How To Heal From Adrenal Fatigue
How To Heal From Adrenal Fatigue
Have you ever heard of adrenal fatigue? Or the hormone cortisol? It is really important to understand how the adrenals and subsequently cortisol levels play a role in your health. Most people suffer from some level of adrenal fatigue and don’t even know it. Many chronic issues or chronic symptoms are often rooted in adrenal fatigue as one piece of the puzzle. This article shares how to improve cortisol levels, support the adrenals and ultimately heal from adrenal fatigue.
What Are The Adrenal Glands?
There are 2 adrenal glands and they sit directly above each kidney. One of the jobs of the adrenal glands is to help convert stored carbs, protein and fat into energy under periods of stress. (Sounds great, right?) Well, previously, this type of stress was recognized by the body as physical stress and was used to give physical energy.
Today, stress is mostly environmental and emotional. This means that the body isn’t using the energy the adrenal glands stimulate for physical demands. Under these high periods of stress, blood sugar issues arise as the pancreas becomes stressed trying to properly manage these unneeded blood sugar influxes by releasing insulin. This turns into stored fat (normally at the mid-section) when the liver converts large amounts of this glucose (sugar) into triglycerides and cholesterol.
You can read more about the connection between stress, cortisol and your health in this article.
The Thyroid and The Adrenal Connection
When it comes to hypothyroidism and thyroid disease, you must look at the HPA-axis. The thyroid goes off of a negative feedback mechanism that is stimulated in the brain from the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland. But, so are the adrenal glands. If the brain senses high stress, your digestion and metabolism will start to slow down in order to address the stress at hand. This is where the thyroid slows down and symptoms of hypothyroidism begin to surface.
This is why supporting your adrenal glands and identifying your stressors (all types of stressors) is a very important piece in your healing journey. For those with Hashimoto’s, your immune system is over-active which also has a direct effect on the adrenal glands. This adds chronic stress to your body, creates havoc and inflammation and makes you more prone to other illnesses (weakened immune system).
When we help our clients with thyroid issues, we always screen for adrenal fatigue and naturally support the adrenal glands as a primary step in thyroid balancing. It is hard to balance the thyroid when the adrenal glands are under chronically high stress levels. We invite you to book a free phone consultation with our practitioner. You can schedule your call right here.
Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue can include the following:
- Inability to concentrate
- Unstable blood sugar levels
- Excessive fatigue
- Salt cravings
- Waking up at 2 a.m. consistently/ Insomnia
- Not being able to fall back asleep
- Dry skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Digestive problems
- Tension headaches
- Hypotension (drop in blood pressure when going from a laying to standing position)
- Dysbiosis (gut issues)
- Weakened immune system
Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
- Smoking, overuse of drugs
- Working long hours
- Excessive exercise
- Physical demands
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Nutrient void diet (high in processed food, refined sugar)
- General poor stress management
Steps To Heal From Adrenal Fatigue
The great news is that following a simple protocol that also supports the adrenal glands can significantly help you on your healing journey. Here are a few suggestions you can try to implement regularly:
- Eat foods that are low glycemic. Complex carbohydrates both through leafy greens and whole grains can help re-establish insulin sensitivity and support the adrenal glands.
- Avoid stimulants. Stimulants (over)activate the nervous system and are shown with regular usage exhaust the adrenal glands.
- Manage stress optimally. Discover ways of stress management that work best for you (such as: deep breathing, yoga, moderate exercise, walking/jogging, hobbies, means of coping with daily psychological stress)
- Increase antioxidants and foods rich in Vitamin C and E. Berries, nuts and seeds are great ways of supporting your immune system, decreasing inflammation, tending to your mental health and supporting your adrenals naturally. A good quality multivitamin can also help with this.
- Improve sleep quality. There are many great suggestions in this article.
Herbs And Supplements That Support The Adrenal Glands
- Magnesium. Under times of high stress (especially for avid coffee drinkers), magnesium gets flushed away. Replacing with a supplement can be helpful when re-storing adrenal glands and general health. This would be best consumed before bed.
- Siberian ginseng. This herb is noted for supporting the adrenal glands.
- Chamomile tea. Chamomile is a great calming herb. This would be best consumed before bed.