Our adrenals are getting taxed like nothing else these days and did you know that almost everyone who is struggling with thyroid disease has some form of adrenal fatigue? Did you know that chronic stress can affect your body’s ability to recuperate from physical, mental or emotional stress? When our adrenals are overburdened, the pituitary glad is alerted to slow down the thyroid (and sometimes to speed things up). Whether you’re struggling with thyroid disease or not, it’s always a good idea to take steps to support your adrenal glands so the rest of your endocrine system can remain in homeostasis.
There are many signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue, some more common than others.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Brain fog
- Afternoon headaches
- Moodiness and irritability
- A tendency to be a night person
- Hair loss
- Having difficulty falling asleep
- Feeling fired up and having trouble calming down
- Low blood pressure
- Headaches after exercise
- Craving sweet and salty foods
- Perspiring constantly
- Dizziness when you stand up
- Difficulty losing weight
- Gaining weight especially around the mid-section
- Getting angry or upset easily
Pretty much sounds like normal modern life!
What exactly is Adrenal Fatigue?
The term was derived by Dr James L. Wilson back in 1998 and his assumption was that an overstimulation of the adrenals by long-term stress can lead to inconsistent levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream.
To add to that, as well as inadequate levels of cortisol, people with adrenal fatigue often don’t have enough DHEA which can be described as the “parent hormone” responsible for creating several other hormones.
Dr Wilson’s description of how adrenal fatigue presents itself in daily life is as follows:
- You wake up and feel unable to function without a large amount of caffeine.
- You finally feel a boost of energy during the early part of the day.
- Then your energy levels crash around 2pm and rise around 6pm.
- Your energy finally peaks at around 11pm – making it hard for you to go to bed early.
Potential causes of Adrenal Fatigue
The condition is brought about due to the adrenal glands not being able to keep up with the tremendous amount of daily stress that many people experience. It is sometimes misunderstood as an autoimmune disorder because adrenal fatigue can mimic some precursors to some other common illnesses and diseases.
The causes of chronic stress are too varied and too numerous and essentially very individualistic. Whatever is causing you stress might well be contributing to the burden of your adrenals. Below are some very common causes:
- Stressful experiences such as death of a loved one, divorce, surgery
- Lack of sleep
- Poor diet (including crash diets and inconsistent nutrition)
- Food sensitivities
- Exposure to environmental toxins and pollution
- Prolonged stress due to financial hardship, bad relationships or work environment
- Reliance on stimulants like caffeine or energy drinks
There are conventional methods designed to treat adrenal fatigue however in this post we will focus only on the natural methods of treatment.
The natural treatment of adrenal fatigue involves:
- Reducing stress on your body and your mind
- Eliminating toxins
- Avoiding negative thinking
- Replenishing your body with healthy foods
- Taking natural adaptogenic herbs and supplements
Foods to add to your Diet
- Avocado and other healthy fats
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower..etc)
- Nuts such as walnuts and almonds
- Fermented foods rich in probiotics
- Chaga medicinal mushrooms
Supplements and Herbs
Adaptogenic such as:
- Panax quinquefolium
- Astragalus mongholicus
- Schisandra Chinesis
- Rhodiola Rosea
All of the above can be found in a wonderful “Adrenal Support” Herbal Formulation that you can purchase by clicking on the link below:
- Rest when you feel tired
- Sleep 8-10 hours per night
- Avoid staying up late and stay on a regular sleeping schedule
- Laugh and do something fun every day
- Minimise work and relationship stress as much as possible
- Eat regularly and at set times
- Take time for yourself
- Adrenal Fatigue is an in-between state of health before reaching a diagnosable disease and therefore should be treated to prevent further conditions from developing.
- It is caused by high levels of chronic stress that taxes the adrenal glands forcing them to produce too much or too little cortisol.
- The most common symptoms of adrenal fatigue are: severe tiredness, brain fog, decreased sex drive, hair loss and insulin resistance.
- To naturally heal the adrenals, remove inflammatory foods from your diet such as: sugar and refined carbohydrates and eat plenty of colourful plant-based foods.
- Taking natural herbal supplements will also help to support the adrenal glands back to health.