You’ve probably heard of it, but what is it?
Adrenal fatigue is a set of symptoms that results from your adrenal glands not working quite right, due to being overworked. What are the symptoms? Basically, it looks like this (you may have some or all of these symptoms):
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Fatigue or excessive tiredness
- Having a hard time getting out of bed even if you slept all night
- Feeling sad, overwhelmed, or defeated by things you once accomplished easily
- Poor sleep, restlessness
- Anxiety, nervous tension
- Food cravings, especially for salty or sugary foods
- Extreme mood swings
- Belly fat
- Acid reflux
- Brain fog
- Chronic pain/aches/inflammation
Sounds pretty familiar to a lot of us…maybe most of us? Here’s why: Adrenal fatigue is caused by being stressed, not getting enough rest and recuperation time. It can also be caused, or at least exacerbated, by caffeine consumption. So, that enormous cup of coffee that gets you going also slows you down in the long run. (This is one of my daily struggles…oh, how I love a good cup of coffee. So, if this is you, I get it.)
A little aside note on adrenal fatigue — it’s considered a gray area in allopathic (Western) medicine. It has not been officially designated as an illness, so there are doctors and medical professionals that will tell you it doesn’t exist, and those who are certain it does. (I’d also like to note that we don’t know everything about the body/disease/medicine –not even close, and even commonly diagnosed illnesses such as Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome were once explained away by the “experts” as not real illnesses.)
Here’s the scoop: Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands, which are the two hormone producing endocrine glands that sit atop the kidneys, are not functioning properly. This is usually due to excessive mental or physical stress/caffeine intake/or other health issue. When our bodies are constantly stressed, our adrenal glands may no longer function to produce hormones at the proper levels, until they get a chance to recover.
Restoration is the solution.
I mean, our lives are so chaotic, stressful, and crazy. We are constantly moving at a non-human, super-fast pace in our cars, or stuck in traffic, instead of walking at a natural pace. Every day we are continuously hit with a barrage of information, news, and advertising all day long. We have bills, we have bosses, and we have so many demands on our time and attention. All of this daily stress is like a pressure cooker of illness.
What I know for sure is that you can’t pour anything from an empty cup.
Every single facet of our daily life, from our relationships, to our digestion, and our ability to think clearly are directly related to the balance of our hormones, such as those produced by our lovely, little adrenal glands. It’s time we all redirect a some of our attention towards re-balancing and giving our bodies the break they need.
In case no one has told you today, you deserve health and happiness. You deserve to feel good.
The good news is that our miraculous bodies are designed to handle stress and then to recover and re-balance our hormones. Then, when our bodies are back in balance, we feel good, sleep soundly, wake with energy, and find it easy to eat healthy and feel happier. When you get your mojo back it’s as if all of life is more colorful and everything flows so much better.
3 Easy Ways to Combat Adrenal Fatigue, Naturally (Plus a Bonus)
First, Cut Out Caffeine
I know, I know. I love coffee too. In fact, this one is my achilles heel. Some things you might try are: switching to herbal tea, or how about a coffee substitute that is high in potassium, calcium, fiber, iron, vitamins, and amino acids? It’s made from the maya nut and is a superfood! I am ordering this today.
- Nutmeg essential oil supports adrenal function by increasing energy and relieving nervous fatigue. In your hand, place two drops of carrier oil (olive, coconut, sunflower, etc) and one drop of Nutmeg essential oil. Rub this into the instep/arch of your feet.
- Frankincense or Sacred Frankincense helps to support healthy adrenal function. I like to use either in my night time facial moisturizer (as they’re wonderful for healthy skin). Both combine well with lavender and can be diffused to help you drift off and sleep more soundly. Add three drops each of Lavender and either Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) or Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra) to the distilled water in your diffuser, then put it next to your bed.
- Endoflex is a blend of essential oils that helps with metabolism, vitality, and hormonal balance. You can take it as a dietary supplement (up to 3 times daily) or mix it with equal parts of a carrier oil and apply it to your feet, your lower back, and belly area. It contains sesame seed oil (rich in vitamin e), Spearmint, Sage, Geranium, Myrtle, German Chamomile, and Nutmeg essential oils. I love that Young Living creates these amazing blends so that I don’t have to.
- If you’re just getting started with essential oils, or if you’re ready to try the best oils ever, I recommend purchasing the Premium Starter Kit, from Young Living. It’s exactly what I started with and it is worth every penny and more! (Those oils from the store shelves do not even compare to what Young Living offers. I know, because I used to use them. Never again. You’ll feel the same once you switch.) If you’d like to have me as your sponsor, sign up here. I’ll make sure you get resources and answers, and a nice welcome gift from me.
- 1. Choose “Wholesale Member” so you can buy whatever you want for 24% off retail.
- 2. Select “Premium Starter Kit” and choose your diffuser. I love the Dewdrop, but the Rainstone is a popular choice too.
- 3. You can choose to sign up for Essential Rewards if you plan to try more oils and you’ll get discounted shipping plus money back to spend on products. (10% Back at first and then 20% back after 3 months!) I’ll contact you and send your gifts and you’ll be able to contact me anytime for any questions you may have.
Third, Try an Adaptogenic Herbal Supplement
Adaptogenic herbs have been used throughout history in traditional medicine and continue to be used to great success by alternative medicine practitioners (and even at the Cleveland Clinic in their Integrative Wellness Center). Personally, I take ashwagandha root every single day. I don’t like to swallow capsules, so I just sprinkle it into a smoothie, soy milk, or my daily shot of NinXia Red.
Ashwagandha is an herb that helps to alleviate anxiety, promotes stamina and energy, and is beneficial for connective tissue. I’ve been taking it for well over two years now and I’ve seen noticeable benefits from the very first week. In fact, I don’t think I’d be a working massage therapist without it, that’s how much better I feel.
If you’re thinking of trying out herbal supplements, the best course of action is to find a practitioner who can prescribe and monitor you. Some herbs have side effects, some interact with medications, and some should not be taken for certain lengths of time, or if you are pregnant, nursing, or suffering from certain conditions, etc. Always do your research and seek the advice of a trained medical practitioner. I am not a doctor! Find a local naturopathic doctor, an ayurvedic practitioner, herbalist, or Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner (often acupuncture clinics have this too).
Some Common Adaptogenic Herbs
- Potent energy increaser
- Holy Basil
- Known in India as the “elixir of anti-aging”
- Eases anxiety, supports nervous system, stamina, and connective tissue
- Astragalus Root
- Boosts immunity and buffers effects of stress
There are many other herbs that can help to combat adrenal fatigue as well as other health issues. Seek the advice of a naturopathic doctor who can help you determine what would benefit your body most.
OR perhaps, try out one of these supplement powders that you can add to smoothies and such. Called “dusts,” they are combinations of adaptogenic herbs and such made by Amanda Chantal Bacon, the creator of a place called Moon Juice in sunny Venice, CA. (I personally cannot wait to visit Moon Juice in person. Amanda, be warned, I may never leave.) *Note: I don’t make any money off this, it’s just a product line and lifestyle that I wholeheartedly embrace.
Fourth, this one is a bonus: Get a Massage
Preferably, get a massage every month. Okay, so I sometimes forget to put my health and wellbeing first and I sometimes forget to schedule that massage…but don’t be like me. Make time for yourself. Find a way. You will not believe how dramatically something as small as getting a massage can change your life for the better. This is something I know because I’ve experienced it (and it was so powerful that I decided to become a massage therapist). You see, massage, a good one, will essentially switch off your stress hormones and trigger the rest and feel happy hormones. It will also boost your immune system. Now, if all of the reasons why you can’t get a massage are popping up, let me put those thoughts to rest: you deserve to feel good.