The following is meant as a guideline as to what natural foods and remedies a person can use for adrenal fatigue. These protocols are meant as a helpful guide and are not meant to diagnose or treat. In office recommendations are not included.
In today’s fast-paced world, people drink a lot of caffeine. Caffeine gives you a pep because it stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete more adrenaline. BUT, there comes a time to pay the piper and that’s when adrenal insufficiency, commonly misdiagnosed as “chronic fatigue,” sets in.
The adrenal glands are very small (pea sized) glands located on top of each kidney. They hold the body’s water balance and produce such hormones as norepinephrine, epinephrine and cortisol. These hormones regulate heart and lung function, energy levels, blood pressure and our response to external stress.
Stress is a major cause of dis-ease and improper body function. We process more information in one day than our parents and grandparents processed in three months just years ago. Excessive stimuli input such as noise, computers, cell phones, television, driving in traffic and the stress of living and competing in a fast paced society are all contributing factors to adrenal burnout and fatigue. Persistent and unrelenting stress will eventually lead to adrenal burnout and beyond. If one does not get a straight minimum of 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, then the adrenals cannot replenish its stores of adrenaline and one gets fatigued quite easily, especially in the afternoons. One way of perceiving adrenal burnout is to not be hungry for breakfast in the morning and needing some type of stimulant such as coffee or colas.
Indications- weakness, lethargy, dizziness, headaches, memory problems, food cravings, allergies, blood sugar disorders, moodiness and inability to cope with stress. The adrenals are easily depleted due to stress, environmental pollutants, smoking, caffeine, alcohol drug abuse and poor nutritional habits.
Causes – stress, lack of deep sleep, cortisone use, steroid use, poor nutrition, caffeine and/or use of other energy boosters, alcohol, smoking and drug abuse, any stimulants including recreational drugs
Good foods – all fruits and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables, Brewer’s yeast, brown rice, legumes, nuts, seeds, wheat germ, whole grains, deep water fish, garlic, onions, shitake mushrooms
Harmful foods – fats, fried foods, ham, pork, highly processed foods, red meats, sugar, sodas, white flour, coffee, alcohol, black tea
Alternative treatment for adrenal fatigue – Vitamin B complex with extra B5, Vitamin C, adrenal glandulars, adrenal cortex glandulars, L- tyrosine 500 mg 3 times daily, SAMe 200-800 mg daily depending upon stress levels, ashwagandha 3 grams daily, licorice root 2 grams daily, dulse, fo-ti root, astragalus, eleuthero 3 grams daily
Signs and symptoms of chronic adrenal fatigue:
- weight loss
- low blood pressure
- dizzy when standing up
- low body temperature
- depression or decreased sense of well being
- loss of scalp hair
- nausea and vomiting
- salt craving
- low sex drive
- cold hands and feet
If you have several of the above indicators, increase your sea salt consumption, drink plenty of water use adrenal supplements, always eat breakfast and eliminate or at least limit the use of nicotine, caffeine, sugar and alcohol.