Updated: October 12, 2019
Adrenal fatigue refers to adrenal dysfunction, which is caused by stress, infections, and other such medical conditions. Physical, emotional, or mental stress may be responsible for the cause. The extent of the stress is so much that it starts to mess up with your body's other systems. This results in further increased stress levels, feeling of exhaustion even after a long good night's sleep, an imbalance in hormones, concentration going haywire, cravings for certain kinds of foods, a weakened immune system, and many more other symptoms.
Adrenal glands are responsible for our moods and handle all kinds of stress that our body goes through. They are primarily responsible for secreting adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol belongs to the class of hormones called glucocorticoids, which affect almost every organ and tissue in the body. The most important job of cortisol is to help the body respond to stress. In addition to this, cortisol also helps
maintain blood pressure and heart and blood vessel function, slow the immune system's inflammatory response, that is how the body recognizes and defends itself against bacteria, viruses, and substances that appear foreign and harmful and regulate metabolism.
Due to increased stress, the amount of cortisol required by the body increases, thus, putting more stress on the adrenal glands to produce more of it. But after a point, the glands become incapable of providing the amount of cortisol needed by the body. The body reacts to this with increased amounts of fatigue at unexpected times.
Symptoms Of Adrenal fatigue varies from person to person. However the following symptoms could mean that a person is suffering from adrenal fatigue syndrome:
High or low blood pressure could be the first sign of adrenal fatigue. Low blood pressure can also lead to dizziness.
You may wake up tired and wanting to sleep more even if you go to bed early. If you are having trouble getting out of bed almost every morning, despite having a good night's sleep, it is likely that your sleep cycle is disturbed and you are suffering from the adrenal fatigue syndrome
Experiencing a low energy level during the crucial hours of the day as your stress has reached a level where it is becoming harder to complete the day, then it could be a sign of fatigue.
Stress is a major contributor to adrenal fatigue. And if you feel that even a little bit of stress overwhelms you very much, be it physical or mental, it might be because your adrenal glands are not able to produce enough cortisol to help you cope.
Our body loses the capacity to maintain levels of certain essential minerals like sodium, potassium, and magnesium due to adrenal insufficiency, and they are excreted or urinated out of the body. And to maintain the levels of these substances, our body gives us signals that can be interpreted as salt cravings.
Usually for a healthy person cortisol is at its peak point early in the morning. But in people suffering from adrenal fatigue, the morning cortisol level is surprisingly low. The levels are highs in the late afternoon and early evenings. People usually confuse it with increased productivity in the evening, but it is actually a signal of adrenal fatigue often resulting in insomnia.
Sudden lows in energy levels throughout the day is the characteristic feature of Adrenal fatigue. And at this point, you many feel that a sweet or steaming cup of coffee will do wonders with their energy levels. But the continuous use of coffee to boost your energy levels could be a sign of adrenal fatigue. Relying on these products to give you an energy boost only worsens the situation.
Cortisol exhibits an anti-inflammatory effect that keeps the immune system up to date. Imbalance of cortisol level may cause the immune system to weaken which may be an alarming situation for your body.
Adrenal fatigue causes a sudden imbalance in weight. The increase weight becomes extremely difficult to shed.
Cortisol is responsible for fighting stress experienced by a person. Increased stress and an incapable set of adrenal glands may result in a span of low or zero concentration.
Stress is the onset of depression. If you are under too much stress, it might result in depression. This will be a little too overwhelming for the adrenals. Overworking of the adrenals will tire them, which is the root cause of adrenal fatigue.
Some of the minor symptoms of adrenal fatigue include pain in upper back or neck, feeling light-headed, reduced libido, lethargy, food or inhalant allergies, thinned skin.
Visit a physician if you experience any of the above symptoms, because the chances of suffering from adrenal fatigue are very high. However, there are many ways to cope with this condition which include:
Here are some home remedies to fight adrenal fatigue:
The internal response generated by an organism, structure, or a system, after experiencing an external load that tends to disturb its equilibrium is known as stress. Chronic stress is responsible for the reduction of Vitamin B6 in the body. As taking supplementation of B6 can work as a therapy against stress, suppliments can be taken for the deficiency. Also, not just B6, taking a multivitamin supplement of B vitamins can also work wonders in countering stress and for fighting adrenal fatigue.
Licorice is the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra which are well known for their sweet flavor and are mostly grown in Europe and parts of Asia, like India. They are mostly used as flavoring agents in candies or sweeteners, and also used in some cigarettes to smooth the flow. Licorice is dried and ate directly as a mouth freshener in some parts of Europe. The components of licorice are structurally similar to corticoids and imitate the function of steroid hormones. Unlike steroids, it can help regulate your immune system, reduce depression and keep a check on inflammation. The recommended dose is 4 grams of dried licorice root powder three times on a daily basis.
Indian Ginseng or the winter cherry is a plant belonging to the nightshade genus which is considered as a medicinal herb in Yemen to treat wounds and burns.
The roots of Indian ginseng are used to balance blood sugar level and cortisol amounts, which may prove to be very beneficial for people who are stressed. The root extracts have been proven to target anxiety and work like an anti-depressant, making it one of the most beneficial herbs meant for adrenal fatigue. 3 grams of the powdered root of the herb two times in a day is usually recommended. It is also available in pills, either taken alone or mixed with other herbs.
Hydrogenation is the process through which liquid vegetable oils are turned into solid fat. Partially hydrogenated oils contain trans fat, which are even more dangerous than saturated fats. This is because they not only increase the bad cholesterol, but also decrease the good cholesterol. Partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils are responsible for an increased inflammation. Therefore, cutting out oils like soybean, canola, and corn and introducing a little bit of good fats like coconut or olive oil and clarified or organic butter can help you fight adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is the dysfunction of adrenal glands. When this happens the the adrenal hormone cortisol levels go low resulting in low blood-sugar levels. For a healthy person, while we sleep, the glucose levels in our blood goes low until we wake up. The blood sugar levels go threateningly low because of low cortisol in case of a person suffering from adrenal fatigue. Fortunately we have a mechanism in our body that sends out a signal as soon as the sugar levels go down and wake you up out of our sleep suddenly in the middle of the night.
This is because glucose is the primary source of energy of all our cells. So if you are waking up at odd times in the night, say between 1 AM to 3 AM, it may be a signal that your blood glucose level is significantly down. In that case, taking a healthy and light snack might be of huge help, especially something rich in protein, unrefined carbohydrates, and quality fats. Do not drink or eat something sugary, as that can only end up worsening the situation.
Aldosterone is a major steroid hormone in our body which help maintain the sodium levels in the kidneys, salivary glands, sweat glands, and the colon. As it regulates blood pressure and sodium, potassium levels,the deficiency of Aldosterone causes sodium and potassium to be urinated out. As a result of this, one might feel fogginess, tired after exercising, and dizziness on standing up which are the signs of adrenal fatigue. It may be easily treated using synthetic aldosterone. For this you can take salt supplements, such as making use of sea salt. You can also include vegetables like celery, cucumbers, or fermented vegetables and sea vegetables as a part of your balanced diet to help maintain the essential mineral levels in your body and to improve use and production of hormones.
Ginseng also falls into the categories of adaptogens, which are supposed to help body cope with the mental and physical stress. Adaptogens also support the glands by providing more energy to the cells without side-effects. Usually 200 to 600 milligrams of the powdered form of dried roots of ginseng every day is recommended.
Some plants have a specific strong smell or taste, which comes from a specific part of it such as the bark, leaves, roots, fruits, flowers, or seeds. This is because these parts of the plant are rich in oils, which have that characteristic scent. These oils are called essential oils as they are extracted as the essence of that plant. These essential oils are used for so many different purposes.
They are made into fragrances to be used in cosmetics and soap industries. Some are even used for cooking purposes. But most importantly, they possess medicinal qualities and can be used as cures or remedies. Many of these essential oils are used for relaxation and stress relief. For example, Basil, Peppermint, and Eucalyptus oils have anti-inflammatory properties. Basil also provides support to the adrenal glands and keeps the body safe from allergen that can harm the heart, muscles, or brain. Similarly, Frankincense, Spearmint, and Balsam Fir essential oils can also provide support to the adrenals. On the other hand, oils obtained from Cedarwood, Vetiver, and Lavender are great options to create a relaxing environment. You can either spray them in the air to inhale while sleeping using a diffuser or apply them directly on the skin mixing them with a carrier oil.
Rose root or R. Rosea is a perennial flowering plant found in the arctic regions of Europe including Britain, Asia, and North America. It is used in food of some parts, cooked like spinach, or eaten raw as part of salads. The extracts of rose root have adaptogenic, stress-relieving, antioxidant, anti-fatigue, and anti-depressive qualities. The oxidative stress can be reduced by using this root. Rose root is also helpful in maintaining the levels of neurotransmitters by preventing the cause of their degradation. For best results, you should take about 100 to 300 mg of rose root extract daily to cope up with adrenal fatigue.
Vitamins plays a vital role in our body for survival like proteins. In addition to bones, skin, and blood vessels, connective tissues are also formed and maintained with the help of Vitamin C. It helps in the repairing and regeneration of body tissues, absorption of iron, decrease in cholesterol, and is a great source of antioxidants. But most importantly, the body uses Vitamin C for making other vital substances, like the steroids made by the adrenal glands and neurotransmitters that conduct all the signals to and from the central nervous system.
Your body feels an urgent, elevated need of vitamin C under any kind of stress, both physical and emotional, prolonged illness, or after any kind of a major surgery.
The deficiency of it may cause something major, like anemia or fatigue. Including broccoli, grapefruit, kiwis, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, sprouts, and tomatoes in your diet will give you ample amount of vitamin C. You can also take supplement for vitamin C, but only after consulting your doctor.
Chia is a flowering plant that belongs to the mint family and is most abundantly grown in central Mexico and Guatemala. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is highly recommended for the sufferers of adrenal fatigue. They are rich in zinc, magnesium, antioxidants, and Omega 3 fatty acids.
Magnesium is vital for human body as much as other vitamins are. It is required for around 300 biochemical processes in our body. It help maintain the nerve and muscle function. Magnesium also supports the immune system to maintain its health, keeps the heart rate steady, and helps the bones to stay strong. It regulates the level of glucose in the blood and promotes the formation of proteins to provide energy required by the body.
These are as vital as sleeping well, to fight adrenal fatigue. The best way to include magnesium in your diet is to eat dark green vegetables, bananas, avocados, almonds, beans, legumes, seeds, soy products, and milk. You can also take supplements for magnesium. Magnesium supplementation shows a significant reduction in daytime fatigue and sleepiness with improvements in sleep patterns. About 400 to a 1000 milligrams of magnesium is recommended for a normal person. Pumpkin seeds are rich source of magnesium. Chew on some to get all the magnesium you need. You can also take a warm bath with some Epsom salts and absorb magnesium through your skin layers.
It can take some time to naturally heal your adrenal glands and start to feel more energetic, clear-headed, and in control of your hormones, weight and appetite. As the body type is different for everyone, they respond to lifestyle changes in unique ways. Some people can feel drastically better by simply paying attention to their diets, stress levels and lifestyles while others may need to take medications to ultimately heal their problems. In either ways, following the recommendations for natural remedies listed above is definitely still the way to speed up healing time and prevent the problem from worsening. However, the expected time for healing is 6 to 9 months for minor adrenal issues, 12 to 18 months for moderate adrenal insufficiency and up to 24 months for severe adrenal insufficiency.