Adrenal fatigue is a growing health issue in the U.S. The condition can become so serious as to cause debilitation and even death. It is a progressive illness and not often correctly assessed or addressed. The good news is this condition can be successfully reversed. With appropriate adrenal fatigue treatment, your symptoms can be alleviated.
The most effective medical treatment for adrenal fatigue may take anywhere from six months to two years. It is a long-term process of evaluating your adrenal fatigue symptoms and treatment options available to determine the correct approach.
You must be prepared for the treatment for adrenal fatigue you embark upon to require some changes in your lifestyle and nutrition habits.
Lifestyle Changes in Adrenal Fatigue Treatment
Your first step in addressing your adrenal fatigue symptoms and treatment is deciding to make lifestyle changes.
Reduce Stress. Perhaps the most important lifestyle change you will encounter in the medical treatment for adrenal fatigue is removing stress from your life. It isn’t possible to remove all stress, of course, but making significant changes in the amount of stress in your life is necessary for successful adrenal fatigue treatment.
Learning to relax in whatever way best suits you, other than consuming alcohol or drugs, is the best way to reduce stress. Your treatment for adrenal fatigue depends on significantly decreasing the primary source of adrenal fatigue.
Get Enough Sleep. Successful adrenal fatigue treatment requires you to sleep. Your adrenals work hardest between about 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. repairing your body. Sleeping during this time prevents overburdening them. If possible, sleeping until 8:30 or so allows cortisol levels to rise and helps you feel refreshed to meet the day.
Oral melatonin taken about a half hour prior to bedtime may help you go to sleep. Start with 0.5 mg and gradually work up to no more than 3 mg, if necessary. 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) may also be of benefit.
Don’t Drink Caffeinated Beverages.
Avoid TV and Computers. The type of light emitted from these devices may interfere with your adrenal fatigue treatment. Avoid them after about 8 p.m.
Increase Exercise. This is a great stress reliever and a boon to your adrenal fatigue treatment. Keep in mind you will need to reduce the strenuousness of your exercise if you’re in the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue. Consult with your knowledgeable healthcare provider to determine the type of exercise you need to do.
Nutritional Changes in Adrenal Fatigue Treatment
Once you have decided to pursue treatment for adrenal fatigue, you will need to make some changes in your nutritional habits as well.
An effort to improve your adrenal functioning depends on improving your intake of vitamins and minerals. Adding supplements in a coordinated fashion is important in the medical treatment of adrenal fatigue.
Vitamin C. A combination of several forms of vitamin C personalized for you totaling 500 to 3000 mg daily should work best in your adrenal fatigue treatment. The delivery system for this vitamin is also important since nutrients only work if they are delivered to your cells in the best way. Once again, consult with your healthcare professional who is well-versed in adrenal fatigue treatment to determine the best delivery system.
Glutathione. This supplement increases the effectiveness and bioavailability of several other supplements. It also serves to help detoxify your liver.
Vitamin B-5. This vitamin produces co-enzyme A which is needed for the production of most hormones in the adrenals.
Vitamin E. This vitamin is a part of about six different enzymatic reactions in the cascade of adrenal hormones. 400-800 I.U. is needed daily.
Vitamin D. In your adrenal fatigue treatment regimen, you will need 1000 – 5000 I.U. daily of this vitamin to support the synthesis of your hormones.
Adrenal Glandulars, Extracts, and Herbs. There are a number of these compounds and substances that may be beneficial in the early stages of adrenal fatigue. However, they may act as stimulants and should not be used in advanced stages when your adrenals need rest.
Other Nutrients. There are a number of other nutrients that can be a part of your adrenal fatigue treatment regimen, also. Beta-carotene, selenium, magnesium, lysine, and glutamine are some.
Taking any of these supplements and nutrients should be individualized to you. Taking them without proper supervision can bring on undesirable effects. In fact, consuming nutrients and supplements in a shotgun fashion under the idea that more is better may significantly worsen your adrenal fatigue. Proper adrenal fatigue treatment requires continuing supervision by a knowledgeable medical professional.
Adrenal Fatigue Diet
During your adrenal fatigue treatment regimen, you may not feel like you have much of an appetite. Regardless of this feeling, you need to eat in order to provide the energy your body needs to function.
Breakfast is a very important meal. You need to eat soon after arising, but no later than 10 a.m. Your cortisol levels are high from 6 to 8 a.m., so you may not feel hungry when you get up. Eat something anyway.
Eat lunch in the middle of the day around 11 to 11:30 a.m. In the afternoon, you may need a nutritious snack around 2:30 or 3 p.m. because cortisol levels naturally decline during this part of the afternoon.
A good time for your evening meal is around 5 to 6 p.m. Supper should be light and low in those foods that raise your blood sugar levels. Eating these kinds of foods will increase the burden on your adrenals overnight and may increase your difficulty sleeping.
Your diet should include a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Your diet should include lots of raw foods and very little processed or sugary foods. A protein that is the high quality of meat, fish, and eggs is important.
If you are vegetarian, you must carefully choose those foods that contain proper amounts of protein. Seeds and nuts are necessary for proper fats.
Adrenal fatigue treatment is a long-term endeavor. Several months at a minimum are needed for it to work optimally. The decision to start should be a considered one, looking at the lifestyle, nutrition, supplementation, and dietary changes that will be necessary.
Even though adrenal fatigue is increasing in prevalence due to the increasing incidence of stress, it can be remediated. Adrenal fatigue treatment is a long-term regimen that can be successful in reversing the condition. This approach should be supervised by a knowledgeable healthcare professional for the duration.
The first step in this endeavor is to reduce stress in your life as much as possible. There are a number of ways to do this. Another important aspect is getting sufficient sleep at times that coincide with natural cortisol levels. Proper supplementation is another step in the process. Good nutrition comes next. Then following a proper diet with well-chosen foods is important.
Due to the length of adrenal fatigue treatment, it is a decision that requires considerable thought. The changes required in lifestyle, supplementation and nutrition can be significant. In every step of the process, consultation with a knowledgeable healthcare professional is necessary.
Michael Lam, M.D., MPH, ABAAM, is an internationally acclaimed best-selling author as well as a board-certified physician. His seven books address different aspects of adrenal fatigue and its effects on the body as well as longevity.
Dr. Lam received his Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University and his Doctor of Medicine from Loma Linda School of Medicine in California. His board certification from the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine also led to his appointment as an examiner for that same board.
Dr. Lam pioneered the use of nontoxic, natural compounds to assist in healing many age-related degenerative conditions. He was the first to propose the concept of the ovarian-adrenal-thyroid (OAT) hormone axis and to describe its imbalances. Another of his firsts was to scientifically connect the Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome into the total neuroendocrine stress response system of the body. He coined the different phases of adrenal exhaustion and demonstrated the clinical significance of these phases.