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Today, Lydia and I talk about one of our favorite topics – adrenal fatigue. We have covered adrenal fatigue many times on our show, so today we specifically wanted to talk about how you can start healing your adrenals.
We give a basic overview of the adrenal glands and adrenal fatigue symptoms, but the core of the show is about ways that you can help your adrenals heal with 10 tips that you can start implementing today.
Missed previous episodes? You can find them all here.
Links From This Week’s Episode:
- Information about Adrenal Health
- The VH Podcast, Episode 3: Adrenal Health
- The VH Podcast, Episode 7: Creating a Routine for Health
- The VH Podcast, Episode 8: Can We Please Stop with the Willy Nilly Supplementation?
- The VH Podcast, Episode 9: Proper Exercise for Adrenal Fatigue
- The VH Podcast, Episode 10: Ascorbic Acid vs. Whole Food Vitamin C
- The VH Podcast, Episode 11: Hydrochloric Acid Supplements – Safe or Not?
- The VH Podcast, Episode 14: Mindset and Healing
- The VH Podcast, Episode 17: Magnesium 101
- The VH Podcast, Episode 19: The Key to Healing the Thyroid That No One Talks About
- The VH Podcast, Episode 21: The Importance of a Woman’s Self-Care
- Miraculous Magnesium and DIY Magnesium Oil
- Should You Be Supplementing with Hydrochloric Acid?
- Craving Salt: A Sign of Adrenal Fatigue
- Schisandra Five-Flavor Tea
- Information about Adaptogens
- Adaptogenic Herbs eBook
- Health Assessment with Lydia
- Hair Analysis with Lydia
- Information about HTMA and Minerals
- How to Create a Game Plan to Keep Your Whole Family Healthy
Listen to The Vibrant Health Podcast :: Episode 27
Read The Vibrant Health Podcast Show Notes :: Episode 27
10 Tips for Adrenal Healing (that you can start today!) Show Notes
Make sure you check out the Links from the Episode for lots more information on today’s topic.
What are the adrenals?
The adrenal glands are small glandular tissues (no bigger than a walnut, weighing less than a grape) that sit atop the kidneys. They are part of our sympathetic nervous system.
The hormones secreted by your adrenal glands influence all of the major physiological processes in your entire body. They also have important effects on the way you think and feel.
The purpose of your adrenal glands is to help your body cope with stresses and survive. It is their job to help you deal with any stressor you face and your very stamina, energy and resilience depend on these two tiny glands functioning properly.
The inner portion of the adrenal gland, called the medulla, secretes epinephrine and norepinephrine.
The larger outer portion, called the cortex, is responsible for secreting various steroid hormones. The principal steroid hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex include aldosterone (a mineralocorticoid), cortisol (a glucocorticoid) and various sex hormones and their precursors.
The adrenals have three basic hormonal functions:
- Glucocorticoids regulate blood sugar and inflammation and are an important part of the fight-or-flight mechanism.
- Minerolcorticoids regulate mineral balances, particularly sodium and potassium.
- Produce sex hormones (the sex hormones are steroid hormones that are produced from cholesterol).
Any health issues or symptoms related to blood sugar, inflammation, excess sweating, easy perspiration, dehydration or hormones can be traced back to the health of the adrenal glands.
Common Symptoms of Adrenal Exhaustion (or Insufficiency):
Below are signs that you have imbalanced cortisol or blood sugar that contribute to adrenal fatigue or result from low adrenal function or hyper-function:
- Tend towards being a night person
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Slow starter in the morning
- Tend to be keyed up, difficulty calming down
- Blood pressure above 120/80
- Low blood pressure (under 100)
- Headache after exercising
- Feel wired or jittery after drinking coffee
- Teeth grinding or clenching
- Calm on the outside but troubled on the inside
- Chronic low back pain that is worse with fatigue
- Dizziness after standing up quickly
- Do not hold your chiropractic adjustments
- Pain after manipulative correction (such as a chiropractic adjustment)
- Arthritic tendencies
- Crave salty foods
- Salt your food before tasting
- Easily perspire
- Chronic fatigue, drowsy all the time
- Afternoon yawning
- Afternoon headache
- Asthma, wheezing, difficulty breathing
- Knee pain (specifically the medial or inner knee)
- Tendency to sprain ankle or get shin splints
- Tendency to need sunglasses
- Allergies and/or hives
- Weakness, dizziness
What leads to weak adrenal gland activity?
Diminished cellular adrenal gland activity can be due to chronic stress, toxic metals, nutrient deficiencies, fear or ‘no win’ situations of feeling trapped, gut infections, parasites, food sensitivities, environmental toxins, pushing too hard/not sleeping, chronic pain or other stress-related factors.
Diminished adrenal gland activity may contribute to symptoms of fatigue, exhaustion, depression, mood swings and PMS or menopausal symptoms in women.
Weak adrenal gland activity may also contribute to the accumulation of heavy metals as normal detoxification mechanisms become impaired. The body may compensate for adrenal weakness by retaining excessive amounts of copper, iron, manganese, aluminum, chromium, lead, arsenic, and other toxic metals.
Support for healing the adrenals
1. Get adequate sleep. Get to bed no later than 10 pm and sleep until at least 6 am or later, if at all possible.
2. Relaxation – Take time daily to relax, unwind. Learn a relaxation technique that works for you. Deep breathing, massage therapy, relaxation tapes, meditation, biofeedback, nature therapy.
3. Learn to accept yourself, receive nurturing and affection from others, laugh often.
4. Light to moderate exercise. DO NOT push yourself. Start light and go easy on yourself. Gentle yoga, walking, T-Tapp, rebounding, leisurely bike rides, short and sweet body weight workouts.
5. Sunshine therapy – Get some sun on your skin daily when possible. Use full spectrum lights in your home. Natural light is essential for healthy adrenal function.
6. Clean up your diet – Eat clean, avoid food allergens.
7. Do not do any extreme detox type of diets, whereas even something like a keto diet can really crash the adrenals or a strict elemental diet for something like SIBO.
8. People who are very fatigued should avoid removing mercury amalgams as this will further stress the system. We have seen multiple people ‘tank’ after removing fillings as this greatly increases the mercury burden on the body and the adrenals are not able to deal with it, pushing them deeper into fatigue.
9. Fuel yourself with 3 solid meals and 2-3 snacks. Your body does not have the hormonal reserves to balance blood sugar, so eating adequate protein with each meal is KEY. Eat fat and carbs as well.
People in adrenal fatigue should not go ‘low carb’ and should be careful if following a Paleo(ish) diet that they are getting adequate starchy vegetables (or grains/legumes) regularly. You should also not push your adrenals with caffeine as this is like beating a horse that is down. Caffeine is extremely stimulating and what the adrenals need is not stimulation but rest and nourishment.
10. Supplemental support with nutrients that are appropriate for the individual. Key nutrients include:
- Whole Food C
- B Vitamins (B Complex)
- Broad digestive support (HCL, enzymes, etc.)