What Supplements Help Adrenal Fatigue
There are several categories of supplements that can help to treat adrenal fatigue. They should be used in combination with lifestyle changes like avoiding stress, improving diet, and getting more sleep.
There are a few basic nutrients that are particularly important for supporting the adrenal glands and HPA axis, especially during times of stress. These include vitamins B5, B6, and B12, vitamin C, and magnesium. Omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, and probiotics can also be tremendously supportive during this time.
Herbal supplements can be useful for regulating cortisol levels and moderating the stress response. These include ashwagandha, licorice, Rhodiola rosea, Siberian ginseng, and maca.
For the best results, discuss your supplementation with your healthcare professional. Here is some more information on supplements for adrenal fatigue.
What Do You Eat
While a lower carb diet is fabulous to reduce inflammation and many symptoms of thyroid disease, eating this way for too long can put stress on the adrenals and cause hormonal imbalance. So its important to get good, healthy carbs into your diet each day such as: potatoes , root vegetables, peas, properly prepared legumes or gluten-free grains , apples, pears, berries, and beets.
I like Dr. Christiansons idea of eating one golfball-size portion of carbs at breakfast, two golfball-size portions of carbs at lunch, and three golfball-size portions of carbs at dinner. Using this method, dinner should be the largest meal of the day. And most importantly, dont stress about your food. Do the best you can, and let the rest go.
A Functional Medicine Guide: Adrenal Fatigue
My patients come to me with many different health issues, but the most common one by far is fatigue. I witness the epidemic of extreme exhaustion on a daily basis, as my patients tell me how they wake up feeling exhausted and depend on caffeine to keep them awake throughout the day. They are irritable and hangry , crave salty or sugary foods, or both. They have trouble losing weight despite dieting and exercise, and have little to no sex drive. Their energy level crashes in the afternoon, but they often get a second wind before bed and find they cant wind down or sleep soundly, perpetuating the cycle.
Sadly, many think this is just the way people feel, and that it must be normal because everyone else seems to feel the same way. But just because something is common doesnt make it normal. Feeling constant, unrelenting fatigue is not normal. In fact, it is one of the primary symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
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Pay Attention To Your Coffee Intake
Coffee is misunderstood when it come to adrenal fatigue. The standard advice is to avoid it entirely because it spikes cortisol. The reality is a little more complicated than that.
Coffee does spike cortisol if you only drink it occasionally. If you drink it every morning, though , you build tolerance to the cortisol release, but not to coffees wakefulness boost.
But in order to build tolerance to the cortisol, you have to drink coffee every morning. If you only drink it occasionally, your body wont adjust, and the coffee will cause a big cortisol spike that isnt good for adrenal fatigue.
Basically, when it comes to adrenal fatigue and coffee, you should take an all-or-nothing approach:
- Drink coffee every morning, or
- Cut out coffee entirely
If you do decide to drink coffee, I suggest Bulletproof Coffee for extra mental clarity and effortless focus, which is crucial when dealing with adrenal fatigue.
The First Step In Healing My Adrenal Fatigue
As I read through the book, it started to dawn on me just how abnormal I was feeling. That idea overwhelmed me. Panic started to rise. Jitters set it. I felt overwhelmed.
Yep, this was not normal. I needed to something, stat. But what?
The first thing is, buy the book. Its a great read. .
But, I dont want you to have to wait for the book. If youre like me and you suddenly realize something is awry with your system, here are two simple ways to start healing yourself:
HERES WHY THESE TWO STEPS WORK: Lets start with walking through what coffee does to your insides.
Coffee gives you energy by tickling your adrenal glands and telling them to secrete adrenaline.
Of course, other things throughout the day do this, too: stress, grief, cardio, sugar. All of these things send signals to your body that youre in fight-or-flight mode. To get you through, your body boosts the adrenaline. You get energy to survive, and the adrenals wait for the next time you need them.
Problem is, of course, when the adrenals are called upon too often. They start getting tired. And once tired, they start firing at random.
This video reminds me of tired adrenals. Poor babies keep trying to get rest, but they cant. Constantly behind, they shoot off what little adrenaline they have whenever they can. Which means theyre constantly behind, working at random, and totally off kilter all day long.
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More Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue
There are a large number of other complaints that are associated with Adrenal Fatigue. Many of these are linked directly to one of the more common complaints listed above. Depending on which stage of Adrenal Fatigue you have reached, you may be experiencing a handful or a large number of these symptoms.
- Numbness in your fingers / Poor circulation
- Weight gain
Here Are Some Common Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue:
A tendency to be a night personHair lossWaking up in the middle of the night with difficulty falling back asleepYoure a slow starter in the morningFeeling keyed up and having trouble calming downLow blood pressureClenching or grinding your teethChronic low- or middle-back painDifficulty maintaining chiropractic adjustmentsChronic fatigue or getting drowsy oftenAfternoon yawningPain on the medial side of the knee or kneesNeeding to wear sunglassesDizziness when you stand upDifficulty losing weightGaining weight around the waistlineGetting upset or angry easily
Doesnt that sound like modern life? No wonder people are having so many endocrine issues!
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Eating Out Cheatsheet What To Drink During A Night Out Cheatsheet Travel And On
We live in a society where its okay to work ourselves to death. We know no other way were always working towards exhaustion. Thats kind of the goal, but what a lot of us dont realize is that by working ourselves so much, we may not be working ourselves to death, but were definitely working ourselves into something called adrenal fatigue.
And I wanted to do this video because I want to share with you three simple, yet effective ways that you can combat adrenal fatigue, but I also want to explain what adrenal fatigue really is, and how its affecting your day-to-day life, not only in the office, not only at home, but in the gym, and when it comes to getting in the best shape.
You see, when were stressed out, our bodies have a natural response, and like you see in many of my other videos, our bodies release that hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is fine and dandy, it does what its supposed to do it elevates our blood pressure, and it gets us prepared for that fight or flight response, that adrenaline response, that noradrenaline response.
Now, those neurotransmitters and those hormones are imperative, theyre crucial to our success and survival. We really need them, but the problem is when we have these chronic bouts of stress, when were constantly exhausted, were constantly fatigued, and were constantly stimulating ourselves with caffeine and other stimulants, it makes it so that our bodies cannot really recover from being in that stressed out state.
How To Treat Adrenal Fatigue
Restoring your overworked, underactive adrenal glands may seem like an impossible task especially when youre already exhausted! Fortunately, the road to recovery is as simple as taking a new approach to looking after yourself and perhaps a few lifestyle changes. Here are 4 ways to start your recovery.
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What’s So Special About Morning
To recover from any stage, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to invest your attention and energy into having a good morning. Those first crucial waking moments and hours set the tone for your whole day.
How you spend the time immediately after you wake chemically changes your body. Your morning activities determine: what hormones are released or inhibited? How does breakfast impact these chemicals and hormones? How does your morning mindset affect the rest of your day? And, most importantly, how can you use all of this information to minimize stress on your adrenal system and support its repair?
Are you stressed and frazzled, or operating in smooth control? By following these simple practices for having a good morning you’ll set yourself up for an energized, productive and happy day.
1. Set yourself up the night before
Taking a little time in the evening to prepare for sleep and get the next day organized will do wonders in reducing stress and getting a good night’s rest.
First, turn off those glowing screens by 10:00 pm at the very latest the TV, the Internet, cellphone, game console, etc. Yes, you might be accustomed to doing email until 2:00 am or watching late-night drama, but it’s time to break that habit that keeps you buzzing into the wee hours. Not only does it rev up your brain with electrical activity and racing neurons, but it also stimulates cortisol release. Not exactly conducive to sleep!
2. Ditch the coffee, go for the spice
: only cortisol
All About Your Adrenal Glands
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys, like little kidney baseball caps. They regulate many critical hormonal jobs in your body, but one of their primary jobs is to control the release of your main stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is essential for survival.
Our bodies are built for stressful events. When our ancestors were chased by predators, the sympathetic nervous system responded by switching the body into fight-or-flight mode. During this stress response, the adrenal glands release cortisol, which increases blood pressure and blood sugar for faster response and better survival. When the predators were gone, cortisol decreased, and so did blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Normal balance was restored. However, ongoing stress doesnt turn it back off.
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My Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
- Low blood sugar
- Weight gain
The Premenopause book by Dr. Lee and a little research online got me to finally take a saliva test on my own. I didnt want to go through my doctor.
I figured that although insurance might pay, I didnt even know what was wrong with me. I was still completely confused, to be honest. Did I have hormone issues adrenal issues both?? Something else completely?
I did a little research on saliva tests and found out that one of the reasons they are more accurate that the blood tests is because they test hormone and chemical levels throughout the day.
NOT just when you fast and go to the doc at 8am, which is what I did. I purchased this saliva test and decided my next steps would be based on the results .
I was on vacation in the Pacific Northwest when I got the results, and I couldnt open the file fast enough. AND I WAS THRILLED. Not because I wanted to be ill, but because I finally had answers!! A screenshot of part of my test is above. Let me sum up the results for you:
- Low progesterone estrogen dominance
- High DHEA
- Flat cortisol
The interpretations are on the report: . . . cortisol pattern and reported symptoms are consistent with established HPA axis dysfunction.
You can read more about HPA axis here. But in laymans terms, the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and adrenal glands work together .
But once you realize you have it what about adrenal fatigue treatment? What do you do?
How Will I Know If Hydrocortisone Works
My doctor said I would know pretty quickly if the Hydrocortisone works. In fact, I would know within in a few hours. Prescription Hydrocorisone works right away, and only stays in the body for about 4-5 hours. He said if I took the Hydrocortisone and didnt notice a difference right away then probably I didnt need it.
In my case, within hours of starting the first dose of Hydrocortisone I felt amazing and had lots of energy. Over time my adrenal symptoms improved, specifically my ability to exercise and have energy throughout the day. My thinking became faster, and clearer. My word retrieval and humor were quicker. I felt motivated and energized. My life felt good!
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First Change Your Lifestyle
The two most important steps to take are: 1) Change your hectic lifestyle and 2) learn stress reduction techniques.
The idea here is to lower the demands on your adrenal glands. If you continue an exhausting and demanding way of living, your adrenal glands will be constantly struggling to catch up. Full recovery will be difficult if you dont deal with stress.
For stress reduction, yoga, tai chi, meditation, prayer and deep breathing are proven to be effective.
For stress reduction, yoga, tai chi, meditation, prayer and deep breathing are proven to be effective. They are simple, and available. Other ways of lowering stress are being out in nature or doing gentle exercises such as walking. There are also many phone apps for guided imagery and meditation. All these things get you out of the high alert mindset.
Eat The Right Foods At The Right Times
This is probably the least fun part: I had to seriously clean up my diet. My doctor suggested a Paleo-Mediterranean style diet, focusing on low-glycemic, whole foods. This included lots of fruits, veggies, fish, lean protein, healthy fats, and as little sugar and empty carbs as possible.
I also tried to avoid inflammatory foods like dairy, gluten, and alcohol. Ive heard people say to cut out coffee, but I love the stuff, so my doctor said one or two cups a day is fine. I also tried to eat breakfast before 10 a.m. to and make sure I had 3 4-ounce serving of fatty fish a week. That was easy enoughI love salmonbut cutting out french fries, bread, and alcohol was much harder.
Fortunately, I had quit the stressful job and was freelancing at this point, so I was working at home, which made it easy to stock my fridge and cook most of my meals at home.
Breakfast was either a smoothie or toast and an egg. Lunch was pretty much always a big salad Dinners were usually something like zucchini with turkey bolognese some sort of homemade chili or soup or salmon and veggies.
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Get Serious About Meditation
Meditation of any kind is one of the most powerful ways to deal with stress, and it can go a long way toward normalizing your cortisol levels and treating adrenal fatigue.
If you want to take your meditation to the next level, I suggest 40 Years Of Zen. It uses advanced neurofeedback technology to give you the brain of a lifelong Zen monk in five days. You can also check out this Biohackers Guide To Meditation for other ways to improve your meditation and find more inner calm. If youre new to meditation, start slow, with just 5 minutes a day, and work your way up.
What Is The Outlook
Most people with adrenal fatigue will recover quite quickly but severe symptoms may take some months to recover, or even longer. The time for recovery will vary enormously from person to person and will also depend on the cause of stress and the severity of symptoms. Following a good treatment plan, as described above, will help you to recover more quickly.
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What Im Doing Now
Dr. Justin really helped me, but I wont say its easy. Heres my prescription:
- no caffeine or alcohol
- a strict-ish diet that resembles the paleo diet and the bulletproof diet
- follow the protocol for 6-9 months
Dr. Justins healthy meal tips are here. For some, it might be a huge life change, especially if you dont like vegetables. Ill be honest . . . Ive struggled. I love vegetables but I hate cooking.
Most of the time Im good, but I have lazy days. I dont eat fast food, but sometimes I dont eat as many veggies as I should. Im working on it!
What I find interesting about my new eating plan is the amount of fat. Ive always shied away from it, but its good. So I have my big jar of coconut oil. And my new attitude! If youre wondering if the caffeine and alcohol are hard to avoid yes. Not the alcohol, but the coffee. I truly love coffee.
But in the last month, Ive only had it twice. In the next 30 days, Im going for zero cups. I can do it!
Hi friends! I wanted to provide an update on my health and how things are going since I originally wrote this four years ago. Im 44 years old now and life has changed significantly. So where am I at now? What has worked? And what hasnt? Lets review. There might be some surprises.
From January 2019 October 2020 I worked for an ecommerce retailer in the local area. It was very important that I stay local and not have a stressful commute, and it only took me 15 minutes to drive to work.