Natural Cures and Remedies for Adrenal Fatigue
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Adrenal fatigue is complicated and not an easy problem to correct. It may take one to two years to cure. Many times there are underlying health problems that are causing adrenal fatigue. In this case you need to find out what the cause is. It could be an ongoing infection or inflammation. It can be candida overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome, or any of a number of health problems that cause ongoing stress to the adrenals. The underlying cause needs to be addressed as well or you will never be able to heal your adrenal glands.
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Below are some supplements, herbs, hormonals and some advise to help you with adrenal fatigue.
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Supplements That Help
- Vitamin C (2,000-4,000 mg/day sustained release) -- best taken with bioflavonoids.
- Vitamin E w/mixed tocopherols (800 IU/day)
- Vitamin B100 Complex
- Niacin (125-150 mg/day) -- as inositol hexaniacinate.
- Pyridoxine B6 (150 mg/day)
- Pantothenic Acid B5 (1200-1500 mg/day)
- Magnesium Citrate (400-1200 mg) -- This is best in the powdered form such as in Natural Calm. This form of magnesium makes sure it is absorbed.
- Liquid Trace Minerals -- they have a calming effect
- Free-Form Amino Acids
- Proline (500 mg daily) -- Proline is helpful in rebuilding connective tissues. Weak adrenals are often associated with poor quality connective tissues and whatever helps connective tissues seems to help adrenals as well.
- Adrenal Glandular -- or desiccated adrenal gland is extremely important in the initial phases of adrenal repair since it provides raw materials to support adrenal function. It also contains some important adrenal hormones.
Herbs That Help
- Rhodiola Rosea -- It enhances memory and concentration. It has been shown to reduce stress-induced fatigue and improve mental performance.
- Ashwagandha -- It has been shown to have a sedating effect on the body and helps to rebuild the digestive and nervous system.
- Eleuthero Root or Siberian Ginseng -- It has been used traditionally to stimulate and nourish the adrenal glands and increases mental alertness. Eleuthero is considered an "adaptogen" which means it can help the body adapt to stress.
- Cordyceps -- This is a Chinese mushroom used for supporting the adrenal gland and can also normalize immune function and support kidney, lung, liver, nervous system and cardiovascular function.
Hormones That Help
As for hormones, it is a good idea to be tested and find out what your hormone levels are before supplementing them. This way you'll know exactly what hormones are deficient. The three hormones below are most often supplemented when dealing with adrenal fatigue.
- DHEA - This is a basic adrenal hormone that the adrenals will convert into other hormones. If someone is very deficient in this hormone they may only be able to tolerate a small amount such as 5 mg. The average adult dose ranges between 10 and 25 mg. DHEA will also go on to become sex hormones such as testosterone and estrogen.
- Pregnenolone - This is a precursor to many of the hormones produced by the adrenal glands. It is a raw material that supports basic adrenal function. Pregnenolone is best taken towards the evening but may be taken earlier if it interferes with sleep. The usual dose is 25 mg.
- Progesterone Cream - Progesterone is the building block for many other major hormones such as cortisol, DHEA, testosterone and estrogen. If you are under a lot of stress and your adrenals are pumping out cortisol, your body will use available progesterone. If too much progesterone is used to produce cortisol, like with adrenal fatigue, not enough is produced to make testosterone which is needed for a woman’s healthy libido. I recommend progesterone in the form of a skin cream. Always make sure that it says progesterone USP so you know it's real progesterone.
Life Style Changes That Help
- Removal of the stressors. This is the most important step. Emotional stressors such as marital, family, relationship, or financial problems needs to be dealt with and normalized.
- Rest and sleep are extremely important. You will need nine hours of sleep and maybe more for a very long time. Also rest after meals, at midmorning and mid-afternoon if possible.
- Gentle walking is beneficial but vigorous exercise depletes the adrenals. Deep breathing and stretching is also beneficial. You should exercise to relax rather than to build muscles or lose weight.
- Replace toxic cleaning products used around the house with natural products. There are natural alternatives available for cleaning. Hair dyes, shampoos, makeup and skin care products need to be replaced with natural versions. Adrenals are stressed by chemicals and so this is very important.
- Detoxification sauna therapy using an infrared sauna will greatly speed up recovery. If you are in adrenal burnout, use the sauna daily for no more than 30 minutes. Once or twice a week is excellent for prevention.
It may benefit you to add salt to your diet, especially upon rising and at least a half-hour before you have the lowest energy of the day. Take 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoonful of sea salt, Celtic salt or sea salt w/kelp powder, in an 8 oz glass of water.
Below is a great article explaining the need for salt in adrenal fatigue. Don't let the title throw you off as you will see the connection to CFS as well.
Nutritional Considerations in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
When the adrenal glands are fatigued they do not produce enough aldosterone. Aldosterone regulates the amount of sodium and potassium in the body. When aldosterone becomes deficient not enough salt is retained in the body. If you have been craving salt, this is probably the reason. There is a discussion about aldosterone at the Web page below. You'll have to scroll down to find it -- or read the whole article as there is a lot of good information here. I don't like some of his diet recommendations as he wants to restrict eating red meats, etc.
Adrenal Fatigue Article
Instead of eating three meals a day, eat five or six small meals or snacks a day to keep your blood sugar balanced. If you have adrenal fatigue it causes low blood sugar problems. Eating more often can help keep your blood sugar stable.
Always eat protein with every meal and snack -- eggs, beef, pork and poultry are the best sources of protein. Nuts and seeds are other good sources. Absolutely avoid vegetarian diets as they will further stress your adrenals. Most vegetarians never recover from adrenal fatigue.
Complex carbohydrates are good but you may want to avoid wheat as you may be allergic. If you know of any other food allergies, you should avoid them as well. Root vegetables such as turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, onions, garlic and potatoes are good. All vegetables are good for you and should be eaten several times throughout the day. Other good complex carbs are corn, brown rice and quinoa. Organic corn chips or brown rice cakes are also good.
Avoid isolated soy protein as it is of poor quality and contains many anti-nutrients. Actually avoid all soy products as well. Do not eat any sugar and only eat fruit in small portions. Don't drink fruit juices. Use only healthy oils such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil and butter. Use sea salt rather than table salt.
It's really beneficial to drink green drinks like barley grass or various mixed green drinks that also have vegetable extracts like NOW's PhytoFoods. Don't drink tap water but drink filtered or spring water. Absolutely avoid caffeine or any stimulants as these are very stressful to the adrenals.
Restriction or dieting is not a good idea. Follow good eating habits with regular meals and snacks.
(If you have problems with candida or parasites, you may need to get them under control first before taking supplementation for adrenal fatigue. Supplements don't work very well if your gut is unable to obsorb them properly. You may want to consider doing a colon and parasite cleanse. You may also want to have your candida somewhat under control as well. Check out my Candida and Parasites pages for further information.)