Brothers and sisters, I hope this finds you all well.
How are you feeling? Feeling down? Low energy? Mood variability? Can’t sleep? Low sex drive? Depressed? Memory suck? Well, I may have an answer for you! A new-ish condition called Adrenal Fatigue. The term has been around for quite some time, but a lot of medical professionals passed it off as hogwash (Bama Slang) early on. A ton of research and evidence is coming to light about adrenal fatigue and its effects specifically on emergency service workers. Adrenal fatigue has shown to affect over 80% of emergency providers. A few more stats for your eyes to feast upon before diving off into the weeds about adrenal fatigue.
80% suffer from Adrenal Fatigue.
80% of emergency workers are morbidly obese.
60% of emergency service workers are Vitamin D and Magnesium deficient.
50% or more deal with some form of mental health issue, addiction problems, and or job related stress.
Suicide is at pandemic level across the board.
Over 50% of emergency service workers have medical issues. HTN, diabetes, heart issues, physical issues.
So, after those uplifting numbers, I take this personal because I personally dealt and still deal with adrenal issues. Years ago, due to a severe drinking problem, addiction to prescription pills, poor diet, extreme sleep deprivation, and pretty severe medical issues. I was diagnosed with severe heptatic steatosis with severe hepatomegoly with progression of cirrhosis of the liver. (Stage 1 Liver failure.) I was diagnosed with a laundry list of issues, including adrenal fatigue. After tons of medications, thousands of dollars in medical bills, and practically living in the hospital I decided to take my health into my own hands.
Lets talk about adrenal glands and adrenal fatigue. Quick A&P tib bits. Remember that adrenal glands are tiny little glands that sit above the kidneys. Theyre responsible for a lot of important tasks such as production of:
Cortisol: helps your body convert food into energy, normalize blood sugar, respond to stress and maintain your immune system’s inflammatory response.
Aldosterone: helps keep your blood pressure and blood volume normal by maintaining a proper balance of sodium, potassium and water in your body.
Adrenaline: hormone increases your heart rate and controls blood flow to your muscles and brain (fight or flight), along with helping the conversion of glycogen to glucose in your liver.
Emergency service workers live in a constant sympathetic (fight or flight) response. From the time they clock in, and some even earlier than that are in a constant fight or flight mode, especially our law enforcement friends. Our adrenal glands are responsible for supporting this fight or flight response. In easier terms, we are constantly under stress. When we add the constant up and down roller coaster of emotions that we face during a shift, no wonder our adrenal glands crap out. WTF OVER…. This is just from the stress response. When we add in piss poor diet and nutrition, atrocious sleeping habits, zero physical fitness, over consumption of caffeine and stimulants, addiction issues, equals an obvious recipe for disaster.
Our lifestyles in emergency services a vicious hedonistic cycle of accepted abuse, fatigue and disease. The majority of us accept this lifestyle and counter culture as the norm. We wear sleep deprivation and poor lifestyles like a ridiculous badge of honor. I will spare you my soap box anger filled spastic fits about taking better care of ourselves in the emergency services realm.
After hundreds of hours of research I came to the realization that we very much cause and have the ability to correct Adrenal Fatigue. Diet, improving sleep, reduction of caffeine and stress management. (Obligatory rolling of the eyes.) Yes, we have to do everything within our power to mitigate and reduce stress in our lives. You can’t heal in the same environment you got sick in, plain and simple. There are tons of ways to reduce stress in our lives. If interested in learning more hit me up at email@example.com. Stress reduction on every avenue possible is a must. Mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally and even financially.
Caffeine is a dangerous drug that the majority of society is addicted too. It’s a widely accepted addiction that rarely gets any attention, unless it’s the energy drink partner who slams 4 energy drinks per shift. Caffeine taxes our adrenals even more than they already are. When we are at a constant state of sympathetic response, then add caffeine to already taxed adrenals; you start seeing adrenal fatigue symptoms. Like every drug, you build a tolerance to caffeine and have to consume more to reach said desired effect.
Sleep, sleep, sleep…… I feel the need to readdress the sleep thing, but…. Revisit our blogs about sleep deprivation.
Move your body daily. Exercise is not only phenomenal for your adrenals, it benefits your mental, and emotional health. You should implement a weekly workout routine to help maximize your health.
Relax, meditate, breath work, prayer and relaxing even more. All keys to helping heal your adrenal glands.
Adreanl fatigue is an extremely dangrous medical issue, that also plays into other disease processes. Often miss diagnosed for depression, and other medical problems, it can be easily overcome with hard work and determination.
If you would like more info, reach out firstname.lastname@example.org for information on 911 Buddy Check Project services.