So now you’re pretty sure your adrenals are not functioning optimally and you are looking for hope. Good news! There are plenty of things that you can do to help nourish them! This blog will address the tools Naturopathic Doctors use to help you flourish in your day to day life.
Adrenal dysfunction is largely due to stress. The easy thing to say is to remove unnecessary stressors. We get that it is easier said than done, but if you make small tweaks, it can have a profound effect on your energy and vitality. Following good sleep hygiene practices are paramount! We heal when we sleep and by making sure our room is completely dark, eliminating screen time for 30 minutes to an hour before bed, and creating a relaxing routine before bed can all help us to sleep better.
Being in nature and under the sun or light box therapy will also help replenish our adrenals. Believe it or not, exercise can help – but with a caveat. Things like yoga, tai chi, bear crawls, and HIIT training can help reduce stress on the adrenals; but long endurance training actually increases the burden on your adrenals. Athletes who train over 40 km/week have shown significantly elevated cortisol levels for a significantly longer period of time. Lastly, massage will help to heal the adrenals.
There is no truer adage than “you are what you eat”. To heal our adrenals, we want to put the most quality nutrients into our bodies, including vitamin C, B5, and B6; which are all necessary for adrenal function and cortisol production.
Another way to support your adrenals is to cycle your carbs; Eating low amounts of carbs in the morning and slowly increasing them throughout the day. This, along with avoiding caffeine and alcohol are sure fire ways to support your adrenals. If you are anxious and have “monkey mind” at night, consider eating foods rich in phosphatidylserine (some food sources are soy lecithin, tuna) and L-Theanine (decaffeinated green tea).
Adaptogens are the Naturopath’s go-to class of herbs for healing the adrenals. There are many herbs in this class, but it’s best to consult a Naturopathic Doctor to see which one is right for you!
Nervines pair well with adaptogens as they help to calm the central nervous system, which quiets the brain and decreases the messages sent to the adrenals to produce more cortisol. If your cortisol is high, consider some cortisol lowering herbs (such as Rhodiola, Ashwaganda). Naturopathic Doctors are trained to determine which herbs will work best for each person’s particular adrenal health situation.
GLANDULARS and HYDROCORTISONE
These two supplements/medications are Naturopathic Doctors’ “heavy hitters”. They are for the most depleted. They help aid the adrenals by providing support, like training wheels on a bike. These take some of the load off the adrenals and allow them time to heal by providing the body with the hormones instead of depending on the adrenals to provide them.
If you think adrenal fatigue is in your way of living a vital and full life, please make an appointment with us soon and we are happy to help!