Adrenal Fatigue and How to Overcome it Naturally
Updated: Aug 8, 2019
Your adrenal glands have a wide influence over many systems in the body, so the symptoms of adrenal fatigue can mimic other disorders and aren’t easily identifiable. Many people wonder “How do I know if my adrenals need support?“ Some common symptoms include:
Fatigue not relieved by sleepCraving salty foodsLight headed upon standingFuzzy thoughts or brain fogWeight gainInsulin resistance
Most people with adrenal fatigue notice that they wake up and require significant amounts of caffeine in order to function. They will then notice their energy levels rise and fall dramatically throughout the day. And though they may feel sluggish all day, sleep will likely be difficult and unrestful.
“I get light-headed upon standing. Is this a sign of adrenal fatigue or is it my blood pressure?”
Low blood pressure and adrenal conditions commonly go hand-in-hand, especially in the later stages of adrenal fatigue. It is important to nourish the adrenals with the nutrients they need, especially the correct amount of minerals.
We recommend incorporating foods rich in the following nutrients:
Magnesium – dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, beans/lentils. Vitamin B6 – tuna, turkey, and sunflower seeds, Vitamin B5 – oily fish, eggs, and lean pork, Vitamin C – kiwi, orange, and yellow bell peppers.
Supplements you might consider include Spectra-Min, Rehydration, Adaptopath
“I sleep hard but when I wake up, I still have no energy. Could this be an adrenal problem?”
You might think you are getting quality sleep, but the stress you’re under during the day could be causing a cortisol drop while you sleep. This all plays a part in the bigger picture of adrenal fatigue. We can’t expect our body to be stressed all day and then get restful sleep and wake up with energy. If you struggle to get quality sleep, it may be beneficial to have your cortisol levels tested to determine how your adrenals may be contributing to the problem.
Supplements to consider for sleep and cortisol include Cortisol Manager by Integrative and Calm CP by Neuroscience.
“My body feels tired, but I have trouble relaxing and winding down.”
It is important that anyone with adrenal fatigue that feels “wired and tired” to get on a regimented sleep schedule. You’ll want to avoid engaging in the “second wind” you might get that occurs after 10:00 pm. Riding that second wind and staying up will further exhaust your adrenals. The golden hours to sleep in the morning are typically from 7AM-9AM. Most people typically feel relief if they can sleep in during those times allowing cortisol levels to rise. It might also be useful to incorporate relaxation techniques before bed such as a quiet meditation or breathing exercises.
“My fatigue is worse if I skip a meal. I crave coffee and carbohydrates to boost energy throughout the day.”
It is critical to get on a regular eating schedule and not eat according to your energy slumps throughout the day. Your adrenals will eventually adjust and you won’t feel the dramatic swings in energy. To best support your adrenals, eat within an hour of waking, and then eat every 2-3 hours. Make sure you’re avoiding starchy carbohydrates by themselves and choose a balanced ratio of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Avoid hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils and don’t skip meals!
Lifestyle techniques such as relaxation or meditation, regulation of sleep cycle, and appropriate exercise (not too little or too much) combined with correct eating habits are the backbone to get you back on track.
Supporting your adrenals with food and supplements starts with the basics of magnesium, B vitamins and Vitamin C. Secondary approaches may include herbals such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, or licorice root. In some cases, glandular support is necessary as well.
Contact us for information regarding lab tests to determine cortisol levels, adrenal profile, and hormone imbalance.