shoot us an e-mail and let us know. We would be happy to discuss the stuff with you and be your cheerleader as you’re taking charge of your health.
Lydia: Yeah. It is a matter of mind renewal really. Once you get to wrap your mind around this kind of information, it empowers you to take the action you really need to be taking. It’s a process.
James Wilson wrote the book Adrenal Fatigue, which is by the way a pretty good book to get started with. He wrote that healing from adrenal fatigue requires a combination of things.
“First and foremost, your recovery depends on your lifestyle, how you spend your energy, how you conserve your energy and how you create energy. They’re all extremely important. Your recovery is also contingent on what you eat and drink as well as the thoughts you feed your mind and the belief you based your life on.”
With that, we hope we can inspire you to think in terms of these general beginning ideas that need to occur to really recover.
Jessica: Well said. I think that’s a perfect quote to end with. So we will go ahead and wrap up this episode. But we are going to be back next week.
We’re actually going to talk next week about hair analysis. We’ve mentioned that a couple of times in this episode and in some of our other episodes. And you’ve seen it on our site too.
We wanted to talk about that in more depth and give you an overview of what that is and how it can be used on your healing journey and insights that you get from that kind of testing.
Make sure you tune in next week. We are going to sign off for today. I hope you have a great day. And we will talk to you again soon.
Lydia: Bye. Thanks for listening.