Adrenal fatigue is a medical condition that causes the adrenal glands to slow down and function at a less than optimal level. Symptoms associated with this condition include intense stress, extreme tiredness and a general feeling of malaise.
The adrenal glands are two small glands situated on top of the kidneys. Their purpose is to help the body cope with stress and help it to survive. It modulates the sympathetic nervous system through secretion and regulation of two hormones, called epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are responsible for the fight or flight response. The outer adrenal cortex comprises 80 percent of the adrenal gland and is responsible for producing over 50 different types of hormones in three major classes – glucocorticoids, mineralcorticoids and androgens. The most important glucocorticoid is cortisol. When this is lowered, the body will be unable to deal with stress. This happens in Adrenal Fatigue.
Instead of eating three meals a day, eat five or six small meals or snacks a day to keep your blood sugar balanced. Adrenal fatigue causes low blood sugar problems. Eating more often can help keep your blood sugar stable.
Eat protein with every meal and snack. Avoid vegetarian diets as they will further stress your adrenals. Root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes are good. Other good complex carbs are corn, brown rice and quinoa.
Avoid soy products. Avoid sugar and only eat fruit in small portions. Don’t drink fruit juices. Use only healthy oils such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil and butter. Use sea salt rather than table salt.
It is beneficial to drink green drinks like barley grass or various mixed green drinks that also have vegetable extracts.
Don’t drink tap water but drink filtered or spring water.
Avoid caffeine or any stimulants as these are very stressful to the adrenals.
Restriction or dieting is not a good idea. Follow good eating habits with regular meals and snacks.
It has been shown to have a sedating effect on the body and helps to rebuild the digestive and nervous system.
Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)
It has been used traditionally to stimulate and nourish the adrenal glands and increases mental alertness. Eleuthero is considered an “adaptogen” which means it can help the body adapt to stress.
Licorice helps to reduce the amount of hydrocortisone broken down by the liver, thereby reducing the workload of the adrenal glands.
Maca root is an adaptogen herb, which means that it helps only where it is needed. For instance, if your body is overproducing a hormone, it regulates it back to normal and if your body under-produces a hormone, it helps raise the level until it is balanced. The adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system and are managed by the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands. When someone is suffering from adrenal fatigue, their adrenal glands are unbalanced causing excessive tiredness and horrible stress. Maca root, when used consistently, has the power to nourish and stimulate the hypothalamus and the pituitary glands which in turn brings balance to the adrenal glands. This process helps those who are suffering from adrenal fatigue feel better and have less symptoms. In order for maca to be an effective remedy for adrenal fatigue, Drugs.com recommends 450 mg of maca root be taken at least 3 times per day. Maca root, with its tangy, nutty flavor can be eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable. It can also be used as a supplement by swallowing the tablet or capsule or by stirring the powder into water, soup, or herbal tea. The powder can also be put into prepared smoothies, nutritional shakes, mixed in honey and used as sweetener, sprinkled over fruit, popcorn or other vegetables.
It enhances memory and concentration. It has been shown to reduce stress-induced fatigue and improve mental performance.
This is a Chinese mushroom used for supporting the adrenal gland and can also normalize immune function and support kidney, lung, liver, nervous system and cardiovascular function.
Vitamin C (2,000-4,000 mg/day sustained release) — best taken with bioflavonoids.
Vitamin E w/mixed tocopherols (800 IU/day)
Niacin (125-150 mg/day) — as inositol hexaniacinate.
Pyridoxine B6 (150 mg/day)
Magnesium Citrate (400-1200 mg) — This is best in the powdered form such as in Natural Calm. This form of magnesium makes sure it is absorbed.
L-theanine, 100-400 mg a day
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), 1500 mg a day
Melatonin, 300 mcg-6 mg (at bedtime)
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), no more than 1000 mg of glycyrrhizin
Remove emotional stressors such as marital, family, relationship, or financial problems needs to be dealt with and normalized.
You will need nine hours of sleep and maybe more for a long time. Rest after meals, midmorning and mid-afternoon if possible.
Gentle walking is beneficial but vigorous exercise depletes the adrenals. Deep breathing and stretching is also beneficial. You should exercise to relax rather than to build muscles or lose weight.
Adrenals are stressed by chemicals. Replace toxic cleaning products used around the house with natural products. Hair dyes, shampoos, makeup and skin care products need to be replaced with natural versions.
Detoxification sauna therapy using an infrared sauna will greatly speed up recovery. If you are in adrenal burnout, use the sauna daily for no more than 30 minutes. Once or twice a week is excellent for prevention.
Tea or tincture of Ashwagandha root, Eleuthero (Ginseng), Licorice, Maca