How Functional Medicine Can Reverse Adrenal Fatigue
Do you have trouble sleeping, brain fog, fatigue, and chronic stress? If so, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Your adrenal glands produce the stress hormones that are responsible for setting off your body’s natural fight-or-flight response. Our stressful, modern lifestyles keep many of us in a constant state of fight-or-flight, so our bodies never have a chance to rest or heal. After a while, this constant state of arousal will take its toll on your adrenal glands. This is a condition known as adrenal fatigue.
Today we’ll talk about the role your adrenals play in your health, what causes this condition in the first place, and how functional medicine can reverse adrenal fatigue.
What Are Adrenal Glands?
Your body has two adrenal glands that each sit on top of your kidneys. These small-but-mighty organs produce cortisol and regulate how much of that cortisol you’ll need during times of stress. They also produce your sex hormones, progestrone, and estrogen, as well as your neurotransmitters dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline.
These very important neurotransmitters and hormones help to regulate your metabolism and act as a communication system between your organs. Unfortunately, when you deal with chronic stress, your adrenal gland function is suppressed, which means your ability to produce adequate amounts of these hormones is inhibited. This is what leads to adrenal fatigue.
Some of the most common causes of adrenal fatigue include:
- Emotional trauma
- Unhealthy sleep habits
- Poor diet
- High amounts of stimulants including sugar and caffeine
- Overtraining in the gym
- A demanding or exhausting work schedule
- Lack of fun and relaxation in your life
Our modern world is stressful and demands so much from us every day that our bodies struggle to keep up. We sacrifice sleep and emotional connections for long hours at work, rely on coffee and energy drinks to keep us awake all day, and over-consume heavily processed convenience foods.
These habits create a perfect storm that breaks your body down over time and lead to a myriad of health issues, including adrenal fatigue. Some common signs of adrenal fatigue include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Dizziness upon standing
- Thyroid imbalance
- Low blood pressure
- Feeling “tired but wired”
- Shakiness or lightheadedness
- Body aches
- Disrupted sleep
- Cravings for sugar or salt
Chances are good that your friends and family feel these symptoms, too. We’re all overstressed! But adrenal therapy can help.
These symptoms are often overlooked or even dismissed by conventional doctors, leaving many patients feeling confused, frustrated, and hopeless. If you suffer from any of these symptoms and have not found relief using conventional tests or treatments, it may be time to work with a functional medicine doctor. At Five Journeys in Boston, we understand the crucial role that your adrenal glands play in your overall health. We take a holistic and personalized approach to treating adrenal fatigue so you can finally be free of the symptoms that have been holding you back.
How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue with Functional Medicine
Adrenal fatigue can significantly reduce your quality of life. Luckily, there are ways to eliminate your symptoms and reverse adrenal fatigue using a functional medicine approach. Our team at Five Journeys in Boston treats each patient as one whole person, rather than a series of isolated parts or symptoms. When you have adrenal fatigue, your adrenals are not the root cause of your issues. They are just caught in the middle of the “perfect storm” that led to insufficient hormone and neurotransmitter production as a result of chronic stress. Let’s take a look at the most effective ways to reverse adrenal fatigue.
Get Into a Routine
If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, one of the best things you can do to recover is to establish a daily routine for yourself. Remember that stress is the root cause of your adrenal fatigue, so creating a plan to manage life’s stressors is the key to taking back control of your health. One of the best ways to manage stress is to have a simple, predictable routine that you can stick to most days. Your daily routine should include the following elements:
- Try to go to bed around the same time every night, and aim for at least 8 hours of sleep.
- Acknowledge your mental, physical, and emotional capacities, and don’t be afraid to say no to things that will disrupt your schedule or overburden you as you heal.
- Take time every day to do something relaxing, such as taking a brisk walk, meditation, doing a puzzle, or spending time with loved ones.
- Eat a protein-rich breakfast every day.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugar.
- Move your body every day, but don’t over-exert yourself.
A healthy routine that is conducive to healing is one of the best ways to reverse adrenal fatigue. In addition to a routine, using adrenal-supporting supplements may also help alleviate your symptoms and help you feel better faster. Some of the most effective supplements for adrenal fatigue include:
- Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, holy basil, Cordycep mushrooms, astragalus root, licorice root, or panax ginseng.
- Vitamin B complex
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Vitamin C
To make sure you are taking the most appropriate supplements for your unique needs, it’s important to work with a functional medicine practitioner who can guide you along the way. At Five Journeys in Boston, we use targeted supplementation for each patient to help them alleviate their symptoms and reverse adrenal fatigue. If you’re ready to take back control of your health, call our team to schedule a consultation!