Most people deal with adrenal fatigue at one point in their lives.
Prolonged periods of high stress put a lot of strain on our adrenal glands, and after a period of time, they may get worn out and they won’t perform as well as they should.
Adrenal fatigue is, in fact, the body’s inability to recuperate from mental, physical, or emotional stress.
The adrenals have a vast influence on our bodies, so adrenal fatigue can mimic a lot of separate disorders, which makes it very difficult to recognize.
Some of the most common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include brain fog, weight gain, increased blood pressure and heart rate, reduced immune function, and extreme fatigue.
Because these symptoms are common to many different disorders, they are often overlooked even by experienced doctors.
However, a combination of these symptoms can indicate the onset of adrenal fatigue.
The following 11 signs can indicate you’re experiencing adrenal fatigue, but luckily, there are 3 steps to overcome it naturally.
Experts agree we should sleep at least 6 hours every night to allow our body to rest and recover.
But instead of catching up on our sleep, we prefer to work more or to spend time watching videos online.
However, when losing sleep becomes a habit, it turns into insomnia, and suddenly we can’t even fall asleep, even if we want to.
We experience constant fatigue, we have dark circles under our eyes, and we increase our caffeine intake just because it helps us stay awake.
Our adrenal system is coordinated by our sleep patterns.
The human body has a natural circadian rhythm that controls the release of certain hormones.
These hormones coordinate most of our body functions, so it’s very important to have a constant circadian rhythm we respect. (1)
- Anxiety or Depression
We don’t get stressed for no reason.
Sometimes we have a tight deadline, other times we have a hard time organizing an event that means a lot to us.
But we eventually get lost in our busy schedules and forget to take a moment to unwind.
Experiencing high levels of stress over a long period of time can lead to various complications, both for our physical and for our mental health.
When we’re stressed out, we might have mood swings, and we might experience a poor cognitive function.
But the worst part is, these symptoms can aggravate over time, and they can lead to anxiety and depression.
Anxiety and depression are determined by high cortisol levels, and these high levels can either be determined directly by the adrenal fatigue or they can be increased by it. (2)
- Chronic Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is often associated with chronic fatigue disease because they have similar symptoms.
Sometimes these conditions go hand in hand, and it’s very difficult to differentiate them.
People who suffer from chronic and adrenal fatigue may feel exhausted even after they get a good night’s sleep.
Sometimes, they experience headaches, muscle and joint pain, and they get sick more often.
It’s not uncommon for people suffering from these conditions to experience digestive symptoms like cramps or constipation. (3)
- Feeling Overwhelmed
Sometimes we get so caught up in our busy schedules we don’t have a realistic view of what’s really happening in our lives.
We set unrealistic goals for ourselves both in our professional and our personal lives, and we often find ourselves feeling overwhelmed because we can’t achieve those goals no matter how hard we try.
High levels of physical and emotional stress can lead to an unrelenting feeling of being overwhelmed.
Our bodies rely on our adrenal response to deal with stress.
In a stressful situation, our adrenals release adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol to deal with it.
When the adrenals are fatigued, they have a hard time releasing exactly the amount of hormones you need.
- Craving For Sugar And Salt
The adrenal glands are responsible for the regulation of our fluid and mineral excretion.
When our adrenals are fatigued, our bodies eliminate more minerals in our urine, and we might even urinate more frequently.
Since our bodies excrete more minerals, the balance of magnesium, sodium, and potassium in our bloodstream is affected.
This makes us crave for foods that will replenish the sodium we lost.
The brain is the largest glucose consumer in our body.
If you’re feeling tired, the brain will look for a quick way to find fuel, so you might crave for sweets or sugary drinks.
However, we can consume an adequate amount of sugar without eating foods that contain added sugar. (5)
- Knee or Back Pain
Muscle weakness can be another sign of adrenal fatigue.
When we’re experiencing muscle weakness, we might feel unexplained pains in our back and knees.
If this pain is not associated with any structural defect, it might indicate adrenal fatigue.
Lower back pain can be determined by chronic stress.
The muscles supporting the pelvis can be weakened by chronic adrenal stress, which can make them more unstable.
- Poor Digestion
Stress can profoundly affect our digestive systems.
Stress can decrease the nutrient intake in our gut, can cause microbial disruptions, and it can lead to a poor digestion.
Not to mention the fact that we’re more likely to give up any diet when we’re stressed out.
When we’re stressed and our adrenals are not working as they should, the food we eat might need more time to transit our digestive tract.
This can be problematic because when food stagnates somewhere in our gut, it can ferment and it can eventually putrefy.
If the food stagnates, it’s invaded by more bacteria and yeast than usual, which will determine our immune system to attack it.
The result is an inflammation of the lining of our gut wall, which can eventually spread to other areas as well.
Carb heavy foods and those that contain gluten can make the inflammation worse.
Furthermore, this inflammation can lead to discomfort, cramps, constipation or diarrhea. (7)
- Getting Sick Often
People suffering from adrenal fatigue get sick more often than others.
Our adrenals coordinate our immune system, so when they’re not working as it should, our immune system is less successful in stopping the bacteria and viruses that are constantly assaulting our bodies.
Cortisol plays an important role in mediating our immune responses.
When an inflammation occurs, our body is really fighting an infection.
Cortisol is the hormone that stops the inflammation from getting out of hand.
However, our cortisol levels are very important for our immune system.
When we’re stressed, our cortisol levels are elevated, so instead of stopping the inflammatory response from getting out of control, the cortisol will actually stop it from working as it should.
This weakens our bodies’ response to the stressful agents and lowers our immunity.
That’s why people who are stressed are more vulnerable to different diseases.
They tend to get the common cold more often than others, but they might even contact the flu more often. (8)
- Exhaustion After Exercise
Moderate exercises should stimulate our bodies, but when we suffer from adrenal fatigue, the physical stress might seem too overwhelming for our bodies to deal with.
Instead of feeling energized after exercising, we feel exhausted.
That’s why some people give up exercising in periods of high stress.
Their bodies give them messages of how tired they feel, and they give up without even wondering why. (9)
- Major Hormonal Imbalances
Sometimes, when we’re suffering from adrenal fatigue we might experience major hormonal imbalances.
One of these imbalances affects a lot of people worldwide, and it’s called hypothyroidism.
People who have signs of hypothyroidism often have a poor circulation, they gain in weight, and they have dry skin and dry hair. (10)
- Brain Fog Or Memory Problems
Some people really believe that they work better when they’re stressed out, but science contradicts them.
When we’re stressed for a long period of time, we can experience memory problems or brain fog.
Sometimes we can’t even remember small things like where we put our car keys, or we end up forgetting to take an umbrella with us on a rainy day. (11)
How To Overcome Adrenal Fatigue Naturally
Adrenal fatigue has a lot of symptoms, but thankfully, it has a lot of natural remedies as well. I compiled the best ways to naturally overcome adrenal fatigue in the following 3 steps.
- Try The Adrenal Fatigue Diet
Since the things we eat deeply affect our bodies, we should pay more attention to them.
The adrenal fatigue diet is designed to allow your adrenals to regenerate and produce hormones as they should.
One of the first things you should do to help your adrenals regenerate is to avoid eating foods with an inflammatory potential.
Gluten – Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and triticale.
Even if avoiding gluten is trendy nowadays, you should avoid eating it for serious reasons.
Eating gluten can lead to a gut inflammation even if you’re not allergic to it.
Chronic gut inflammation can lead to a leaky gut syndrome, a condition you should really avoid (12)
Dairy – Dairy contains lactose, a sugar that can cause an intolerance.
However, you should avoid eating dairy products even if you’re not lactose intolerant.
Lactose is harder to digest, and it accumulates in our small intestine where it attracts water and electrolytes.
This can lead bloating and diarrhea.
Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are not necessarily bad for you, but they can cause a gut inflammation that can be problematic when you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Even though eating carbs can increase your mood for a short while when you’re stressed out, it will strain your adrenals even more.
You should avoid all starchy carbs when you’re trying the adrenal fatigue diet. (13)
Sugar And Sweeteners – Sugar can nowadays be found in most types of products.
Most manufacturers add sugar to their products because it’s a very good preservative, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you find it in certain types of bread, dressings, or even condiments.
Instead of using sugar, you can replace it with raw honey or even stevia.
Limit Caffeine Intake – Caffeine is a powerful stimulant, and it can interfere with your circadian rhythm.
Caffeine can actually be good for you if you don’t consume too much of it daily.
You should avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after noon to make sure you’ll get a good night’s sleep. (14)
Processed Foods – Processed foods contain a lot of preservatives and fillers that can be very difficult to digest.
If you want to try the adrenal fatigue diet, you should sugary and processed foods, and you should try to prepare your own food using fresh natural ingredients whenever possible.
Hydrogenated Oils – Hydrogenated oils like corn oil, soybean, and canola can produce a powerful inflammation in your gut, and they can determine an adrenal inflammation.
You should use good fats such as coconut oil, organic butter, or olive oil instead.
Since the adrenal fatigue diet limits our access to certain types of foods, let’s see what we should actually eat
Cruciferous Veggies – Vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are very good for us.
Eating cruciferous veggies can reduce inflammatory processes, and it can even have an antidepressant effect. (15)
Avocados – Avocados are a very important source of monounsaturated fat.
When we eat avocados, we consume the type of fat that reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Avocados are also nutrient-rich, and they represent a good source of vitamin C, B vitamins, copper, and potassium. (16)
High-Quality Fish & Chicken – Fish is one of the healthiest foods out there.
High-quality fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and it also represents an important protein and vitamin D source.
High-quality chicken meat is a great source of low-fat protein, and it can be very useful when you plan to eat a clean diet.
Chicken meat is very versatile, and you can use it to prepare a large variety of tasty dishes. (17)
- Herbs And Supplements You Should Try For Adrenal Fatigue
There are a lot of herbs and supplements that can naturally minimize stress and increase the rate of our adrenals’ regeneration.
Rhodiola Rosea, Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Schisandra – Adaptogenic herbs can lower our cortisol levels and improve the way our bodies react to stress.
Using these herbs can lower the strain on our adrenals.
Vitamin C – Vitamin C can minimize the effects stress has on our bodies, and it can also boost our immune system.
Taking vitamin C supplements can reduce the time our adrenals need to recover after a stressful period. (18)
Aromatherapy – Lavender oil can be used alone or alongside rosemary oil to reduce stress and decrease our cortisol concentrations.
When inhaled, these essential oils can also reduce the oxidative stress our cells are exposed to. (19)
Selenium – Taking selenium supplements can be very beneficial for everyone who suffers from adrenal fatigue.
Selenium deficiency has a negative impact on our adrenal function.
B Vitamins – We can usually take all the B vitamins we need from our food.
However, taking B vitamins is recommended for people who limit or eliminate meat from their diets.
Vitamin B5 deficiency is usually encountered in people who suffer from adrenal stress, so supplementing it can be beneficial.
- Reduce Your Adrenal Fatigue Stress
Eating right and taking the necessary supplements and herbs will help us, but unfortunately, they won’t repair our adrenals on their own.
We should also follow the next steps to ensure your adrenals will regenerate faster.
Get Plenty Of Sleep – We should sleep 8 – 10 hours a night.
Even if this looks like a waste of time, we’ll actually increase our productivity, focus, motivation, and energy levels.
Have A Constant Circadian Rhythm – Getting a lot of sleep is not helpful if we don’t respect our bodies’ natural rhythm.
We should make sure we don’t stay up late and that we wake early. (20)
Laugh – Laughing is a great way to lower our stress levels, and it’s also one of the most pleasurable ways to do it. (21)
Exercise – Moderate exercise can be very beneficial for our stress levels, and it can improve the quality of our lives.
Yoga exercises can reduce stress responses, and they can improve many aspects of our lives.
Listen To Music – Listening to music can be very relaxing, and it can lower our stress levels.
And the best thing is, we don’t even have to listen to a certain type of music to achieve the same results.
Some people might find 80s dance music relaxing, while others might find it relaxing to listen to heavy metal.
It doesn’t really matter, the results will be the same. (22)