Why am I Tired
and Grumpy?

By Narelle Stegehuis


Do you remember how you used to feel - happy and well, with steady energy and emotions? You slept soundly and woke up feeling rested. Your recovery from illness was fast. You maintained a healthy weight without dieting. Now your energy lags during the day, you feel emotionally unbalanced and you sleep poorly. You can’t lose excess weight even while dieting. Your adrenals need help!

Life stages contribute greatly to stress levels. In our 20’s and 30’s we are focused on career, starting a family and juggling financial burdens. In our 40’s, life throws the draw card of aging parents, relationship separations, career changes and challenges and of course, raising children. It is little wonder by the time we reach our 50’s dealing with loss, and children leaving home – we start to feel tired, frumpy and burnt out!

Stress affects your adrenals and ultimately your health. Adrenal Hypersensitivity simply means your adrenals have been, and perhaps still are, working over time.

Do you Experience any of the following?

• Suppression of the immune system – or Autoimmune disorders
• Fatigue and weakness
• Stubborn weight especially around your tummy and lower body?
• Moodiness, Anxiety or Depression
• Hormonal imbalance - Irregular Periods, Skin problems or Hair Loss?
• Muscle and bone loss
• Heightened menopausal symptoms – hot flashes

Unfortunately, modern living can slow your metabolism and even harm your personal relationships.

Every challenge to your mind and body creates a demand on your adrenal glands. The list of challenges is endless: lack of sleep, the threat of losing your job, financial pressures, and personality conflicts play a role.

“Your adrenal glands provide you with crucial hormonal support needed to get through the day with energy, enthusiasm and efficiency. Living in the ‘fast’ world of today exposes you to unavoidable levels of stress – and with that stress comes elevated cortisol levels”.

In its normal function, cortisol helps you meet these challenges by converting proteins into energy, releasing glycogen and counteracting inflammation. But at sustained high levels, cortisol gradually tears your body down.

Sustained high cortisol destroys healthy muscle and bone; slows down healing and normal cell replacement; co-opts biochemical’s needed to make other vital hormones; impairs digestion, metabolism and mental function, weakens your immune system; and interferes with healthy endocrine function contributing to conditions such as heightened Menopause, Sub Fertility, Thyroid imbalance and ovarian imbalances such as PCOS, Fibroids & Endometriosis. In your 20’s to 40’s stress can interfere with your menstrual cycle. Many women consider PMS to be just part of life, as it affects an estimated 75% of menstruating women.

Some Symptoms to look for

• Lowly moods, mood shifts & anxiety
• Weight gain and fluctuations
• Irritability, anger
• Lowered Libido
• Concentration difficulties
• Lethargy, general loss of energy
• Appetite change, food cravings
• Sleep problems (too little or too much)
•Physical symptoms (bloating, breast tenderness, pain)

Your adrenals can change your body shape!

If you have been under stress, it is most likely that you have gained weight & experienced a change in your body shape. To make things harder, by the time you hit menopause your adrenal glands have had it! Let's face it, you have heard it all, seen it all and experienced levels of stress you never thought possible…and survived.

That Tummy Bulge!

One of cortisol’s many functions is that it stimulates the release of glucose, fats and amino acids for energy production. It will also keep your appetite stimulated. The type of fat that accumulates because of this stress-induced appetite will typically locate itself in the abdominal region of your body.
Adrenal hypersensitivity is often a critical factor in many related conditions
• Polycystic ovaries (PCOS)
• Lowered Thyroid function
• Fibro myalgia
•Chronic fatigue syndrome
• Arthritis
• Premature menopause
• Impaired fertility

It’s time to value your health

It is important to learn how to incorporate stress management, exercise, nutrition and dietary supplements into a realistic approach to controlling cortisol levels.

Achieving a diet that supports your lifestyle – one that doesn’t eliminate food groups but focuses on a formula that works for you, will foster a passion in you to cook and take pleasure in food – choose flavoursome meals that are spirited and nourishing.

Targeted nutrients prescribed by a practitioner can do wonders. Herbs such as Winter cherry, Licorice, & Ginseng and the amino acid Tyrosine along with Vitamins B5 & B6 are well documented to support healthy adrenal function.

Remember, your health reflects the way you live – so isn’t it time you started making some healthy changes?


Narelle Stegehuis specialises in the successful natural treatment of hormonal imbalances. Her health programs have been reviewed by the Australian College of Natural Medicine – they work, where generic diets fail.    If you, a friend or family member are struggling with weight or health generally please call her clinic on 1300 133 536 or visit to join her program.


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