You have likely suffered from fatigue at some stage in your life. Feeling tired can be a result of many reasons. For example, things like an unhealthy diet, drugs, alcohol, depression, obesity, anxiety are all to blame.
Without being aware of the cause, you likely began to self-medicate with sugar, caffeine, nicotine or other stimulants. But these only deplete and destabilize your body more.
Rather, the health strategy you need is to boost adrenal function. So here, you'll learn natural treatment for adrenal fatigue including nutrition, lifestyle, and herbs because it might just be what's plaguing you.
What Are the Adrenal Glands?
Besides your pituitary gland, the adrenal glands are possibly the most important glands in the body. They are two small organs, not larger than your thumb situated just above your kidneys.
The adrenal glands govern the health of your body through the production of hormones, steroids, and neurotransmitters. Think of these glands as the batteries of your body because they produce energy that powers digestion, lymphatic movements, breathing, and the function of all your glands and organs.
They are part of your endocrine system.
The Endocrine System
Your endocrine system is all your glands that produce the hormones that regulate growth and development of:
- Tissue function
- Reproduction systems
- Sexual function
- Sleep patterns
Your hormones affect your whole body both directly and indirectly. They respond to your body in a very sensitive way as they delicately balance your body.
Your adrenal glands pump out different hormones every day on which your life depends. Some of these are your stress hormones which play a huge role in your body. Stress hormones manage:
- Electrolyte balance
- Sex drive
And it’s why adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalances go hand in hand, impacting your life a great deal.
Common signs of Adrenal Fatigue
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Trouble falling asleep
- Afternoon slump
- Low and high blood pressure
- Inability to focus
- Mood swings
- Craving sugar and salt
- Weight loss
- Reliance on caffeine
- Digestive issues
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Autoimmune issues
Adrenal fatigue is often triggered by a stressful event in your life.
A lot of people will describe what is happening to them as feeling wired, but at the same time, tired. You can still feel alert, and yet you are so fatigued, you are irritable and stressed all at the same time.
When people go through traumatic life experiences, they develop “adrenal crisis”. This makes all the above symptoms even worse where they end up at a doctor, looking for medical treatment.
What will a doctor do for an adrenal crisis?
If you see a doctor because you are undergoing an adrenal crisis, he or she will usually want to give you steroid injections. Also, you will need fluid intake such as electrolytes to restore the pituitary gland and adrenal gland function. If you leave it untreated, other serious symptoms can develop.
Prolonged Adrenal gland weakness
Low adrenal gland function can cause:
- Ovarian cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, and uterine cancer
- Ovarian cysts
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Systemic Inflammation
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Prostate cancer
- Low back weakness
- Kidney and bladder weakness
What causes adrenal insufficiency?
Because stress is a huge factor in cortisol damage, you need to search for ways to reduce it. One of the most powerful ways I know how to reduce stress is the practice of Yoga Nidra, where your body experiences profound relaxation and restoration through conscious ‘sleep'.
You also need to replenish and strengthen your body by eliminating toxins and eating healthy foods. Also, make positive thinking a top priority if you want to get better.
Now that we have the stress issues out of the way, diet is the next important step.
You will discover that there are quite a lot of foods that will offer your adrenal glands support. These foods will help to replenish your adrenal energy to enable you to get back to full health again.
But before offering you the right type of foods to take, first you need to avoid the bad foods, you need to avoid ingesting toxins and chemicals.
What Are the Kinds of Food That You Must Avoid?
Caffeine is hard on your adrenal glands. In general, it will give your adrenals a hard time towards recovery. If you have to have coffee or any beverage with caffeine in it, limit your intake to occasionally unless you are genetically sensitive to caffeine.
Sweeteners and sugars: Avoid artificial sweeteners and any high-fructose corn syrups. Avoid cereals covered in sugar and sweets. Bear in mind that there is sugar even in many condiments, bread, and dressings. Rather use raw honey.
2. Carbohydrates are also a No-no
No, not all carbohydrates are bad for you. Yet, they cause inflammation which can be a real problem when you experience adrenal fatigue. When people are under stress, they usually crave heavy carbohydrates – comfort foods. These can offer some satisfaction, but they will be very taxing to your adrenal glands. When you feel stressed and overwhelmed, try and kick out the starchy carbohydrates and gluten. See if it does improve your energy and tiredness levels.
3. Avoid microwaved and processed foods
The microwave is another danger to your health all on its own, but that is a topic for another day. But most of the highly processed foods which can be microwaved usually contain heaps of fillers and preservatives in them. These foods wear out your digestion cycle and your energy levels. Prepare your own food wherever you can, using whole foods.
4. Processed Meats
Proteins stress to your hormones more than you realize. Added hormones in processed meats can throw out your system badly. Try to eliminate red meat entirely. If you cannot, chose meat from grass-fed cows and not grain fed cows. Buy free-range chicken and turkey. If you must eat meat, take it in moderation, never more than 3 ounces a day.
5. Stay Away From Hydrogenated Oils
Vegetable oils like soybean oils, canola oil, and corn oils are oils that cause inflammation. Eat or cook with the good oils like olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee.
Now that you are going to work on clearing your body of the above toxins, let’s look at the top super-foods for adrenal health:
Top Superfoods for Adrenal Health
- Leafy greens and colorful vegetables
- Free range chicken and turkey
- Make your own bone broth
- Fatty fish such as salmon
- Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and seeds like chia, flax, and pumpkin
- Take supplements of kelp and seaweed if you can’t find it naturally
- Himalaya or Celtic salt
- Foods rich in probiotics such as kefir
- Licorice tea
The above foods are there to help you overcome adrenal fatigue. These are all nutrient-dense foods that consist of little sugar and plenty of fibers and fats.
It can be frustrating to have ongoing, persistent symptoms that when you ask your doctor, he can’t really explain them to you, or put his finger on it. But getting a diagnosis from an unqualified doctor is worse. He could offer you unproven medications and remedies that might make you end up feeling even sicker than ever.
If you find it is difficult to get up in the morning and you lag in the afternoon and your doctor can’t pinpoint that you have adrenal fatigue, try treating yourself with this natural treatment for adrenal fatigue.
If you do not have adrenal fatigue, these suggestions for eating and de-stressing will, in any case, be beneficial to your health. This is true no matter what you are suffering from.
Natural Treatment for Adrenal Fatigue
1. Eat Whole Foods
You can experience physical stress when your body doesn’t get nutrition. Whole foods are essential to a healthy diet. It's impossible to be healthy when you eat processed foods because they are difficult to digest which puts a great deal of stress on your body.
The best foods for your adrenal glands are organic, whole foods. Refined grains and processed sugar attacks the adrenals.
Processed foods and fast foods are high in sodium which taxes the adrenals. But, sea salt is actually useful because it has raw minerals like potassium, magnesium and other electrolytes.
Always choose whole foods whenever you can and ditch the processed foods. Maximize fruits and vegetables because they are so rich in nutrients and bring health to the body.
2. Vitamin B is Vital
Studies show that B vitamins help reduce stress and provide energy. Make an effort to get your B vitamins from whole foods first.
B Vitamins rich foods:
- leafy greens
- sweet potatoes
- all seeds
- sprouted grain bread
- nutritional yeast
- coconut milk
- beans and legumes
3. Down with Caffeine, Especially Coffee
Caffeine makes your adrenal glands pump out cortisol and adrenaline. If you love coffee, look for a roasted substitute like Teeccino Chicory Herbal Coffee.
Or take green and herbal teas because they have many healing properties. Lemon water and ginger are also very healing to the body.
4. More Sleep is Necessary
5. Avoid Bad Oils
6. Maintain Your Blood Glucose Levels
Adrenal fatigue is when your glands are dysfunctioning and you get tired from too much workload. When the adrenal hormone levels are low, you experience low blood sugar levels, and when you sleep, they sink lower. You need to elevate the cortisol levels in your body.
5 Best Herbs to Nourish Adrenals and Stabilize Your Energy
Your tendency may be to reach for caffeine when you need a boost, but this will only make the situation much worse.
Instead, you need to rebuild your body's energy reserves. These five herbs combined are an effective, safe way to rebuild your adrenal glands.
Ashwagandha offers rejuvenating benefits. It will boost your energy without depleting you. Also, it gives energy while at the same time if offers a calming effect. Your energy is not just physical but can be mental as well. When you balance your nervous system, you will have more power to get through the day.
2. Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea)
An herb that supports the adrenals, Rhodiola encourages a healthy response to stress. It has been used in Europe and Asia for thousands of years to boost energy, endurance, and mental clarity.
3. Eleuthero Root (Eleutherococcus Senticosus)
Used to increase mental alertness and performance, Eleuthero strengthens concentration and reduces fatigue and stress. Used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Eleuthero invigorates and balances chi or energy.
Shilajit has wonderful benefits, especially for women. It can fight aging, fatigue, and weakness. In fact, in Sanskrit, Shilajit means “Conqueror of mountains and destroyer of weakness.”
Shilajit works by enhancing the production of ATP, (adenosine triphosphate) the body's primary energy source.
5. Ginger Root
It is a well-known herb to support digestion. If you cannot digest the food you eat, you cannot extract the nutrients and energy.
You can find these five herbs in Dr. John Douillard's 5-Herbal Energy formulation. It's a proprietary adaptogenic herbal formula designed to support your nervous system and help replenish your depleted energy reserves. If your energy reserves are depleted and deficient, your body will be forced to produce more and more adrenaline and stress-fighting hormones.