Did you know that two tiny grape-sized glands that sit on top of our kidneys are responsible for our energy levels, our endurance, and our vitality? We can't live without our adrenal hormones and how well we live greatly depends on how well our adrenal glands function.
Adrenal fatigue is something that has affected me, my close friends and family members, as well as my clients, and is often misdiagnosed and overlooked. Living in today's society of uncertainty, hustle, and overwhelm causes a lot of stress which is not easy on the adrenal glands. When the adrenals are tired, our bodies may experience a number of different symptoms. The most common symptoms caused by tired adrenal glands are:
- excessive sweating or perspiration with little activity
- lower back pain and/or knee weakness or pain, especially on the side
- dark circles under the eyes
- muscle twitches
- low blood sugar
- heart palpitations
- sensitivity to light, difficulty seeing at night
- a craving for salt
- excess mood responses after eating carbohydrates such as pasta, breads, and sugar
- chronic infections (bacterial, viral, fungal, yeast)
- low blood pressure
- lightheadedness upon standing up
- tired but wired feeling - difficulty waking up in the morning, difficulty falling asleep at night
- Reduced ability to handle stress or feeling stressed more often, irritable
- cravings for sweets/carbs, intolerance to alcohol
- premature aging
- dry, unhealthy skin with excess pigmentation
- lack of libido
- cystic breasts
- tendency to startle easily
- negative response to thyroid hormone
If you suspect you might have tired adrenals, address it right away. The adrenal glands are extremely important for our immune function and help the thyroid to function properly. I have full spectrum hormone testing available in my practice in North America, or you can talk to your functional medicine practitioner.
Natural Ways To Support The Adrenals
- Eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking. Make sure your breakfast consists of clean protein and healthy fat. A low fat breakfast of coffee and a muffin sets you up for a metabolic nightmare for the day. A good example of a healthy adrenal supportive breakfast would be eggs with a piece of sprouted gluten-free toast with avocado or nut butter, a protein shake with coconut oil, or full-fat sheep or goat yogurt with berries and a handful of nuts or seeds. If you're the type of person who can currently only handle a banana in the morning, make sure you have it with some nut butter or a handful of nuts or seeds.
- Quit the caffeine habit and drink plenty of fresh filtered water every day with a pinch of pink himalayan or celtic sea salt for adrenal supportive trace minerals. Try Four Sigmatic Coffee Mix instead of regular coffee, or add in matcha green tea every other day.
- Eliminate sugar and processed carbohydrates. Sugar and simple carbohydrates put stress on the adrenals and make adrenal fatigue worse. The adrenal glands help to regulate blood sugar levels and eating too much refined sugar can cause bloating, water retention, irritability, and mood swings. Try using raw honey, stevia, coconut sugar, or lakanto instead and balance carbohydrate consumption with proper clean protein and healthy fat ratios.
- Sleep like you're getting paid for it. It is critical to rest up if you want to help your adrenals get stronger. That means going to bed every night by 10pm and making time for naps when possible. Make proper sleep a priority and stick with it.
- Supplement with a B Complex, Vitamin C, and Magnesium to give the adrenals the extra support they require to adapt to stress.
You don't have to live a subpar life where you are constantly feeling exhausted, out of balance, and dragged through your daily obligations. By focusing for a few months on improving your diet and lifestyle, resting, taking time to move through negative emotions, and removing yourself from excessive chemical exposure, you will get yourself back. Maybe you will even discover a new you, better than before.
Now I’d love to hear from you. Do you suffer from adrenal fatigue? Do you have any additional suggestions or recommendations that have helped you? Share and let me know!