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Healing Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

By September 4, 2017Conditions, Health

If you suffer from brain fog, insomnia, inability to lose weight, anxiety, fatigue, or allergies, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome may be at the root of your problem.

Healing Adrenal Fatigue SyndromeAdrenal Fatigue Syndrome is very common among industrialized nations today, with nearly 80% of Americans being affected by adrenal fatigue. One of the chief complaints I receive is fatigue or lethargy. Why is it that so many people are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue? Chronic stress and pushing the human body to its limits in physical, mental and emotional capacities are to blame for this overwhelming health issue.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

I will be using the terms Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and Adrenal Fatigue interchangeably, as Adrenal Fatigue is the most common terminology used to reference Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome.

Although Adrenal Fatigue is one of the most prevalent conditions seen today, mainstream medical institutions do not recognize it as a disorder. So if your doctor is unaware of this, don’t be surprised. Instead, Addison’s Disease is commonly known as the disease associated with disrupted adrenals. In many cases, Adrenal Fatigue is confused with Addison’s Disease, which are adrenal glands not functioning according to endocrinologists conventional standards due to a autoimmune dysfunctions. Adrenal Fatigue is different in the way that it is adrenal dysfunction brought on by chronic stress.

Your adrenal glands are two very small organs located atop your kidneys. Each adrenal has two parts to it, one being the adrenal medulla and the other being the adrenal cortex.

The adrenal medulla modulates the sympathetic nervous system through the regulation of epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two hormones are responsible for the fight or flight response in the body as the results of a stressor.

The adrenal cortex makes up 80% of the adrenals and produces 50 different hormones that affect every function, tissue and organ in the body. The three major classes of hormones are glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and androgens.

Glucocorticoids – Play a major role in blood sugar balance, your metabolism, immune response, and stress management. The most important example of this is cortisol.

Mineralocorticoids – Hormones that help you create a healthy blood pressure balance and balanced blood through hydration and salt/water balance.

Androgens  – Sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.

The most important hormone mentioned above in terms of discussing adrenal fatigue is cortisol. Cortisol is the most important anti-stress hormone in the body largely due to its effects on reducing inflammation, normalizing blood sugar, and maintaining optimal stress responses. When cortisol levels become too high, it has the ability to weaken the immune system by suppressing the white blood cells, natural killer cells, monocytes, macrophages and mast cells. This is why healthy cortisol levels are a balancing act. We don’t want cortisol levels to be either too high, or too low, as either side of the scale causes issues.

Normal cortisol patterns throughout the day are important. The highest level of cortisol should be first thing in the morning around 8 a.m. As the day continues cortisol begins to lower in the body, with its lowest point between midnight and 4 a.m. When Adrenal Fatigue occurs, the adrenals lose their natural ability to regulate and balance not only cortisol, but also all the hormones mentioned above.

What are the Causes Adrenal Fatigue?

Chronic stress is the main culprit that leads to Adrenal Fatigue. All too often, people put themselves through an immense amount of stress in attempts to get ahead. This may be financially climbing the career ladder, or pressure from those around them to do more. Then on top of all of this, you pile on raising a family, poor relationships, deaths, illnesses, lack of sleep, etc. Now, you’ve exceeded the body’s capacity to deal with stress. This is how Adrenal Fatigue sets in.

One thing that is always important to remember is that the body perceives all stress the same. Whether it’s chemical, emotional, or physical, stress is stress. Here are some other stressors that also play a potential role in Adrenal Fatigue:

  • Blood Sugar Imbalances
  • Chronic Illness
  • Depression
  • Excessive Exercise
  • Excessive Caffeine
  • Prolonged Infections
  • Mal-absorption
  • Toxicity
  • Sleep Deprivation

Our bodies are incredibly intelligent and have the ability to adapt well, but when any of these stressors become chronic, they break down the body. Identifying the stressor(s) in your life is a key component in the healing process. You must remove the source so that the body can heal itself.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

When Adrenal Fatigue sets in, the adrenal glands stop producing hormones effectively. This is when the symptoms arise and life as you know it is disrupted. Here is a list of adrenal fatigue symptoms that you may be experiencing:

  • Allergies
  • Brain Fog
  • Depression
  • Decreased Libido
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Hair Loss
  • Irritability
  • Inflammation
  • Lack of Focus
  • Morning Fatigue
  • Muscle Tension
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Weakness
  • Weight Gain

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then there is a good chance you are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.

5 Steps to Healing Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

The good news is that there are many things that work really well to reverse adrenal fatigue and get you feeling like yourself again. It is important to realize that this issue did not come on over night and will take some time to reverse. Unlike a pharmaceutical drug that is chemically overriding your physiology, natural healing is looking to solve the root cause of the issue. It can take up to 9 months for minor adrenal fatigue, 18 months for moderate adrenal fatigue, and up to two years for severe adrenal fatigue to be reversed.

1) Testing

Adrenal testing is an important part of the adrenal healing process because you can’t manage something you can’t measure. If you assume your adrenals are the culprit as to why you’re not feeling well, then it is good to confirm this before you venture on a long-term adrenal repair program. Adrenal tests are taken by saliva or blood and measured multiple times throughout the day so that you can see when and if your cortisol and DHEA levels are abnormally high, low, or crashing. A properly trained doctor who understands Adrenal Fatigue should take a thorough health history in conjunction with this test in order to avoid any false positives or false negatives.

2) Nutrition Plan

Adrenal Fatigue SyndromeMany people who are not experiencing health concerns may be able to eat poor quality foods and still maintain normal daily life, but not those who are suffering from a myriad of symptoms. When you are sick, enflamed, and suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, you need to be following a diet guide that is designed to heal. Foods that should be avoided while suffering from Adrenal Fatigue include:

Caffeine: Caffeine interrupts sleeps patterns. I’d recommend herbal tea or Swiss water process decaf coffee. The decaf coffee should only be consumed in before noon.

Sweetener & Sugar: When your body is already struggling, sugar does nothing more than break it down further and weaken your immune system. Sugar should be avoided at this time and alternative sweeteners like stevia and xylitol should be sought out.

Processed Foods: Processed foods contain many fillers, preservatives, sugars and oils that are toxic to the body. Consume only a whole food diet at this time.

Inflammatory Oils: Oils such as vegetable, soybean, canola and corn oils are highly inflammatory. Anything that drives inflammation further worsens the condition your facing. Make the switch to high quality oils such as coconut oil, olive oil and grass fed butter.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome3) Sleep

For your body to recover, high quality sleep is a must. When you sleep your body heals, detoxifies, and restores. You should make a strong effort to get yourself to sleep by 10 p.m. Our adrenal glands work their hardest to repair the body between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. In addition, it is best to get a full 8 hours of high quality sleep. If there are many factors disrupting your sleep, look to this guide, or this article for further sleep strategies.

 4) Stress

If you have read thus far, you realize chronic stress is a major factor in Adrenal Fatigue. Some of the best stress-busting techniques that I know are:

  • Mindful meditation
  • Exercise
  • Journaling
  • Good Relationships
  • Managing Workload
  • Take time for yourself
  • Eliminate Negativity
  • Seek Council

Seeking council does not mean that you are fit for the mental house. It simply means you need someone to talk to that can help you navigate life. I know people who don’t seem to have a problem in the world who speak to a psychologist on the regular simply because they feel better for doing so.

5) Supplementation

Supplying your body with focused, high density nutrients is a must when it comes to your adrenal health. As the body is struggling and operating within a deficit, supplementation is a must to balance, restore and heal the adrenals. Let’s go into a few of the primary nutrients needed for reviving your adrenals.

Adrenal ReviveAdrenal Revive is a comprehensive blend of standardized extracts of the highest-quality adaptogenic herbs along with three B vitamins. These ingredients offer incredible support for adrenal hormone production and support the body’s adaptogenic response. This is the primary formula I use when my patients are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue. I find that using this blend of vitamins and herbs have a synergistic affect to positively impact your adrenal vs. taking each herb or vitamin separately. In this formula, you will find Cordyceps Sinensis, Rhodialo Rosea, Panax Ginseng, and Vitamin B6, Pathothenic Acid, and Paea-Aminobenzoic Acid.

Other adrenal supporting nutrients include:

  • Ashwagandha
  • Fish Oil
  • Holy Basil
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitmains B5, B6, B12, C, and D3

This is a very comprehensive guide to understanding, identifying, and reversing Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. If you need and further support in this area, send us an email and we would be glad to help you in any way we can.