Mid-Day Energy Crash? Rhodiola to the Rescue!
Chances are when your patient starts to crash mid-day, their cortisol levels are doing the same thing. While cortisol often gets a bad rap as “the stress hormone,” the fact is, it plays a very important role in the body. And one of those functions is that it helps impact consistent energy levels. When the body is in a state of homeostasis, cortisol is high in the morning and then tapers gradually throughout the day wearing off just in time for a good night’s sleep. But if the body is chronically stressed, cortisol levels can cause the body to act more like a roller coaster than a well-oiled machine. To even out that wild hormonal ride, some patients may require supplemental support.
When cortisol levels are chronically elevated, it can eventually drop off so significantly, it causes that predictable daily mid-day drag. For these patients, even after getting plenty of sleep, they lack the energy needed to make it through their day. Many patients resort to an afternoon caffeine break but even then, their energy doesn’t last. The crash becomes inevitable and consistent.
One way to assist the body in easing back to a state of hormone homeostasis is by getting some support from adaptogenic herbs. Rhodiola rosea (rhodiola) is an adaptogen that has been used for thousands of years by Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic practitioners. Studies demonstrate that rhodiola can support the normalization of the release of stress hormones while simultaneously supporting consistent energy metabolism via activation of adenosine triphosphate synthesis in the mitochondria.
A 2018 review featured in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice evaluated several studies involving rhodiola related to stress, fatigue, and burnout. According to the recommendations of these researchers, rhodiola can be used along the spectrum of “trivial stresses/lack of vitality” all the way to “patient is stressed always/out of control.” The authors also found “no serious side effects” reported and consider the extract to have “a very favorable safety profile.” In addition, the authors report that to date, there have been no known drug-drug interactions featured in the scientific literature.
Other adaptogens to consider along with rhodiola include Panax ginseng, Siberian ginseng, and ashwagandha.
It’s likely you have patients experiencing that mid-day cortisone crash. In addition to counseling them about diet, exercise, relaxation, and sleep, you may want to consider recommending a supplement that contains rhodiola.
Anghelescu I. Edwards D, Seifritz E, Kasper S. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice. 2018.
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