Adrenal Fatigue

Our adrenal system is so intrinsically connected to Sympathetic mode of our nervous system that it is impossible to be under Sympathetic Dominance and not affect the adrenal glands.  Whenever there is flight or in flight response, regardless of how minor it is, these glands are impacted. The adrenal glands are triangular shaped organs that sit on top of kidneys. There are 2 parts to the adrenal glands.

  • The outer part of the glands that produces hormones such as cortisol which help regulate metabolism and help your body respond to stress and aldosterone that help regulate blood pressure
  • The inner part of the glands that produces hormones such as adrenaline that helps your body respond to stress.

Whenever you put your body under stress (Physical, emotional, chemical etc.), adrenal glands start producing more cortisol to cope with the stress. Remember I mentioned in my previous blog posts that whenever Sympathetic mode is active, all functions of body are supressed. It is true except for Adrenal glands because they need to fire up in order to prepare you to fight or run from something dangerous. Your body goes into survival mode and cortisol levels hike up. This is ok for a short period as it is body’s natural defence mechanism. Body needs to rest and repair after the stress period. That gives adrenal glands a chance to recharge. However, prolong periods of stress leads to adrenal glands continuously being charged up to produce more cortisol than normal and eventually they tire up.

When adrenal glands are under stress for long periods of time and cortisol levels are continuously going up, we start to see the body producing less and less of other hormones. This is what is known as “Adrenal Fatigue.” There are 2 stages of adrenal fatigue.

  • Stage 1 is Adrenal Fatigue: This stage occurs when the body’s in flight or fight response is new and it does exactly what it should to respond to what triggers these responses. It prepares you to defend yourself.
  • Stage 2 is Adrenal exhaustion: This stage occurs when the body has been under stress for while. The body’s energy supplies are depleted and the adrenal glands have been driven to exhaustion by creating high levels of cortisol.

When cortisol levels go up it steals the resources such as DHEA and cholesterol which are required to produce other hormones. This can lead to all sorts of problems such as;

  • high blood sugar levels; sugar levels need to be high for your body to use the energy in Sympathetic Dominance, should it require.
  • Underactive thyroids; because there isn’t enough thyroxine to go around which is derived from cortisol.
  • Digestive System is suppressed which can lead to array of problems in prolonged periods of Sympathetic Dominance (as per my post “Leaky Gut Syndrome”)
  • Immune System is suppressed; Body becomes more susceptible to cold and flues, inflammation and potentially other much more harmful diseases.

It is paramount to understand any problems related to adrenal fatigues with a big picture and not treat its symptoms in isolation. It is important to be aware of how everything is connected and how suppression of one system in the body can affect other systems. We need to maintain balance in our mental and physical health and disruption to one can impact the other. And as a health Coach this is one of the first things I look at when taking my clients through Transformation programs.

The good news is that we can ensure our adrenal glands are not over worked and that we are not firing up increased production of cortisol all the time. With the help of a Health Coach you can learn the simple yet incredibly effective techniques (among many other) that I teach my clients to ensure their day to day lives are impacted as less as possible by stress.

Lastly all I want to do is raise awareness on adrenal fatigue issue that so often doesn’t get diagnosed properly. Underlying causes are almost never investigated which leads bigger health problems. We need to look after our adrenal glands because healthy adrenal function is vital for good health. And it starts by calming your mind and body out of Sympathetic mode.

If you want to learn more about the 90 Day Transformation protocol, get in touch with me. I can and will change your life.

Love & Light to You


Photo credit: Daryl Cauchi via / CC BY-NC-ND

Leaky Gut Syndrome


In my previous Blog posts related to Sympathetic Dominance we learnt that when Sympathetic mode of nervous system is active, our immune, reproductive, hormone and digestive systems are suppressed. I firmly believe and have experienced this first hand when it came to my digestive health.

I’ve always been a very active individual. I never had problem falling asleep but I knew that my brain would always run 1000 miles per second with a lot of things in my mind. When I would go to bed, the thoughts would just turn into dreams and I would drift away into sleep. When I would wake up, my brain would resume its run. I know now that I was always running on adrenaline. To top that up, I started eating more of the offending food that my stomach didn’t agree with. This combo for me became a recipe for disaster. My body came crashing down when I started experiencing digestion problems.

I’ve researched a lot on Leaky Gut Syndrome and from personal experience I know that Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) occurs when gut lining becomes inflamed and fragile. It starts to “leak” partially digested food and waste particles into the blood stream. When there are foreign substances in the blood stream that shouldn’t be there, body’s immune system triggers chemicals from the white cells to protect the affected areas. However, these chemicals not only attack the foreign organisms but also start attacking the other body tissues. This can lead to a lot of the now-known auto-immune diseases.

I developed redness on my face and had inflammation in my blood. I was never diagnosed with LGS but I knew I was on the downhill path and eliminating offending food straight away from my diet, I saw significant improvements within weeks. I cannot begin to imagine, what sort of auto-immune disorder I may have developed had I continued the path of eating destructive food.

It is important to understand that Leaky Gut can affect different functions and/or organs of the body. Different people will show different symptoms. I would highly recommend everyone to read “My Leaky Gut Syndrome” that outlines quite a comprehensive list of LGS symptoms. Once you are aware of these symptoms you can diagnose your health problem correctly with rather than treating the symptoms. Unfortunately, often the approach to resolving LGS related health conditions is to treat the symptoms only. And that’s where a health coach comes in. It’s very important that you seek advise and consultation from a health professional such as health coach. Health coaches not only look at nutrition but also look at health from a holistic point of view taking in account all of lifestyle aspects. I experienced it firsthand myself. I was given drugs to suppress the symptoms while my doctor completely ignored the underlying cause. Fortunately, I had a good health coach and within weeks, I decided not to take any medication and and with the right protocol designed for my new body type I was able to eliminate food from diet that caused my digestion problems. Within 4 weeks I had no inflammation in my blood. Redness on my face disappeared and I wasn’t feeling bloated any longer.

Identifying the foods that are good and foods that are offending for your unique body type is what a good health coach can help you discover through a protocol designed specifically for you. There are blood tests that can be done such as IGG blood profile test which you would also need to speak to health care professional about. During the protocol designed for me I discovered, dairy was one the offending food that was causing a lot of the belching and bloating. I decided to completely eliminate it from my diet along with implementing other protocol elements that I now are part of my 90 Day Today Health & Lifestyle Transformation Program I experienced less bloating, less burping and virtually no acid reflex within a few weeks.

It’s very important to remember that every person can have a different reaction to same types of food or no reaction at all. It all depends on individual’s lifestyle, eating habits and the level of physical and/or mental stress they are exposed to.


The best approach to treating LGS and other digestive problems is to eating foods that are best for your unique body type. from your diet for at least 6 months to give your gut time to heal.

Lastly, always remember, good health is a result of not just good diet that agrees with your digestive health, but also a healthy lifestyle and healthy environment we choose to surround ourselves with. I firmly believe that good heath starts with healthy gut and that by improving gut’s health we can reduce the chance of getting many illnesses.

Much Love & Light to You

Part II – What is Sympathetic Dominance?

When SD is active your body is in either in flight or in fight state. A lot of people think that these modes are switched on as body’s response to extreme situations. For example, if someone gets ready to physically fight (in fight mode switched on) or when someone gets ready to run from something dangerous (In flight mode switched on). However, little do most people know that it’s the littlest of things, such as being nervous and worrying or stressing about something etc., can cause the sympathetic side of ANS to switch on as well. It switches on exactly the same in flight/in fight response in both situations.

Let’s assess the first SD situation: You are getting ready to run in a life-threatening situation. Your brain’s automatic response will be to “survive” and it will immediately focus on the functions needed to “Run”. For example, your heart rate may increase, your blood sugar levels would rise, your body will move in forward position, your shoulders and muscles in your arms will tense up. Muscles in your legs will tighten up. You will become wide awake and very switched on and therefore become hyper sensitive to sound and light. While this is all happening, your body will start to suppress its digestive, reproductive and immune systems because right now the only thing your body cares about is its survival. Your brain’s signal to body is to pay full attention to the situation at hand. Nothing else matters.

Similarly, stress caused by worrying, can trigger the same body responses. If you are stressed and wound up, muscles in your body will tense up and SD will take control. I mentioned in Part 1 that it was ok to have SD active for appropriate amount of time. However, SD being in control of the body for increasingly long periods of times is where the problem starts. And my focus on this blog is to draw your attention to this problem, be aware of it and once you recognise it, you will start linking the dots of any health problems and start to understand the underlying causes. For example, if you usually have trouble going to sleep at night and find yourself wound up all the time with tense shoulders and neck, your body is running on in fight or inflight mode. So, if you grasp the linkage between these conditions, you can draw down to the cause and therefore acquire the skills to apply right treatment to address these problems rather than just treating the symptoms.

We learnt in Part 1 that Sympathetic and Parasympathetic are two opposite sides of Autonomic Nervous System. When Sympathetic side is active, Parasympathetic side is suppressed. This happens automatically and is something we don’t do consciously. And if Sympathetic Nervous System is active all the time in your body, it doesn’t get the time to rest and repair. This is when you start to see Sympathetic Dominance.

When the body is in either in flight or in fight survival mode, our brain fires up our sensory neurons that are responsible for activating different functions in the body and shutting down the other. So your first step is to identify the SD activation indicators that happen as result of these neurons being fired up. They are in no particular order because some people may experience them in different order or at the same time.

  1.     Tense Muscles

I’ve mentioned a few times that one of the things people experiencing SD may complain about is having tense shoulders and neck, back aches or tight and tender leg muscles. If your body is getting ready to fight, the muscles in your neck and shoulders will tense up because your head will drop forward that in turn will put pressure on your upper back. Your legs’ muscles will tighten up as your body gets ready to hop forward. All at the same time, your adrenal glands will start producing more of the stress hormone cortisol. Once this happens, your digestive system, reproductive system and immune system is supressed. Because hey, your body needs to handle the crises that you have at hand right now; fight. Right now it doesn’t have time to digest your food, or make babies or fight cold or flu bacteria.

If you would like to read more on these different types of neurons and how they work in more detail I will highly recommend you guys to read SD Protocol by Dr Wayne Todd

  1.    Bad Posture

Tense and tight muscles affect the equilibrium in body. When you are relaxed, muscles in your body are relaxed but the moment sympathetic nervous system is switched on, muscles in your body become tense and tighten up. Tense muscles impact:

o   Signal loop between the brain and body; Brain thinks something is wrong and starts suppressing vital systems we talked about earlier.

o   Ability to breathe properly; round up shoulders effect chest area. With good posture, shoulders are down, that allows the lungs to breathe in oxygen to their full extent as the chest opens. When shoulders are rounded up, it makes chest muscles tense up and constricts the air flow to ribcage. When your body is in survival mode, you are most likely to take short breaths as opposed to long deep breaths.

o   Balance; My Chiropractor always says “To correct bad posture you must correct balance.” When your shoulders are rounded, your head will lean forward and your body will try to rebalances itself to stay up right. This puts pressure on lower back and glute muscles. Lower back curves up and buttocks stick out.

o   Spine; When spine curves unnaturally for prolong period, it creates pain the lower back. And when neck muscles tense up and head stays in a forward position all the time it creates headaches.

  1.    Hyper-sensitivity to sound

Just like being sensitive to light, if someone is under SD they would be sensitive to sound as their sense sound will be at heightened state. They would always be in alert state ready to pounce and even the lightest of sounds would bother them. People whose sense of sound is always heightened may suffer headaches a lot or every now and then without any apparent causes.

  1.    Hyper-sensitivity to light

Have you ever wondered why most light sleepers complain that they cannot rest properly unless it is complete darkness? Even just a little bit of light bothers them. When someone is under SD and the body is in survival mode, you will become wide awake and your sense of sight will heighten. In the initial stage of SD the pupils of eyes dilate to allow your eye to see as much as possible especially when it’s dark. This in turn makes eyes sensitive to light. That is why you may struggle to fall asleep even if there is only a little bit of light in the room.

As a Health Coach I am an avid advocate of SD protocol that I have designed in my 90 Day Health & Lifelstyle Transformation Program. I know after years of reach and studying that health is not only a result eating habit and but also a result of our environment. It goes beyond looking at just nutrition and looking at other factors of our day to day habits that are almost always ignored by other health care professionals.


If you would like to know more about my 90 Day Health & Lifelstyle Transformation Program get in touch with me. I can and will change your life!

Much Love & Light to You.


Part I – What is Sympathetic Dominance?

When I first heard of Sympathetic Dominance about 2 years ago, I had no idea what it was or what it meant. To me the words “Sympathetic Dominance” (SD) together didn’t make any sense. I have mentioned in my previous blog (The impact of our environment and our lifestyle) that I was introduced to this term by one of my natureopaths in relation to the body’s nervous system. This immediately sparked my interest and I got researching and sourced some books. I was actually amazed as to how much medical information and well-known facts are available on SD and yet whenever I speak to any of my clients and mention it, I am met with blank faces.

Once you understand what SD means and what it is, you will find it to be a very very common phenomenon occurring almost everywhere. It has sneaked into almost every home and have managed to thrive without being noticed by any one of us. Coaching clients have made me realise that SD impacts so many of us on almost daily basis. So many of us display its symptoms and yet its importance has been overlooked by so many healthcare practitioners for decades.

Our Nervous system is made up of 100’s of billions of nerves and cells known as neurons that are responsible for sending signals to all parts of our body. Our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is part of our Nervous System that is responsible for regulating internal body processes and organ functions that require no conscious effort. Thus, we are usually not aware of these functions. Our heart beating, our blood pressure, us breathing and digesting our food, are all examples of functions and processes that our body conducts without us even knowing. ANS is made up of two parts; Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. These two functions or parts are opposite of each other.


Sympathetic part is responsible for body’s ability to prepare itself for the stressful situations. These situations will either make body to get into in flight or in fight mode.

Parasympathetic part is responsible for body’s ability to relax and perform normal body functions i.e. to maintain calm state during peaceful situations.


Main thing to remember is that both modes cannot be active at the same time. It’s one or the other.  They work together to ensure when one mode is dominant, the other is suppressed. When one of these modes is dominant its functions are elevated and more active and when it’s suppressed its functions are inhibited and less active. It’s automatic and natural for the body to go into in flight or in fight mode when it senses unfavourable or dangerous situations. While it may be OK to stay in Sympathetic mode for not too long, overwhelming research has shown that staying in Sympathetic Dominance for prolonged periods of times can result in health problems. Therefore, it is essential for parasympathetic side to be not suppressed for long periods of time because it handles important body functions.

If you look up the definition of Parasympathetic Nervous System (PSNS) on Wikipedia, it reads ‘The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulation of “rest-and-digest” or “feed and breed” activities that occur when the body is at rest.’ I mentioned earlier that PSNS is responsible for body’s calm and relaxed state. When Parasympathetic System is switched on our body is well nourished and rested. All the body functions work normally as they should. These functions include, digestion, reproduction, hormones production and body’s response to fight diseases and so many more functions that allow our body to stay healthy. I will get back to talking about the numerous wonderful benefits of PSNS but it is important that I talk about and shed more light on its opposite Sympathetic side which I like to call its evil side! For that reason I have dedicated my next blog post to SD.

You’ve heard me mention “In flight” and “In fight” states a few times. A lot of people are familiar with these terms. When it comes to body’s internal functions, it is important to identify these modes because being in SD for long periods of times can lead decline in health. Knowing is the first step. It allows you to begin to take appropriate action to bring your body back to its normal and happy state. Remember that, being in any of these modes, may affect you mentally initially but eventually your physical health will suffer as your mental and physical health are intrinsically connected to each other and damage to one will impact the other.

Much Love and Light to You.


The impact of our environment and lifestyle

There have been studies done on how our lifestyle choices and the environment we surround ourselves with have direct impact on our health and wellbeing. As I research more and more into this topic I am finding from different sources, whether it’s a research study, an article or a book; our health is greatly influenced by the environment we live in and the lifestyle choice we make on day to day basis. In fact, our environment and life style factors have a far greater impact on our health than heredity and genetics.

Last year I read a great book by Dr Todd that introduced me to a phenomenon called Sympathetic Dominance. The more I read on it the more I realised how deeply our everyday decisions on what to eat, how to tolerate stress, how to approach a health problem and what steps to take to resolve it, whether we are in a healthy loving relationship and have healthy social interactions with people; how all of it is so intrinsically interwoven with our epigenetics and health outcomes.

Our genes are the genetic code that we inherit from our parents. Epigenetics on the other hand as Dr Todd mentions “influence how these genetic codes express themselves, or whether they express themselves at all.” He gives a simple example of two siblings whose inherited genetic code puts them at risk of diabetes. This genetic code may switch on if one of them becomes overweight and may stay off in the other sibling due to their healthy life style choices. One important take away from this is that our health outcomes can be heavily influenced by our lifestyle choices and our environment.

Another major contributor to our health’s wellness is the levels of stress we expose our bodies to. Stress is experienced on a mental level and if we are in stressful situations all the time and put our bodies through it on regular basis without getting an opportunity to relax and rest, it starts to affect us physically that can result in an illness. If we keep our bodies in a tense and wound up state, all the time and are in either in flight or in fight mode (more on these modes in my 2nd post of these series) we continue to run on adrenaline. When someone is constantly running on adrenaline, they end up being in Sympathetic Dominance.

Prolonged Sympathetic dominance (SD) although a result of certain lifestyle choices and/or environment factors, becomes a cause of mental and/or physical illnesses. Increased blood pressure, diabetes, digestive problems, fatigue, auto immune disorders and much more, can be a result of SD. These illnesses then can cause other illnesses. Take Julia for an example. She has a very stressful job. She works for long hours, starting work early in the morning and finishing late evenings on most days. On top of that she has a very demanding partner who is unable to work due to his health issues and often fights with her. On most nights, she goes to bed feeling exhausted, angry and frustrated. She doesn’t get good sleep and tosses and turns in bed. Her circumstances result in her becoming insomniac. Unable to cope and feeling anxious and fatigued all the time along with poor diet leads to decline in her overall health and soon enough she starts to experience all sorts of health problems. Julia’s body is essentially in a survival mode!

Being in a survival mode isn’t healthy for the wellbeing of oneself. If you don’t keep yourself calm and relaxed and don’t give your body enough time to recuperate and repair itself from stress, and resolve the negative situations, your body will experience negative mental and/or physical side effects. And not taking control of your health and life situations, can result in much more serious health issues. But the good news is that there are ways and tools available to take control and improve your health and see considerably big positive outcomes.

Yes, it is not always possible to have the perfect and desired lifestyle that is stress free and that allows us to be always happy and content. The reality is that stress is unavoidable. There will be situations where you will experience stress, frustration, or even anxiety resulting in less than ideal circumstances. The key is to equip yourself with tools that allow you to manage stress and unideal situations. When we experience adverse circumstances that have a damaging impact on our health, the chemical and/or hormonal balance in our body may be affected and often we don’t even realise it or notice it until it has resulted in a much bigger health problem.

Recently I read about the health triangle that affects everyone. It comprises of physical, chemical and emotional health. All 3 types of health are intrinsically connected to each other and damage to one can affect the other two. For example, you can be very fit, go to gym, do Yoga or Pilates on regular basis and eat healthy food i.e. your physical health is in top notch condition but you completely ignore your mental health. You may have a very demanding job that could be exhausting and that can result in you feeling under constant pressure and stress. Unmanaged stress will eventually impact the physical health. Conversely, physical illness can lead to depression impacting one’s mental/emotional health. The point is that all three types of health need to be in balance to improve overall health and wellbeing.

This is where the tools and protocols to manage health problems come in. Take me for an example. I developed digestion problem out of nowhere couple of years ago. I was burping a lot and experiencing acid reflux after eating foods that previously I could eat without any health issues. I saw gastroenterologist and got all sorts of blood tests done that were all clear. I wasn’t sleeping well and felt my shoulders were always very tense. Every day I woke up feeling I had been on a battle ground at night. And whenever I had some sleep it was very light and full of vivid dreams. I had no apparent “cause” of all these symptoms that I was experiencing and felt stuck for what steps I needed to take to fix all these problems. Studying to become a health coach was a true transformation for me. By designing the right protocol for my unique body which I now offer as part of my 90 Day Total Health & Lifestyle Transformation Program to my clients, I finally had an action plan to follow that allowed me to eliminate possible causes of all the symptoms 1 by 1. Within months, my burping had reduced and acid reflux became an occasional thing rather than something that occurred on regular basis. In just a few months I’ve achieved phenomenal success in my health that I couldn’t for many years before. I feel better every day.

Let me talk a little bit more about “no apparent cause” of symptoms that we may experience. With my gut issue, I became extremely frustrated. Quite often I felt that I was getting nowhere with the results. Everything seemed fine yet I was burping and getting acid reflux. Let me give you another example. When we get a headache, often we will instantly treat it by couple of pain killer tablets. But do we ever think about what caused the headache in the first place? Often there is nothing wrong at all. Sometimes people wake up with a headache. Sometimes people have had a busy day and end up getting a headache towards the end of the day. Why? If you dig deep there may be many factors at play. A person waking up with a headache didn’t get much or any sleep at night. Why didn’t they sleep well at night? A person who ends up getting headache towards the end of the day due to busy schedule may not be drinking enough water. They might be running on adrenaline all day or just sitting at a computer without stretching and taking the time to relax. The fact is that there can be so many underlying triggers at play and sometimes it is hard to pin point what caused the health issue in the first place.

I first learnt about Sympathetic Dominance a few years ago. Once I researched more on SD, I knew straight away I needed to dig deeper than just looking at the symptoms of my health issues and only treating the symptoms. For example, I had regular chiropractor adjustments to relieve the stiffness in my next and shoulders. I would feel great after the adjustment but a few days later, my neck and shoulders would go back to being tense again. I felt like I was wasting my money. That is because I had been treating the problem in isolation. I had tense shoulders, insomnia and felt fatigued all the time. Little did I know that these symptoms were connected and a result of SD. My tense shoulders were a result of lack of sleep. Lack of sleep was due to me running on adrenaline every day resulting in being tired all the time. I knew I had a problem and I was treating each problem separately without getting any positive outcome.

Sympathetic Dominance is when our Sympathetic Nervous System is running on a survival mode. Survival mode can be our body’s in flight or in fight response to something that causes stress. It could be the body tensing up and becoming ready to protect itself from a possible danger. When this happens sole focus of our body becomes to defend itself from an adverse situation or physical or emotional stress. During this state the body will not care about digestive, reproductive or immune system. This is fine if this response is short lived. However, if our body is always in survival mode, it becomes a problem and this is where most of the health issues can stem from.

That is why it is essential that you empower yourself with the knowledge and tools that will help you recognise the issue and help you get back into control and enjoy a healthy life. Depending on the severity of your health issue, it may take a few weeks or a few months to see any positive outcome. The key is perseverance and knowing what steps to take to see positive outcome. Yes, our lives are busy and demanding and it is almost impossible to lead a stress-free life every day. It comes down to how to manage the stress levels and how to switch of in-flight or in fight mode to bring back the equilibrium in your mental, chemical and physical health. This is where you can achieve phenomenal results with a help of a Health Coach. You will be surprised how some of the things that I coach my clients on are so simple yet they achieve far greater results if done with the right system in place.

When the underlying functions of your body are well and working as they should, you will feel good and achieve optimal health. Yes, our goal should always be to reach optimal health no matter what our age is and to maintain it, no matter what your health condition it, no matter what health issues you’re facing. Know that you can always improve your health and there are ways to change the course of your health towards you becoming more fit and healthier. You don’t have to be suffering from any illness to implement positive changes in your lifestyle. A lot of my clients come to me to improve their over all lifestyle by implementing better health habits. And with the tools and practical knowledge that I pass on to them they are able to take control of their health before their health with lasting changes.

Now that I’ve introduced to the concept of called Sympathetic Dominance, I will take you through series of blogs, explaining in more detail how health problems can arise and why it’s so important to address these problems from holistic point of view.

Stay tuned.

Much Love & Light to You