It’s time to act against adrenal fatigue, because you’re most likely dealing with it. Almost every person can experience adrenal fatigue to some extent during a stressful point in his or her life. The adrenal glands have a major influence on the body, and symptoms of adrenal fatigue can mimic a number of health issues that aren’t easily recognizable. Common adrenal fatigue symptoms include extreme fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, and other imbalances in the body. Luckily, you can overcome adrenal fatigue with three simple steps: start an adrenal fatigue diet, include supplements in your routine, and reduce your daily stressors. So, let’s talk about the roles of your adrenal glands and how you can overcome adrenal fatigue naturally!
What are your adrenal glands?
Your adrenal glands are two thumb sized organs that are located on top of each kidney. The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system and are responsible for rhythmically releasing, producing, and balancing a variety of hormones. The adrenals are involved in producing over fifty hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, that drive almost ever bodily function and are essential for life. However, this rhythm doesn’t always apply when external stressors are involved.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal glands play a huge role in stress response. Your brain recognizes and registers a threat, whether emotional, physical, or mental. The glands then release cortisol and adrenaline hormones to help you react to the threat, known as the fight-or-flight response. Adrenal fatigue is the overstimulation of the adrenal glands from chronic stress over time due the unbalanced levels of cortisol and other hormones. Does this sound like your day?
You are unable to function without a significant amount of caffeine, finally feeling a boost of energy during the early part of the day, then your energy levels crash around 3 p.m., go back up around 6 p.m., fall again around 9 p.m., and then finally peak again close to midnight.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a condition where your body and adrenal glands can’t keep up with the high amounts of stress situations many individuals experience daily. Can stress really cause extreme fatigue? The answer is yes. Stress causes the adrenal glands to become overloaded, ineffective, and improperly release cortisol, which depletes the body of energy. Other causes for adrenal fatigue can be: exposure to environmental toxins, lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of exercise, emotional trauma, food sensitivities, and the reliance to stimulants like caffeine.
Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
What exactly happens when the adrenal glands stop producing hormones efficiently? Every bodily function is affected. Common adrenal fatigue symptoms include: chronic fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, irritability, depression, muscle/bone loss, skin ailments, sleep disturbances, weight gain, and insulin resistance. As you can probably see, there are a number of symptoms that could be associated with other health conditions. The good thing is that all these issues are very similar, and there are now many natural ways to treat and support your adrenal system.
Naturally Overcome Adrenal Fatigue
Treatment for adrenal fatigue involves removing stress on your mind and body, eliminating toxins, and replenishing your body with health foods and supplements. Following these three steps can make a huge different.
I) Adopt a healing diet
Diet is a huge factor with adrenal recovery. There are so many foods that offer adrenal support and will replenish your adrenal energy so your system can come back to full health. However, you must begin with removing any hard to digest foods and toxins in your current environment. Foods to avoid include:
Caffeine can interfere with your sleep cycle and make it difficult for your adrenals to recover. If you feel like you must drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverage, then limit your amount in the morning.
Many individuals crave carb-heavy foods when they’re stressed, which end up draining your adrenal glands even more. If you are feeling stressed, try removing any gluten and starchy foods to see if you can regulate your tiredness and energy levels.
Many individuals also crave sugary foods when they become overwhelmed and stressed. Avoid sugary foods, cereals, candy, and sweets. Sugar is also an additive in many foods like bread, condiments, and dressings. Try to avoid as much sugar as possible. Alternatives include raw honey or stevia.
Processed foods include many preservatives in them that are hard to digest and drain the body’s energy and digestion cycle. The option is to include natural, whole foods, and to prepare your own meals as much as possible.
Vegetable oils like soybean, canola, and corn oil can cause a lot of stress on your adrenals. Try to implement healthy fats like coconut oil, olive oil, and ghee.
Now once you have removed these foods from your diet, you want to add nutritious, healing foods that are easy to digest. These foods help overcome adrenal fatigue because they contain tons of nutrients, they are low in sugar, and have healthy fat and fiber. The top superfoods for adrenal health include:
Coconuts are easily digested and utilized by the body. They provide a much-needed source of clean energy to help support your overworked adrenals and assist you in getting through your day without feeling constantly tired and sluggish Coconuts also contain an impressively high concentration of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs). MCFAs have antibacterial properties, can penetrate and feed our cells more efficiently than other compounds, and they don’t put the liver under unnecessary stress like certain other fats.
Avocados are loaded with potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and fiber. They are also another great sources of healthy fat for your body.
Nuts and Seeds:
Include nuts such as walnuts and almonds as well as seeds like pumpkin, chia, and flax. Grab a handful of these healthy omega-6 packed nuts for a quick snack. You’ll get a dose of protein, fiber, and vitamin E.
Bone broth contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and other nutrients that play an important role in supporting healthy adrenal functions.
Kale is packed with vitamins A, C, and K. It contains calcium, an antioxidant boost of quercetin, and omega-3 fatty acids. To reap the benefits of this nutritionally dense green, be sure to top it with something fatty, like a drizzle of olive oil or an avocado.
Fatty fish like wild salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, and a powerful load of protein. Other options include anchovies, sardines, Atlantic herring, or Atlantic mackerel.
Fermented foods, like kefir, are rich in probiotics. Kefir, a fermented milk product, is a great-tasting source of eight or more strains of probiotics, B vitamins, vitamin K2, and calcium. Because of the bacterial content, kefir is lactose-free. The bacteria break down lactose into galactose and glucose, so your body doesn’t have to do it.
II) Include Supporting Supplements and Herbs
Another important factor for overcoming adrenal fatigue is taking the right supplements with supporting natural hers. Eating the right foods to heal the body can be challenging, and in order to get enough of every nutrient, supplements can help. Include these herbs, spices, and essential oils to help fight adrenal fatigue.
- Licorice Root
This spice helps to increase the DHEA in your body, which is the “parent hormone” responsible for the creation of many necessary hormones in the body.
- Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogenic herbs help with lowering cortisol levels and mediate stress responses within the body. Include herbs like ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, schisandra, and holy basil.
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C minimizes effects of stress on individuals as well as reducing the time it takes to bounce back from stressful events.
- Lavender Oil
This essential oil has a calming effect that can reduce stress.
- Rosemary Oil
This essential oil also has a calming effect and helps to decease cortisol concentrations and reduce oxidative stress on cells.
III) Lifestyle Changes
The last and most important factor to overcoming and healing your adrenal function is to reduce your mind and stress. Really pay attention to your body and be kind to yourself.
- Rest when you feel tired
- Sleep 8-10 hours a night
- Laugh, smile, and have fun everyday
- Minimize work and relational stressors
- Avoid staying up late, and establish a regular sleep cycle
- Eat natural, whole foods on a regular basis
- Exercise to reduce stress response
- Avoid negative situations, people, and self-talk.
Keep Your Adrenals Strong
The best approach to healing your adrenal fatigue is to make solid lifestyle changes if you want lasting results. Some individuals notice a difference in their overall wellbeing after a few weeks eating natural foods and herbs. A balanced lifestyle with a healthy level of sleep, exercise, fun, and a positive environment, will keep your adrenal system going healthy and strong!