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The Silent Fatigue Epidemic and the Power of Alkaline Food

Posted on May 27th, 2024 10:17 AM

Is This Causing Your Fatigue?

Feeling constantly fatigued? It's not just about your packed schedule or lack of sleep. It could be about what’s on your plate. In our fast-paced society, millions of us are unknowingly battling a silent energy drainer.

You know coffee won’t fix it, you’ve tried ‘getting more sleep,’ but you wake up as tired as ever…and sugar? You already know better than that.

In a recent study, over 77% of Americans reported feeling more fatigued than ever, and 55% of those said that no amount of rest helps. For the vast majority of us, fatigue is not about rest or sleep; it is about imbalance in our bodies, and it is our body crying for help.

The Hidden Link Between Diet, Cortisol, and Fatigue

In this article, we’ll peel back the layers on a hidden link that’s causing many to feel tired all the time – the connection between an acidic diet, cortisol, and fatigue.

Surprisingly, the foods we eat can trigger a chain reaction, leading to diet-induced metabolic acidosis, elevated cortisol levels, and eventually, chronic fatigue.

Ready for a deep dive? Let’s uncover how adjusting your diet and managing cortisol levels could be your secret to reclaiming boundless energy.

Understanding Fatigue: The First Step

Fatigue is a sensation of constant tiredness or weakness, which can be physical, mental, or a combination of both. It’s more than just feeling drowsy – it’s a chronic lack of energy, a sense of exhaustion that doesn’t go away after rest or sleep. While everyone experiences tiredness at times, chronic fatigue is persistent, often inexplicable, and significantly impacts daily activities and quality of life.

The Role of Diet and Cortisol in Fatigue

A host of factors can contribute to chronic fatigue. These range from medical conditions such as anemia, diabetes, or thyroid disorders to mental health issues like depression or anxiety. However, it’s not always about the quantity or quality of sleep you’re getting. Even with adequate sleep, you can still feel fatigued. This is where two often-overlooked factors come into play: diet and cortisol.

You see, the foods we eat and how our bodies respond to them can significantly influence our energy levels. An overly acidic diet, typical in modern food habits, can lead to a condition known as diet-induced metabolic acidosis. This condition can affect your body’s cortisol levels. Cortisol, often known as the stress hormone, plays a crucial role in our energy metabolism. When this hormone is persistently high, it can lead to a state of constant fatigue.

So, while you might be reaching for that extra cup of coffee or trying to sneak in a power nap to fight off your fatigue, the solution might actually lie in what’s on your plate and how it affects your cortisol levels. As we continue, we’ll delve deeper into how an acidic diet can trigger cortisol imbalances and contribute to your constant state of fatigue.

Stress and Its Impact on Your Body

When your body perceives a threat or is under the impact of a stressor, your hypothalamus, a tiny region at the base of your brain, sets off an alarm system in your body. This system prompts your adrenal glands, located atop your kidneys, to release a surge of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline.

Adrenaline increases your heart rate, elevates your blood pressure, and boosts energy supplies, which then dramatically drop. Cortisol, the primary stress hormone, curbs functions that would be nonessential in a fight-or-flight situation. It alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, reproductive system, and growth processes.

When the stressor or threat is gone, cortisol levels should fall, but if you’re under constant stress, your body keeps producing cortisol, and that’s where problems can arise. Chronic elevated cortisol can interfere with a number of your body’s functions, leading to issues such as anxiety, depression, headaches, and trouble sleeping. It can also lead to fatigue, as your body is constantly “on alert” without enough time to rest and recuperate.

The Link Between Acidic Diets and Elevated Cortisol

Living an acidic life puts you under constant stress, which means constantly elevated cortisol, which means constant FATIGUE.

Understanding Cortisol: The Stress Hormone

Cortisol, commonly called the “stress hormone,” is produced in the adrenal glands and plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions. It helps regulate metabolism, control blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and assist with memory formulation. Importantly, cortisol also plays a pivotal role in helping the body respond to stress.

In situations of acute stress – like an impending deadline or a near-miss on the road – your body releases a burst of cortisol to help you respond. This cortisol surge is not meant to last for extended periods.

Problems arise when your cortisol is elevated all of the time. In response to diet-induced acidosis, the body continually produces high levels of cortisol. Over time, this constant elevation disrupts your normal circadian rhythm, suppresses your immunity, disrupts thyroid function, slows digestion, decreases metabolism, and causes an imbalance with your HPA-axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals).

If cortisol is constantly HIGH, energy will be constantly LOW.

The Vicious Cycle of Acidosis and Fatigue

We know from the literature that an acidic diet (known as diet-induced acidosis) causes the adrenal glands to produce excess cortisol all day, every day. Constantly elevated cortisol can lead to adrenal fatigue, a controversial term, but the symptoms – chronic fatigue, disrupted sleep, weakened immunity – are very real.

Breaking the Cycle with an Alkaline Diet

Fatigue is a red alert siren from your body that something is wrong, and you’re out of balance. To fix the acidity and start healing your adrenals, begin living The Alkaline Life.

Alkaline Foods and Their Role in Healing

While diet-induced acidity is at the root of adrenal fatigue, this is underpinned by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. Fortunately, alkaline-forming foods are naturally anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants, hitting three targets at once.

Essential Nutrients for Adrenal Health

To support adrenal function, include these nutrients in your diet:

  • Vitamin C: Essential for the production of adrenal hormones, particularly cortisol.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Crucial for fat and carbohydrate metabolism and adrenal cortical function.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): Involved in the production of neurotransmitters, essential for the stress response.
  • Sulforaphane: A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound.
  • Magnesium: Maintains the health of the nervous system and balances the adrenal glands.
  • Zinc: Essential for the production and secretion of adrenal hormones.
  • Potassium: Balances sodium levels, crucial for adrenal function.
  • Sodium (Sodium Bicarbonate): Used by the body in various ways and different from table salt.

Alkaline Foods to Incorporate

Here are some foods rich in these nutrients:

  • Kale: Rich in Vitamin C and magnesium.
  • Spinach: A good source of magnesium and Vitamin B6.
  • Parsley: Rich in Vitamin C and magnesium.
  • Celery: Provides Vitamin B5 and potassium.
  • Cucumber: High in potassium.
  • Bell Peppers (particularly red): Exceptionally high in Vitamin C.
  • Turmeric: The most potent anti-inflammatory on Earth.
  • Broccoli: Rich in sulforaphane, Vitamin C, and magnesium.
  • Zucchini: A good source of Vitamin B6.

Avoid Acid-Forming Foods

To maintain a balanced pH, avoid these acid-forming foods:

  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Processed foods
  • Preservatives
  • Dairy
  • Sweeteners
  • Coffee
  • Alcohol

Getting Started with an Alkaline Diet

Start small and focus on adding good stuff in. Here’s a quick recipe to get you started:

Adrenal Support Green Juice Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1/2 lemon (peeled)
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 cup parsley
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  • Wash all ingredients thoroughly.
  • Add all ingredients to a blender.
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Strain the juice if desired.

Enjoy your refreshing, adrenal-supporting green juice!

Fatigue is a sign that your body is out of balance. By adjusting your diet to include more alkaline foods and avoiding acidic ones, you can manage your cortisol levels and reclaim your energy. Start small, focus on adding good foods, and you’ll see quick results that will motivate you to continue on this path to better health. If you're looking to reclaim your energy, we can help. Check out our 20 Day Alkaline Reset which can help you to manage cortisol levels & reclaim energy !