The Adrenal Glands are two small glands, about the size of large grapes, which sit over your kidneys. They are located towards the back of your body, near the bottom of your ribs on each side of your spine. They are often referred to as our “fight or flight” glands as they help the body adapt to stress. If you feel “wired but tired” it’s a sign your adrenal glands are under stress.
Adrenal Fatigue is a group of related signs and symptoms that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress. And it can build up over time like filling a bucket. When your bucket is full, any added stress, even small things, can push you over the edge.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
- Chronic pain, emotional stress, or poorly managed stress
- Poor diet lacking essential nutrients, and high in stimulants (sugar and caffeine)
- Lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep
10 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue
- Trouble sleeping and/or insomnia
- Can’t stop thinking or trying to solve problems
- Fatigue and/or exhaustion
- Feeling overwhelmed, unable to handle stress, irritable, anxiety
- Lightheaded when rising from a sitting or lying down position (systolic blood pressure either jumps way up or way down suddenly)
- Poor focus – can’t remember why you went into a room
- Decreased libido
- Low energy mid afternoon 2pm-5pm
- Crave salty snacks
- Unexplained weight gain
4 Steps To Overcome Adrenal Fatigue
1. Get Good Sleep and Manage Stress Properly
The biggest mistakes people make to deal with adrenal fatigue are “whipping the horse” with stimulants such as caffeine, sugar, and/or adaptogenic herbs. This is not a solution and your fatigue will continue to get worse over time as you continue to deplete your adrenal glands. It’s a very serious condition that can literally leave a person immobile if the root issue is not removed. It is crucial to get good quality sleep and manage stress properly. (6 Ways To Reduce Stress and Anxiety Naturally)
2. Eliminate Stimulants
Caffeine and sugar will give you an immediate burst of energy. But as mentioned above, you are whipping a horse that is exhausted and worn out, and depleting your adrenal glands. And eventually over time you may crash and may not be able to recover.
3. Eat Foods That Nourish And Build Up Your Adrenal Glands
- Unrefined Sea Salt – for hydration. If your salt is all white, it is not real salt.
- Quality Protein – if you have adrenal fatigue you may need to consider predigested protein until your digestion is stronger. And always buy organic animal protein. You do not want the antibiotic or hormones, they can really mess up your gut and hormones. (Are you protein deficient?)
- B Vitamins – It’s best to get a good food source supplement, not synthetic. Nutritional Yeast Flakes are a really great option. Or Max B-ND is a “whole food” liquid B complex I really like.
- Vitamin C – Again, you do not want the stuff from health food stores. They do not contain the co-factors that make up the whole nutrient, which will lead to deficiencies. (Contact me for recommendations)
- Quality Probiotics to boost immune system and increase nutrient absorption. (view probiotic)
- Gut Health – If you have yeast overgrowth, start with a 21 day detox to clean up your gut.
- Plant Based Minerals – When we are under stress our bodies burn through minerals. So you need to replenish your mineral reserve with plant based minerals from concentrated greens high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and that contain iodine. I recommend consuming a good amount of cruciferous greens every day, and supplementing with Spagyric Greens or Oceans Alive. Both are bio-available, highly absorbable, an excellent source of plant cased vitamins and minerals, and contain adaptogenic herbs that will not stimulate.
- CBD Oil – shown in studies to lower cortisol levels that are produced in excessive amounts by the adrenal glands when we are under stress. Cortisol causes weight gain around the middle, insomnia, anxiety, joint inflammation. (CBD Oil Learning Center)
- Bieler Broth Soup (from my “Detox Diet” book or google it), is an amazing adrenal “tonic”. If you have adrenal fatigue I would definitely recommend you make this soup for your self.
4. Targeted Nutrients and Adaptogenic Herbs
This is ONLY after steps 1-3. If you skip steps 1-3, you will only be masking the symptoms and you could throw your entire endocrine system out of balance, making things much worse long term. It is very important not to self medicate with herbal remedies when you’re trying to heal. I would be happy to help you determine what would be best for you.