Adrenal fatigue affects a large proportion of the population, so today we will look closely at the 5 essentials for overcoming adrenal fatigue naturally.
Interestingly, adrenal fatigue is not actually recognised as a medical condition.
“Adrenal burnout” is a term that is more commonly used to describe adrenal fatigue, or adrenal insufficiency.
What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
Some of the most common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Not feeling rested first thing in the morning, even after a good night’s sleep
- Generally feeling tired and lethargic
- Hormone imbalances
- Excess weight, especially around the stomach and waist
- Brain fog
- Poor concentration
- Depression and anxiety
- Low body temperature
It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be related to other health issues as well.
What are the adrenal glands?
Your adrenal glands are part of what is called the endocrine (hormonal) system.
They are each about the size of your thumb and sit above your kidneys. Your adrenal glands produce over 50 different hormones that drive many of your bodily functions and so are vital to your health.
The adrenal glands are also linked to your hypothalamus and pituitary glands and play a major role in stress management.
Whenever you experience any physical, mental or emotional threat of any kind then your adrenal glands release adrenaline stress hormones.
This response by your adrenal glands cause more blood to be circulated to your brain, heart and muscles to ensure your survival in what your body perceives as a potentially life threatening situation.
At the same time, this will shut down your digestion, immune response and any other functions that your body considers of less importance to your survival.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is actually a symptom of a much bigger health issue happening with your body.
Some of the causes include:
- High levels of stress
- Thyroid issues, such as Hashimoto’s or Graves disease
- Inflammation in the body
- Bacterial/Viral infections
- Deficiencies (for example, B vitamin, Zinc, magnesium, vitamin D and others.)
- Too much stress in your life
- High body fat percentage
- Dietary and lifestyle imbalances
How long does it take to recover from adrenal fatigue.
It’s not going to be an overnight recovery, sorry.
Wearing out your adrenal glands probably took years and it can take many months to experience adrenal recovery.
It will take consistent dedication to healthy dietary and lifestyle practices to experience healthy adrenal glands.
5 steps to recover from adrenal fatigue naturally
Step 1: The right micronutrient balance
Most of the alternative health information that I have come across on healing adrenal fatigue recommends minimizing or excluding carbohydrates from your diet.
Instead, they suggest you focusing on high protein meals.
I followed the low carb system for a number of years.
If anything, it actually made my adrenal fatigue much worse.
I’ve coached many clients over the years who have had adrenal fatigue over the years.
Every single person I worked with was able to experience positive results with a high-carbohydrate raw or mostly raw vegan plan.
My adrenal fatigue clients do better when they keep their fat percentage at around 10% of their total daily calories, or less.
Restricting your diet of healthy, whole food carbohydrates, including fruits can lead to all manner of health issues.
It will negatively affect the health of your adrenal glands and hormones.
So we recommend you switching to a high-carb and low fat plant-based diet if you want to see big changes to your adrenal, hormonal and overall health.
Scientific studies prove that a low fat diet helps you prevent chronic disease and minimizes the intake of dietary factors implicated in several chronic diseases.
Step 2: Detox your body
Dietary toxins and pollutants can negatively affect the health of your adrenal glands.
For example, animal products can be loaded with additives, hormones, and antibiotics.
They contain excessive levels of fat (including cholesterol) and sulfur-containing amino acids (protein) such as methionine.
All these burden your body, damage your gut health and lead to serious health problems.
The foods that you’ll need to exclude to help you heal your adrenal glands include: animal products, caffeine, processed sugar and sweetners, fried food, processed food and oils.
Here’s an article that explains more about balancing your nutrition.
Step 3: Eat regular meals
Eating regular meals is very important when you suffer from adrenal insufficiency.
This, however, doesn’t mean that you need to be grazing on food all day long.
You can still have healthy intervals in between your meals, but do make sure that you don’t allow your blood sugar to drop too low as this will make you feel very tired.
So plan your day well ahead so you’re able to eat enough food during the day.
Take your own food with you if you’re going to be out and about all day long. For example, green smoothies are a great, nutritious and easy meals to carry with you.
Step 4: Supplementation
Feeling tired and lethargic may mean that you have some nutrient deficiencies in your body, which you’ll need to identify and correct.
In this article, we talk about the top 10 blood tests for vegans (they are useful for non-vegans too!)
Some of the supplements to support your adrenal glands include:
- Vitamin B5 (or complete B complex)
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D3 (vegan version)
- EPA/DHA (vegan version from algal oil)
- Zinc and other trace minerals
Step 5: Appropriate level of exercise
Some people mistakenly believe that if they have adrenal issues, they shouldn’t exercise at all.
Yet, exercise is a great tool to help you manage stress that can be causing your adrenal problems, assist your body in detoxification, improve your emotional state and sharpen your mental focus.
By all means, don’t commit to High Intensity Interval Training or sign up to a marathon, but do what you can daily to move your body.
Brisk walking, yoga, dancing, jogging, swimming, cycling – these are all great ways to exercise and keep your body moving.
Personally, when I go through more stressful stages in my life, I don’t set myself high exercise goals and instead focus on some weight lifting, jogging, gentle cycling and walking.
At the same time, I’ve also achieved great fitness results with the help of the right diet and lifestyle.
From hardly being able to get out of bed due to severe adrenal fatigue to becoming a marathon runner, a triathlete and competing in races – it’s all happened for me on a fruit based lifestyle.
So don’t underestimate the healing power of your body when you ensure that the right dietary, lifestyle, supplementation and other factors are in place.
Other lifestyle factors to improve the health of our adrenal glands
In addition to these 5 steps, there are also other things that you can do to improve your adrenal insufficiency.
- Positive self-talk
- Working on healing past traumatic experiences through counselling
- Learning stress management
- Ensuring quality sleep and sleeping at least 8 hours per night.
- Ensuring that you rest when you feel tired.
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