Treatment Of Adrenal Fatigue
“Optimal adrenal health is one of the major keys to the enjoyment of life,” according to Dr. Wilson. If you have adrenal fatigue, you can fully live life again by making the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes to treat your disorder.
Treating adrenal fatigue is as easy as:
- Adopting a natural whole-foods diet
- Avoiding junk food
- Drinking high quality water, not from the tap. Distilled or spring waters are best
- Eating five to six servings of vegetables each day through juicing or adding them to meals
- Avoiding white flour and other processed grains
- Adding sea salt to your diet, replacing your table salt
- Taking 2,000 to 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C each day
- Taking a high strength B-complex supplement
- Taking high quality fish oils
- Adding licorice root extract and kelp to your diet
- Doing a detox and using an infra red sauna
- Replacing toxic chemical products used around the house with non-toxic alternatives
- Spending some time in the sun each day
- Doing something fun each day
- Getting lots of rest
You Feel Puffy Stiff And Sore
Your body reacts to stressful events, like giving a talk in front of 200 people, by getting adrenaline and cortisol flowing so you’re energized and focused, Dr. Blum says. But when you’re constantly stressed, your adrenals become “pooped” and your cortisol levels plummet, leading to non-specific symptoms like feeling puffy, or stiff and achy in your joints and muscles, she says.
The fix: Get your adrenal glands evaluated , says Dr. Blum. But she warns that conventional docs don’t necessarily know how to recognize the symptoms or treat the condition.
Unexplained Diarrhea Nausea And/or Vomiting
If your diarrhea, nausea or vomiting is a result of adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency, such symptoms will likely be paired with the abdominal pain mentioned above.
Glucocorticoids help to control how and when our food converts into energy. If you dont have enough of these hormones in your bloodstream then your normal digestive processes can be inhibited. A week or more of vomiting or loose stools suggests its time to take a trip to the doctor.
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Causes Signs Symptoms Treatments And Controversy
With James L. Wilson, PhD
Excess stress causes the adrenal glands to increase cortisol production.
If you’re feeling tired and fried, chances are you’ve probably heard of adrenal fatigue and wondered if it may be the source of your constant exhaustion. But what exactly is it, and how do you know if it’s what’s causing your lack of oomph? Let’s investigate.
Adrenal fatigue is an increasingly common yet sometimes controversial diagnosis used to indicate depletion of the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenals for use in the regulation of blood pressure. In response to stress, the adrenals release greater amounts of cortisol. Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenals have become overtaxed by excess cortisol release and can no longer produce levels of cortisol necessary for optimal body function.
James L. Wilson, PhD, who coined the term adrenal fatigue in his book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome, describes the adrenals as two little glands that sit over your kidneys and are about the size of two large grapes and weigh about five-to-eight grams.
According to Wilson, The adrenals put out over fifty hormones. We often only hear about DHA and cortisol, but forty percent of womens estrogen or progesterone are made in the adrenal glands and about forty percent of testosterone in males is made in the adrenal glands.
Difficulty Getting Up Each Morning Even After A Long Sleep
As we discuss in The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, one of the major causes of Adrenal Fatigue is getting insufficient sleep. Getting more rest is, therefore, one of the best ways to recover. However, when suffering from Adrenal Fatigue many patients wake up extremely tired and foggy, even after getting a long sleep. This can be caused by one of two factors.
Adrenal Fatigue sufferers in the early stages of their condition tend to be under significant stress, and therefore their adrenaline and cortisol levels are high. This interrupts the natural 24-hour cycle of cortisol levels, leading to a state of alertness in the evening that prevents restful sleep.
Those Adrenal Fatigue sufferers who are at a later stage of the condition will have consistently lower levels of cortisol. However, their blood sugar will tend to be much lower during the early morning . Your body realizes its hungry and forces you to wake up. Many Adrenal Fatigue sufferers are chronic late-night snackers for exactly this reason. You can get a better nights sleep by improving your sleep hygiene.
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The Key To Healing Extreme Adrenal Fatigue
The brains limbic system is the boss of the adrenals. It tells them how to react to stress. It also tells them to overreact again and again, and thats a problem.
When you soothe and calm your overstimulated limbic system, you can heal all symptoms of extreme Adrenal Fatigue. Effective healing for Adrenal Fatigue requires an analysis of your individual body . With diet, supplement, and lifestyle changes, as well as adequate support for your unique needs, your body can heal from even the most severe Adrenal Fatigue.
This Is How To Recover From Adrenal Fatigue
Recovering from adrenal fatigue depends upon you. It means changing your lifestyle, changing your relationships with other people, and taking good care of yourself. I tell my patients to treat yourself just like you would a newborn babywith a lot of loving care and attention. When you are tired, go to sleep. When you are hungry be sure you have plenty of healthful, nourishing food. When you are stressed by someones demands, learn to say no, at least temporarily. In this way, you will slowly learn to take the stress off your adrenal glands and allow them to heal.
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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.
How Does Chronic Inflammation Stress You Out
What is inflammation? You probably know the word flammable which means something can go up in flames. The word inflammation comes from the Latin, inflamare, meaning to set on fire. In the human body, the fire happens in your tissues and organs where you cannot see it. It is often silent which means you dont feel it.
In the short run, inflammation heals injury and prevents an infection. Conversely, long term inflammation is the cause of 90% of all chronic diseases.
Inflammation is the bodys way of responding to harm. In the short run, inflammation is good. If you step on a dirty object, inflammation heals the injury and prevents an infection. When it happens all the time, it is a threat to your health. Long term inflammation is involved in 90% of all chronic diseases. These include heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers disease, arthritis, and many others. Inflammation is one of the causes of adrenal fatigue.
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Reset Your Stress Response
Some tips for managing stress:
STEP #1 Recognize the Feeling
The first step to overcoming anxiety is to recognize it for what it is a set of feelings that are the result of a series of biological responses to a perceived threat. Pay attention to what happens when you become anxious: Your heart rate increases, your breathing accelerates, you may start to sweat, and your mouth might get dry. You may feel that you are going to pass out. Or you may have an urge to run, flee. You may have difficulty concentrating or experience memory lapses. You may experience nausea, chest pressure or pain. At bedtime you may be unable to fall asleep. You may feel a sense of impending doom even that you are going to die. But you are not. These are the signs of anxiety. It is your bodys flight-or-fight response kicking in.
STEP #2: Have an Emergency Response Practice
One of the quickest ways to reset your response from going down an anxiety pathway is to learn to use your breath for a quick reset. The quickest reset comes from doing a technique such as tapping or breathing exercises. You can retrain your brain to reduce negative thoughts with apps like Calm and Headspace.
For more advanced practice in learning to use your mind and breath to get and stay out of anxiety, check out HeartMath an affordable and effective biofeedback device that we can teach you in the office, and you can easily use at home.
STEP #3 Create Safe Space for Your Brain
Final Thoughts On 11 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue
The label, adrenal fatigue, is somewhat misleading because when a person experiences symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, weight gain, mood swings, thyroid imbalance, light sensitivity, or any of the other numerous symptoms associated with this condition, it is not that the adrenals are tired, there is actually an imbalance between the systems that are so intricately linked.
Because of the lack of acknowledgment and understanding by many doctors and the seemingly general symptoms that make up this condition, it can be frustrating and often seem like we take one step forward and two steps back during the diagnosis or healing process.
But a path to healing can be found!
If you have these 11 signs of adrenal fatigue, take your next step on the road to healing by finding a doctor that will work with you, getting proper testing, and incorporating lifestyle changes. Some targeting supplements may help too
Good luck, I wish you the best on your journey!
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Eliminate Coffee And Refined Sugar From Your Diet
This is a simple piece of advice but easily ignored in our crazy modern lives. Continue with the daily caffeine/sugar fixes, and you WILL have serious hormonal issues down the road if you dont already. Coffee has already been linked to blood sugar issues . Combine this with a sugar-filled diet and the Metabolic Syndrome freight train has left the station.
Is it really that hard to replace that cup of Joe with dandelion coffee or green tea and the white sugar/high fructose corn syrup with natural alternatives like raw honey? Do it today!
What Are The Symptoms
In the beginning, you may notice that sleep is impacted, whether it is the quality or quantity. These changes to your sleep routine can shift your circadian rhythm if it continues unaddressed for too long and may lead to daytime sleepiness.
As you are chronically ‘on’ and stimulated, the cofactors involved in cortisol metabolism to help you handle the stress become depleted. This can alter your cognition, weaken your immune system, contribute to chronic inflammation, and could eventually contribute to muscle weakness.
It’s important to understand your own 24-hour cortisol measure which typically shows that glucocorticoids, like cortisol, are lowest around midnight and highest in the morning between 6:00 and 8:00am. There’s debate on what measure is best for cortisol, but salivary seems superior over serum.
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Q: Is It Possible For Your Adrenal Glands To Be Truly Fatigued
A: The adrenal glands have a big job. Theyre responsible for producing, secreting and regulating specific hormones in your body, including cortisol. They work constantly and have a huge functional capacity just like your heart or lungs.
The term adrenal fatigue is based on the assumption that your adrenal gland has the capacity to fatigue but certain organs in your body are not so easily subverted. They dont simply tire out.
Common Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Adrenal Fatigue is a stress-related condition that results in symptoms like exhaustion, weakened immunity, sleep disturbances, and food cravings. The adrenal glands and HPA axis become depleted and dysregulated after a long period of emotional stress or chronic illness.
As you might expect, tiredness and exhaustion are some of the most common Adrenal Fatigue symptoms. However, these are far from the only ones that you might experience.
What is Adrenal Fatigue and how can you recognize it? Adrenal Fatigue leads to lower levels of a number of hormones and neurotransmitters, changes that can affect every single part of your body. Every individual with Adrenal Fatigue tends to have a slightly different set of symptoms, although there are always common complaints.
The most common signs of Adrenal Fatigue, which are experienced by most sufferers, include symptoms like fatigue and food cravings. Then there are the less common symptoms, which are only experienced by a smaller set of patients. These include low blood pressure and frequent urination. Typically, an individual with Adrenal Fatigue will have most or all of the main symptoms listed here, along with a handful of the less common symptoms. Take a look and see how many apply to you.
After youve read about these symptoms, scroll further down to look at the 4 main ways to treat Adrenal Fatigue.
The first section of this page contains the 7 most common symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:
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Why Adrenal Health Is So Important
A few years ago, I attended the Wise Traditions Conference hosted annually by the Weston A. Price Foundation. One of the most interesting lectures I attended during that information-packed weekend was given by Dr. Bruce Rind MD, a holistic endocrinologist whose talk focused on spotting and reversing thyroid and adrenal problems.
I learned from Dr. Rind that the health of the thyroid gland and the adrenal glands is inextricably linked. If one goes south, the other one probably will too and in very short order.
Adrenal problems can frequently masquerade as thyroid problems. As a result, if the adrenal glands are experiencing high levels of stress day in and day out from lack of sleep, too much sugar and caffeine in the diet and a rush rush lifestyle loaded with carbohydrate-heavy processed foods, thyroid gland problems will eventually manifest along with the adrenal problems. Panic attacks may occur as well.
Why is this such a big problem?
Because thyroid problems often end up going hand in hand with insulin resistance problems. The development of insulin resistance is a BIG problem as this has a direct effect on longevity.
Once insulin resistance and blood sugar problems enter the picture, the domino effect to Metabolic Syndrome takes place, a fancy name for a group of risk factors which includes heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes.
When does one cup of coffee in the morning or that afternoon pick me up candy bar suddenly indicate a major problem on the horizon?
Reversing Adrenal Fatigue In Women
If you experience some of these symptoms of severe Adrenal Fatigue, dont wait for things to get worse! Adrenal Fatigue is a vicious cycle. The more youre out of balance, the greater your imbalance grows. Your stress response system is short-circuiting, causing symptoms to pile up.
Adrenal Fatigue is dangerous from the start. But too often women ignore the symptoms until even basic tasks like climbing stairs, folding laundry, or a trip to the store become impossible burdens.
You can keep ignoring the signals, driving yourself with caffeine , but even these crutches only give you a brief lift in energy before the inevitable crash.
A detox, a few suggested supplements, or artificial hormone replacements wont fix severe Adrenal Fatigue. These are all just well-marketed, one-size-fits-all products aimed at temporarily alleviating symptoms. None of these will address the root cause of your exhaustion, depression, insomnia, or weight gain.
In order to reverse Adrenal Fatigue effectively, you must treat both the body and the brain .
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Low Blood Pressure And Feeling Faint
Your adrenal glands regulate your blood pressure, so if your body is lacking in mineralocorticoids then you can suddenly find yourself feeling faint.
This might manifest in a dizzy spell, a lightheaded feeling when you stand up, or even fainting. Alternatively, you might not feel these symptoms but notice that your blood pressure tests as unusually low.
Why Is Adrenal Fatigue So Common
Imagine youre sitting in the woods, relaxing and enjoying nature. You hear a sound and turn. Your heart starts to beat a little faster. Suddenly, you hear another sound and focus your eyes on the bushes to try and identify where its coming from.
Thats when you spot a bear. He stands about 25 feet away, staring you down.
You experience panic, and your first instinct is to run. Your mind races as you decide in a split second in which direction to head, after taking a quick inventory of your surroundings. Its do-or-die: Your life depends on the decision you make.
In primal times, we would have avoided or killed the bear, and life would have returned to a calm state. A significant amount of time would likely pass before the next threat. Unfortunately, in todays society, there is always another bear. Regardless of what you do with the first one, the minute you get away, there is another new rustle in the bushes that keeps you on high alert.
We are all surrounded by bears. We have our jobs, spouses, children, social status, and more. We worry about the impact of our culture, attacks on our land, our leaders, our legacies. Constantly surrounded by the beeping of our text messages, phones calls, and e-mails, we shove food into our mouths while we drive to and from work to save time during the day just so we can get more done.
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Q: Why Is An Accurate Diagnosis So Important
A: Unfortunately, adrenal fatigue doesnt truly explain whats going on in your body, which can lead to misdiagnosis, mistreatment and unpleasant side effects. Even more concerning: A diagnosis of adrenal fatigue can potentially mask something else going on in your body something that should be further explored with your care team.
Sometimes, patients who have been misdiagnosed with adrenal fatigue are prescribed prednisone or advised to purchase expensive adrenal supplements to replace the cortisol that is presumed to be missing. But patients experience no benefits from taking these medications and in fact, taking prednisone can result in negative side effects and could ultimately even suppress your bodys own ability to produce cortisol.
Often, it turns out that patients misdiagnosed with adrenal fatigue actually have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome , a surprisingly common condition. Patients may also have various underlying illnesses, making a thorough workup with your primary care team a vital part of your care plan.
Its very important that doctors spend enough time gathering your history details and performing tests before diagnosing the problem and beginning treatment. Sometimes, we can start to help a patient immediately by making modifications to their diet, prescribing an exercise regimen and/or recommending specific supplements.