Adrenal fatigue and stress
The natural approach to adrenal health
Conventional medicine is still looking for a drug to cure extreme fatigue. But a pharmaceutical solution isn't a good idea or even necessary. Whether you’re wired all the time because of stress and can’t wind down, or you’re barely able to get out of bed due to fatigue, your best option for relief from adrenal fatigue is the natural approach.
Unlike prescription medications, the natural approach helps break the existing patterns your body has developed as it reacts to negative stress. By combining simple changes in your nutrition, supplements and lifestyle, you can adjust your body’s overall response to stress to dramatically reduce — and usually completely eliminate — symptoms such as fatigue, irritability, weight gain and more.
Here’s why the natural approach is highly effective no matter what your stage of adrenal imbalance:
Adrenal fatigue is progressive
Which stage are you in today?
Your first step to adrenal health: responding to your body’s needs
Whichever stage of adrenal imbalance describes you today, phytotherapy — the use of plant-based ingredients — can reduce the negative effects of stress and help rebalance your adrenals. Many herbs have “adaptogenic” properties — they are actually capable of supporting your body in different ways depending on what it needs.
We’ve found the following herbs to be most effective in resolving adrenal imbalance:
- Astragalus root — to support the immune system and help protect the body from physical, mental or emotional stress.
- Siberian ginseng — to reduce fatigue, increase energy, and enhance mental clarity. Also widely used to boost the immune system and immune system response.
- Rhodiola — to improve response to physical stress, enhance immune function and reduce fatigue.
- Cordyceps — to replenish immune system function and promote overall good health. It also appears to act as an antioxidant in the body, protecting against free-radical damage.
- Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) — to calm anxiety and help with insomnia. Neuroscientists believe it works by increasing the availability of the “relaxing” chemical, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid).
Food and lifestyle choices matter too for adrenal health
Most women with stress issues simply don’t have the energy to face multiple changes to their diet and lifestyle all at once. That’s another reason why starting with the supplements is a good idea.
But the truth is, if your symptoms are severe, making a few key diet and lifestyle changes will really help your supplements heal your adrenals.
Here's our four-step diet and lifestyle checklist, plus examples of the changes that are easiest to make:
Eat for energy. Focus on eating choices and patterns that allow you to achieve more stable energy levels throughout the day. Don’t skip meals or starve yourself — that’s too stressful for your adrenals. We recommend eating at regular times — ideally three balanced meals and two snacks a day. Start making changes to your diet by including protein at every meal and fewer carbohydrates, especially sugary snacks. You’ll find more simple dietary changes that can lead to big results in the Adrenal-Friendly Eating Plan in our Health Package.
Focus on stress reduction and make emotional wellness a priority. One simple change is to practice regular deep breathing. Practice breathing in through your nose so that your lungs fill and your belly rises and then exhale slowly through your nose. Repeat for a few breaths, ideally for several minutes. As you move forward, try to find other ways for “self-care,” especially by identifying and focusing on meeting your own needs. You’ll find this will help change your attitude towards stress, which research shows, can actually lessen the negative effects of stress!
Assess your exercise routine: “chill out” vs “work out.” When your adrenals are imbalanced, high-intensity exercise only adds to the stress load you’re already bearing. We recommend that you choose an activity you enjoy, and be sure to pace yourself. If you feel invigorated after your exercise, it’s probably fine.
Make it a priority to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. If possible, go to bed by 10:00 PM. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? But you need the rest to break your patterns. A good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to restore your adrenal glands, and the greatest adrenal healing occurs hours between 7:00 PM and 9:00 AM. If you describe yourself as “wired” or “tired and wired,” try a phytotherapy option to reduce cortisol levels that cause stress-induced sleeplessness.
Checking in with yourself
We all know that stress in our lives isn’t going to disappear. That’s why it is so important to increase the support you give your body and change the pattern of your stress response. Think about what you might be willing to try and take the time to notice any changes to your symptoms.
Our Adrenal Health Package comes in three versions to match your specific stage of adrenal imbalance — Wired, Tired and Wired, or Tired. To learn more about your individual symptoms, take our FREE on-line Adrenal Health Profile or get more details about how the natural approach of supplements, dietary options and lifestyle changes found in our Health Package can help you start to feel better today.
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Last Modified Date: 05/02/2013