5 Ways to Support Your Adrenals & Avoid Fatigue
Fatigue has got to be hands down the most common complaint I hear from patients. I’m tired, I’m exhausted, I’m wiped out, I have no energy, I have no energy to exercise, I feel like I’m pushing through each day…
There are different kinds of fatigue. There can be mental fatigue and there can be physical fatigue. Some people have one or the other or both.
Here are some of the most common Fatigue Types that I hear about:
- I just woke up and I’m so tired -There are the folks who wake up in the morning and just feel tired. They had a good night’s sleep but it doesn’t feel like they slept at all. This is typically caused by a group of different contributing factors.
- I get so tired by mid-morning– Then there are the people who wake up with good energy and lose all their energy by 11am. This is related to the Adrenal Glands.
- Each afternoon I just feel like taking a nap– These are the people who go strong all day and by mid-afternoon, get so tired they want to take a nap or reach for that second cup of coffee or sugar. This is related to the adrenal glands.
- I’m low energy all day and then at night I wake-up and get a second wind.– These are the people who drag all day and then in the evening get their second wind. They feel more alive and awake than they had all day. This is related to the adrenal glands. I call it the tired and wired group.
So, what are the Adrenal Glands and how do they relate to your energy or lack of energy?
The alternative medical profession has been talking about and supporting adrenal glands for years. The information on Adrenal health is becoming more available now but most conventional doctors won’t know how to treat this condition or help you get your energy back.
Alternative practitioners know how to test for it and help you get your life back using natural remedies.
Your Adrenal glands are 2 triangular shaped glands that sit on top of each one of your kidneys. They got their name because they produce stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Your adrenals respond to stress in any way shape or form. For example: If you need to give a presentation, drive in LA traffic, handle a call from the IRS, deal with an emotional issue, get angry over an injustice, skip a meal or are ingesting a triple shot mocha. Your adrenals are responding.
When you are exposed to repeat stressors or chronic stress over time your adrenals become low.
Think of it like a gas tank. Instead of a nice full tank your adrenal gas tank gets depleted and the gas light comes on.
Your body doesn’t really have a “gas light”. Instead you get symptoms of fatigue. Fatigue is the Light, it’s the symptom. The Symptom is your body’s way of communicating with you.
Over time adrenal fatigue causes thyroid stress. It is common to see people with both adrenal depletion and low functioning thyroid.
The common term now is adrenal fatigue/ adrenal depletion and hypothyroidism/under functioning thyroid.
With a lot of chronic repeat stressors over time the adrenal gas tank becomes low.
Around 80% of the entire population will deal with adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives and for many of us it can re-occur based on different life stages and events.
I personally have experienced adrenal fatigue twice in my life.
Once after taking my board exams when I graduated from medical school after a grueling academic and clinical schedule and then again after the birth of my son at age 40.
Chances are that you will be dealing with adrenal fatigue at some point in your life if you aren’t already dealing with it. The important thing is to realize that something just isn’t right and fix it before it becomes worse and worse.
There are a number of helpful herbs, and supplements, to support adrenal gland function. I want to review my 5 important lifestyle tips for supporting your adrenals starting today.
Here Are My 5 Adrenal Support Tips:
- Go to bed early: Ideally between 9-10pm. You want to be in bed well before midnight and get at least 8 hours of sleep.
- Eat three well balanced meals and have at least 2 snacks daily. Regular eating is so important. You want your blood sugar to be steady and not have big ups or downs. Grazing is very important for adrenal patients.
- Say No. If you are saying yes out of obligation or because you want to please. Stop it. Save your precious energy and use it to heal from this.
- Mild-Moderate exercise. Do NOT over exercise. Exercise will demand more from your adrenals and cause more fatigue. In severe cases I tell my patients not to exercise for at least a month or more and have them rest instead.
- Snacks should be balanced with readily available sugar and electrolytes. This is because your adrenals sit on your kidneys and are connected to mineral and electrolyte status. You want salt, and potassium, and trace minerals to help fortify those glands.
Ex: Apple with fresh squeezed lemon on top, with cucumber slices and a few dates.
EX: celery sticks with almond butter OR cucumber slices with fresh guacamole.
Coconut water is extremely good at helping fortify the adrenal glands.
I care about you and want you to feel your best. You have dreams and a purpose and I want you to be able to achieve all of that and be able to have fun along the way.
(This post was originally a Facebook Live video I did. You can watch that HERE)
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Hi Dr. Purcell,
Do u recommend a multi-vitamin or chromium for adrenal probs?…I have very low energy, been under stress, and getting an ultrasound for my thyroid cyst. Can I order supplements from your office? I was an old patient of your Costa Mesa office 🙂
Hi Kayla, great to hear from you. It sounds like fatigue is really getting you down. I’ll be in costa mesa next week if you want to schedule an appointment. That way we can get you on some great supplements to help you this year. Take good care – Dr. Purcell