However, more recently, many doctors have come to believe that chronic stress can also tax the adrenal glands to cause a milder form of adrenal insufficiency called “adrenal fatigue.” In this article, the adrenal health specialists at Tutera Medical in Scottsdale, AZ explain the symptoms of adrenal adrenal fatigue – and offer 7 “natural” treatments that patients can implement to help reduce adrenal fatigue and increase their energy.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Symptoms and side-effects of adrenal fatigue are similar to adrenal insufficiency. Signs that a patient may be suffering from adrenal fatigue include:
- Loss of energy & fatigue
- Body aches & pains that are unexplained
- Unintentional weight loss without explanation
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness or feelings of lightheadedness
- Decrease in body hair
- Skin discoloration, in some cases
How Adrenal Fatigue is Diagnosed
While adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed by blood tests – such as stimulation testing to reveal low adrenal hormones – standard blood tests may not be sensitive enough to detect smaller decreases in adrenal function. So, doctors and medical providers often miss cases of adrenal fatigue – and may even “write off” their patients’ concerns about loss of energy and vitality.
Of course, it is extremely frustrating for patients who have persistent loss of energy their doctors can’t explain, or even dismiss. However, the integrative medical providers at Tutera Medical in Scottsdale, AZ have years of experience diagnosing and treating hormonal insufficiency and imbalances that may be causing fatigue.
How Stress Leads to Adrenal Fatigue
When our human ancestors were threatened with highly dangerous situations their bodies released hormones that either helped them stay and fight, or or flee from danger. These two ways that the human body reacts to stress is known as the “Fight or Flight” response. Obviously, in modern society, humans don’t face life threatening situations on a day-to-day basis. However, in life today, humans typically do face chronically high levels of stress almost every day.
Life’s chronic sources of stress can include work, finances, family obligations, romantic relationships, rush-hour traffic, and of course the Covid-19 pandemic! These types of modern-day stressors cause the human body to release the same “fight or flight” hormones that early humans released when they faced wild animals.
And, when the body continually releases stress hormones on a daily basis, medical providers believe that the adrenals cannot keep up with demand. This then results in “adrenal fatigue” that causes fatigue, loss of energy, unexplained weight loss, and other symptoms of adrenal deficiency.
Natural Treatments for Adrenal Fatigue
Below, our hormonal health experts offer seven healthy lifestyle changes that can reduce daily stressors on the adrenal glands, to help maintain necessary adrenal levels and help restore energy.
1. Following the adrenal diet helps reduce adrenal fatigue
The adrenal diet is a food-based approach to reducing stress on the adrenal glands. It consists of a variety of bright colored vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, whole-grain carbs, and limited sugar.
It is also necessary to remember that following a strict no-carb diet will stress the adrenals even more, and can cause causing worse adrenal burnout. So try to avoid processed carbs like cookies and cakes, and instead include healthy whole-grain carbs like quinoa and lentils.
2. Going to bed early helps reduce adrenal fatigue
Keep in mind that when you sleep can be as important as how much sleep you get. Most people will experience a second cortisol surge after 11 p.m., which can further deplete the adrenal glands, disrupting a person’s sleep patterns. So, getting to bed before 11 p.m. can often help avoid adrenal fatigue.
3. Supplements can help treat adrenal fatigue
B vitamins – especially B12 and folate – support the body’s energy production. Supplements that ensure adequate levels of Vitamin D, selenium, magnesium, and zinc are all beneficial for proper thyroid and adrenal function. And Omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, and vitamin C offer anti-inflammatory benefits that can promote adrenal health.
4. Proper hydration helps reduce adrenal fatigue
The health of all of the body’s organs – including the adrenal glands – depends on consuming plenty of water all throughout the day. To further up hydration, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or bit of Himalayan sea salt to your water.
5. Daily rest periods can help reduce adrenal fatigue
Taking two 20-minute rest breaks a day can be extremely beneficial for people suffering from adrenal fatigue. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to take a full-blown nap – but taking a twenty minute period to breathe, meditate and relax can help the adrenals rejuvenate.
6. Lower exercise intensity to treat adrenal fatigue
It is well established that high-intensity cardiovascular exercise is excellent for heart health. But high-intensity work outs can also “burn out” adrenal function if it is overdone. As an alternative, consider replacing some of your high-impact training with lower-impact exercise such as yoga or Pilates.
7. Reducing stress helps treat adrenal fatigue
Finding methods that work for you to cope with stress is the most important natural step individuals can take to reduce stressing the adrenal glands. Of course, reducing stress is always easier said than done. But, trying to adjust one’s perspective or alter one’s outlook can go a long way toward reducing the stress that causes adrenal fatigue.
Reconsidering goals and behaviors that may be driving one too hard, can typically be helpful in lowering one’s stress levels. Of course, some sources of stress, such as a sick family member, or job loss, are unavoidable. But finding ways that work for you to help maintain a healthy life balance can help reduce the stress on the adrenals – improving energy and reducing other symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal Fatigue Treatment | Scottsdale, AZ
If you are suffering from unexplained fatigue of loss of energy you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue, or another hormone imbalance.
Through natural, integrative medicine and hormonal balancing our medical providers can help you take the next step to restoring your energy, reducing symptoms, and living a long and healthy life. Schedule an appointment with the hormone experts at Tutera Medical in Scottsdale, AZ today and start living with improved vitality today.