Adrenal fatigue seems to be everywhere these days. There are those people who swear they have it; and others who don’t even think it exists. For many of us, feeling exhausted is a normal daily thing. Especially if you have young kids at home… However, the sudden lack of energy can be a frustrating and difficult thing to deal with. So what exactly is adrenal fatigue, and what can we do to help it?
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
First of all, the adrenal glands are walnut-sized organs that sit on top of the kidneys. Though they are small, they are responsible for many important bodily functions, including cortisol regulation, metabolism, keeping inflammation at bay, and maintaining energy levels.
Adrenal fatigue then occurs when those bodily functions go haywire. Some doctors suggest that it is simply the body’s inability to keep up with the normal production of hormones, resulting in abnormal fight or flight responses. And yet some others still believe that it could point to other more serious types of disease, such as a precursor to Addison’s Disease, which is full adrenal failure.
Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
In recent years, studies regarding adrenal fatigue have come back without solid conclusions, making it difficult to figure out the exact causes. This is frustrating to those who suffer from adrenal insufficiency, and also to doctors trying to figure out how to treat it.
Since we don’t know exactly what is causing the different types of adrenal fatigue, it’s entirely possible that different sets of illnesses and environmental stimuli could be triggering it.
Some cases can be attributed to something as simple as chronic insomnia or prolonged stress; while other cases may be more difficult to diagnose because the real cause could be stemming from a stealth infection or an autoimmune disease.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
While very important pieces of this medical puzzle are still missing, there are quite a few symptoms that most people experience that point to some kind of deficiency of some essential chemicals in the body.
- Mild depression or anxiety
- Brain fog
- Exercise induced exhaustion
- Blood pressure changes
- Sudden weight changes
- Restlessness or tiredness
- Skin discoloration
- Chronic nervousness
- Digestion issues
- Multiple food allergies
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- Low blood sugar & body temperature
- Unexplained hair loss
Treatments for Adrenal Fatigue
While treatments for adrenal insufficiencies will vary based on the root cause of why these glands aren’t functioning properly, there are some basic rules that will help things work better overall. For optimal adrenal gland behavior, try to prioritize sleep at night, and avoid burning yourself out during the day.
Monitoring your diet by avoiding caffeine, sweets, and empty carbs will also help with helping your hormones to remain balanced. And finally, avoiding intense exercise will also help your adrenals to not drain so easily.
Supplements That Help with Adrenal Fatigue
Ginseng – Ginseng is an adaptogen that also has a small amount of stimulant for revitilization. It’s known for helping the body to more efficiently metabolize stored energy, and helps to improve your endurance. It is also very good at repairing oxidative stress. I personally use panax ginseng for my adrenal balancing and I absolutely love it.
Licorice Root – This root has the ability to increase energy by boosting the immune system, and protects many organs against damage caused by cortisol. When the hormone cortisol is under control it is easier to achieve control over your emotional state, and it helps to improve metabolic functions. However, licorice root should only be used under medical supervision because of its ability to change blood pressure.
Reishi Mushroom – There are a few classes of mushroom that are excellent and powerful antioxidants, and reishi mushrooms are one of the strongest. This is largely due to their extreme concentration of nutrition, and their ability to boost immune functions. These mushrooms are known to reduce tumor activity, and regulate hormonal imbalances. I personally love drinking reishi coffee, which gives me an amazing boost of nutrients and energy at once!
Rhodiola – In the last few decades, dozens of studies have been done on rhodiola. It’s been found that rhodiola has some very useful effects on depression, anxiety, and other emotional disturbances. It’s a fantastic addition to an herbal regimen to treat adrenal fatigue, and can really help balance emotions.
One last note
Just because these herbs are natural and come from plants, doesn’t mean that you can ingest them without any ill effects. Use caution when starting new supplements because the body demands balance in order to heal.
Taking too many supplements could cause your body to lose this balance and could cause far more problems. Using pulsing with supplements can be helpful for you to know when you’ve reached a good spot.
Have you been dealing with (or suspected) adrenal fatigue?