Adrenal fatigue can be dragging you down and you might not even know it.
Do you experience any of the following:
- Difficulty waking up in the morning?
- Deep fatigue?
- Mildly depressed?
- Cravings for salty foods?
- Higher energy levels in the evenings?
- Stubborn belly fat, especially large hips and thighs?
- Dizziness if you stand up quickly (due to low blood pressure)?
- Need for caffeine to keep going, especially in mid-afternoon?
- Numbness in fingers and toes?
- Getting colds frequently, a sign of low immune function?
- Allergies and chemical sensitivities?
These are signs that your adrenal glands are working overtime.
The adrenals are small bean-shaped glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They produce several hormones—including cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, DHEA and testosterone–primarily the ones that give your body extra energy in a crisis, the fight or flight stress response. Adrenal hormones also regulate metabolism, the immune system and blood pressure. Adrenal function and thyroid function are very closely linked, so if you have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, ask your doctor to check for adrenal function as well.
You can probably easily guess that stress is the main cause of adrenal fatigue in today’s world. Our always-on society is dominated my multitasking, work, work, work and the challenges of everyday life to the point where our stress levels are stratospheric and we rarely, of ever get a break.
The adrenals function just fine when we need a rush of adrenaline in an emergency. But when our entire lives become an emergency, quite literally with the pedal to the metal on our adrenals 24/7, they become exhausted. In extreme situations, the adrenals may even fail.
My friend, Dr. Holly Lucille, LINK: http://drhollylucille.com/ is one of the best health care practitioners around for natural approaches to health problems. I listen to her very carefully and especially her recommendations on natural ways to relieve adrenal fatigue. Of course, lifestyle changes and stress management are the goal even with help from Mother Nature.
Ashwagandha: Studies show ashwagandha root supplements can reduce the levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) by as much as 30%. Other studies show ashwagandha reduces the stress scores by 64% in people with chronic stress and dropped anxiety scores by 75%. Experts recommend 2 grams daily.
Rhodiola: Rhodiola boosts energy, increases mental performance and concentration, relieves anxiety and depression and lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Experts recommend 3-12 grams per day.
Adrenal glandular supplements: These supplements are made from freeze dried and powdered animal adrenal glands, usually from cattle, but sometimes from hogs. They are a source of natural hormones and nutrients. They’ve been used for more than 80 years.
It’s important to get a diagnosis of your adrenal function before starting these supplements, since taking them when you don’t need them can result in hormonal imbalances. Blood, saliva and urine tests are commonly used o determine key markers, especially cortisol levels. The best results comes from several tests done over a 24-hour period, since adrenal hormones naturally ebb and flow throughout the day.
Other key nutrients to maximize if you have adrenal fatigue:
B vitamins to reduce fatigue and anxiety and increase focus and concentration.
L-tyrosine is an amino acid your body needs to produce noradrenaline and dopoamine when you are under great stress.
Vitamin C—the real thing made form whole vitamin C food molecules, not just ascorbic acid—helps your body produce the right quantities of adrenal hormones, among many other important functions.
As my regular readers might imagine, relieving adrenal fatigue starts with you. Supplements are great, but if you don’t learn to manage your stress, you’ll be back in trouble again very quickly. You’ll learn lots of good ways to do that in my book, Ten Best Ways to Manage Stress.