Adrenal fatigue has become a common disorder among many people suffering from anxiety and chronic stress. Adrenal fatigue, also known as adrenal exhaustion, is caused when the body’s adaptive energy that protects us from being overwhelmed by stress cannot longer do so.
We get extra energy to combat stress from our adrenal glands. But if we are exposed to a source of stress that is prolonged and continuous, it becomes highly likely that the adrenal glands will eventually grow tired to perform their functions properly.
Prolonged exposure to stress, sooner or later, forces the adrenal glands to reach a state of “fatigue” or “exhaustion.” At this stage, the body’s natural stress response has failed, and therefore lost its power to maintain internal balances. Given the insufficient adrenal resources, you are now more likely to become really anxious when dealing with even the so called “normal” day-to-day stresses.
Common Causes and Triggers of Adrenal Fatigue
There are several causes of adrenal fatigue. Some of the common triggers are listed below:
- Life traumas (losses, life transitions, abuse, etc)
- Prolonged work-related stress
- Repressed negative emotions
- Severe physical illness
- Inadequate sleep
- Protracted exposure to heat or cold.
- Prolonged exposure to toxins and pollutants
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
One of the main outcomes of a prolonged adrenal fatigue is chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). There are other symptoms that are likely to become obvious in the process:
- Hypoglycaemia (erratic blood sugar levels, leading to weak immune system)
- Frequent cold
- Respiratory conditions
- Low stress tolerance (little things now bother you a lot)
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Addiction to alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and recreational drugs
Your 3-Month Recovery Plan from Adrenal Fatigue
In order to recover from adrenal fatigue, there is no one way to it. You will need to fight it from various battle-fronts. Recovery can be achieved a lot quicker by combining psychotherapy with several other recovery elements; such as, dietary, life style changes and supplements.
I recommend my 7 week recovery programme to take care of the psychotherapy part. Then, follow the below steps to take care of the lifestyle changes and dietary elements.
This is a 3 month recovery plan. Ensure that you stick with all these steps for at least 3 months.
- Process your repressed negative emotions. This is one of the greatest breeders of anxiety disorder and adrenal fatigue. When we go through unpleasant life experiences, they live us with negative emotions. If we do not adequately process such negative emotions, they become repressed in the subconscious mind. Over time, these repressed emotions drain the adaptive energy of the adrenal glands and make them ineffective. To help you with this, check out my 7-week recovery programme that is designed for this purpose and a lot more.
- Regularly engage in mind body relaxation. Relaxation exercises, if done regularly and properly, have the power to restore the body’s adaptive energy. The body is designed to replenish and heal itself. Negative emotions and stress make this impossible. But in an atmosphere of relaxation, the body regains it energy to self-heal. In my 7-week recovery programme, there are guided imagery audios and power metaphors to help you achieve mind body calm that leads to recovery from adrenal fatigue.
- Get enough sleep. This may sound over simplistic. But it is very important. Adrenal fatigue means that your entire body is under constant and immense stress. This makes your sleep time very crucial. This is the only time the body uses to garner its ultimate energy to see if it could restore a bit of order into your system. Therefore prioritise your sleep time. If it’s not really worth it, don’t stay up late for anything. Try to get eight hours of sleep at night.
- Exercise regularly. When you exercise regularly, you give your body system a huge energy lift towards your overall recovery. Get 20-30 minutes of exercise everyday. Go for a walk or a run. Sign up for a swimming class. Use a thread-mill if you have one or join a Gym if you can afford it. You cannot be healthy beyond the effectiveness and frequency of your exercises. Start this week and keep it up for the next 3 months. Set up an exercise programme that will get you started straightaway this week. Do not postpone it.
- For the next 3 months, challenge yourself to reduce your sugar intake. It is even better if you can eliminate it completely. This includes brown and white sugar, chocolates, honey, corn syrup, maple syrup, dried fruit and molasses. You can use xylitol or stevia as substitutes instead. Xylitol is a sugar made from fibre of the birch tree. It only increases your blood sugar level a little bit and does not lead to a rise in your insulin level. Stevia is a herb. It is sweeter than sugar. But it has no calories and safer than common sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin. You can buy xylitol and stevia from most health food stores, online or offline. After 3 months, you can start using natural sugars in very small amounts such as honey.
- Eat healthily. Avoid as much as possible processed foods. Eat more fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, whole and grains in your diet. Reduce the amount of carbohydrate/starch intake. Eat a small portion of pasta, bread, potatoes, chips, cereal, etc. Eat more protein; beans, eggs, fish or antibiotic-free meat.
- Abstain from nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and recreational drugs. Drink herb teas and water instead.
Along with all of the above steps, there are some supplements that can also assist your recovery from adrenal fatigue. The following supplements are helpful as recommended by experts. Of course, you can confirm this from your health professional:
- Zinc: 30 mg daily
- Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: 500 to 1000mg, 3 times a day with meals.
- Pantothenic acid:100 to 500 mg daily.
- Calcium with magnesium: 1000 mg calcium and 100 to 500 mg daily at bedtime.
- Vitamin B6 in the form of P5P: 50 mg twice daily.
I hope you have found this helpful? As I have mentioned earlier on, you will overcome adrenal fatigue a lot quicker if you adopt a holistic approach to your recover quest. Follow all of the above tips for at least 3 months. Then, see what happens. Evaluate your recovery. You will definitely notice a great improvement in your overall wellbeing and energy level. Let me know how you are getting on.