(Health Secrets) Do you feel tired and rundown most of the time and have problems getting a good rest? When you are able to sleep, do you still wake up feeling tired? If so, your problem may be fatigued adrenal glands, particularly if you have experienced major stress in your life. Fortunately fixing fatigued adrenal glands is relatively simple to do. If the right steps are taken, you may soon be able to renew your adrenals and gain back vitality, energy and wellness.
The adrenals are small walnut-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. Normally the adrenals produce numerous important hormones, such as adrenaline, that help the body regulate blood pressure, heart rate, metabolism, liver function and the immune system. The adrenals also produce two critical stress hormones, DHEA and cortisol. These hormones are essential in balancing blood sugar and the body’s response to stress.
When a person endures stress for a prolonged period, whether it be mental, physical or emotional, the result is often a constant need for these two hormones which outstrips the adrenals’ production of them. As a result of deficiencies in these hormones, cognitive function may become impaired, energy levels may drop and the body may become less able to handle stress. Deficiencies in these hormones can also contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, weight gain, fatigue, allergies, infections, mood disorders and poor libido.
Signs of Fatigues Adrenal Glands
People who suffer from fatigued adrenal glands often have a distinct pattern. They are usually fatigued and dragging in the morning and often do not feel as if they start to really become awake until around mid-morning. They usually won’t feel fully awake until after a noon meal. Often, they also feel a mid-afternoon lull and then generally begin to feel better after 6 PM. By 9 PM they are usually tired again. People with adrenal fatigue tend to work best in the morning and evening.
Other signs of fatigued adrenal glands include:
- Mood Swings
- Light headedness after standing up
- Inability to focus
- Memory problems
- Body aches, including pain in the lower back
- Craving for salt and/or sugar
- Slower recovery from illness
Correcting Fatigued Adrenal Glands – Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Correcting adrenal fatigue should begin with reducing stress and making healthy lifestyle and dietary changes. Simple changes such as more laughter and small breaks to lie down, as well as relaxation, regular meals, moderate exercise, early bedtimes and sleeping until at least 9 AM whenever possible can all be beneficial for adrenal fatigue.
Since people with adrenal fatigue often have cravings for sweets due to blood sugar fluctuations, it is important to have breakfast and to eat small, healthy snacks between meals. It may also be helpful to eat five or six smaller meals or snacks each day in order to keep your blood sugar balanced. When blood sugar levels are normalized, craving for sweets and other junk food subsides.
Diets should have a heavy emphasis on vegetables. Include items such as olives, flax, walnuts, and macadamia nuts. Root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, carrots and onions are good choices. Combine these vegetables with a quality protein source. For your snacks choose nuts, seeds, corn, brown rice and quinoa. You may want to avoid wheat, as you may be allergic.
Other dietary considerations are:
- Chew your food well
- Avoid processed foods, junk foods, simple sugars, refined grains, sodas, alcohol, fruit juice, caffeine and hydrogenated fats
It may be quite beneficial to add a healthy mineral-rich salt to your diet, such as sea salt, Celtic salt or Himalayan salt.
In addition to healthy changes in diet and lifestyle, there are several important herbs and supplements that may help restore fatigued adrenals. Some of the best are listed below.
Herbs for Fatigued Adrenal Glands
Ashwagandha – Popular in Ayurvedic medicine, Ashwaganda helps normalize adrenal function. Typical dose is 1-2 capsules twice daily on an empty stomach.
Eleuthero root (Siberian ginseng) – Eleuthero has been used traditionally to stimulate and nourish the adrenals and increase mental alertness. It is considered an adaptogen, meaning that it works by balancing.
Vitamins, Minerals and Other Supplements for Adrenal Fatigue
Cordyceps – Cordycepts is a Chinese mushroom that supports the adrenal glands. It also normalizes and supports functions of the immune system, kidneys, lungs, liver, nervous system and cardiovascular system.
DHEA – A basic hormone that the adrenals convert into other hormones. The average dose is 10 mg for women and 25 mg for men. If someone is very deficient in DHEA they may initially only be able to tolerate amounts as small as 5 mg. DHEA is converted into sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
Pregnenolone – A hormone that supports basic adrenal function and is a precursor to many of the hormones produced by the adrenals glands. The usual dose of pregnenolone is 25 mg and it is best taken towards the evening (but may be taken earlier if it interferes with sleep).
Progesterone Cream- An important building block for many other major hormones such as cortisol, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen.
Note: Hormones should be administered under the supervision of a physician specializing in hormone replacement or anti-aging medicine.
Adrenal glandular extract (AGE) – Contains growth factors that promote cellular healing and has nutrients that support gland function and repair. Take one to two tablets daily without food, reducing the dosage if you become jittery or have trouble sleeping.
Proline – An amino acid helpful in rebuilding connective tissues. Weak adrenals are often associated with weak connective tissues. Typical dose is 500 mg daily.
Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) – Especially important for stress-hormone production. Take up to 500 mg three times a day. If you are taking a good multivitamin/mineral supplement, it will supply enough of the other B vitamins needed.
Vitamin C – Important for immune and other health support. For adrenal fatigue take 1,000-2,000 mg twice daily. If loose stools develop, reduce or further divide the doses.
It may take time and effort to lessen the unreasonable demands made on your mind and body and to take and do the things needed to help your adrenals recover. In time though, the adrenals will be able to recover and when they do, so should your energy and health.
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