You may be suffering from a debilitating and exhausting condition known as Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, but you can beat this. Thankfully, with proper treatment, adrenal fatigue is reversible. And when you get through with your treatment plan, you might even come out healthier than when you started. It takes hard work and dedication as recovery requires a commitment to an extremely healthy lifestyle. But this ailment could end up being a blessing in disguise. You may actually be taking a deeper look at some bad habits you’ve developed that are harming your body and life. Developing adrenal fatigue and treating it holistically, could actually benefit your life in the long run.
What is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome?
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is one of the most common health ailments brought on by the abundance of stress in today’s world. Characterized by extreme fatigue and lethargy, Adrenal Fatigue develops when the amount of stress in one’s life is more than the body can physically and mentally handle. The stress-overload, over a long period of time, causes the adrenal glands and the entire neuroendometabolic systems to malfunction. Adrenal Fatigue consists of a number of debilitating systems including:
- An inability to remember things
- Unexplained hair loss
- Weight gain
- Muscle pain in the upper neck and back areas
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Low immune system
- Sensitivities to foods and inhalants
- Heart palpitations
- Dry, thin skin
- Constipation and diarrhea
All these symptoms put together paint a pretty good picture of a very stressed out person.
The Adrenal Fatigue Treatment Plan
The key to adrenal fatigue treatment begins with the removal of stressors. Each factor causing stress must be properly addressed and dealt with. Whether it be marital, financial, or work related, stress must be kept to a minimum for the body’s damaged stress response system to recover and heal properly. There are many ways to reduce stress. It is pertinent that a sufferer becomes familiar with what techniques work best for them. Stress reduction can come in many forms including:
- Meditation. A few moments a day can help ease anxieties and may even alter the neural pathways in the brain creating a resilience to stress.
- Deep breathing. This practice can counteract stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure. When stress arises, it is good to take 5-minute breaks and just focus on breathing.
- Connect with others. Talking with friends and family is extremely helpful. Getting new perspectives, or just sharing feelings can help relieve tension.
- Heat compresses. Place a heat wrap around your neck and shoulders for 10 minutes.
- Listen to music. Whether it be relaxing music or upbeat tunes that make you want to dance, music has been proven to lower blood pressure, anxiety, and the heart rate.
- Laugh. Find something that lightens your mood. Laughing lowers cortisol and boosts endorphins. You can watch funny videos, read the comics, or just talk to someone who always makes you laugh.
Adrenal Fatigue Nutrition
Proper adrenal fatigue nutrition is another essential element for recovery. Along with a clean and organic meal plan, supplements for adrenal fatigue are crucial. The AFS diet must consist of specific nutrients to heal the adrenal glands as well as the rest of the neuroendometabolic system that has been affected.
- Adrenal Fatigue vitamins and minerals. The recommended supplements for adrenal fatigue: include vitamin C, B5, E and D, glutathione, specific adrenal glandular, extracts and herbs, steroids, beta-carotene, selenium, magnesium, lysine, proline, glutamine, DHEA, pregnenolone Ribose and co-factors, CoQ, and Type 1 and Type 3 collagen.
- Salt. The regulation of salt in our bodies takes place in the adrenal glands. When they are injured, the amount of fluid in the body is affected. People may feel bloated or dehydrated, had nausea, seizures, or suffer from headaches. Blood pressure may rise or drop, depending on the stage of AFS. Many AFS treatment plans involve drinking a salt-water drink once or twice a day.
- Sugar. When the adrenal glands are injured they produce an insufficient amount of cortisol leaving less sugar available for the cells, creating fatigue. If sugar levels drop even lower, dizziness and lightheadedness also take place. Adrenal fatigue nutrition must consist of foods that are low-glycemic that release sugar slowly to sustain the body’s energy levels between meals.
- Carbs, Fats, and Proteins. It is important for Adrenal Fatigue sufferers to balance the number of carbs, fats, and protein in their diets. A good quality protein from sources like meat, fish, and eggs are recommended as they provide a great source of steady energy between meals. The diet should consist mainly of raw food that is low in the glycemic index.
It is important to eat 3-4 meals a day to keep sugar levels from spiking and unnecessarily increasing insulin and cortisol outputs. Breakfast should be eaten early, no later than 10 am, lunch around 11:30 am, a nutritious snack around 2:30 pm, and dinner from 5-6 pm.
In addition to reducing stress and proper adrenal fatigue nutrition, a person must ensure they are pursuing the healthiest lifestyle possible includes getting adequate sleep and having a consistent exercise regiment.
A good night’s sleep is important. It is recommended that those in adrenal fatigue recovery mode allow themselves 11 hours of sleep a night, preferably from 10 pm to 8:30 or 9:00 am. This is when the body regenerates, recovers and prepares for the next day. It is also suggested that rest take place in a completely dark room to maximize the production of melatonin.
Keeping the body active not only relieves stress, but it also reduces depression, increases blood flow, normalizes the levels of cortisol, insulin, blood glucose, growth hormones, and thyroid, and in general, just makes you feel much better. It is important for those with adrenal fatigue to remember the balance their exercise, as too much of it can cause an adrenal crash, and worsen symptoms.
Adrenal fatigue is best addressed through a complete nutritional and lifestyle approach to help the adrenal heal and normalize. It is recommended to have professional guidance throughout treatment to ensure the proper steps are taken at the needed times. A knowledgeable clinician will recognize the body’s cry for help and can offer educated advice and guidance on every part of treatment. The suggested supplement for adrenal fatigue should be taken under supervision to ensure the proper dosages and delivery methods.