Adrenal Fatigue: Symptoms & Solutions for this Under-Reported Condition Even Your Doctor Doesn't Know

Posted March 22, 2007. There have been 15 comments

If your life is full of stress and you're finding yourself more and more exhausted, you may have adrenal fatigue. Learn the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and steps to bring back your vitality.

Feeling exhausted? Low on willpower? Having difficulty losing weight? Think it's your thyroid? Think again...because many hypothyroid symptoms are so similar to adrenal fatigue that the two are often confused.1

On top of this confusion, tests for thyroid and adrenal problems are often difficult to interpret correctly. Some doctors believe that even if you had low thyroid function, it could be adrenal stress causing the problem to begin with, which would be difficult to diagnose without more tests.2

Body Ecology teaches that creating energy in a person's body is essential in order to establish, regain or maintain health...and it's your adrenals and your thyroid efficiently working togetherthat really supply you with energy.

Your adrenals, two walnut-sized organs that sit on top of your kidneys, are the workhorses of your body. If you are exhausted, chances are, your adrenals - AND their partner the thyroid - need attention.

What happens when the adrenals and thyroid have lost their life force or "spirit?" Your digestive system, the organs in your brain (e.g., hypothalamus and pituitary), your thyroid, liver, endocrine system, sexual organ system, heart and central nervous system suffer.3

Adrenals and Stress

The adrenals are your "life saving" organs because they control your body's hormones and help you survive in stressful situations. They act as control organs for your "fight or flight" response and secrete many of our most important hormones including: pregnenolone, adrenaline, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, DHEA and cortisol.

Cortisol, often referred to as the death or stress hormone, does have some life-giving tasks. For example, cortisol helps: prepare your body for survival in stressful situations, metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fats into energy, slow the immune system's inflammatory response, regulate the balance of converting insulin in breaking down sugar for energy and helps maintain your cardiovascular health and blood pressure.3

Cortisol becomes the "death hormone" when levels remain too high - which it does under chronic stress.The human body was designed to respond effectively to stress and then have periods of rest in between. Unfortunately, our modern day society is so full of constant stressors that we are no longer having that time of rest.

There is an eloquent connection between your adrenals and your brain. These organs are constantly in communication with each other using chemical messengers (or hormones) that flow between the adrenals, the hypothalamus and the pituitary.

When your adrenals are constantly stressed this sets off an autoimmune, inflammatory response in your entire body. The adrenal-hypothalamus-pituitary feedback loop regulates the secretion of cortisol.4 All of your organs AND your immunity are impacted negatively by the resulting constant assault of cortisol. Cortisol suppresses DHEA the" youth hormone."

Your brain obtains this hormone from your adrenals. DHEA is the most abundant hormone in the body and your brain has an enormous "appetite" for DHEA.

When you understand all these connections, it is easy to see why there is such a wide-range of symptoms when the adrenals start to burn out.

Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:

  • Cravings for sugar
  • Cravings for salt on food when you eat
  • Feel dehydrated and thirsty and require plenty of water
  • Difficulty falling asleep at night, sleep lightly or wake early or often
  • Difficulty relaxing, nervous, anxious or hyperactive
  • Often spacey, or foggy thinking, even memory loss
  • Lack willpower to accomplish
  • General exhaustion
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Low libido
  • Weight gain, especially in abdomen and waist area
  • Losing muscle tone
  • Sagging skin, dry, yellow or pale in color
  • Hair starting to gray, thin out and become dry
  • Lips losing their color
  • Loss of appetite
  • Anorexia
  • Weight loss
  • High blood sugar

At Body Ecology, we believe adrenal fatigue is an underlying factor in just about every physical, emotional and spiritual problem we are suffering from today.

7 Foods and Lifestyle Habits that Tax Your Adrenals AND Healthy Alternatives

By now you know how a stressful lifestyle affects your adrenals, but what about diet?

What you eat absolutely affects the health of your adrenals. The worst offenders create an acidic condition in your blood and rob your body of precious vitamins and minerals.

Certain nutrients, especially B-Vitamins, Vitamin C and minerals are essential for feeding your adrenals. Of these, perhaps most important are minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, etc).

Here are some common foods, drinks and lifestyle habits that contribute to adrenal fatigue AND what to choose instead:

  1. Sugar
    Instead: Use stevia - an all-natural herbal sweetener that gives you a sweet taste without feeding candida, raising your blood sugar or robbing your body of minerals. Learn more by reading: The One Supplement that Should be in Everyone's Cooking Cupboard.
  2. Coffee
    - Instead: Replace your morning cup of adrenaline boosting coffee with far superior options. Vitality SuperGreen - this gut-healing green drink is full of the nutrients that your adrenals and thyroid love. On top of that, it provides a natural source of alkalizing energy for your body. For more information, read: Are You at Peak Vitality? Answer these Key Questions. A shot glass of fermented spirulina will get your energy up and almost instantly. One ounce of black currant juice in 4 - 6 ounces of young coconut kefir is another classic Body Ecology adrenal tonic.
  3. Too much animal protein - most people don't have enough stomach acid to digest animal protein properly, creating an acidic condition in their blood.
    Instead: follow the 80/20 rule and enjoy meals with 80% vegetables and 20% protein.
    Also use Body Ecology's ASSIST for Protein
    Fermented foods and liquids are a must for digestion of proteins. That means animal proteins and vegetable proteins.
  4. Processed foods strip your body of minerals making your blood acidic and your adrenals weaken quickly. Over time you will look and feel older than your age. This is one of the most important anti-aging secrets to delay and even reverse old age.
    Instead: change your diet step-by-step focus on Body Ecology's 7 key healthy eating habits and immediately introduce at least one of our fermented foods and liquids into your diet. These are the new and true "fast foods" of today. They are quickly becoming the new "stars" in the natural foods industry. But no one knows fermented foods like we do here at Body Ecology. Why would we call them a fast food? How much time does it take to open a jar of cultured veggies or a bottle of CocoBiotic or BE Wholegrain Liquid?
  5. Soda pop
    Instead: try Body Ecology's probiotic liquids for their immune-boosting and adrenal nourishing properties. To make the new "soda pop" once again we have a great solution. Pour a small amount of your favorite fermented liquid (like BE WholeGrain) into a glass. Add sparkling mineral water and stevia to taste. If you are a parent or a grandparent please introduce your own little ones to this great alternative. Then watch their health and their behavior change for the better.
  6. Drugs - this includes over the counter, recreational and prescription drugs. For more information, read: How this All-Too-Common Habit is Making Your Blood Dangerously Acidic.
  7. Stress
    Instead - Get plenty of rest and heal negative emotions. take time for self-care routines like meditation, yoga, deep breathing and getting plenty of sleep. Negative thoughts and emotions can sabotage your best efforts at relaxing. Try effective emotional clearing approaches like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Just like diet, thoughts and emotions become habits. EFT is a great way to easily change these thought habits and start healing your emotional health.
  8. Ancient Earth Minerals

    Are you suffering from adrenal fatigue? Your adrenals need plenty of high quality minerals and these days, farming methods have depleted minerals from our produce. The good news is that you can nourish your adrenals with Ancient Earth Minerals. Ancient Earth Minerals has the highest quality, bio-available humic, fulvic, micro and macro minerals and amino acids in capsule form. Just 3 capsules in the morning and 3 capsules at bedtime will help you nourish your adrenals and help you feel good again. Learn more about Ancient Earth Minerals and order yours today!

    Carpe Diem

    Let's face it, we are all so busy we often don't take time out for ourselves - to rest, relax, breathe or nourish ourselves in the ways we wish we could. Often, it's because we fall into "doing," putting off self-care until "someday when we have the time."

    After awhile, our busy lives and diets become habits that feel "too hard" to change. In some ways, breaking this addiction-to-being-busy habit means stepping out of easily and starting anew...and even that takes time we don't think we have.

    And yet, in the end, it's energy, vitality and just plain feeling good that we all truly seek. It's the only way we can truly be happy. The vital constitutional energy that is stored in our adrenals is essential to reaching old age looking and feeling like a teenager. Interestingly, just a few changes - maybe just one step in the right direction of healing your adrenals (and don't forget your thyroid) - can be just what you need.

    There's nothing that feels better or gives more energy than your health...and isn't that worth the effort? For more on adrenal fatigue, listen to Donna Gates' comprehensive CD on Adrenal Fatigue and start building your energy and vitality today!

    Sources

    1. Hypothyroidism and hormone imbalance.
      http://www.womentowomen.com/hypothyroidism/hormonalimbalance.asp?id=1&campaignno=thyroid&adgroup=adgroup2thyroid&keywords=low+thyroid
    2. Thyroid testing for hypothyroidism.
      http://www.womentowomen.com/hypothyroidism/testing.asp
    3. Adrenal Insufficiency. Pituitary Network Association.
      http://www.pituitary.org/disorders/addisons_disease.aspx
    4. Raber, J. Detrimental effects of chronic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation. From obesity to memory deficits. Gladstone Institute of Neurological Diseases. 1998.
      http://www.biopsychiatry.com/hpa.htm
    5. Bowen, R. Glucocorticoids. Colorado State University. May 2006.
      http://www.vivo.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/endocrine/adrenal/gluco.html

Post Categories: Adrenal Fatigue Fermented Foods

15 Comments

  • It is so great to finally read something that makes sense with my symptoms. I have been to the hospital so many times and I'm always dehydrated but could never figure out why! I have had more blood tests than I care to count
    and they all came back just fine. I w

    Posted on Nov 5 at 8:20 am

  • my 11 yr old daughter has passed out 3 to 4 times and rushed to hospital as often the last time they discovered a irregular heart beat

    Posted on Aug 2 at 8:28 am

  • “... A healthy and clean colon is one of the most important precursors to good health and that the great majority of body ailments and diseases originate in an acidic and dirty colon.
    Good Water is essential for your health. Drink "good water" (Alkaline Ionized Water) such as mineral water or hard water, which has calcium & magnesium, and keeps the body at an optimal alkaline pH
    Dr. Shinya, Author on The Enzyme Factor

    I have been drinking this phenomenal water for about 7 years now... I feel great!! Never felt better!
    Hydrate and detox with this water.... Leontine.

    Posted on Feb 8 at 7:54 pm

  • would this explain the little amount of urine when i'm drinking water or watered down juice as much as i can- I've probably drank 4 20 oz bottles at least so far today- do have major sinus infection currently too- i'm wondering if that would have any impact

    Posted on Jun 18 at 3:17 pm

  • I have been suffering from hot flushes and sweats. I am 66 and hormone blood tests results are fine. I have the symptoms of fatigue especailly in the morning, brain fog, sometimes nervous for no reason, sometimes feel cold when no one else is, weight gain, type 2 diabetes, constipation, low libido. Is there a blood test for adrenal fatigue? Doctor says I look fine and other blood tests are OK. I am so frustrated with the heat and fatigue. How do I test for kidney problems? Something is very wrong.

    Posted on May 3 at 2:07 pm

  • I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism 7yrs ago and was on meds. Had regular tests. Just had a test last week to find that my thyroid is normal. Have'nt had meds for months so its not them keeping my thyroid normal. Could it've been a miss diagnosis of Hypothyroidism and be Adrenals instead?

    Posted on Mar 29 at 11:49 am

  • Yona-Please get yourself to a doctor ASAP. One of the signs of kidney failure is a metalic taste in the mouth. Your kidneys will rarely show failure untile too late, except for subtle signs such as this, and that is one of them as well other signs that can be low thyroid, adrenals under stress etc. like extreme fatigue or feeling cold when others are comfortable.

    Posted on Mar 2 at 10:11 pm

  • I identify several symptoms in myself, however as w/ most alternative medicine claims the mainstream medical world is very critical of this formulation & says that large does of vitamins and minerals might disable the adrenals. Is there a balanced assessment available?

    Posted on Feb 21 at 8:30 pm

  • Everyone suffering, get yourself to a doctor of integrative medicine ASAP. This was me 14 months ago. I had all the above symptoms. I was considered one of the healthier eaters amid co-workers but still changes and treatment were needed; I was in decline. Still go to your regular doctor but see an integrative doctor. When my doctor of conventional medicine told me nothing was wrong, I knew something WAS wrong. Now I am healthy and continuing to see both types of doctors for maintenance and I have my life back. I wish everyone suffering a chance at recovery, like I had. Best wishes!

    Posted on Feb 15 at 5:07 am

  • I believe am suffering from this condition,

    For 5 years now I have chronically used ant-acids to help with my acid reflux but with little results.

    Now Iam always week, general body weekness, weekness in my limbs, I severely lack energy, aching knee joints when I walk, bad breath which comes from the stomach not mouth, week sexual libido, I get tired quickly when working, silver taste in the mouth, costipation even when I eat plenty of vegetables, unending heartburn, I feel an usually fool after eating, gas in the stomach, weght gain in my stomach and weist, very dry skin, dry lips.

    From what you have explained, I think I have Adrenal fatigue and a slow thyroid. I also think the PPI's I have taken have shut down HCL in the stomach thus the digestive problems I have.

    The bad breath could be a result of bacteria in the stomach.

    I need help, a proper diagnosis and treatment.

    Please Help about this

    Thank You

    Posted on Jan 22 at 1:47 am

  • Which CD exactly do you mean when you mentioned the CD on Adrenal Fatigue, is it part of one of your programs? Or part of both?
    Are these programs also available in digital format?

    Posted on Mar 14 at 9:12 pm

  • Thank you for sharing this information. Due to stress I packed on weight and suffered from he although problems. I want to live a healthy life so I encourage everyone to set goals and don't give up. Water, Water, Water!

    Posted on Feb 6 at 2:20 pm

  • Just discovered I have adrenal fatigue and it's affecting my thyroid and heart. A surprise to me, as I consider myself very healthy. I'm an Acupuncture Physician and have been helping others get well for the last 7 years. I'm now learning to allow others to contribute to me and my life. I'm also learning the importance of self care, REAL self care, like operating on a schedule, allowing time for spiritual growth and physical recovery. Thanks for this site.

    Posted on Oct 18 at 3:33 pm

  • Making changes for a healthier life style - particularly diet- can make a big difference! I've been trying out Marcelle Pick's 30-day Eating Program (see her book Are You Tired and Wired?) and am making some positive changes. Two friends of mine followed the program this summer and reported increased energy levels and overall feeling way better!

    Posted on Sep 14 at 8:37 am

  • Very good overview. I would also add alcohol consumption to your list of adrenal lifestyle detractors.

    Posted on Jul 11 at 9:03 pm

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