If you are experiencing SVT’s then you may also have Adrenal Fatigue. You do not have to have adrenal fatigue to have SVT but if you do have adrenal fatigue it may be contributing to your SVT.
As you track your SVT onset symptoms and activities before an episode, chances are you were tired, exhausted, didn’t eat properly (ate something you are allergic to), dehydrated, stressed, worried, angry etc…If your adrenals were in full function, some of these triggers may not have tripped off an electrical mis-fire. When the adrenals are fatigued you are at risk.
Adrenal Fatigue is a set of symptoms that occur when our adrenal glands, located atop our kidneys, are not functioning as well as they should. These glands are responsible for producing hormones that assist the body in a number of functions, including regulating blood pressure and blood sugar, metabolizing proteins and fats, and giving the body what it needs to cope with stress, illness, and injury.
Not sure if you have Adrenal Fatigue? There are some common signs and symptoms that include:
- trouble getting up in the morning (never really feeling rested)
- lethargy, lack of energy, feeling tired for no apparent reason (especially if it’s the first half of the day)
- increased effort to perform daily tasks
- decreased ability to handle stress
- higher energy levels in the evenings
- feeling overwhelmed
- overuse of stimulants like sugar and caffeine; running on coffee or other stimulants just to get through the day
- cravings for salty foods or riding the “sweet and salty” craving merry-go-round
- Mild depression or anxiety
- Food allergies
- Low blood sugar, low blood pressure, Low body temperature
- Unexplained hair loss
- Weight gain
- Alternating diarrhea or constipation
- Weakened immune system
As you can see, losing even some adrenal function can cause a host of cascading issues, but why does it happen? There are many reasons, with the most common being chronic illness, malnutrition, injury, and the inability to escape physical, emotional, or psychological stressors; which can include anything from a bad relationship to chemical sensitivity. It might be easy to see how a one-time huge stress (injury, death of a loved one, even a course of corticosteroids) has the potential to affect your adrenal health, but so does any continued series of small stresses, and this is where many people don’t realize what an effect something like a toxic boss (and all the coffee that comes with it!) is having on their lives.
In my own personal story I can now see how I pushed myself for years, not realizing the effects it would have on my body in the future. I am a prime example of someone who was a workaholic, someone who took advantage of my body’s limits.
The types of behaviors that contribute to my personal adrenal fatigue were:
- Working late every day, pushing without stopping even when I felt the desire to stop.
- Not listening to my body…hungry, having cravings, tired and need rest, need to express feelings, etc.
- Staying up too late.
- Eating late at night, or too much in one sitting.
- Not being in a good sleep routine; going to bed at different times each night.
- Worrying about the SAME issue for too long without finding a solution.
- The build up of messes and clutter in home, and the frustration that follows.
- Inability to let go of thoughts, emotions.
- Not having good self-care practices in place to help with stress relief.
- Eating Sugar for relief.
- Having a diet that is mainly carbs, wheat, and sugar.
- Being frustrated about the same issues for too long (hmm…I said that already!!! LOL, better resolve that lingering issue!!!).
- Not drinking enough water.
- Being depleted….being physically, emotionally, and nutritionally depleted!!!
All the above things and many more behaviors can and will tax our adrenals. So like everything, prevention is the best practice. BUT, if you are like me and many others and you did push yourself to the point of adrenal exhaustion there are answers and ways to nourish your adrenals.
Here are some of the things that have worked for me:
- Taking small breaks throughout the day. No need to fall asleep, just letting yourself rest, close your eyes, even for 10 minutes
- Changing my diet by identifying my food sensitivities and eliminating them
- Eating for my blood type
- Taking good quality Adrenal Support supplements advised by my naturopath (My personal ones were Rhodolia Root and Adrenal support)
- Following the advice of Dr. Marcelle Pick and eating to support my adrenals while listening to the feedback my body gave me as I went, such as whether or not to eat meat
- Eating protein at every meal
- Eliminating Wheat/Gluten from my diet completely (this meant learning how to make my favorite chocolate chip cookies that I could not live without…wayyyy healthier…with brown rice flour instead of whole wheat flour..using gluten free rolled oats, switching sugar for maple syrup or lankato etc.)
- Drastically reducing sugar from my diet. DRASTICALLY!!!! no white sugar at all…hello honey and natural sugars
- Never eating sugar as a “food”. Only occasionally as a small snack…and it should NEVER be white sugar
- Drinking the right amount of water for my body…LOTS…I recommend figuring out what amount is best for you and do it EVERY DAY.
- Adding in greens
- Taking the BEST prebiotic and probiotic I can get my hands on
- Adding high quality supplements to my diet like magnesium, Ubiqinol, Fish Oil, adrenal support, plus a good B complex
- Only eating organic, hormone free meat and dairy
I’ve gathered some other other good options that have been found to be helpful:
- Try to eat at the same time each day at regular intervals. Routine can help the body stabilize and avoid spikes
- Having healthy, balanced snacks premade and handy will make it easier to avoid reaching for sugary, processed foods
- Eat any larger meals earlier in the day to flow with natural hormone levels rather than against them by eating them at night
- Exercise, but decrease efforts if you feel worse afterward, overdoing it can make things worse!
- Make time for yourself to do something you love EVERY DAY, even if it’s just for a few minutes
- When you feel yourself getting wound up, stop and take a few slow, deep breaths
- When you are tired…STOP what you are doing and honor yourself
- Rest more, work less!
If this feels like a huge mountain to climb (hey, you’re already tired!), don’t worry, you don’t have to go through it alone. Schedule a one on one with me and we can work together on a plan that’s best for your individual needs.
xo Your SVT Coach, Laura
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Additional sources: womentowomen.com, adrenalfatigue.org.