I’m sure if I told you part of the reason you’re tired all the time has to do with both your lifestyle and your diet, you’d be inclined to agree with me.
The truth is, the reason so many of us feel utterly wiped out is because of adrenal fatigue, and our diet as well as our lifestyle are the biggest contributing factors to adrenal fatigue.
If you identify with one or more of the following statements, you might be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
- I feel tired, but overexcited (wired)
- I’m constantly irritable
- I have trouble both falling and staying asleep
- I have trouble with low blood pressure and low blood sugar
- I constantly crave sugar
- I always want something salty
- I feel every day has more than I can handle
My guess is you probably nodded to and affirmed several of those statements. It’s to be expected if you’re an American. Collectively, our adrenal fatigue problems are out of control. The good news is they can be fixed. And the good thing is, it won’t require congress to agree on the solution.
7 Easy Steps For Fixing Adrenal Fatigue
Now, fixing adrenal fatigue isn’t as easy as saying 1-2-3 and then you’re feeling better.
But, there are things you can do to help reverse adrenal fatigue, and they’re not complicated.
However, because you’ve built dependences on many of these habits, you might find them being anything but easy.
So, where do you start? What’s the best way to end adrenal fatigue so you can start feeling energetic again? What’s the best way to lose weight and to be able to fight off sickness?
Well, there isn’t one answer.
What I’m going to do is outline a number of different action items you can start on. Think of these as a “holistic” approach to ending adrenal fatigue. Some of these will be easier than others, so start with the easiest ones first.
You’re quite literally going to be making your mind and your body stronger. So start with the lightest, easiest of these recommendations, and then adopt as many others as you can.
Lastly, I’ll provide some resources on supplements you can take that will be the cherry-on-top so to speak.
I don’t recommend too many cherries (high in sugar), and God forbid I’d recommend an ice cream Sunday ;), but life is about balance, and you need to wrap your head around that to experience Health As It Ought To Be.
#1 Learn to say “No”: This is probably one of the hardest and most simple steps to take. We have become so busy that we’re always moving, always doing, and this causes an undue amount of stress. You’d be surprised how many times you say, “yes”, to activities and create obligations that aren’t really necessary.
Learning to say “NO” means you can create space and time to enjoy your life. The constant activity we find ourselves engaged in is often to our detriment. Don’t feel bad about saying, “No”, to going out for a friend’s birthday if your week is already loaded. Don’t hesitate to say, “No”, more often than you do right now.
To make this easy, start your week off with a list of highest priority obligations and order them from first to last. If someone makes a request of you, and you’re already booked solid then see how it relates to your list of to-dos. If it can be taken on without adding additional stress, then strongly consider saying, “Yes”.
If it can’t, say, “No”.
Granted, this isn’t always going to to work. There will be times when you have to jam pack your schedule to get things done. But, if you order your life around this principle, those odd moments where life is ultra-hectic will be a lot easier because you’re not already going into that season of life totally drained.
#2 Exercise: Exercise is one of the most important ingredients to feeling well and avoiding adrenal fatigue. For one, light to moderate exercise gives your brain a chance to release hormones and neurotransmitters that give you feelings of peace and joy.
Battling stress with exercise such as walking, swimming, weightlifting, biking, etc. helps you fight the stress you encounter in everyday life. Your pineal gland is activated during exercise, and this helps your brain “reset” so it doesn’t believe your body is under constant attack.
What you need to avoid are prolonged periods of exercise. When you exercise for hours on end, you are tearing your body down. This is an oxidative activity, or an activity that causes your body to age rapidly, and actually causes more stress.
#3 Cut caffeine: So many of us rely on caffeine to make it through the day. Ultimately, caffeine can be consumed regularly, but your intake needs to be low. Levels above 300 mg (about three, 8 oz. cups) are shown to tax the adrenal system. Coffee might make you feel like you have energy, but it’s fake energy. If you don’t want to kick the joe forever, I recommend having a cup early in the morning and then be done for the day.
The reliance on caffeine creates an unhealthy cycle which will eventually wear your body down.
#4 Learn how to sleep: Here’s the mistake many people are making right now. We’ve forgotten how to get to sleep and how to stay asleep. What we’ll do is fall asleep at random times, engage in highly stimulating activities until minutes before bed, and we’ll obsess over things often out of our control.
To help make sleeping easier, try and create a schedule for sleep. Make a plan to fall asleep at a certain time, and then plan on staying in bed from 7-9 hours (depends on what makes you feel most refreshed). A commitment to a rhythm for sleep will condition your body to fall asleep easily.
Secondly, turn off the TV, the gadgets, the phones, anything that has a screen really.
The light that comes from electronics actually disrupts your natural sleep hormone production (melatonin) and can make it harder to fall asleep. Also, you might even want to consider placing very heavy curtains around your windows so morning light doesn’t wake you early in the morning. Since most of us are going to bed well after dark, anything you can do to create natural rhythms will help you sleep better.
All of this is to say that sleeping is one of the most restorative acts you take part in everyday. So the better you do it, the better you’ll feel.
#5 Decompress: This falls very close in line with saying, “no”. If you’re constantly on the go, moving without ceasing, you never give your body a chance to remove itself from the fight-or-flight stage. That’s why our adrenal glands are working overtime and so incredibly taxed.
When you can, steal away for a few minutes just to take a breather. This practice gives you the opportunity to take a load off, and your hormone levels will quickly normalize if you do this often enough. You can do Yoga, prayer, a quick nap to escape for a few moments.
#6 Practice a spiritual discipline: There’s great benefit to having a spiritual path. For myself, my relationship with God helps me to understand that whatever I might be passing through at a particular time has deeper implications.
This gives me the ability to detach from a stressful situation and, in turn, transform my understanding of a circumstance to being one that transcends the moment. Many times, our stress is caused by a very inward, self-centered style of thinking. A religious or spiritual discipline gives your mind a chance to think about things with a different perspective.
As the saying goes, Perception is reality, and, if you’re able to change how you perceive stress then you’ll be affected less by it than others.
#7 Get More Exposure Natural Sunlight: Apart from being a great way to take a break, sunlight helps produce vitamin D in your body. This works to help restore your adrenal glands. To be safe, don’t expose yourself to the sun during the day. And also, only do so for 15-20 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week.
How to Supplement for Adrenal Fatigue
It might not be easy to accomplish everything you read in the list above.
Maybe not in a week, a year, or a lifetime.
Fortunately, there are supplements you can take to help with adrenal fatigue. Notice I said supplements, not drugs. I’m not entirely convinced there are many (if any) standardized pharmaceuticals that are really great at helping with adrenal fatigue.
The Chinese and the Indians practicing ancient forms of medicine were very familiar with the use of herbs to help promote adaptation to stress.
Little did they know, eons later, science would begin to prove they were on the right path.
Here is a list of what I consider to be a good place to start as you supplement to help combat adrenal fatigue.
- Siberian Ginseng – Known as an adaptogen, there’s research showing Siberian Ginseng can help the body deal with stress at a cellular level. Don’t confuse it with Panax ginseng or Korean Ginseng. It helps normalize metabolism and regulation of neurotransmitters.
- Rhodiola Rosea – An adaptogen, this herb has been used for centuries to protect cells from stress, giving them the ability to adapt to stressful situations without incident. Start with lower doses as it can act as a stimulant if dosing is too high.
- Ashwagandha – Another adaptogen, it can help to lower cortisol levels. It works to protect the body from stress at a cellular level. You’ll want to experiment with dosing because sometimes it might have a stimulatory effect on the body.
- Phosphatidylserine – This substance helps to lower cortisol levels and works to promote better function of the brain, which can help reduce depression and boost memory too. The
- Theanine – This substance comes from Green Tea (get decaf). Theanine helps to bring about alpha-waves which help to produce calmness and relaxation.
And, one more thing I should mention (you might have guessed this was coming):
Get your diet under control!!
No one was ever saved from a severe case of adrenal fatigue by continuing to eat a diet that was filled with artificial flavors, sugars, trans fats, processed foods, GMO produce, candies, excess alcohol and the like.
All of those foods add additional stress to your body, totally destroy your body’s hormone function, and won’t just drain your adrenal glands, but will place a major drain on the quality of your life.
A diet based on greens, pasture-raised animals, organic fruits, seeds, nuts, and healthy fats is the way to help out with adrenal fatigue.
Heck, I should have put that as the very first thing to do, but I figured you’re so used to me saying this by now it’s a given. 😉
Hopefully this gives you a springboard for you to begin a life with more energy and more vigor.