Adrenal fatigue is when the adrenal glands (responsible for producing hormones, e.g., adrenaline and cortisol) cannot function properly due to chronic stress or other factors. The symptoms of adrenal fatigue include fatigue, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping, and a weakened immune system. While adrenal fatigue is not recognized as a medical condition by all healthcare practitioners, many people experience real symptoms and seek ways to alleviate them. Here we explore natural remedies and lifestyle changes that may help alleviate adrenal fatigue symptoms.
Stress is one of the most common causes of adrenal fatigue; reducing stress is essential to recovering. One way to reduce stress is practicing mindfulness meditation, focusing on the present moment without judgment. This practice has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Other stress-reducing activities include yoga, deep breathing exercises, and regular exercise.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for restoring the adrenal glands, as well as for overall health and well-being. Most adults require 8-9 hours of sleep per night. If you have trouble sleeping, there are several things you can try, such as:
- Establishing a consistent sleep routine
- Limiting caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Avoiding screens for at least an hour before bedtime
- Creating a comfortable sleep environment
Eat a Nutrient-Dense Diet
Eating a nutrient-dense diet can help support adrenal function and promote overall health. Some nutrients that are particularly important for adrenal health include:
- Vitamin C: This antioxidant helps support the immune system and reduce inflammation. Good sources include citrus fruits, berries, kiwi, and peppers.
- B Vitamins: These are vital for energy production and can help support the adrenal glands. Good sources include whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
- Magnesium is important for energy production and can help reduce stress. Good sources include leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
- Additionally, it is important to avoid foods that can stress the adrenal glands, such as:
- Caffeine: Caffeine can stimulate the adrenal glands and increase cortisol levels, exacerbating adrenal fatigue.
- Sugar: Sugar can cause blood sugar fluctuations, which can stress the adrenal glands and lead to fatigue.
- Processed foods are often high in sugar and contain additives that stress the adrenal glands.
Supplement with Adaptogens
Adaptogens are a type of herbs that can help the body adapt to stress and support adrenal function. Some adaptogens that may be helpful for adrenal fatigue include:
Ashwagandha: This herb has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Rhodiola: This herb has improved energy, reduced fatigue, and improved cognitive function.
Holy Basil: This herb has been shown to reduce cortisol levels and improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Adaptogens can be taken in supplement form or consumed as teas or tinctures.
Self-care is important for reducing stress and promoting overall well-being. Some self-care practices that may be helpful for adrenal fatigue include:
- Taking a relaxing bath
- Getting a massage
- Practicing yoga or stretching
- Spending time in nature
- Listening to relaxing music
- Engaging in a hobby or creative activity
Consider Hormone Replacement Therapy
Sometimes, hormone replacement therapy may be necessary to address adrenal fatigue. This may involve supplementing with cortisol or other hormones that the adrenal glands are not producing adequately. However, hormone replacement therapy should only be considered under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner specializing in hormone balancing.
Here we discuss with Dr. Jacob, a Naturopathic Doctor, who shares his thoughts on how to fix adrenal fatigue.
NourishDoc: Hello, everyone, and happy Friday. Well, we want to understand what fatigue is. I know everyone understands fatigue, but what is adrenal fatigue, right? That’s something we want to understand, and then how naturopathy can help those suffering from adrenal fatigue. That’s what we are talking about today with Doctor Jacob. Doctor Jacob is a naturopathic doctor. He is joining me live from Kerala. Kerala is where Ayurveda and yoga ooze out from every home out there. So I am super excited that he is joining me live. Thank you so much, Dr. Jacob.
Dr. Jacob: Thank you, Amita, for welcoming me to this session.
NourishDoc: Great. So, let’s understand what exactly adrenal fatigue is and how it differs from chronic fatigue.
How Adrenal Fatigue Differs From Chronic Fatigue?
Dr. Jacob: All right. I don’t know if fatigue is a new terminology. So, most people need to be made aware of fatigue. So, when I talk to you about adrenal fatigue, I should talk first about the adrenals and what contributes to it. So when we say about the adrenals, most people know adrenaline is a gland located right above the kidney for handling stress.
So, adrenaline is the one that creates stress hormones like cortisol or adrenal or adrenaline, which help you to cope with the stress, and what happens is, in this 21st century, the stresses are always there. So, we are always in a stressful situation, whether it is job, environmental or family stress, or financial stress. The stress is always there, and the adrenal’s job is to help you cope with the stress, either to fight the stress or escape from the stress. But in the case of adrenal fatigue, what happens? In recent times, maybe in the last 200 or 300 years.
So we are in a constant trust mode. So that is creating a lot of stress hormone production, and over time, the address is getting exhausted. It is not able to produce any more cortisol, or it is not able to produce a sufficient amount of cortisol. So that creates this condition called so most of the time fatigue is the major syndrome we come across with other symptoms, which we will discuss as we go on.
How Yoga & Naturopathy Help With Adrenal Fatigue
NourishDoc: Okay. So let’s understand that we can continue the symptoms later on, but we have only ten to 15 minutes today. Let’s quickly go through naturopathy; you are a naturopathy and yoga doctor. How can these two modalities help with adrenal fatigue as you talk about cortisol? So, maybe you can; let’s talk about the protocols now.
Dr. Jacob: So, before, I think before I go to that, we should understand the causal factors. So, especially as far as Naturopathy is concerned or if any medicine is concerned, prevention is the most important part, and the second is identifying the root cause of that problem. So, when I consult a patient or client, what happened is, I will try to understand why and what is causing the adrenal fatigue for that particular individual.
So, it can be relationship stress, or it can be job-related stress, or it can be just negative self-talk all the time for a couple of years, or it can be toxins or environmental stress, or it can be the overconsumption of certain food aspects, or it can be a conception of caffeine all the time. So there can be multiple root causes. As far as Naturopathy is concerned, I am also a trend functional medicine practitioner. As far as our approach is concerned, we identify the road cause.
So, we usually take a laboratory questionnaire when we come to the road cause. Once we do that elaborate questionnaire, we’ll be able to find out which lifestyle factors contribute to that adrenal fatigue. So, when we remove them, we try to identify how to mitigate it or reduce the effect of that lifestyle habit creating stress or adrenal fatigue. So when it comes to the naturopathic protocol, I would put around five modalities or five approaches for taking somebody from adrenal fatigue to a normal individual. So, as I told you, the first thing will be lifestyle modification.
So if somebody is like we see many people nowadays, we see serious all the time. So that means they don’t love. They don’t know to love. So that creates stress, and we try to make them change that lifestyle or, for example, somebody taking a lot of pain medications, caffeine, teas, or much sugar. Hence, we identify and remove that causative factors. Then the second aspect will be in the Naturopathy modality, especially in India, we utilize yogic practices. So when we discuss yogic practices, we especially need to work on different aspects of a person.
So, stress is not just physical or mental. It can be emotional, and it can be psychological, it can be social and yoga balances all these aspects. So, if it is physical, yogic asanas can be beneficial especially like Surya Namaskars can be beneficial or meditative asanas can be beneficial, and also the pranayamas, the breathing practices, can be beneficial to bring down cortisol or reduce sympathetic overdrive. Then also we teach many meditations, and some people may not be able to cope with the meditation, so we may teach some simple techniques to focus their minds.
The next approach would be more of a dietary approach, which means more healthy nutrients example, sugar can be stressful, and it can bring that in us. So that’s why we will teach our clients or patients how to remove sugar from their diet or nutrition is important. Let’s discuss that later. So because magnesium is important, B vitamins are important. Vitamin C is important. So if you don’t get that from your food, you may need to supplement it through the food and avoid what is causing it and then exercise. So that is another part of the Naturopathy protocol.
So there are people who are not at all doing exercise which can create adrenal fatigue or which will not be sufficient, which will be needed for recovering from the adrenal fatigue. Some people will constantly exercise, and too much irritability is burnt. So even exercise or activity can also be bad. So that’s another aspect we work on. Then the final aspect will be curves and the supplements. So there are adaptogenic herbs that can help you to recover the adrenal fatigue or help you to heal that general fatigue. Also, some nutrients help you to heal that inner fatigue. So, these are the five aspects of a typical Naturopathy protocol we work on. So, Amita, I answered your question.
How To Fix Adrenal Fatigue With Diet
NourishDoc: So, Naturopathy also uses many herbs as a tool. So, you told Surya Namaskar, right? So, it is this, are you also using and you talked about the dietary approaches and combining with the meditation, combining with the Surya Namaskar? Could you go deeper? This is not medical advice but just a general idea of what type of dietary approach a specific type of food types, a specific type of herbs could help with fatigue just a little bit so that people can do a little self-care on their own without giving medical advice.
Dr. Jacob: Yes. So, one of the major reasons we see at this time is the overconsumption of sugar and protein So; as I told you a few minutes before, sugar is creating much stress on the adrenals. So, that is one aspect that we need to control, which means reducing the sugar, especially the simple sugars in terms of refined flour or the sugar, white sugar. So, that is one aspect.
Then the second aspect is adding much good fat. So, fat is because cortisol, or all the adrenal hormones, are used from the raw material called fat. So if there is sufficient fat in your diet, simple as that. Suppose you are scared about cholesterol, for example, and there is no sufficient amount of fat. In that case, you are not supplying the raw material for adrenal recovery or the production of adrenal hormones. So, when I talk about Adrenal Fatigue, this is little basics; for example, the same raw material is used for producing different adrenal hormones, testosterone, estrogen or progesterone, or cortisol, and this is the same raw material which is produced from the cholesterol or the from the fat and if you don’t have sufficient fat, what happens is, you are not supplying the raw material.
So, if there is no raw material, what the body will does is it cannot function properly. So, that’s why fat is very important for recovery. Regarding the quality of fat, we always recommend natural fat as possible. One of the best fat available is coconut. So I am from a land of coconut. Kerala is a land of coconut. So I am happy always to like you tell to my patients and clients. So have plenty of coconut, so if you have one coconut a day, brilliant. So other ways, like in other parts of the world, you can have multiple nuts, or you can have yogurts, or you can have healthy oils. So that is also very much important.
Then another part of the nutrient focuses on the fiber and focusing on with vitamin B complex. So especially, the vitamin B complex comes from the husk of any cereals, for example, which is very important. So especially vitamin B5, for example, so they, help to protect the production of cortisol as well as they will help you in the healing of adrenal fatigue; that’s why the nutrients are important; then magnesium is important, so you need to source from the food, and if you don’t get these nutrients. So, then what happens is the body will be dysfunctional not only in adrenals but other aspects as well, as it is important for that, then, when it comes to herbs.
So, most of the herbs we recommend, as you can follow on this Facebook live, are Ashwagandha, so most people have read about Ashwagandha. So, Ashwagandha is a traditional Indian herb that has been used for thousands of years and is scientifically proven in multiple types of research. Around 500 milligrams of Ashwagandha morning and evening after the food, so that would be a good thing to do. There were other herbs like basils or Rhodiola. So these are some of the herbs we can use for them as well.
Self-Care Tips To Cure Adrenal Fatgue
NourishDoc: I think that’s great. This is a quick 10-minute to 15-minute session to give a general idea. Should we wrap up and give you a chance to answer any, to ask any questions if you have questions, comments, or feedback? And we have someone else also who’s joined right now. So you’re welcome to unmute yourself, ask questions, or put in the chat window. This is a quick 10-minute session we do, and it’s not medical advice. Okay, I don’t see any comments or questions from Madi; anything else you think you should, add to wrap up the session?
Dr. Jacob: Yes. So, if I’m concluding so, for example, what happens is most people will be, like, googling for the solution. So, the solution is over time when it comes to that general recovery. So, in a typical scenario, it can take to three months to six months or even one year for a proper additional recovery; that means if you follow a certain treatment pattern or a lifestyle change so that will not show you the result on a 24 hour or 40 hours may not be one one week time. So it would help if you had that change in lifestyle or the treatment approach for a couple of months together to get that result.
So that’s why it is always important to consult somebody trained in making an adrenal recovery. So then integrate, and there is also no single solution for adrenal recovery. So as I told you factors, all these factors are important for a proper itinerary recovery. So, that’s why it is always important. Make a holistic approach and get an expert opinion or expert guidance for seeing the adrenal problem or fatigue. So, that’s what will be my concluding message.
NourishDoc: Thank you so much; that’s what we are trying to advocate daily using a holistic lifestyle and approach to take care of not only adrenal fatigue but all the other issues. Of course, we are not saying that don’t go to the doctor, but we are saying this should be your first line of attack. For your body is a holistic approach. With that, like to wrap up the session; thank you so much, Doctor Jacob, for being with us and to everyone else; your support and your following truly humble me. We are coming up with a very affordable and accessible platform everyone can access with the experts’ support as well. So stay tuned and keep supporting us. Thank you, and have a great weekend, everyone. Bye bye.