It may not yet be a medical condition recognizable by conventional institutions, but adrenal fatigue syndrome is real, and it is becoming more prevalent in patients each day. In fact, it may just be one of the most prevalent conditions in our society. It has been said that everyone may suffer from adrenal fatigue at least one time in their life. Consisting of many non-specific yet debilitating symptoms, this ailment is hard to recognize as it often has a very slow onset of insidious symptoms. As stress levels reach new highs in today’s fast-paced world, stress-induced health complications such as adrenal fatigue are on the rise along with it. There is no denying the damage that stress does to our bodies and how it disrupts our system. But why? How? And what can be done to reverse the damage?
What is Adrenal Fatigue
Fatigue is so common these days, that people often ignore it by drowning ourselves with caffeinated drinks, sought-after trips to infamous coffee houses, and very popular energy drinks. Not many individuals stop to consider that fatigue can be a symptom of a failing system in the body, yet it is often the first sign of adrenal distress. The extreme tiredness coupled with the following signs collectively are good indicators of the illness. They are the result of chronic and excessive stress that has gone unresolved leaving the body in a state unable to cope properly.
● Weight gain, especially around the waist with the inability to lose it despite good efforts.
● Low immune system
● Nervousness and Body trembling
● Low libido
● Feeling lightheaded when rising from a seated position.
● Brain fog
● Low energy first thing in the morning and again in the afternoon, relying on stimulants
● Increased energy burst after meals.
● The desire to sleep by 9mp, but resist.
● Cravings for meat and cheese, or other salty, fatty, and high protein powder with water foods
● Increased PMS and irregular period flows that start and stop.
● Pain for no apparent reason in the upper back or neck
● Body pains cease when stress ceases, like vacation times.
● Mild depression.
● Allergies to food or inhalants
● Difficulty in performing daily tasks
● Inability to handle stressful situations.
● Thin, dry skin.
● Low body temperature.
● Heart palpitations.
● Hair loss.
● Irregular bowels
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
The correlation between stress and adrenal fatigue is not a mystery at all. The body has a built-in mechanism to deal with the physical and emotional stress called the neuroendometabolic stress response system. The control center is the adrenals, and when these glands become dysfunctional, the entire body becomes unbalanced. The body’s ability to operate efficiently is reduced. This NEM system is considered the cornerstone of human survival. Without it, our body’s cannot thrive.
Other factors that can cause adrenal fatigue include:
● Dysregulation of the HPA axis
● Nervous system problems,
● Immune system problems
● Metabolic-nutritional problems.
Reversing Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue syndrome can be treated, but on average, it may take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for a sufferer to notice an improvement in their health. The key to regaining adrenal stability and regulating the body’s neurometabolic stress response system is to implement a healthy lifestyle. The following are of the most importance:
● Remove any known stress triggers including marital, family, personal relationships or financial problems that could be aggravating, demanding and hurtful.
● Maintain good sleep patterns so the body can regenerate to deal with new stressors that may come alone the next day. Turn off TVs and computers and sleep in total darkness to maximize melatonin production. Remove all stimulants including coffee and teas that may keep the mind overactive.
● Keep a balanced exercise regiment. Exercise oxygenates the body, increases healing blood flow, and normalizes the levels of cortisol, which are major players in adrenal distress. More advanced stages of adrenal fatigue will require less vigorous activity to avoid the body entering into a catabolic state.
● Learn about adrenal fatigue nutrition. What to eat and what not to eat. Consume regular and healthy meals, especially breakfast. Skipping meals can drop sugar levels making the adrenals secrete cortisol, or what is known as the “death hormone”. This is an important hormone to keep balanced, especially for adrenal fatigue sufferers. Limit pasta, bread, and soda or any other starchy carbohydrates that convert quickly into glucose.
● Take daily adrenal fatigue vitamins to ensure the body is receiving the proper nutrients it needs to heal. Learn about the specific nutrients that are needed to make recovery quicker and easier.
Recommended Supplements for Adrenal Fatigue
Supplements play an important part of recovery from adrenal fatigue. Just as important as the adrenal fatigue nutrition itself, is the delivery system in which it is presented to the body. In other words, nutrition is only as good as it’s delivery system. The vitamins and minerals must reach the cells. The best forms of delivery include liposomal, powdered and capsulated.
For the optimal balance of vitamins and minerals needed to improve adrenal function, the following are recommended:
● 500 mg to 3,000 mg of ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate Vitamin C with bioflavonoid and synergistic co-factors. Vitamin C is one of the gentlest of all adrenal supporting nutrients.
● Vitamin B5
● 400 mg to 800 mg of Vitamin E
● 1000 to 5000 IU of Vitamin D
● Herb like herbals ashwagandha root, licorice root, Korean Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng, ginger root, and ginkgo leaf can be helpful for early onset or mild AFS.
● Steroids including natural hydrocortisone or cortisone acetate in doses of 2.5 to 5 mg two to four times a day offer a safe and effective way to temporarily replenish the depleted adrenal glands.
● 10,000 to 25,000 IU of beta-carotene
● Selenium 100 mg to 200 mg
● Magnesium 200 mg to 800 mg
● Lysine 1 gm to 2 gm
● Proline 500 mg to 1 gm
● Glutamine 1gm to 5 gm
● DHEA 15 mg to 50 mg
● Pregnenolone 25 mg to 50 mg
● Ribose 2,000mg to 10,000 mg
● CoQ 300 mg to 1,000 mg
● Type 1 and Type 3 collagen
Adrenal Fatigue Nutrition
A sample of the Adrenal Fatigue Diet is as follows:
● 20% Whole grains should or approximately 400 calories. Examples include: 2 slices of Ezekiel Sprouted Wheat bread, 1 cup of brown rice, and 1/2 cup of oatmeal.
● 30% Vegetables or approximately 600 calories. Examples include 3 cups salad, 2 cups green leafy vegetables, 2 cups mixed vegetables.
● 15% Nuts and beans or approximately 300 calories. Examples include 1/2 cup legumes, 3 tablespoons of nuts and seeds.
● 15% Fat 15% or approximately 300 calories. Examples include 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
● 10% Animal proteins or approximately 200 calories. Examples include 2.5 oz. meat, chicken, or fish.
● 10% Whole fruits or approximately 200 calories. Examples include 2.5 medium whole fruits like apples.
Always Use Caution With Supplements for Adrenal Fatigue
Improper use of supplements for adrenal fatigue can inhibit the recovery process and have unwanted side effects. One must exert caution in the dosages taken over time, as well as the delivery methods. If the recommended adrenal fatigue vitamins and minerals are not dosed properly, they can become toxic and make the adrenal fatigue worse. Too many adrenal fatigue vitamins could overburden the body’s system and put an excess load on the adrenals during crucial recovery times. Underdosing the body of adrenal fatigue nutrition could deprive the body of the essential nutrients it needs to heal and regenerate.
It is important to blend the various forms of adrenal fatigue vitamins and employ a suitable delivery system for the body to obtain optimal levels of absorption.
Those with advanced adrenal weakness should use caution with herbs, teas and any supplements that may contain stimulants. Energizing the adrenals when they need rest can have devastating effects.
It is always wise to consult with a nutritionist or a healthcare provider before implementing any new supplements for adrenal fatigue. Always use steroids under supervision for risks of addiction and withdrawal.