Adrenal Fatigue: Learn What it is and How to Treat it
Your adrenal glands produce hormones to regulate blood sugar, inflammation, electrolyte balance and control your body’s response to stress. These glands respond to stress by producing cortisol. Adrenal fatigue theory suggests that long-term physical or emotional stress taxes your adrenal glands. Eventually, these glands cannot produce enough cortisol for you to feel healthy.
The Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Some health care providers refer to this syndrome as adrenal fatigue. Although the symptoms of adrenal fatigue can vary from person to person, these are the common complaints:
- Fatigue that is not relieved by sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin discolorations
- Low blood pressure
- Salt and sugar cravings
The Topic of Adrenal Fatigue is Controversial
Currently, there is no test to diagnose adrenal fatigue. Tests performed by your doctor may not reveal a health problem. Since medical testing does not reveal adrenal fatigue, many doctors doubt that it exists. Most doctors prefer to make a diagnosis that can be proven with tests. That is why people with the symptoms listed for adrenal fatigue are diagnosed with depression, sleep apnea or fibromyalgia.
Adrenal fatigue syndrome was first coined by an alternative medicine expert in 1998. Today, proponents of adrenal fatigue believe that medical techniques are not yet sensitive enough to detect the imbalance, but your body will still feel the effects. Many of those proponents believe adrenal fatigue to be a mild form of adrenal insufficiency.
Adrenal Fatigue Treatment
If you suspect that your symptoms are caused by adrenal fatigue, there are lifestyle adaptations that you can implement to facilitate the healing of your adrenal functions. Some suggestions include:
Foods to avoid:
- Sugar and sweeteners
- Processed and microwaved foods
- Processed meats
- Hydrogenated oils
Foods to add to your diet:
- Avocadoand other healthy fats
- Cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc.)
- Fatty fish (e.g., wild-caught salmon)
- Free-range chicken and turkey
- Bone broth
- 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 fatigue because they’re nutrient-dense, low in sugar and have healthy fat and fiber.
Supplement with vitamins B5, B6 and B12 to help utilize nutrients and reduce inflammation Primal Complete Ignite is a great source of Vitamin B12!
Supplement with vitamin C to boost cortisol production
Increase magnesium to maintain your energy levels
Add probiotics to your diet problems in the gut are thought to contribute to adrenal fatigue
Hydrate with ½ your body weight in ounces of water per day to provide more nutrients to cells and flush toxins
Try meditation to reduce stress and manage cortisol production Adrenal fatigue does not occur overnight. It is believed to be a result of long-term emotional or physical stress.
With lifestyle changes, it could take some time for the condition to improve. Having symptoms caused by a condition that your health care provider cannot identify can be frustrating, at best. It is important not to rely on treatments advertised by a company that diagnoses your problem with the purpose of selling you a cure. If you suspect adrenal fatigue, you may still want to consult with your healthcare provider. The symptoms of adrenal fatigue are vague and could indicate many other disorders including vitamin deficiencies, anemia and adrenal insufficiency.