Three Stages Of Adrenal Fatigue
This condition may exhibit itself in three different phases. The first stage is triggered by a protracted stimulus to the adrenal glands, which can cause a spike in cortisol levels in the bloodstream. At this phase, the production of other critical hormones such as testosterone, progesterone and estrogen will be impaired. This eventually will throw off kilter the normal functions of your immune system and even your metabolic rate. The second stage of adrenal fatigue is characterized by a decrease in cortisol and DHEA levels. You may start to experience symptoms like depression, insomnia, anxiety, weight loss, recurrent infections, and impaired memory to mention a few. On the flipside, phase three of this condition occurs once the adrenal glands have become completely incapable of producing cortisol, while other hormonal imbalances may take place. Ultimately, you will start suffering from chronic fatigue, which can make you unable to execute day-to-day activities and work-related tasks.
15 Steps to Combat Adrenal Fatigue
1. IV Vitamin Therapy for Adrenal Fatigue
2. Eat Meal Within an Hour After Waking
Eat your first meal within an hour after you wake up in the morning, so that you do not allow your blood sugar levels to drop precipitously.
3. Skip Processed Foods
4. Say No to High Impact Exercise
5. Say Yes to Fresh Air
Fresh air and a walk in nature is also a great form of stress management and relief. Get out in nature. Take in slow deep breaths and relax.
What To Do If You Have Symptoms
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue can replicate other health issues, and your first step toward recovery from adrenal fatigue should be to seek the help of a medical professional. For example, these symptoms can also be found in those suffering from medical conditions like anemia, sleep apnea, autoimmune diseases, and mental health conditions. A functional medicine doctor can listen to your symptoms and run diagnostics to confirm whether you have adrenal fatigue or another condition.
Get Serious About Meditation
Meditation of any kind is one of the most powerful ways to deal with stress, and it can go a long way toward normalizing your cortisol levels and treating adrenal fatigue.
If you want to take your meditation to the next level, I suggest 40 Years Of Zen. It uses advanced neurofeedback technology to give you the brain of a lifelong Zen monk in five days. You can also check out this Biohackers Guide To Meditation for other ways to improve your meditation and find more inner calm. If youre new to meditation, start slow, with just 5 minutes a day, and work your way up.
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Blood Sugar And Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Some studies have suggested that CFS may be associated with metabolic syndrome and changes in glucose regulation, which can further worsen fatigue symptoms. Metabolic dysfunction related to altered ability to use fatty acids and amino acids as fuels is also seen in some research in CFS.
Other studies suggest that this dysfunction, along with other changes in the bodyâs ability to use glucose may make these individuals more prone to hypoglycemic episodes as well.
When blood sugar falls too low in hypoglycemia, this can act as its own independent stress on the body. Effectively managing blood sugar levels in those with CFS or similar conditions may therefore be an important component of therapy.
Exactly How To Support Parkinsons Disease Symptoms Naturally
In my telehealth functional medicine clinic, I work with patients diagnosed with a variety of chronic health problems. While most chronic conditions dont have a cure, people are still able to reclaim their health by mitigating their symptoms or even putting them into remission. Parkinsons disease is one chronic disease that I see far too
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Say No To Unnecessary Events
Uttering that little word has always been difficult for me, and I think my tendency to want to please everyone and do everything is what got me into this mess in the first place! I had to remind myself over and over again that I didnt have to do everything for everyone. Getting rest and focusing on my health, at this point, was more important than going out or going to a party.
That was easier said than done, however, since Id just moved to a new city and was trying to make friends… and date. Personally, staying home and staying sober in a new city would be more stressful for menot what I needed. So I just had to pick and choose what events and plans were worth it, and which werent, and make a concerted effort to stop after one drink .
Major Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue
These are all symptoms that are associated with a number of different disorders that are often overlooked by mainstream doctors. Ultimately, when the body is not functioning at a high level it causes more energy output from the adrenals. Overtime, this can lead to adrenal exhaustion, when the adrenals are no longer able to meet the demands of the environment.
Adrenal exhaustion is a very serious condition that causes accelerated aging, chronic inflammation, overwhelming fatigue and an inability to heal and repair. The individual wants to sleep and feels the need to sleep but most commonly has trouble falling and staying asleep.
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At Home Treatments For Adrenal Fatigue
While we dont advocate complete recovery on your own , there are plenty of things that you can do on your own to help speed along your adrenal fatigue recovery.
Below are some top-level things you can do right now to start decreasing the stress load on your adrenal glands:
- Toss out the alcohol
Learn more about each of these changes in our articles, Is It Menopause, Or Could It Just Be Adrenal Fatigue? and Heres How Long It Actually Takes To Heal Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue: Signs Symptoms And How To Heal
About the Author
CentreSpring MD, formerly known as Atlanta Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine, provides the best medical care by using an integrative approach to find a patients centretheir coreempowering them to spring forth into health.
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At CentreSpringMD, we do medicine differently. Our focus is on giving you hope and your life back.
Our team of dedicated board-certified providers relentlessly pursue your health until you have the answers that you deserve to change the trajectory of your healthand your life.
Are you experiencing brain fog? Irritability? Extreme fatigue? Poor sleep? Or do you just not feel like yourself? You could be experiencing adrenal fatigue. Dont worry, though, you are not alone, and you can heal!
Adrenal fatigue comes from an overstimulation of the adrenal glands brought on by chronic stress. The adrenal glands are small organs above the kidneys. They release cortisol when responding to stress, and they help to regulate blood pressure. Some stress is normal and actually necessary to be an active participant in society, but too much stress that is not managed for a prolonged period of time is not what we want. We need to keep our adrenals healthy!
- Negative thinking
- Food sensitivities
- Simply rest more
- Be kind to yourself
As a health coach, I help people reach their health and wellness goals. If reducing stress is a goal of yours, I would love to see you!
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A New And Healthy You
You now have the naturopathic foundation for a therapeutic treatment plan for adrenal fatigue. All of the steps listed above will improve both your mental and physical response to stress. This is the correct path to take towards natural and holistic healing.
We also encourage you to join our for more information and advice on how to be the healthiest version of you!
Lauren is a registered Naturopath , with a background in Psychology. She is passionate about natural medicine for womens health treating digestive issues, hormonal imbalances and helping people ditch the diet mentality for a more intuitive approach to eating. She believes its time that women redefine what health looks like, heal their relationship with food and enjoy life without a preoccupation with their weight.
Adrenal Insufficiency Vs Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by a problem with the adrenal gland itself, which is known as primary adrenal insufficiency or Addison’s disease. In contrast, secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by a problem with hormones released by the hypothalamus and pituitary glands that tell the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol and other hormones.
These are uncommon conditions and are not the same as “adrenal fatigue.” Adrenal fatigue is a controversial idea that relative adrenal insufficiency from chronic stress leads to various symptoms. According to the Endocrine Society, there is currently no scientific basis for the concept of adrenal fatigue. Along with other major medical societies, the Endocrine Society does not recognize it as a condition.
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Treatment For Adrenal Fatigue
How long does it take to recover from adrenal fatigue?
Full recovery from HPA Dysfunction or adrenal fatigue can take anywhere from three months to two years, depending on the severity and how long the condition has existed. Your adrenals are stressed the most by emotional stress, followed by diet, and, finally, by the hidden stressors I listed earlier. Treatment is targeted at removing or decreasing the stressorsemotional, physical, nutritional or hiddenand then correcting the hormonal imbalance and nutritional deficiencies.
What to address first?
From a lifestyle standpoint, one needs to address the emotional stressors first in order to really flip the switch and start the healing process. Life stressors need to be evaluated and a strategic plan developed to mitigate them. What is causing the most stress in your life and how can you get support here? For some, that may mean a job change, a leave of absence, or a separation from a destructive relationship. Emotional support through counseling or therapy may be helpful as well as techniques to decrease stress, such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, Heart Math, acupuncture, massage and/or exercise appropriate for your stage of adrenal fatigue.
Getting more and better sleep
Nutrition- blood sugar balance is key
Look for hidden stressors
Herbal, hormonal and supplemental support
Common Adaptogenic herbs include: ashwaghanda, rhodiola, licorice root extract, maca, ginseng, eleuthero, reishi mushroom and astragalus.
Purported Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue And Adrenal Healthdysfunction
When people think of adrenal fatigue, they associate it with the following symptoms:
- Chronic fatigue or ongoing low energy levels
- Low blood pressure
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Lightheadedness or brain fog
- Hormone imbalances
However, there is not yet clear evidence that adrenal fatigue exists as a medical condition.
According to a systematic review of research on adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels on saliva tests and blood tests dont correlate with fatigue symptoms 50-80% of the time .
Other studies suggest a similar conclusion. A systematic review of post-traumatic stress disorder patients found they had similar cortisol levels to healthy individuals . An additional systematic review and meta-analysis showed that neither trauma nor PTSD affected cortisol levels.
Addisons disease an autoimmune disease characterized by very low cortisol is a real medical condition. However its extremely rare, affecting only .01% of Americans .
Even though Endocrinologists dont recognize adrenal fatigue as a real condition, fatigue is definitely a real and troublesome symptom that can be caused by many health issues.
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How To Naturally Heal Adrenal Fatigue
Here are more adrenal fatigue symptoms, each indicating a varying level of adrenaline exhaustion:
- Blood sugar or digestive problems
- Reduced memory or ability to concentrate
- Dizziness when standing up too quickly
- Thyroid problems or low thyroid hormone production
- Food cravings- especially salt and sugar
- Impaired immune function- getting sick more often
- High stress levels or always feeling like there is too much to do
Unfortunately, most of us living in the modern world are exposed to several factors which can make adrenal fatigue worse. One of these factors include being exposed to artificial light at night, since it impairs the natural melatonin and serotonin release associated with our circadian rhythms. Poor sleep patterns and poor nutrition also contribute to adrenal fatigue, as well as exposure to environmental pollutants.
It is estimated that 80% of Americans have some level of adrenal fatigue, and there isnt a quick fix to make it all better. But adrenal fatigue treatment is attainable, as there are very easy, and effective ways to restore adrenal function. You should just expect it to take at least 6 months to a full year for a full recovery from adrenal fatigue.
The Epidemic Of Adrenal Fatigue:
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that most everyone experiences at some point in their lives due to the amount of chronic mental, emotional, chemical and physical stressors that come with the life we live. These stimuli increase our state of sympathetic tone and increase the adrenal hormone output. Naturally, we should be able to cycle in and out as we take time to support our body, rest and repair.
The major problems with adrenal fatigue and its progression into adrenal exhaustion occur when the adrenals are unable to turn-off. This can be due to underlying infections, allergies, leaky gut syndrome, nutrient deficiencies and an overload of toxicities .
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Adrenal Fatigue: How Long Does It Take To Recover
Many people lead a high-stress life. Whether its family, staying late at work, or dealing with the kids, maybe you feel like you can never get a moment for yourself. Even if you do take a few hours to yourself, maybe you still dont feel quite right that you cant get back to your healthy, relaxed state.
Doctors are increasingly realizing that prolonged chronic stress can actually cause long-term effects on the body, now known as adrenal fatigue. Although this isnt a formal disease, adrenal fatigue and its symptoms can totally disrupt your lifestyle. In this article, well go over the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and how to heal.
Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
Supplements feed the body with nutrients and antioxidants that help support your various body systems so you can find balance. When healthy, the body is naturally strong enough to heal without supplements. But with Adrenal Fatigue, most nutrients and antioxidants become significantly depleted. Supplements offer extra support the body needs and assist in speeding the process.
- Multivitamins: Opt for the high-quality, easily-absorbed ones. A certain supply of nutrients is needed when a poor diet may impact our nutrition. Be mindful of the brand of vitamins you choose. Different companies have different quality control standards that may lessen the effect of the multivitamins you take. Inadequate vitamin quality is useless when it comes to healing Adrenal Fatigue.
- Antioxidants: These are important because they help control the increase of free radicals, also called oxidative stress. The physiology of stress, aka Adrenal Fatigue, creates excess free radicals and oxidative stress. An increase in free radicals places more demand on your antioxidant reserves. These must be replenished to prevent further wear and tear from chronic stress and Adrenal Fatigue.
- Essential Fatty Acids : These make up the majority of your cell membranes, and they help with brain cell communication.
The best EFAs to take when healing Adrenal Fatigue are:
- Omega 3 from fish
- Organic fish or krill oils
- Organic flaxseed oil
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The Connection Between Autoimmunity And Hpa Dysregulation
HPA axis dysfunction is often found in those with multiple sclerosis. While it is not well understood as to why this dysfunction manifests in those with MS, researchers suspect it is due to general hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hyperactivity, disordered orexin neurotransmission, and abnormal cortisol secretion.
Moreover, this study found that dysregulation of extra-adrenal glucocorticoid production can play a key role in a variety of autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis , lupus erythematosus , rheumatoid arthritis , and skin inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis .
Pay Attention To Your Coffee Intake
Coffee is misunderstood when it come to adrenal fatigue. The standard advice is to avoid it entirely because it spikes cortisol. The reality is a little more complicated than that.
Coffee does spike cortisol if you only drink it occasionally. If you drink it every morning, though , you build tolerance to the cortisol release, but not to coffees wakefulness boost.
But in order to build tolerance to the cortisol, you have to drink coffee every morning. If you only drink it occasionally, your body wont adjust, and the coffee will cause a big cortisol spike that isnt good for adrenal fatigue.
Basically, when it comes to adrenal fatigue and coffee, you should take an all-or-nothing approach:
- Drink coffee every morning, or
- Cut out coffee entirely
If you do decide to drink coffee, I suggest Bulletproof Coffee for extra mental clarity and effortless focus, which is crucial when dealing with adrenal fatigue.
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What Are The Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do
You have two small adrenal glands that lie just above each kidney. Each adrenal gland has an outer part and an inner part . Cells in the adrenal glands make various hormones. A hormone is a chemical which is made in one part of the body but passes into the bloodstream and has effects on other parts of the body.
Cells in the outer part of the adrenal glands make the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. The amount of cortisol that is made is controlled by another hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone . ACTH is made in a small gland that lies just under the brain . This in turn is stimulated by another hormone which is produced by another part of the brain called the hypothalamus. ACTH passes into the bloodstream, is carried to the adrenal glands and stimulates the adrenal glands to make cortisol.
- Cortisol is a hormone that is vital for health. It has many functions which include:
- Helping to regulate blood pressure.
- Helping to regulate the immune system.
- Helping to balance the effect of insulin in regulating the blood sugar level.
- Helping the body to respond to stress.
Cells in the inner part of the adrenal glands make the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline . These have various actions throughout the body.