Is Midlife Making You Tired All The Time?

Tired all the time? Stressed? Craving sugar? Can’t sleep? We all know midlife is such a stressful time and the significant impact it has on health and wellbeing. But what if you feel exhausted all the time and your body feels like it’s working overtime to deal with the stress? This week I look at a cause you might not even have heard of … adrenal fatigue.

Why is Midlife Making You So Stressed and Tired All The Time?

Stressed? Tired? Craving sugar? Can’t sleep?

Midlife is such a stressful time and the impact on our health and wellbeing cannot be underestimated. But what if you feel tired all the time and your body feels like it’s working overtime to deal with the stress? That’s not normal, even with a busy life.

It’s just possible that extreme tiredness, light-headedness or sudden weight loss is caused by something you might never have heard of … adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue: What Exactly Is It?

Your adrenal glands are in your kidneys and they have a major impact on health and wellbeing because they produce the hormone cortisol when we are stressed (read more about cortisol in my blog post here).   It’s also naturally high in the morning to get you going, and slowly fades during the day so you can sleep.

But if you get chronic stress or anxiety sometimes those adrenal glands can’t function efficiently and that’s when you can have problems. Too much cortisol is associated with poor sleep, brain fog, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and even lowers your immunity. That’s in addition to the belly fat we’re fighting to control.

Symptoms like feeling tired all the time, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, weight loss or gain, joint pain, sugar cravings, even frequent infections like colds and the flu can be signs that your adrenals are overworked.

Adrenal Fatigue: Symptoms

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue can include:

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Digestive problems

  • Nervousness

  • Feeling lightheaded

  • Low blood sugar

  • Weight loss

Adrenal fatigue can also be linked to adrenal insufficiency which includes other symptoms such as loss of appetite, stomach pain and muscle weakness and even depression, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.

But adrenal fatigue is controversial in that it doesn’t have a true diagnostic test, nor specific tell-tale symptoms. 

So be aware that although there are indicators you might also need to see a doctor to rule out other potential conditions. He or she may even be open to discussing adrenal fatigue, or at the very least, wellness strategies that can help to reduce your stress (and symptoms).

Foods to Avoid

Fortunately, there are easy ways of helping your adrenal glands to function better which will also help overall health. As you might suspect, that means avoiding some of those foods that are really doing you no favours with midlife tummy weight and health, such as:

  • White sugar

  • White flour

  • Alcohol

  • Caffeine

  • Fizzy drinks

  • Fried and processed food

  • Fast food

  • Artificial sweeteners.


Good Foods for Adrenal Health

Obviously, you might also be advised to cut out stress but that’s much easier said than done.

Instead, start by focusing on a well-balanced diet as the best way to keep healthy and keep those all-important blood sugar levels in check. There is even an adrenal fatigue eating plan which aims to limit food and drinks high in refined and processed sugar and unhealthy fats whilst also managing blood sugar.

Some foods, which can help with adrenal fatigue, include:

  • Lean meat

  • Fish

  • Eggs

  • Nuts

  • Leafy green and colourful vegetables

  • Dairy

  • Low-sugar fruits such as raspberries, strawberries and avocados (also a fruit)

  • Small amounts of sea salt

  • Healthy fats - think olive oil and coconut oil.

Don’t Forget Coffee and Water

High doses of caffeine also increase your cortisol levels. If coffee makes you feel anxious and jittery, then cut back on the amount of caffeine you ingest. Have a read of my previous blog post: Should you drink coffee? Benefits or side effects?

Also, being dehydrated increases cortisol. Make sure you’re drinking enough water every day, especially if you feel thirsty or if you’ve had one too many glasses of wine! Drinking plenty of water can also help reduce overeating too.

Eat a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods; this doesn't just help reduce stress hormone, it helps all aspects of your health.

Lower your cortisol levels with tea and dark chocolate (not the sugary milky kind!). Have a bit to unwind.

Why not make a start with cutting back sugar by taking part in my 5-day sugar challenge?

Other Ways to Help Adrenal Health

There are many other ways to reduce your stress and improve your health and energy levels.

Ideally, if you think stress is starting to burn you out, stress reduction is key. Just a little time for yourself doing light exercise, going for a walk in fresh air, having an early night, or luxuriating in a bath can all make a difference.

Better nutrition can only help your body. So go ahead and do it.

How to Eat to Support Your Adrenals

  • Reduce processed foods, sugar, fizzy drinks, fried foods and artificial sweeteners.

  • Increase your lean proteins, healthy fats, nut, leafy green veg and low sugar fruits.

  • Try to incorporate ways to reduce your stress such as a quick walk, a drink with friends or maybe 10 minutes with a good book.

Struggling to find the willpower to kick your sugar habit? Sign up for the Ditch Sugar in 5 Days Challenge and get support and motivation everyday along with a meal plan and recipes.


Content Disclaimer

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this blog are not intended to amount to advice and you should not rely on any of the contents of this blog. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this blog. Midlife Menu Ltd disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this blog.