"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Friday, September 23, 2011

FFT Friday: Adrenal Fatigue

A friend of mine told me about this book
a year ago and I wish it hadn't taken me so long to read it.

I am always on the look-out for books that I can recommend to people who ask me where to start when they want to implement a whole-foods diet, or embrace a healthier lifestyle. I've always thought it better to help people understand WHY more deeply before sending them to the health food store with a shopping list.

Change, in my experience, is more lasting the more understanding one has of the purpose of it. Which is why I usually recommend Fertility, Cycles, and Nutrition. Marilyn Shannon does a really great job of simplifying nutrition.

Dr. Wilson, in Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, does the same, but he goes deeper. He tells you exactly what happens inside your body when you make bad choices- constant sub-optimal diet, inadequate rest, soda pop all day, and so on.

In this book you'll find maybe the best simple, layman's explanation of how stress affects your body. Dr. Wilson does a superb job explaining how all stresses, whether physical, emotional, or nutritional, affect the body in physiologically the same way.

A sick child or parent you care for, an overbearing boss, fast food every day, worrying about bears and mountain lions while your kids play in the back yard. Or whatever it is you worry about. Your adrenal glands respond to all these stresses in exactly the same fashion. And how over time, without proper care, nourishment, and rest, your adrenals get tuckered out. And when that happens, you get sick every time your stress lod increases.

Ever wonder why so many people catch something in January?

Dr. Wilson's writing style is very casual, and he turns very complicated information into easily understandable and useable tidbits. Some of the other topics in the book include:
Why what you eat affects your immune system.
What sugar, caffeine, and chocolate cravings mean and what to do about them.
Plus the finest explanation I've ever read of how circadian rhythms and sleep influence one's health.

Many folks would just skip by this book unless they were, at that moment, feeling very run-down or stressed. It's unfortunate, because so much in this book is so well-expressed that it just might be the ounce of prevention someone with a ho-hum attitude needs to make some baby steps towards a healthy lifestyle.

Of course, it's just human nature that most folks prefer sail along
until the body gets way out of whack. The primary sign that your adrenals are not functioning well is fatigue. But fatigue is common in other conditions as well, which is a major reason why adrenal fatigue is often misdiagnosed or ignored.

Most amusing is the list of individuals at increased risk for adrenal fatigue:
University student
Mother with two or more children
Single parent
Loss of a stable job
Stressful work conditions

Or in other words, everyone I know.

In any case, if you don't have the energy you wish you did or you feel mildly to extremely depressed much of the time, I hope you will read, and heed this book.

"Youth is like spring, an over praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."
~Samuel Butler

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