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Overcoming Adrenal Fatigue

I am seeing more and more people at the clinic with Adrenal Fatigue! Why is this? What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Whether it’s rushing to get everyone organized and out the door in the mornings, running late for work, meeting that deadline, worrying about sick children or paying bills, life can sometimes feel overwhelming! Some of us cope very well with the pressure – for a while.

Signs of Adrenal fatigue

Stage One Stress Response

Our stage one stress response helps us to deal with the myriad of tasks we need to perform each day by elevating our cortisol, adrenaline and nor-adrenaline levels to increase our alertness and responses. Many of us feel great in this stage, as if we have loads of energy.  But in actual fact we are running on adrenaline and we cant do this long term.

Stage Two Stress Response

In our stage two response, cortisol is elevated continuously in response to our busy lifestyle and we become less able to turn it off. This is when we start to feel wired and unable to wind down.  We may become reactive, irritable and snappy.  Our sleep may be disturbed and anxiety increases.  After pushing ourselves like this for a long time, we arrive at stage three of the stress response where we can start to become cortisol resistant and unable to respond to the stimulus of cortisol.

Our adrenal glands become depleted causing adrenal insufficiency which leads to cortisol depletion and we become exhausted! This is known as adrenal fatigue.

What can you do to overcome Adrenal Fatigue?

1. Improve your diet

This means reducing or eliminating foods that you are sensitive to and foods that cause inflammation. Reduce sugar and eat lots of brightly coloured vegetables, plenty of protein, and good fats. Increase prebiotic and probiotic foods to nourish your microbiome.

2. Get plenty of rest and sleep

Build plenty of rest times into the day and get to bed before 11pm. Aim for 7-9 hours sleep per night. This is a must in any stage of adrenal fatigue. Many people wake in the night with surges of adrenalin – either related to stress or blood sugar dropping.

3. Rehmannia, Licorice & Vitamin C

These are my 3 main go-to ingredients for adrenal recovery. They help to replenish the adrenal glands and restore function.

4. Check your nutrient status

B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, selenium, iodine, CoQ10, iron, magnesium and zinc are all essential for energy production and adrenal function. Minerals are hyper-excreted during adrenal stress. You may be lacking some of these in your diet or need some supplementation.

5. Use Adaptogenic herbs

As well as Rehmannia and Licorice, there are many other Adaptogens that provide adrenal support. Adaptogens are herbs that have the ability to increase our resistance and help you cope with stressors.  Adaptogens may also help to increase physical performance and enhance mental function. See my blog on the adaptogens.

6. Learn to meditate

It takes just a few minutes of our day. Whether it’s deep breathing, yoga practice, guided meditation, or just living mindfully, these will help to reduce and manage your response to stress.

7. Exercise

Exercise is known to reduce cortisol levels and increase endorphins – our feel good hormones to counteract our stress.

8. Reach out

Talking with friends, socializing, seeing a counsellor, writing a journal can all help in dealing with daily stressors and help to find solutions to problems we may be facing.

9. Consider changes in your circumstances

Is all the stress really worth it? Are you striving for success at the expense of your health? Can you change your pace? Are you able to say no? Do you need a career change?

10. Cortisol Testing

Our cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day and determining their levels can help to target treatments more specifically. I use salivary cortisol testing in the clinic, to evaluate levels of stress hormones. This can help to uncover any biochemical imbalances underlying anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, obesity, blood sugar problems, insomnia, immune concerns, and a host of other clinical conditions that may affect our day to day lives.

Getting support for Adrenal Fatigue can be challenging! If you are experiencing some of these health problems, or feeling overwhelmed, stressed or exhausted, feel free to contact me to to get the support you need.

Call 0403 755 584 or book an appointment online

Angela McTaggart
Qualified Clinical Naturopath
Brunswick Naturopathy

Angela McTaggart - Naturopath, Brunswick Naturopathy