Understanding Adrenal Fatigue
How to Heal Adrenal Fatigue Naturally
The adrenal glands are positioned above the kidneys, and produce important hormones to help us through times of stress. This is often termed the Fight Flight Freeze response. However, when we are in a continual state of stress - dealing with an illness, divorce, financial difficulties, etc. this can create a heavy burden on the adrenals, and they often begin to function sporadically - either producing too many or not enough hormones. In addition to the production of adrenaline and cortisol that helps us cope with stress, the adrenals produce a long line of blends of complex hormones that can affect us in multiple ways. We need these hormones to function properly. There is a special blend of hormones for any activity you can think of - emotional situations that encompass joy as well as grief, female sex drive, pregnancy, childbirth, proper hair growth and even everyday things like brushing your teeth or drinking a cup of coffee.
When a large amount of adrenaline is present in the bloodstream due to continual stress, it begins to negatively affect our internal organs due to the corrosive nature of adrenaline. When the level of adrenaline drops too low, it also negatively affects us, weaking the immune system and leaving us more susceptible to disease.
Signs of adrenal fatigue
- Some of the signs of adrenal fatigue include: Feeling tired throughout the day. but suddenly regaining our strength as soon as we come home in the evening. This is the result of the adrenals saving energy during the day in case a crisis should occur, and once we return home, to safety, the adrenals go back to functioning properly.
- Feeling exhausted, but having trouble falling asleep, due to unstable levels of adrenaline.
- Continual perspiration under the armpits, even after performing light tasks. This is the result of the endocrine system working overtime to compensate.
- A continual thirst, a constantly dry mouth or cravings for salty foods. This is the result of a low level of electrolytes in the bloodstream and a damaged nervous system due to the high levels of cortisol. This can be remedied by replenishing the electrolytes by drinking something that has the right balance of sodium, potassium and glucose such as coconut water, fresh apple juice, celery juice or cucumber juice.
- Blurry vision or difficulty focusing eyesight. This is the result of the cortisol surge that tends to dehydrate sensitive areas of the body. This can also manifest as dark circles under the eyes or sunken eyes.
- Continual craving for stimulants such as cigarettes, coffee, caffeinated drinks, sugary snacks or amphetamines. This could be a sign that the body is looking for ways to substitute missing adrenal hormones.
How can we avoid adrenal fatigue?
The best way to avoid adrenal fatigue is by avoiding continual or extreme states of stress. If you have a tendency to push yourself or take on too much, try and cut back and pace yourself better. If this is not possible, there are additional ways to support the adrenal glands. It is important to avoid stimulants such as coffee or medication, as this will only further tax the adrenals. It is important to seek help in learning to deal better with negative emotions such as fear or guilt. Our emotions strongly influence our adrenals, and the more we learn to resolve difficult situations, the better our adrenals will be able to function.
Most of us eat three meals a day, or even less. Extended periods of time without eating is tough on the adrenals, due to the drop in blood sugar that occurs approximately an hour and a half after we have eaten. Our body needs glucose to function properly, and when glucose levels drop, the body is forced to produce adrenaline and cortisol to keep us going. If we want to give the adrenals a break, and help them heal, we need to eat every hour and a half to two hours in order to insure a steady supply of glucose. It is important that these “snacks” hold a combination of potassium, sodium, and glucose - that’s sugar from fruits and vegetables, not cake and candy.
Some examples for healthy snacks are:
- A date, a couple of celery sticks and an apple
- Half an avocado, spinach and an orange
- A sweet potato, parsley, and kale with some lemon
These snacks are best in addition to your regular meals.
Foods for Healing Adrenal Fatigue
You should eat at least 3 of the following foods every day, and try to get all of them in at least once a week:
Asparagus, sprouts, wild blueberries, banana, garlic, broccoli, kale, raspberry, blackberry, romaine lettuce, and red-skinned apples.
These foods support the nervous system, lower inflammation, support us in times of stress, and supply a wealth of minerals that insures proper adrenal function.
Foods to Stay Away From
It’s equally important to know what foods you want to try and stay clear of. First and foremost, we want to cut down on protein from animal products due to the high fat content. These foods destabilize blood sugar levels, which put a burden on the pancreas and liver, negatively affecting the adrenal glands.
We often hear that we should cut back on carbohydrates. This is not a good idea. Carbohydrates are an important source of glucose and necessary calories. Our bodies need a steady supply of good carbohydrates, such as those found in fruit and vegetables, to function well.
Herbs and Supplements for Adrenal Fatigue
- Licorice root - helps to balance the body’s levels of cortisol and cortisone
- Hawaiian spirulina - a multi-vitamin that helps to detox and reinforces the adrenals
- Ester-C - lowers inflammation and soothes the adrenal glands
- Chromium - helps balance insulin levels and supports the adrenals, thyroid and pancreas
- Eleutherococcus (Siberian ginseng)- enhances the body’s ability to react and adapt, and protects the adrenal glands from overreacting to stress
- Schisandra berries - helps suppress kidney spasms, which reduces adrenal gland stress
- Ashwagandha - helps balance the production of hormones produced by the adrenal
- Magnesium - lowers anxiety and calms an overactive nervous system, reducing stress
- 5-MTHF - supports the central nervous system, which reduces levels of stress
- Cordyceps - renews the gallbladder and liver so these glands can better process excess cortisol in the bloodstream
- Panax ginseng - enhances the body’s ability to react and adapt, which helps protect the adrenal glands from excess stress
- Rose hips - lowers inflammation and soothes the adrenal glands
- Barley grass juice powder - increases the hydrochloric acid in the stomach,m which strengthens the adrenal glands
- Astragalus - strengthens the immune system and the whole endocrine system
- Lemon balm - replenishes the nervous system and helps regulate the production of insulin
- Rhodiola - optimizes adrenal function
When asking to heal, it is helpful to support both the psyche and body. Our adrenal glands react to our every emotion and thought and the more fear and negativity we have, the harder our glands need to work.
Often illness creates a unique window of opportunity that can help us reevaluate what we believe is important in our lives. Often fear and negativity act as a defense mechanism that prevents us from taking responsibility for our physical and mental health. This doesn’t mean that we are to blame for what we are experiencing. Challenges create an opportunity to stop and reevaluate what exists within us that is reflected within the physical reality. The more we uncover and resolve our subconscious beliefs, the more influence we gain over our reality. This is the time to stop and ask essential questions - How does this reality make me feel? What beliefs do I have that are reflected within this reality? What alternative reality would I like to create? How can I implement this? These questions create a full and complete solution reflected within four essential steps - Absorb, Assimilate, Accept, and Act.
As we mentioned earlier, the adrenal glands are positioned above the kidneys. This area of the body resides between the solar plexus and the sacral chakra. The ego and the cosmic self reside within the solar plexus, while the sacral chakra processes our existential fears. As we become more aware of these two centers, we can begin to create perceptual and energetic changes that, over time, change the physical body. Adrenal fatigue grants us an opportunity to move from fear into inner strength, from self annulment into the joy of existence. We can do this; everything becomes possible when we learn to embrace a new way of being.
Let’s continue forward in peace,
Information in this article was taken from Anthony William’s book, Medical Medium, Carlsbad: Hay House Publishing, 2015.
For more information on the Law of Reflection, go to Cosmic University