From Coach Joshua Sharp

Have you ever been in a funk? That feeling of low energy, in a slightly depressed state, unmotivated, body aches, or some form of a low physical or mental state/brain fog. This is a common occurrence for a lot of us. Now, of course there could be a multitude of reasons on why this happens to us and it’s very individualized, but one possible reason could be adrenal fatigue. What does that even mean? If you’ve been in the health community for a period of time, this term has probably popped up. In my experience, there have been few people with explanations that define what it is and why it could happen to you.

Todd B. Nippolt, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic, defines adrenal fatigue as “A term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. The term often shows up in popular health books and on alternative medicine websites, but it isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis.” he goes on to state “Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life. The medical term adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) refers to inadequate production of one or more of these hormones as a result of an underlying disease.” He also mentions that it stems from chronic stress, “The unproven theory behind adrenal fatigue is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good. Existing blood tests, according to this theory, aren’t sensitive enough to detect such a small decline in adrenal function — but your body is.”

Think about work, our families, and, yes, even physical fitness can lead to these high stress levels. Physical fitness causes a good level of stress on the body to force adaptation for a specific result. But, too much of a good thing, like physical fitness, can lead to the law of dimensioning returns.

What are some practices you could be doing to limit these feelings? First and foremost, look at your sleep, hydration, and nutrition. Are you getting enough undisturbed sleep at night (around 8 hours). Are your hydration levels at an adequate level for you. What does your diet look like. How much rest or active recovery are you allotting for yourself to recharge. These are very basic remedies that you can utilize. For a lot of us it can help correct some, or maybe all, of these symptoms. But if you have done all the necessary steps at the basic level, then I recommend you see your medical practitioner. As a nutrition and fitness coach, I can help you with the basics; Nutrition, Sleep, hydration, and physical fitness. It’s one consultation away.

Joshua Sharp
IC Nutrition Coach
CrossFit Trainer