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Understanding Adrenal Fatigue

January 04, 2018

Natural health professionals estimate that up to 80% of U.S. adults suffer adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives.

Adrenal fatigue is almost always the result of a poor diet, extreme stress, or an illness like the flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia.

While often overlooked by the medical community, adrenal fatigue can be responsible for a disturbing amount of health symptoms.

Adrenal fatigue plays a role in problems like chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), candida, and fibromyalgia. Frequent allergies, blood sugar problems, and low blood pressure are also routinely related to exhausted adrenals.

How do the adrenal glands work?

The adrenals are small, walnut sized glands that rest on top of the kidneys.

Comprised of the medulla and the cortex, the adrenals produce nearly 150 hormones like cortisone, DHEA, aldosterone, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone that keep you healthy and active.

While the entire endocrine system takes a dive from stress, the adrenal glands are often the most affected.

In a high stress situation, your adrenal glands charge to the rescue secreting adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine to accelerate metabolism, heart rate, and respiration in preparation for a fight.

This is the “fight or flight” reaction and clearly serves an important purpose for survival in the midst of a crisis.

Yet, in today’s world, high stress often becomes chronic, causing the adrenals to stay stuck in the “fight or flight” reaction.

As a result, they become exhausted, releasing too few or too many hormones at the wrong times. This causes adrenal fatigue and is responsible for a variety of symptoms to watch for.

Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?

Signs of Adrenal Fatigue to Watch for:

  • Unexplained fatigue (mental and physical) that is unrelieved by sleep
  • Low blood sugar and/or mood swings
  • Shakiness, increased cravings for sugar or salt
  • Low blood pressure, dizziness upon standing, poor concentration
  • Great weakness after short amounts of activity or exercise
  • An increase in anxiety or panic attacks
  • Excessive hot flashes or nervous tension during menopause (During menopause, the adrenals compensate for lower hormone production by the ovaries. If your adrenals are stressed, menopausal symptoms are invariably worsened.)
  • Low back pain or pain around the kidneys (swollen adrenals)
  • Frequent yeast infections or allergic reactions

Natural Therapies & Herbs To Support Healthy Adrenal Activity

If you’re dealing with adrenal fatigue, supportive natural therapieshelp the body resist stress, and really make a difference in your well-being.

Some symptoms may be completely relieved by following a natural adrenal health program.

1. Focus on a high quality, whole foods diet.

It’s important to eat a nutrient dense diet for adrenal gland health.

Stress increases your protein needs. Especially include plenty of high quality protein (organic poultry, grass fed meats, legumes, beans).

Add more essential fats (avocado, seeds, coconut oil, evening primrose oil) to support the glands.

Have a fresh green salad every day to increase your energy through natural enzyme therapy.

2. Use herbs to help build the long-term health of your adrenal glands.

As body normalizers, herbs can bring back the energy you need to get through your busy day without becoming stressed or burned out.

A formula like Adrenal Daily Tonic with herbs like eleuthero, schisandra, and licorice, specifically supports and nourishes the adrenal glands.

I’ve used this formula myself to fight chronic stress and to build my energy for long work days or exercise.

Adrenal fatigue is really a national epidemic. Following an adrenal program is highly recommended if you’re under a lot of stress, dealing with a heavy workload, or on the verge of burnout.

Most people will need at least 2-4 weeks of natural therapies to build adrenal gland strength and health. Yet, the results are worth it.

An adrenal building program can transform you into a person you want to be, with more energy (and less burnout) to do all the things your life challenges you to do.


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