I remember telling my doctor a few years ago that I thought I was suffering from adrenal fatigue. As a health researcher, I know my stuff and had researched each and every symptom.
I was exhausted no matter how much I slept, I gained weight and I felt like I had been burning the candle at both ends.
You know what he told me though?
He said that although I might be having symptoms, it wasn’t my adrenals.
Yep, he blew me off.
But I’m not one to easily give up, and I knew exactly what had been happening to my body, so I did what I do best and researched more until I found an integrative doctor who knew what she was doing.
I went in and got tested. She checked my cortisol (the stress hormone you hear so much about), my DHEA (another adrenal hormone) and my thyroid levels. And guess what…
I was in Stage 3 adrenal fatigue. Luckily, she was able to help me, and within a few weeks I noticed a big change. Within a few months, I started to feel like myself again.
All of that is just a long way of saying that if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms I had, you too could be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Your symptoms aren’t in your head — they’re in your adrenals. And there is help available.
But before we get into what to do to reboot your adrenal glands, let’s take a quick look at what it is to live with adrenal fatigue…
The stages of adrenal fatigue
Your adrenals are responsible for coordinating your body’s hormones. One of their biggest jobs is making the right amount of cortisol when you’re under stress. Unfortunately, this can go haywire as you move through the three stages of adrenal fatigue.
Stage 1 — In the first stage of adrenal fatigue, you feel “wired and tired.” You get that jittery feeling even though you’re also worn-out. And you can suffer from insomnia and weight gain — especially around your middle.
Stage 2 — In this stage, you’re less wired and more stressed, which may cause you to wake up from a deep sleep and be unable to get back to dreamland.
Stage 3 — This is the burnout stage where you just can’t go any further. You’re exhausted no matter what… your body is ready to throw in the towel.
Healing from adrenal fatigue
Whichever stage fits your current situation, here are the steps to get back on track.
1. Get plenty of rest
If you want to heal your adrenals, you can’t keep burning the candle at both ends. Get plenty of sleep each night and build in rest throughout your day, whether in the form of a nap or just 20 minutes to meditate or practice deep breathing.
2. Support your adrenals
Certain supplements are well-known for supporting the health of your adrenal glands:
- Ashwagandha root — This ancient Ayurvedic herb has been shown to help with stress management, healthy cortisol production, energy levels, hormone production and strengthening the adrenals.
- Rhodiola rosea extract — An adaptogen herb, rhodiola contains an active compound called rosavin that can help you burn belly fat and manage food cravings while feeling more energetic and lowering your cortisol.
- Boswella serrata extract — This African herb is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help your joints feel better and reduce the muscle soreness that often comes with adrenal fatigue.
- Holy basil powder — This adaptogen herb helps support healthy cortisol levels, reduce anxiety and boost your mood and brain health.
- L-theanine — An amino acid found in tea, L-theanine is best known for its ability to support healthy sleep and promote relaxation and a calm mind.
Dehydration is common in adrenal fatigue so be sure to get plenty of water throughout your day. To boost your cells’ hydration even more, add fresh lemon juice or a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to your water.
4. Don’t forget your B vitamins
Your body needs B vitamins for energy production and stress control so be sure to take a good quality B supplement. The most important ones to get each day to support your adrenal health are B12, 5 and 6.
5. Eat clean
Don’t add to your adrenal stress by eating foods that are irritating to your body. Many people have problems with dairy and gluten so it can help to eliminate them while incorporating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies as well as lean proteins.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, see an integrative doctor for testing and use the five steps above to help reboot your adrenals, balance your body and feel like yourself again.