Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia.
As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger. You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of un-wellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings.
People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is produced when your adrenal glands cannot adequately meet the demands of stress.* The adrenal glands mobilize your body’s responses to every kind of stress (whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological) through hormones that regulate energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, muscle tone, and other processes that enable you to cope with the stress.
Whether you have an emotional crisis such as the death of a loved one, a physical crisis such as major surgery, or any type of severe repeated or constant stress in your life, your adrenals have to respond to the stress and maintain homeostasis.
If their response is inadequate, you are likely to experience some degree of adrenal fatigue.
How can I tell if my adrenals are fatigued?
You may be experiencing adrenal fatigue if you regularly notice one or more of the following:
- You feel tired for no reason.
- You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
- You are feeling rundown or overwhelmed.
- You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness.
- You crave salty and sweet snacks.
- You feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day.
The 3 Steps to Heal Adrenal Fatigue
Treatment for adrenal fatigue involves reducing stress on your body and your mind, eliminating toxins, avoiding negative thinking, and replenishing your body with healthy food and positive thoughts.
1. Adrenal Fatigue Diet
In every case of adrenal recovery, diet is a huge factor. There are a number of foods that support adrenal function. They will help replenish your adrenal energy so your system can come back to full health. But first you must start by removing any hard to digest foods and any toxins or chemicals in your environment.
The idea is to remove anything that taxes your adrenals.
Foods to avoid are:
- Caffeine: This can interfere with your sleep cycle and make it hard for your adrenals to recover. If you must drink coffee or a caffeinated beverage, then have a limited amount in the morning before noon.
- Sugar & sweeteners: Includes avoiding sugar and artificial sweetener as well. Avoid sugary foods, cereals, candy, sweets, etc. Be aware that sugar is an additive in many breads, condiments and dressings. Try to avoid as much extra sugar as possible. Use raw honey or stevia as an alternative.
- Processed and Microwaved foods: First of all the microwave has its own dangers, but additionally, most microwaveable foods have many preservatives and fillers that are hard to digest and wear out your body’s energy and digestion cycle. Try to buy food on the outer walls of your grocery store and prepare your own food whenever possible.
- Hydrogenated Oils: Vegetable oils like soybean, canola and corn oil are highly inflammatory which can lead to adrenal inflammation. Try to only use good fats such as coconut oil, olive oil or organic butter.
Next, you will want to add in nutrient dense foods that are easy to digest and have healing qualities. Some of the top superfoods for adrenal health include:
- Sea Salt
- Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc.)
- Fatty fish, e.g. wild-caught salmon
- Chicken and turkey
- Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds
- Seeds, such as pumpkin, chia, and flax
- Kelp and seaweed
- Celtic or Himalayan sea salt
These foods help overcome adrenal insufficiency because they are nutrient dense, low in sugar and have healthy fat and fiber.
2. Adrenal Fatigue Stress Reduction
The last and most important key to restoring your adrenal function is to treat your mind and stress needs. Pay attention to your body!
- Rest when you feel tired as much as possible.
- Sleep 8-10 hours a night
- Avoid staying up late and stay on a regular sleep cycle. Ideally, in bed before 10p
- Laugh and do something fun every day
- Minimize work and relational stress
- Eat on a regular food cycle and reduce sugar and caffeine
- Exercise (even moderate exercise and walking can help)
- Avoid negative people
- Take time for yourself (do something relaxing)
- Seek counsel or support for any traumatic experiences
So, be kind to yourself. Try to avoid saying negative things about yourself and others. It is important to choose to be around positive people and stay positive about yourself as well.
3. Adrenal Fatigue Supplements
Another big key to overcoming adrenal fatigue, is taking the right supplements. I always recommend eating the right foods to heal your body.
However, due to soil depletion (from over-farmed and unhealthy farming practices), much of the fruits and vegetables do not have the same amount of nutrition that it did even 50 years ago. So, certain adrenal boosting nutrients are needed to get your adrenal function back up such as:
- Fish oil
Take the Manna Energy Boost, which contain essential herbs and minerals to give your adrenal glands a firm boost. In conjunction with a healthy diet, like the Manna Diet, this supplement can perform wonders to restore energy levels.