It feels hypocritical to write a blog on this topic. I am not sure how long I have suffered from adrenal fatigue, but likely most of my life. My personality contributes to this ‘diagnosis’. How do you fight against your personality to make meaningful, sustainable changes? I do not have the perfect answer. Personally, I have found it very challenging. For a few years now I have used my own personal experience to advise others on small changes that can make a big difference. You may not relate to all of these. In sharing my journey which includes things I have done, but mostly things I am working to implement, I hope that you find peace knowing others can relate to what you are going through and there are proactive steps you can take to feel more ‘whole’.
What are some symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
- Lack of energy, even if you are getting a sufficient amount of sleep
- Cravings for foods that are high in sugar or salt
- Mild depression or anxiety
- Decreased libido
- Insulin resistance or difficulty controlling blood sugar after higher carbohydrate meals
- Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
- Easily overwhelmed
- Unexplained digestive or bowel issues
Making dietary changes can play a significant role in helping decrease symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Here are a few small changes you can make that can make a significant difference to the way you feel:
- Eat breakfast within one hour of waking up
- Always eat a low carbohydrate breakfast
- Drink 8 oz of warm water with lemon when you wake up
- Limit your caffeine intake. Avoid drinking caffeine after 12pm.
- Eat 5-7 servings of organic vegetables daily. Non-starchy vegetable servings = 1.5 cups. Starchy vegetable servings = 0.5 cups.
- Eat foods and/or supplement with vitamin C, vitamin B5, B6, and B12, and magnesium.
- Pair macronutrients at meals and snacks.
- Avoid going longer than 3 hours without eating.
- Decrease inflammation by also limiting processed foods, including packaged foods and hydrogenated oils.
As a nutritionist, I do practice what I preach and most often incorporate the above dietary recommendations. There are other lifestyle changes that can help with adrenal fatigue which I too are still working to incorporate:
- Sleep 7-8 hours per night.
- Practice self-care, including doing something you enjoy daily.
- Exercise at least 5 days per week. Your regime doesn’t have to be the same every time. Be creative. During more stressful seasons, gentle exercise can be most beneficial. Exercising in the morning is also recommended.
- Practice grounding exercises, which includes deep breathing exercises and walking barefoot outside.
- Avoid people and situations that drain your energy.
- Incorporate laughter into your daily routine.
Through nutrition and wellness education, I help clients form new habits that can help them feel their best and ultimately eliminate adrenal fatigue. But I have also found these individuals and services to be an important part of the healing process:
- Taylor Dukes, MSN, FNP-C for functional medicine testing
- Tracie Graves, bodyworks massage therapist for physical & emotional balancing
- MOVE Chiropractic for adjustments that help release stress from the body
- Zyto scanning for checking on the body’s greatest stressors and where you might best find balance through supplements, chiropractor adjustments, and more
- IV and shot vitamin therapy at Restore & Revive Wellness Center for B complex, B12, magnesium, and Vitamin C supplementation
I cannot change my personality. That being said there are things I love about being driven with an entrepreneurialspirit. I do not want to add stress to myself by thinking of adrenal fatigue in a negative way. As I look at the above lists, I realize these are all beneficial habits for anyone to live life to their fullest and healthiest version of themselves. Incorporating these changes has been and continues to be a process over several years for me. I have and never will be perfect in all of these areas. Give yourself Grace and time! Take baby steps in applying change. If you need support, I would be honored to come along side you to help you prioritize and make meaningful, sustainable changes that will last a lifetime. Be well!