A lot of people either struggle with fatigue issues and adrenal insufficiency; or have at some point in their lives. These problems trace their roots back to the adrenal glands – which are located on top of your kidneys. Before we look at how you can overcome adrenal fatigue let’s quickly highlight the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
- Fatigue and/or persistent exhaustion
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Feelings of stress, anxiety or becoming overwhelmed
- Poor memory
- Thyroid issues such as: Hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s
- Excess body fat despite regularly exercising
Try these 5 easy steps to help you beat adrenal fatigue.
1.Revamp Your Daily Diet
Like most diseases and conditions, diet plays a more than significant role in adrenal fatigue. You need to consume more of the foods that support adrenal function and less of the hard to digest foods and toxins and chemicals in your environment. You want to avoid inflammatory foods such as:
Caffeine is a strong stimulant that disrupts your sleep cycle. This makes it hard for the adrenal glands to regulate hormones which are associated with sleep. Ideally, you should limit your consumption to below 400mg daily and only caffeine that is naturally sourced. Say goodbye to synthetic caffeine anhydrous from energy drinks and try switching from coffee to green tea. Green tea contains about one third the caffeine of regular coffee and is abundant in a powerful anti-inflammatory compound called polyphenols.
Sugars, Artificial Sweeteners, and Less Carbs
Sugars and starchy carbs cause inflammation in your gut. The irony is that when you are stressed, your body is designed to automatically crave these sugars; which end up taxing your adrenal glands, even more, throwing your body into a vicious cycle of fatigue and poor health. Whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressed try to avoid sugars and starch.
Include these foods in your diet:
- Cruciferous veggies
- Healthy fat sources such as avocados and coconuts.
- Seeds such as flax andchia
- Free-range chicken and turkey and grass-fed beef
- Fermented foods rich in healthy probiotics
For example, your breakfast can be a natural protein powder shakewith unsweetened almond milk and chia powder. This eliminates sugar from breakfast and normalizes your blood sugar levels.
2.Supplementation to Replace Important Nutrients
It’s hard to go wrong with supplements. Sometimes the food you eat may not provide your body with enough of the important nutrients on a regular, if not daily, basis. Adrenal fatigue can be overcome by taking the right supplements for adrenal support. They include:
Fish Oil or Chia Seeds
These supplements are packed with dense and crucial forms of omega-3 fatty acids such as ALA, EPA, and DHA. They help fight adrenal fatigue-related complications such as mental dysfunction, skin issues, diabetes, and depression.
Magnesium deficiency is one of the major causes of adrenal fatigue. Magnesium supplements restore the balance of chemicals and hormones in your body – which was thrown out of whack because of consistent stress. It relaxes your muscles and promotes healing to repair the damage done by stress.
Vitamin C supplements provide your body with enough nutrients to recover fully and much faster from a stressful episode. It also decreases the impact of stress on your body.
Vitamin D helps promotes magnesium functions in your body and also supports bone development.
3.Get Quality Sleep and Rest
Getting better quality sleep goes a long way in reducing your stress levels. You should retire to bed early enough (typically before 10 pm) and sleep for at least 8 to 10 hours every night. Also, stick to a regular sleep cycle so that your hormones maintain that important balance to minimize stress. Also, avoid alcohol and electronic devises in the evening before going to bed. Taking your magnesium supplement before bed can help relax your body and improve overall sleep quality.
4.Try 5 Minutes of Daily Meditation
Studies have proven that meditation encourages the release of endorphins – the ‘feel good’ chemicals. Your brain releases endorphins when your experience pleasure or when you are happy. It is, in some ways, the antithesis of high cortisol since meditation deactivates stress-related genes.
The long-term benefit of meditation is that you will have increased mindfulness. It helps you get a firmer control of the stressors in your life. The impact of stress on your body will thus be significantly reduced thereby promoting adrenal function.
If you find that you are always stressed out – whether emotionally, physically or mentally – take some time and list down the source stressors. Don’t leave anything out. It could be your schedule, work-related or something a family member is doing. Once you have identified these stressors dedicate some time and energy to rectify all of it. While it may impossible to fix all of your stressors, a significant reduction will greatly improve your adrenal function.
Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to beating adrenal fatigue.
Joanne Tull, former Fitness America, Fitness Canada and Fitness Universe finalist. Joanne is a Co-Founder of Nutrology, the naturally based sports nutrition company that has innovated clean label nutritional products used by thousands of athletes, including elites in the NFL, MLB, NHL and Professional Boxing. Having appeared on ESPN, Fox Sports and TSN after finishing a storied athletic career as a state champion, collegiate and national level gymnast, Joanne’s approach to nutrition is simple yet powerful.