Adrenal Fatigue Health Tips
Low energy or physical exhaustion is probably the most common symptom I see as a holistic doctor. These days we hear a lot about adrenal fatigue. If you tend to be wired or wake in the early hours and feel wacked out and tired during the day or find it hard to get out of bed in the morning then consider adrenal fatigue.
So when the adrenal glands are not working so well what are some health tips we can take in our lives to help the adrenal glands recover.
The adrenal glands love salt. If you find yourself craving salt this may be because the adrenals need the salt to help them work properly. Sodium deficiency can lead to adrenal fatigue. Sea salt and natural salts from fresh clean lakes or sea beds are great for helping the adrenal glands recover. Some patients crave salt so much they will put it on much of their food or eat salty foods to help their adrenals recover.
B vitamins. The adrenal glands need B vitamins to function. Thiamine or vitamin B1 and pantothenic acid are particularly important for adrenal gland recovery. I often get exhausted patients to take a regular good potent B complex in the mornings or an adrenal stress formula containing B vitamins.
Occasionally patients need adrenal extracts or adrenal prescriptions like the bio-identical hormone DHEA in a good morning dose helps recovery. This is a more specialised area and needs a consultation to sort out DHEA levels and doses appropriate to help recovery.
How To Cope With Adrenal Fatigue
Effective coping with Adrenal Fatigue requires lifestyle changes, increased consumption of plant-based unrefined foods, regular energetic exercise, vitamin and mineral supplementation, herbs, natural adaptogens, and emotional counselling.
In order to be more effective you also need to address any possible underlying health conditions such as hypoglycaemia, depression, Candida overgrowth, IBS, allergy, anaemia, poor blood circulation, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, Epstein Barr virus, cancer, diabetes, etc. that may magnify the symptoms of AF.
Supplements That Helped Me
Healing adrenal fatigue can be a long process. I was in really bad shape but taking supplements and doing other treatments helped me to heal my adrenals.
I took theseEssential Vitamins and Mineralsfor adrenal fatigue. I also found the supplements in this post helpful. They gave a boost to my immune system and were good for my overall wellbeing.
Check out also my Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Planfor other things I did to recover from adrenal fatigue.
Note 2021: I wrote this post a long time ago.
*This post contains affiliate links.*
Im not a doctor.Consult your healthcare provider before starting any treatments.
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Adrenal Fatigue Supplements: Ginseng Fuzion
Dr. Group Ginseng FuzionÂ®
Ideal for: Overall adrenals and HPS Axis support.
Overall: A certified organic blend of five of the most studied adaptogen herbs. Ideal as an overall adrenals and HPA axis support, for consistent energy levels during the day, with a natural balanced effect on stress, mood, brain function, libido, and hormones. In particular, cortisol and testosterone in men.
Dr. Group Ginseng FuzionÂ® uses no stimulants, so it makes a great fit for those who try to reduce their caffeine intake but still support their energy levels, physical and mental performance. Its a unique combination that can calm stress on one hand, but at the same time boost energy levels and focus.
Ingredients: Certified organic extracts of: Ashwagandha , Korean Ginseng , Siberian Ginseng , Maca , Jiaogulan , shilajit.
How to use: Take half a dropperful up to three times daily. Place directly in your mouth, or add to 1 cup of water to make a cold or hot tea. For added support, you may take one dropperful before/during/after your workouts or stressful situations.
Primary Analysis: Changes In Salivary Cortisol Parameters In Response To Multivitamin Supplementation
Salivary cortisol untransformed means in nmol/L at waking, 15 min, 30 min and evening across the course of the study are displayed in Table 1 according to gender and treatment group. Patterns of diurnal cortisol secretion according to treatment group in the sample as a whole are graphically displayed in Figure 2.
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Why Is Cortisol So Important
Its normal for cortisol levels to fluctuate throughout the day. Let me give you an example.
In the morning, your body knows you need to get up and go, so your cortisol levels will naturally peak at around 8am. This ensures you get the burst of energy you need in order to start your day. Conversely, it makes sense that levels naturally drop in the evening when youre preparing your body for sleep.
During stressful periods, or at times when youre in fight or flight mode, your body knows to make cortisol to help you deal with the stress. While this response is vital, its also important that cortisol levels return to normal once the stressful event has passed.
Unfortunately, so many of us are leading such busy, hectic lives that this level of stress has almost become the norm. The truth is, for some people the stress response is activated so many times during the day that the body literally has no time to recover. The end result? You end up feeling totally depleted.
When your body is so pre-occupied with manufacturing cortisol, it has no reserves for making other important hormones and neurotransmitters like aldosterone, testosterone and epinephrine which are so invaluable for keeping stress under control.
Disclaimer And Safety Information
This information is not intended to replace the attention or advice of a physician or other qualified health care professional. Anyone who wishes to embark on any dietary, drug, exercise, or other lifestyle change intended to prevent or treat a specific disease or condition should first consult with and seek clearance from a physician or other qualified health care professional. Pregnant women in particular should seek the advice of a physician before using any protocol listed on this website. The protocols described on this website are for adults only, unless otherwise specified. Product labels may contain important safety information and the most recent product information provided by the product manufacturers should be carefully reviewed prior to use to verify the dose, administration, and contraindications. National, state, and local laws may vary regarding the use and application of many of the therapies discussed. The reader assumes the risk of any injuries. The authors and publishers, their affiliates and assigns are not liable for any injury and/or damage to persons arising from this protocol and expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from the use of the information contained herein.
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Use Whole Food Supplements
Just like whole foods are better for you than refined foods, so are whole food supplements better for you than refined, isolated vitamins. Dr. Daniel Chong , a licensed naturopathic physician, asserted in his article for Dr. Mercola that:
just like refined foods, these refined vitamins have been robbed of all of the extra accessory nutrients that they naturally come with as well. In turn, like refined foods, they can create numerous problems and imbalances in your body if taken at high levels for long periods of time. They can also act more like drugs in your body, forcing themselves down one pathway or another. At the very least, they wont help you as much as high quality food and food-based supplements.
Isolated and synthetic vitamins are unnatural, as they cannot be found in nature by themselves. Supplementing these isolated and synthetic vitamins, especially in the ultra-high doses that they often come in, is similar to taking a drug. Think about how your urine turns florescent yellow when you use synthetic vitamins. This doesnt happen when you use whole food supplements, no matter how much broccoli you eat.
The Stages Of Adrenal Fatigue
There are four identifiable stages of adrenal fatigue :
One Beginning of Alarm
This is a normal state of heightened reactivity. In response to a stressor, from something simple like taking an exam to something serious like an automobile accident, your adrenal glands will release cortisol and other hormones so you can deal with the immediate situation. Most Stage One activity subsides once the hazard has passed and normal cortisol levels return.
Two Alarm Continues
The stressor doesnt quickly go away and your body must remain in an elevated state to meet the challenge. Stress-related hormones may increase while sex and sleep hormones drop. You might feel wired but tired. If this stage goes on long enough, adrenal fatigue can set in.
The endocrine systemincluding the adrenalscontinues to produce excess stress hormones and fewer sex and sleep hormones. You can still function normally but you feel symptoms of exhaustion. Lethargy and an impaired immune response lend themselves to catching every bug thats going around. As a matter of fact, you may find yourself unable to get rid of a simple yeast infection. This phase can last months or even years.
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Adrenal Fatigue Vs Adrenal Insufficiency
While adrenal fatigue can be referred to as adrenal insufficiency, it should be noted that many physicians consider adrenal fatigue and adrenal insufficiency to be two different conditions. Adrenal fatigue cannot be detected by any test, while adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed through a series of blood tests. Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones, or when there is damage to the adrenal glands, or if there is a problem with the pituitary gland.
Symptoms for adrenal insufficiency may include dehydration, a constant state of confusion, weight loss, feeling weak, tired, or dizzy, low blood pressure, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Primary Adrenal Fatigue Supplements Toolbox: Vitamins And Minerals
Lets start with the more mild adrenal fatigue supplements, which include a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are gentle enough to be taken if your AFS is in early stage 3 or earlier. However, for most people in the late phases of stage 3, any kind of supplement may be too much. What works for one person may backfire in another.
Subclinical vitamin C deficiency is probably the most prevalent deficiency we see in AFS. The adrenal glands actually contain one of the bodys highest concentrations of vitamin C, and so, if theres deficiency, thats also where its needed the most.
For healthy individuals, the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 75 mg for women, and 90 mg for men. But, if you have AFS, you will need much more, generally speaking. However, depending on the person, vitamin C can also trigger adrenal crashes if not properly used. So do be careful. There are also various delivery systems and potency that has to be individualized. Over-reliance on vitamin C and using a one-size-fits-all approach is a common recovery mistake.
One of the symptoms of AFS is lowered immunity, and often, AFS is triggered by the presence of concurrent infections, especially stealth viruses that destroy tissue. These can include the Epstein Barr virus and Lyme co-infections. Vitamin C is known to be an immune booster that can help fight off such infections and inflammation.
Pantothenic Acid and Pantethine
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Taking Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue Is A Way To Alleviate The Symptoms And Help You Recover
Several supplements can help those suffering from the effects of adrenal fatigue. Your body uses up many vitamins and minerals in response to the high levels of stress you may be feeling. Adding supplements to an adrenal fatigue diet will give you the extra boost you need to get relief and help your overworked adrenal glands.
Help Your Afs Recovery With Vitamin B Complex
AFS results in a multitude of symptoms which range anywhere from improper nutrient uptake to chronic pain and lethargy. If it is possible, incorporate a routine of vitamin B complex supplementation into your life as a segment of an overall plan to decrease stress. The facts speak for themselves it could work for you. Inflammation is often a derivative of high cortisol levels which can have many root causes.
Sometimes it is not enough to use a simple fix such as adding extra vitamins to combat your AFS. There are certain situations where the causes are unrelated to nutrient intake and are more associated with poor lifestyle choices like excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption. Alcohol, in particular, can interfere with your ability to absorb folic acid. Potassium supplements can prevent absorption of vitamin B12.
Being aware of all medications that you are taking and consulting professionals is important when diving into the core of what is triggering your AFS.
The process through which your adrenal glands produce hormones is known as the adrenal cascade. Every one of the eight B complex vitamins has a role in the synthesis of hormone production. B vitamins, at least most of them, act as coenzymes which means that they are part of the building blocks which act as catalysts for the biochemical reactions in your body.
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A: Avocado + Other Healthy Fats
Avocado and other healthy fats, such as omega 3s, found in olive oil, avocados, nuts, olives, eggs, butter, and fish help feed your adrenal glands. Fatty acids are the back bone of hormones. Your adrenal glands need fats to be able to produce all of the necessary hormones they are responsible for.
Tip: Add a healthy fat to your meals and snacks for an easy way to increase your healthy fat intake- throw some avocado on top of your eggs in the morning, add a bit of extra oil when roasting veggies for dinner, add a hardboiled egg to your salad at lunch. Snack on olives, and add fish into your weekly dinner rotation.
A fish oil or other omega 3 supplement can help fill in gaps in your diet.
How Stress Affects The Body
Who feels stress most? And least?For the past decade, the American Psychological Association has been conducting a Stress in America survey, which has examined stress levels across generations and between genders.
In 2015, the most recent year reported in the APA survey, women rated their average stress level slightly higher than did men. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being little or no stress and 10 being a great deal of stress, the average rating for women was 5.3 and for men, 4.9.
Interestingly, the average stress level reported to the APA decreases as age increases: millennials > genXers > boomers > matures.
What are we so stressed about?According to the APA survey, the following are reported as the greatest sources of stress:
What affect can stress have on the body?Stress can result in multiple unhealthy behaviors and moods such as overeating , skipping meals, self-medicating with alcohol, smoking, wakefulness at night, irritability, and others.
Chronic stress can have several particularly adverse health consequences. For example, the immune system can be negatively impacted by decreased natural killer cell activity and decreased secretory IgA, the latter being the GI tracts first line of defense against invading organisms.
Chronic stress can also disrupt the GI tract by decreasing the beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus bacteria species, while increasing the levels of the pathogenic bacteria, E. coli and Entereobacteria.
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B Vitamins Can Help The Adrenal Glands Function Properly And Lessen The Effects You Feel From Adrenal Fatigue
A study found that the presence of stress hormones significantly lowered a persons vitamin B8 and B12 levels. Although referred to as a vitamin, B8 is also known as inositol and is actually a sugar type that affects moods and cognition. When you have sufficient levels of Vitamin B12, you enjoy several health benefits, including
- Improved sleep and energy
All human cells contain Vitamin B-5 , and the adrenal glands have particularly high concentrations of it. Vitamin B-5 provides them with the high energy levels it needs to produce hormones. A study revealed that even a single dose of Vitamin B-5 could have a noticeably positive effect on the adrenal glands ability to produce hormones.
When youre feeling stressed, your adrenal glands use vitamin B-6 to produce the epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones. Your adrenal glands use up much of the Vitamin B-6 available to your body when it releases epinephrine and norepinephrine. Lower Vitamin B-6 levels limit your bodys other functions, including the building of neurotransmitters responsible for:
- Feelings of calm/relaxation
- Movement and emotions of happiness
Taking B-6 supplements can help stabilize moods and reduce overall stress levels.
Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
The main reason people have a hard time recovering from stress is that the adrenal system gets overworked and undernourished. Too much stress from life, allergenic foods, or lack of sleep combined with not enough nourishment of the adrenal glands wears us out. Nutritional supplements can provide extra nourishment to help the adrenal glands to function and to deal with stress.
The first step to heal your adrenals is to remove additional stressors on the adrenal glands which I addressed in “how can I recover from adrenal fatigue”. The next step is to enjoy food to nourish the adrenal glands, explained in scrumptious meals for adrenals. After those fundamentals, nutritional supplements with vitamins, herbal adaptogens and glandulars are helpful to nourish and strengthen the adrenal glands.
Vitamins & minerals
Vitamin C is used to make cortisol, so it gets used up in times of stress which means we need to consume more. Vitamin C is also important in the immune system which means during times of stress you may use up all your vitamin C to make cortisol and not have enough left to fight sickness. To help with adrenal fatigue and immune health, consume Vitamin C rich foods which include fresh citrus, strawberries, red bell peppers. Vitamin C supplements usually come in a capsule, tablet or powder of ascorbic acid combined with bioflavonoids.
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