Stress is a common experience when encountering difficult life circumstances, but continuous, prolonged stress can wear you down. If you experience chronic stress, while simultaneously experiencing difficulties such as a weakened immune system, sleep disturbance, or depression, you might be experiencing adrenal fatigue.
According to hormone.org, adrenal fatigue is an umbrella term for a variety of symptoms that “occur in people who are under long-term mental, emotional, or physical stress.”
Adrenal Fatigue Explained
Adrenal fatigue is not an official medical diagnosis backed by hard science, but per healthline.com, it is theorized to be a milder form of adrenal insufficiency, which is a medical condition that occurs when the adrenal glands don’t function properly.
Adrenal fatigue is commonly acknowledged, both by some medical professionals and individuals who experience chronic stress, because chronic stress is known to coincide with a variety of symptoms. Aside from those mentioned above, symptoms can include low blood pressure, difficulty getting up in the morning, and an inability to handle stress, according to fullscript.com.
Your Adrenal Glands Can Take a Beating
If you are constantly stressed, or constantly experiencing a mild form of the “fight-or-flight” instinct, this can wreak havoc on your adrenal glands. These glands can cease to produce cortisol and other important hormones in the right amounts, and certain bodily functions will wear down. Fortunately, these effects of chronic stress can be combated in multiple ways, one of them being your diet and supplement intake.
Adrenal Fatigue Treatments
To improve adrenal gland function, consider these foods and supplements:
Curcumin: Curcumin, found in the spice turmeric, is known to provide a variety of health benefits. It has shown a capacity to enhance your mood, and provide antioxidant support, which is useful for overall bodily health, including that of the endocrine glands, including the adrenal glands.
Licorice root: Studies show that this root might help with the regulation of cortisol, a hormone that plays a significant part in your body’s stress response, per fullscript.com. It is also thought to help regulate your energy levels.
Magnesium: Many Americans are deficient in magnesium, according to fullscript.com. Magnesium deficiency has been shown to play a role in adrenal insufficiency, so it is thought to help treat adrenal fatigue as well. Those deficient in magnesium are thought to be at higher risk for experiencing excess stress.
Protein-rich foods: Healthline.com recommends consuming foods packed with protein such as lean meat, fish, and eggs. Protein plays a part in a myriad of different organ and bodily functions, so consuming enough protein is thought to help keep your body stabilized when dealing with adrenal fatigue.
Ashwagandha: You’ve probably never heard of this supplement, but fullscript.com recommends this herb, as scientific studies suggest it has a number of benefits relating to stress. A high-concentration consumption of ashwagandha is thought to help your resistance toward stress, as well as counteract the symptoms of stress.
Stay hydrated: If you are stressed and experiencing the symptoms named above, it is important that you drink enough water. Proper hydration is essential for nearly all bodily functions, including hormone production and immune system health. It is thought that dehydration can actually force your body to produce more cortisol, per healthline.com.
Aside from a healthy diet and the right supplements, combatting adrenal fatigue also means taking care of other lifestyle factors in order to regulate your stress level. Good sleep hygiene, regular moderate exercise, and even mindfulness meditation can all help you manage and reduce stress.