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Do you feel tired and worn out much of the time? Do you find it hard to get up in the morning because you’re still exhausted? Do you hit your stride after dinner, working into the late night hours?
I always thought that those traits were just part of ADHD, and to a certain extent, they are.
There do seem to be a lot of night owls who have ADHD. And it stands to reason that we would be tired and not want to get up early in the morning after staying up half the night.
But it turns out that there could be other reasons in addition to your ADHD that might be causing you to feel so tired.
Pay special attention if any of the following apply to you:
You’re often cold when others are not.
You have hair loss or the ends of your eyebrows are scarce.
You have some sort of hormonal issue; pregnancy, peri-menopause, etc.
You have anxiety or depression.
You are under a great deal of stress.
You are more irritable than you should be.
You have a chronic illness or inflammation.
You are in a bad situation that you cannot get out of such as a job you hate, an abusive relationship, etc.
You crave salty or sweet snacks.
All of these are symptoms of adrenal fatigue and the beginnings of thyroid problems.
As a woman, we have a lot on our plate. We work outside and inside the home. We take care of others. We do a lot. Except take good care of ourselves, because who has the time?
When you’re a woman with ADHD, you have more stress and challenges than a woman who does not have it. The very nature of ADHD adds stress to your environment unless you work to change it.
We’re used to making mistakes, being wrong. We live in a state of anticipation, waiting for whatever is coming next, trying to ready ourselves for it.
This kind of living puts your body in a constant state of fear. Your primitive brain kicks in with fight or flight and supplies adrenaline. By the way – those of us with ADHD often crave that adrenaline without realizing it. That’s why we tend to be impulsive and risk takers.
That constant stream of adrenaline taxes your whole body, including your adrenal glands and eventually your thyroid and other organs. It messes with your hormone levels too.
You can see how this is not a healthy way to live.
So what can you do?
Start by seeing your doctor.
Then start making some changes in your life. Really. Otherwise you’re looking at extensive health problems. Serious ones.
If you don’t eat such a healthy diet, try to begin. Start with one small change – as small as you need it to be so that you will still do it. Maybe giving up Diet Coke isn’t an option for you, but you could add one glass of water to your day, couldn’t you?
Try to get to bed earlier and get more sleep. I know that’s hard for us, but make an effort.
Spend some time outdoors each day just enjoying it.
Start exercising more. When I first tried to get into exercising, I began by parking farther away from the building. It was an easy start and something I could do. Gentle exercise is better than vigorous.
Try to eat several small meals throughout the day and start with breakfast. Have some lean protein at each meal and be sure to include lots of whole, natural foods in your diet. Nut butters and fruit are great snacks.
Consider taking Ashwagandha, an herb that is especially good for adrenal fatigue. You may also find it labeled as Indian Ginseng. Supplement with vitamins B and C.