The body’s ability to respond to stress in an effective manner is directly affected by how well the adrenal glands are functioning. The adrenal glands sit over the kidneys, where they play a significant role in the body, secreting more than 50 hormones necessary for life, including cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone and progesterone. They are an important system as they directly affect your level of muscular strength, blood sugar levels, energy levels and overall sense of well being.
When we are stressed, our adrenal glands produce a stress hormone known as cortisol. With prolonged stress, the adrenal glands become overworked and “fatigued” and can no longer respond appropriately to stress. The adrenal glands will then produce too much cortisol, and adrenaline which often induces feelings of being both exhausted and “wired.” It is common among people with adrenal fatigue to be tired and exhausted all day and then having energy peak at night.
Other Symptoms of adrenal fatigue:
- Morning fatigue — You don’t really seem to “wake up” until 10 a.m., even if you’ve been awake since 7 a.m.
- Afternoon “low” (feelings of sleepiness or clouded thinking) from 2 to 4 p.m.
- Burst of energy at 6 p.m.
- Sleepy at 9 to 10 p.m. — However, you resist going to sleep.
- “Second wind” at 11 p.m. that lasts until about 1 a.m., when you can finally go to sleep.
- Cravings for foods high in salt and fats
- Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
- Mild depression
- Lack of energy
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- Muscular weakness
- Increased allergies
- Lightheadedness when getting up from a sitting or laying down position. (hypoglycemia)
- Decreased sex drive
Causes of Adrenal Stress
For restoring adrenal glands to optimal health, I recommend the following basic supplements.
Vitamin C – 3000-5000mg/day
Ashwaganda- Tincture or in supplement form.
B-complex supplements – Especially high in b6 and pantothenic acid.
Adding licorice root extract to your daily health regime.
Additional Information: Combining therapy with adrenal-supportive supplements can give you back your life, energy, health and peace of mind.
1. Avoid excess sugar, simple carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol, MSG and all artificial sweeteners. (stevia and xylitol are sugars that are natural and can be used to replace refined white sugar)
2. Avoid ordinary table salt, as it is just sodium chloride and is highly refined. Use whole natural Celtic sea salt instead as it contains important minerals. These salts are very important for your adrenal and thyroid, digestion, and the health of your entire body. Avoid high sodium in foods, but do use whole salt in your diet. People with weak adrenals and weak thyroids usually need a lot more real whole salt in their diet.
3. Drinking adequate water is very important for adrenal health. Many people are dehydrated and could benefit from drinking more water, especially drinking water or herbal teas instead sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, concentrated fruit juices and other soft drinks. If you are drinking coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, these are dehydrating and you will need to drink more water
4. Emotions/Trauma: Many people with stressed and depressed adrenals have had or suffer from a deep emotional shock or chronic emotional stress and trauma. It is highly advisable to seek some counselling with a therapist who can assist in helping you clear the debilitating effects of trauma and long-term stress from your nervous system.
5. Adequate sleep is very important in rebuilding and maintaining healthy adrenal glands. Resolving insomnia or sleep issues is very important concerning all health issues.
6. Meditation and deep relaxation is perhaps the greatest daily thing you can do to heal your adrenals, clear stress from your body and prevent or heal disease, as well as to know true happiness. I highly recommend that you read ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle.
7. Eat right and eat 6 small meals a day.
People with adrenal fatigue have issues with low blood sugar from not eating regular meals. It stresses out your adrenals, and causes hypoglycemia.
8. Acupuncture: Acupuncture removes the blockage so the flow of energy can be restored. This therapy is effective in overcoming adrenal fatigue and getting you back to optimal health.
Following treatment plan you can expect your adrenal fatigue to resolve itself in:
- 6 to 9 months for minor adrenal fatigue
- 12 to 18 months for moderate fatigue
- Up to 24 months for severe adrenal fatigue