How to Prevent and Treat Adrenal Fatigue

Author: Dr. Quinte Naturopathic Centre on 21 January 2010

One of the most common results we see in testing patients at the Quinte Naturopathic Centre is adrenal fatigue.

The adrenals are two triangular glands over the kidneys, and they produce essential hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, cortisol, cortisone, steroids, and chemicals such as adrenalin and norepinephrine. If your adrenals are not functioning normally, you will no doubt notice several symptoms.

Typically, with adrenal fatigue you will feel exhausted and rundown, generally not well, and unable to cope with stress. You may feel dizzy or a temporary pressure in your head upon rising, or sensitive to light and noise. Some adrenal fatigue sufferers become irritable or jumpy when they feel overwhelmed by stimuli. It may take you longer to recover from mild to moderate exercise.

You may also crave sugar or salty foods, caffeine, or other stimulants. Unfortunately, eating or drinking these things as well as smoking or consuming alcohol will only further stress the adrenal glands and make the problem worse.

What To Do If the Above Symptoms Describe You

Since the above symptoms may indicate something other than irregular hormonal levels, get tested to find out if you do indeed suffer from adrenal fatigue. Typically, a naturopathic doctor can do this test in her office with a first-morning urine sample you’ve brought in.

If your results are positive for adrenal fatigue, there are a few things you can do to help bring things into balance.

1. Get sufficient rest, relaxation, and sleep. Not enough sleep, relaxation, and rest places stress on the adrenal glands and causes them to function improperly. Sleep allows for your adrenals to provide the body with the hormones it needs without being overly taxed, and rest and relaxation allow the body and mind to wind down from stress and the busyness of everyday life. This too is important in the healthy production of adrenal hormones.

2. Reduce your stress levels. If there’s anything you can say no to, do it. Most people overextend themselves and try to fit more than they should in one day. Lessening your daily quota of obligations that take away from time for yourself can drastically reduce your stress levels. In addition, find activities that focus on you, or that you thoroughly enjoy or find solace in. Hobbies fall into this category, as well as a bath, reading, or spending time doing something creative, like making art, writing, or building something.

3. Eat properly. For energy, avoid the foods that are going to make you crash, like sugar and overly sweet drinks and food (caution with juice), white-flour products, chocolate, fast foods and deep-fried foods, and hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and instead consume:

  • 30-40% vegetables, a good variety and about 50% should be eaten raw or lightly cooked
  • 30-40% whole grains
  • 10-20% animal foods (optional)
  • 10-15% beans, seeds, and nuts
  • 5-10% fruits (papaya, apples, mango, plums, kiwi, cherries, pears, and grapes; avoid bananas, grapefruit, raisins, dates, figs, and oranges).

It is very important to eat slowly instead of hurried. Always eat before 10:00 am, and lunch at around 11:30 am is ideal. Consume a nutritious snack between 2:00 and 3:00 pm and dinner should be between 5:00 and 6:00 pm. If you start to feel shaky or weak or too hungry, you’ve waited too long to eat and should eat something nutritious, rather than sweet, right away.

4. Exercise. It has been proven that regular exercise strengthens not only the body in general but also the adrenal glands and helps promote healthy production of adrenal hormones. It also reduces stress. Do not overexert yourself, however, since adrenal fatigue can prevent you from recovering well.

5. Take supplements to help strengthen the adrenals. When the naturopathic doctor tests your urine for adrenal fatigue, he or she can advise or prescribe what supplements will be most effective for you based on your results. Often, this will include an adrenal formula, as well as certain vitamins and minerals depending on your needs.

Adrenal fatigue can be very debilitating if left too long. Seek an appointment with your naturopathic doctor to find out how he or she can help, and follow the steps above in striving to stay healthy, focused, energetic, and better able to deal with stress. Improve your quality of life by preventing adrenal fatigue from repeatedly occurring.

If you’re local, visit our contact page on this site and contact us today to find out how we can help.

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Quinte Naturopathic Centre

173 Church Street

Belleville, ON K8N 3C1


Hours of Operation:

Monday 10am - 7pm

Tuesday 9am - 6pm

Wednesday 9am - 6pm

Thursday 9am - 6pm

Friday 9am - 2pm


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