How to Reverse Adrenal Fatigue
You finally went to see a traditional doctor and they told you nothing was wrong, but you know how exhausted you feel, how you just can’t wake up feeling rested, and how much you crave salty foods and more caffeine to make it through every day. Someone mentioned your adrenal glands might be overworked and underperforming and then recommended seeing a functional medicine doctor.
Now you’re wondering how to reverse adrenal fatigue.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Your adrenal glands produce cortisol naturally. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that regulates mood, fear, motivation, and manages your body’s response to stress. When you are stressed, your body produces more cortisol. When an individual is facing constant stress, it puts an excessive amount of pressure on the adrenal glands to produce more cortisol. As the glands work hard to produce more of the required hormone, the result is burn out or fatigue of the adrenal glands.
Patients describe their symptoms as tiredness, trouble falling asleep or waking up, and a serious need for caffeine or other stimulants to get through the day.
Over the past 125 years, this syndrome (a set of signs and symptoms) has also been called non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, subclinical hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, adrenal neurasthenia, and adrenal apathy.
Can you reverse adrenal fatigue?
Although adrenal fatigue is not currently recognized by the medical community as a condition (hence why your traditional doctor didn’t mention it), Dr. James Wilson, a naturopathic and chiropractic doctor began using the term adrenal fatigue in 1998. Since then, many functional doctors have worked with patients teaching them how to reverse adrenal fatigue’s effects.
At True Life Medicine, our team can treat any condition, and we do so by treating you as a whole person. The goal of any good functional medicine doctor is to get you feeling your best. Discovering the causes of your discomfort is a process, and your doctor will spend as much time as necessary to listen to your concerns and help you achieve a state of true health.
How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue?
As your functional doctor looks for the root cause of your symptoms, they should rule out other disorders such as anemia, obstructive sleep apnea, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, depression and anxiety. These disorders can all have similar symptoms to adrenal fatigue.
After your extended consultation, your functional doctor at True Life Medicine will rule out these other diseases and disorders by running cutting-edge laboratory and diagnostic testing. After considering your symptoms, you may be referred to an ENT doctor or sent home with a sleep apnea test; other tests that could be ordered include a stool test or colonoscopy.
Common causes of adrenal fatigue include stress from work or family life, over-exercising, poor sleep, unbalanced diet, and stressful physical environments.
How to reverse adrenal fatigue?
In order to reverse the effects of adrenal fatigue your doctor will likely recommend you try the following:
Switch to an adrenal-friendly diet.
Your dietician will recommend limiting food and drinks high in sugar where processed or refined. You will also reduce unhealthy fats but increase complex carbs and non-starchy veggies. In an article on the Adrenal Diet, Healthline advises that you will better support your adrenal glands by regulating your blood sugar, one easy change to make is in the timing of your meals: 3 solid meals appropriately spaced out.
Track your sleep and make improvements to your bedtime routine.
Poor sleep habits are something that can be changed; Dr. Davidson suggests in 11 ways to help get better sleep and reverse adrenal fatigue.
Remove harmful toxins, harsh chemicals, and manufactured perfumes or scents
Eliminating toxins and allergens is key to improving your environment and adrenal health says the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Adding an air purifier and diffusing oils will also help. The NIH reports that high blood pressure, caused by increased cortisol, can be lowered with the use of essential oils.
Take a break from the gym
If you have been doing strenuous exercise for some time, it’s time to take a break. Let your body relax and move more gently. Try some yoga, meditation, mild exercise, or walking. Pay attention to how you feel and stop before you overdo it. Your muscles and body are designed to alert you when they need a rest.
True Life Medicine knows the path to wholeness looks different for every person. Our goal is to help you reverse adrenal fatigue in whatever way is best for you. Contact us for personalized solutions that will help you feel alert and alive today.