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Do You Even Need Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue Recovery?
It seems like everywhere you look these days there is a supplement to fix any possible health issue you can think of. Just take a look at the loaded shelves in your local pharmacy, health food store or whole food market.
Even supermarkets these days stock a wide range of supplements and it can be both bewildering and confusing, with so much choice available. How do you figure out where to even start?
And if you have adrenal fatigue syndrome you are probably looking for a way to get quick relief from your horrible symptoms and debilitating fatigue. No doubt as you stand in front of these shelves loaded with their dizzying array of supplements you are asking ‘what is the best adrenal support supplement’?
Unfortunately, there is no single supplement able to provide all of the nutrients your adrenal glands need to make a full recovery, a combination of supplements usually provides the best results. Additionally, the bad news is that recovery won’t happen simply by taking a handful of supplements for a couple of weeks.
How Do You Heal Your Adrenal Glands?
If you want to heal your adrenal glands you need to understand how come you got this pesky adrenal fatigue thing in the first place. And the first step to healing your adrenals is recognizing this illness is caused by stress. To heal, you need to identify where your stress is coming from and begin taking steps to reduce it as well as learning how to deal with this stress in your life.
Stress can make an appearance suddenly, for example from an acute situation such as dealing with the death of a loved one or from being in an accident of some sort. It can also take the form of chronic stress from feeling trapped in a job or relationship you hate, or from having ongoing financial worries etc.
Perhaps it’s your lifestyle that is causing you too much stress. Burning the midnight oil constantly either with too much partying or study can cause an enormous amount of stress on your body until your poor adrenals can no longer cope.
Or maybe you have got into the habit of simply overworking with insufficient time taken for rest and relaxation. This unbalanced lifestyle behavior can place a huge amount of stress on your adrenals glands too.
The constant low-level chronic stress many of us feel today, in combination with environmental pollution and eating a typical western diet high in refined carbohydrates, can place enormous stress on our adrenal glands. This constant stress over time not only damages your adrenal glands but leads to damage of several body systems, and overall health eventually suffers.
Some people at high risk for developing adrenal fatigue include:
- Students in college.
- New parents.
- Caregivers and first responders.
- Business executives constantly travelling.
- Health professionals.
However, anyone experiencing ongoing stress can be susceptible to developing adrenal fatigue syndrome.
What Foods Should You Avoid If You Have Adrenal Fatigue?
As with any illness, another important key to recovery is the food you eat. You need to support your adrenals with wholesome nutritious food and avoid unhealthy foodstuffs that can cause your body harm.
Eating frequent small well balanced meals containing protein, healthy carbs and fats at each meal helps keep your blood sugar in balance and controls the release of cortisol (the stress hormone). Fast foods, caffeine, fried and sugary foods are a definite no no if you want your adrenal glands to heal and stay healthy.
Foods to choose from every day for adrenal health include:
- Free range eggs.
- Grass fed meat and dairy.
- Wild caught fish like salmon, herrings and sardines.
- Raw sprouted nuts and nut milks.
- Colorful vegetables including plentiful leafy greens.
- Whole grains in small amounts.
- Low glycemic fruit like berries – some people may need to be mindful of their fruit intake.
Starting the day the right way is essential to stoking your energy reserves. Eating a healthy adrenal supporting breakfast soon after rising is important if you have adrenal fatigue. It will stabilize blood sugar and support your energy until mid morning snack time.
5 Supplements That Can Help
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix to be had for adrenal fatigue syndrome. Simply swallowing a few supplements won’t cut it. In all probability your lifestyle is the cause of your adrenal fatigue syndrome and you will have to make changes here if you want lasting symptom relief and a complete recovery.
The good news is that if you do all of the hard work by making adjustments to your lifestyle and ensuring you eat well, supplements can definitely help provide your adrenals with the additional support they need in order to recover fully and more quickly.
Making a few simple changes will ensure you are back on the road to energetic and vibrant health in the minimum time frame.
If however, you don’t do the work on identifying where the stress is coming from and make appropriate lifestyle adjustments you may recover temporarily then relapse.
But, assuming you have identified and are working on reducing the stress in your life and you’ve got your diet under control and are eating a healthy balanced diet, let’s get to some of the top supplements that can help support a lasting recovery from adrenal fatigue syndrome.
When under stress your adrenals use large quantities of Vitamin C. The amount of this crucial vitamin they use up each day is way higher than you can supply from food, so taking a supplement is vital if you want to provide your adrenals with the support they need to heal from adrenal fatigue syndrome. Vitamin C is definitely one of the most important supplements to take for adrenal fatigue syndrome.
Under stress the adrenal glands generally need between 2000 to 4000 mgs daily, normal fruit and vegetable intake from your diet is unable to supply vitamin c in this quantity. This important vitamin is also a powerful water soluble antioxidant.
It is important not only to provide Vitamin C in high enough quantities but in a highly absorbable form that your body can easily use and this lypo-spheric vitamin c supplement does just that.
You can check out my review of LivOn Labs lypo-spheric vitamin c for more detailed information.
Nowadays I keep this vitamin c on hand to take if I feel like a cold or virus is coming on. Taken at the first signs I find it prevents any nasty bugs from taking hold. Besides taking it for adrenal fatigue syndrome, it is a useful supplement to have in your natural medicine cupboard.
This supplement from well known quality supplement brand Thorne Research provides a blend of vitamins, minerals and adaptogenic herbs known to provide all round adrenal support. Phytisone provides botanicals and nutrients known to support the adrenal glands and their response to stress.
A well rounded supplement for adrenal support it includes Pantothenic acid, a vital B vitamin needed by the adrenals and the mineral zinc among its nutrients.
Herbal adaptogenic support comes from Ashwaganda, Licorice, Astralagus and Eleuthero extract among others. Thorne Research Phytisone also contains vitamin c, however the amount is lower than needed for adrenal gland healing, so you would need to take some additional vitamin c with it.
You can read my review with more detailed information of Thorne Research Phytisone here.
If herbal support only without additional vitamins and minerals is what you need in an adrenal support supplement, then Gaia Herbs has you covered. Gaia Adrenal Health provides nourishment for the adrenal glands with a unique combination of pure herbal extracts.
This plant based power is delivered in a fast dissolving capsule filled with a concentrated liquid extract. Liquid extract delivery allows for easy absorption of the beneficial plant power into your system. And the liquid form also allows for easy absorption of the super concentrated extract into your body.
Gaia Herbs places a huge emphasis on quality control of their products. You can use the “MeetYourHerbs” ID number found on each bottle of Gaia Herbs products. By entering it into the Gaia Herbs website you can easily track how the herbs in your product were grown, where they came from and how they were processed.
Their products are organic, tested for purity and free from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and microbes. They are also vegan and gluten free.
Adrenal Health Daily Support contains the adaptogenic herbs Ashwagandha, Holy Basil, Rhodiola, and Schisandra, all known for their use in treating adrenal fatigue syndrome. Adaptogens are useful as they help the adrenals ‘adapt’ to stress
It is useful to note that this supplement does not contain Licorice root. Licorice is a useful and common botanical used for adrenal fatigue, however it may not be suitable for everyone. For instance, it makes me retain fluid a little, so I prefer a supplement without it.
You can read my review with more detailed information of Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health which doesn’t include licorice.
When adrenal fatigue is advanced and some serious help is needed to function each day, adrenal cortex supplements can help. I used adrenal cortex for a short period of time during the advanced stage of my illness when my cortisol levels were very low.
Before the days of cortisone production adrenal cortex was synthesized from animal adrenal glands to treat Addisons disease. Before the 1940’s glandulars were used to treat both illnesses, hypothyroid and Addisons Disease.
Glandular therapies, fell out of fashion as big pharma medication took over. However in more recent years they have made a comeback as some doctors use products like Armour thyroid (manufactured from pig thyroid glands) to treat their hypothyroid patients.
Adrenal glandular supplement act to provide extracts from the outer cortex of bovine adrenal glands. In my experience they can work more quickly than nutrients and herbs to provide energy.
However, the effect to me is more like a band aid rather than providing nutritional support from vitamins, minerals and herbs which gently support your adrenals back to health and normal function.
But keep in mind, if your cortisol is not low, supplementing with adrenal cortex might cause side effects like a racing heart and sleeplessness. In my experience it is better to try nutritional and herbal support first.
If however, you do want to try an adrenal cortex supplement Klaire Labs Prothera Adrenal Cortex is a good choice. It is a glandular bovine extract using the outer cortex section of bovine glands.
And reassuringly, Klaire Labs source from countries supplying BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Free) extracts. So you can be assured of the quality of the raw material used to manufacture this adrenal cortex supplement.
One of the most annoying symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome is difficulty getting to sleep and staying asleep throughout the entire night. Often sufferers wake up regularly at 2 or 3 am with difficulty getting back to sleep again which is due to cortisol dysregulation.
What this means is that cortisol levels are low in the morning when they should be high to wake you up and high at night when they should be low to allow you to sleep soundly.
All this boils down to you being exhausted during the day and strangely wired and awake during the early morning hours when normally you should be sound asleep. And the doubly frustrating part of all this is that you become sleep deprived at a time when your adrenals badly need rest to recover.
It is very important to do what you can to nudge your body back into a normal sleep pattern. If you get the chance you should sleep more than you normally do to play catch up from any sleep deprivation you have. Going to bed earlier and sleeping later when you can is beneficial to stressed out and sleep deprived adrenals.
Getting to bed early with the aim to be asleep by 10 pm each night helps you maintain your body’s normal diurnal rhythm. By staying up late past this time you run the risk of pushing your body out of its normal rhythm and sleep will become elusive.
Herbs like Mimosa bark, Lemon balm and Magnolia gently calm your system to help promote a healthy sleep cycle without drowsiness.
Adaptogenic botanicals like Ashwagandha helps support a healthy endocrine system as well as supporting your immune system too. Ashwagandha is one of the most highly studied adaptogenic herbs for helping manage the stress response.
Check out my review of Gaia Adrenal Health Nightly Restore for more detailed information.
Putting It All Together
There you have it, if you feel confused about where to start and are asking ‘what is the best adrenal support supplement’ ? Hopefully this post provides direction and answers on a few of the best supplements you can take to heal your adrenal glands naturally.
Just remember to do the other work on identifying and reducing the stress in your life and cleaning up your diet too if you need to. Add in a couple of well chosen supplements and you’ll be well on the road to recovery from your adrenal fatigue syndrome.
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