Yesterday, we talked about my friend Bob, the insurance executive suffering from the “black sheep” of illnesses, adrenal fatigue.
If you feel tired all the time, never feel rested even after a full night’s sleep, have unexplainable body aches, or any of the other symptoms we talked about yesterday, you might also be suffering from this slightly mysterious illness. The key with adrenal fatigue is to take action and, even if your doctor is telling you there’s nothing wrong, you need to follow your gut and check into alternative options.
11 Tips to Diagnose and Treat Adrenal Fatigue
As I mentioned, if ignored, adrenal fatigue can lead to even bigger problems, such as diabetes. To make sure you don’t suffer these kinds of consequences, here are 11 simple guidelines I’ve come up with for you to follow. Even if adrenal fatigue isn’t your issue, these guidelines will still help improve your overall health, so there’s no harm in trying them out:
1. See a Natural Health Practitioner: If you suspect you have adrenal fatigue, who can help? Visit a natural health doctor, a naturopathic doctor, or a holistic nutritionist. They have a deeper understanding about adrenal fatigue, can better diagnose your condition, and can guide you in the right direction toward improved health and effective treatments.
2. Be Aware of Salty Food Cravings: Do you find you crave salty snacks, such as potato chips? Do you maybe even devour the entire bag in one sitting? This can be a clear sign you suffer from adrenal fatigue, meaning it’s time to seek help and make the right moves to improve your health.
3. Eliminate Sources of EMF Frequencies: There is one major cause of adrenal fatigue that is often ignored—EMF (electromagnetic field) frequencies. The most common EMF sources include computers, smartphones, Bluetooth devices, and Wi-Fi signals. To help heal your adrenals, start by unplugging or shutting down these devices when they’re not in use and keep them out of your bedroom when sleeping.
4. Cut Out Potential Food Allergies and Sensitivities: People with food allergies and sensitivities often suffer from adrenal fatigue as well. Adrenal glands release cortisol (an anti-inflammatory substance), and most allergies release histamine and other inflammatory substances. The more histamine your body releases, the harder your adrenal glands work to produce cortisol. The best way to eliminate this risk is to see a naturopathic doctor or holistic nutritionist who can help you test for any unknown food allergies and sensitivities.
5. Avoid Chocolate: Do you crave chocolate throughout your day? A lot of chocolate today contains caffeine, which causes further adrenal fatigue stimulation. However, your chocolate craving is an important message. It is a sign your body craves more magnesium; swap out your sweet treat with natural sources of magnesium, like almonds, kelp, or sesame seeds, to help treat your adrenal fatigue.
6. Pay Attention to Your Health Following Life-Changing Events: Adrenal fatigue can suddenly appear after life-altering events, such as a death in the family, major surgery, pressures at work or home, or the loss of your job. While these events are often unavoidable, be particularly aware that you may be more susceptible to adrenal fatigue during these times and seek help from a medical professional if you’re concerned. Know that outside pressures may cause stress and adrenal fatigue, but if you don’t seek treatment, it could be extremely detrimental to your health. Try to take care of yourself, especially when you’re experiencing major life-changing events.
7. Don’t Miss a Meal: Ever wonder why you feel terrible when you miss a meal? Adrenal fatigue symptoms will increase anytime you miss a meal throughout the day, so be sure to eat regularly and choose healthy foods to give your body a boost, which leads me to my next guideline…
8. Take an Appropriate Approach to Your Diet: From a health perspective, the right approach to a proper adrenal fatigue diet includes 30%–40% vegetables; 5%–10% fruits, 30%–40% whole grains; 10%–15% beans, nuts, and seeds; and 10%–20% animal foods.
9. Reduce Stress Through Relaxation Techniques and Healthy Lifestyle Changes: A restorative yoga class or qigong class, or learning a deep breathing technique can help you reduce the stress associated with adrenal fatigue.
10. Get a Saliva Hormone Test: The most accurate laboratory test is saliva hormone testing. It can measure hormone imbalances of cortisol and DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), which can help identify if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue. If you suspect you are, request that your doctor run this test.
11. Take Nutrients and Herbs for Adrenal Support: Your natural health practitioner may suggest you replenish with important nutrients for adrenal support, such as vitamins C, E, and B-complex (especially B6, B5, and B12), zinc, magnesium, calcium, and selenium. Adaptogenic herbs can also help adrenal fatigue, and may include ashwagandha, Rhodiola rosea, holy basil, licorice root, Ginkgo biloba, or Siberian ginseng.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“What is Adrenal Fatigue?” AdrenalFatigue.org web site; http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/what-is-adrenal-fatigue, last accessed February 17, 2015.
Wilson, J., Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome (Petaluma: Smart Publications, 2001), 5–18, 121, 155, 175, 193–207.