Adrenal fatigue is currently sweeping the nation. I would bet good money that you have at least some degree of this condition. Let’s rewind a bit. What in the world is an “adrenal”. Your adrenal glands are two little glands that sit on top of your kidneys, they are responsible for pumping “adrenaline”. Make sense? Adrenal fatigue happens when your adrenals basically “crash”. This is normally caused by not eating enough, working too hard, not sleeping enough or an increase of viral activity in the body. When you are pumping that adrenaline, your sex organs and digestion take a back seat. These are considered “luxuries” by the human body. You may notice that sometimes your pupils are still big even when you are in the light, it’s a sign your adrenals are in trouble. Other signs of adrenal fatigue are the “tired and wired” feeling. So you’re technically tired but feel too stressed out and jumpy to even fall asleep. You might have dry eyes, no desire for sex, excessive sweating and feel especially tired at the mid morning point of your day. Luckily there are many things you can do to kick adrenal fatigue in the butt. Here are the best ways to do just that.
One of the most common symptoms of adrenal fatigue is constant thirst and cravings for salt. This salt craving is your adrenals looking for a little sodium to get some fuel. You will never quench your thirst and give your adrenals the minerals they need with regular water. You need to to be drinking either coconut water or cucumber juice on a regular basis. Add an apple to the cucumber if you need it but its delicious on its own. These two beverages have the necessary electrolytes to keep your adrenals satisfied. Why not start with cucumber juice at home and then drink your quart of coconut water throughout the day? You will eliminate your chronic dehydration permanently and get your adrenals back to an optimal function.
Have you heard of adaptogens? Some herbs mimic and some herbs adapt. Taking any combination of the following herbs will help your body adapt in times of stress. It’s kind of like wearing a cast when you break your arm. Some herbs to try include: “Ashwagandha”, “Rhiodiola”, “Licorice” and “Schizandra Berry”. Choose one or take a blend. You will notice a big difference in your mental focus and physical energy.
3. Cut caffeine
Get caffeine right out of your life. The whole reason why coffee and other caffeinated beverages appear to give you energy is because they stimulate your adrenals. The same way over working or mental stress can cause adrenal fatigue, so can caffeine. Get rid of it. It’s doing more harm than good. Substitute with a green tea or roasted dandelion root “coffee” if you need something warm in the morning. Dandelion root tastes very similar to coffee and pulls a double whammy as a liver detoxifier.
Try to eat something every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When you wait too long in between meals you are allowing your adrenals to start flooding your body with adrenaline.You want to avoid this from happening because following that adrenaline burst comes a crash. As a snack think sweet and salty. You want a source of sodium, potassium and sugar. Grab a salty veggie like cucumbers or celery and pair that with a fruit like banana, apple or dried figs. There’s your adrenal friendly snack for the day. Make a big Ziploc bag of your snack and pull it out every hour to munch to keep your adrenals supported.
5. Lower stress
Easier said than done, am I right? If you are not giving yourself time to relax, you need to start doing that. If you know you have adrenal fatigue and you are working three jobs and barely sleeping, it may be time to step down a bit and give yourself a break. If that’s not possible, take the rest of this advice and get serious about it. Your adrenals can bounce back quicker than you think, you just need to make sure you stay as low stress as possible. Read a book, meditate, laugh with friends, do things you love to do and your stress will be kept in check guaranteed.
6. Vitamin C
Taking about 1000 mg of vitamin C everyday will do wonders for your adrenals. This popular vitamin lowers inflammation and “soothes” your adrenals after they’ve been through stressful times. Look for a buffered vitamin C. It’s usually labelled as “Ester C”.
7. Diaphragmatic Breathing
Did you know that the physical act of breathing through your diaphragm literally lowers cortisol? We often breathe through our chests, but try for a second to breathe by filling your belly with air on the inhale and slowly exhale as you keep your chest still. Your belly is doing all the work. When you breathe in this way your rib cage is giving your organs an inner massage. This will keep you calm when you feel your adrenals start to act up. Try breathing in for 7, hold for 4 and then breathe out for 7. You will feel like a new person after just a few breaths.
Magnesium is very on trend right now in the health scene. We are all deficient in it and if you have an over-active nervous system, you will by default have adrenal fatigue. Magnesium calms your nervous system to give your pour adrenals a break. If you are a light sleeper or easily spooked, magnesium could be of big benefit to you. Look for a magnesium glycinate or a calcium buffered formula. Go for about 400 mg per day.