Hey readers, welcome to yet another fun, engaging, and fact-filled segment. Today, I’ll be digging into one of the most unconventional and highly controversial diagnoses that can have adverse effects on your life. If you thought dealing with a well-known condition was tough, try dealing with something that even medical experts refer to as a myth or scientific belief.
One of our loyal subscribers reached out to me very troubled and frustrated after hopping from hospital to hospital with no relief. The most perturbing thing was that every doctor diagnosed her with a different ailment.
Now, I may not be a doctor, but after a small chat with her I could tell it wasn’t any of those things. It was something that most doctors will gladly glance over because, well – just how real is it?
I’m talking about Adrenal Fatigue; and you’ll know just how real it is when you’re feeling the effects. In this segment, we’ll be delving deep into what exactly adrenal fatigue is and how it presents itself.
We’ll also be looking at all the different causes as well as how western medicine can help. I’ll also share some of the most effective, natural treatments and home remedies that helped our troubled subscriber finally feel like herself again. That’s right; we’re blowing convention to smithereens in this mother of all guides to everything you need to know about adrenal fatigue.
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
Also referred to as hypoadrenia (by alternative medicine), adrenal fatigue occurs when the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenal glands are unable to produce sufficient or adequate quantities of hormones, specifically the glucocorticoid cortisol.
It can also be described as a collection of nonspecific symptoms such as fatigue, body aches, nervousness, anxiety, and other’s that we’ll see later on. Typically, adrenal fatigue is usually caused by infection or chronic stress, but there are also a myriad of other causes and risk factors that can contribute to the condition.
Now, the adrenal glands that are located atop your kidneys are mainly responsible for regulating the body’s response to stress.
To achieve this, the glands synthesize catecholamines and corticosteroids which include adrenaline and cortisol. It’s through these mechanisms that your adrenal glands use the body’s resources to initiate the fight or flight modes. When healthy and in peak shape, your adrenal glands have the ability to increase the heart rate, blood pressure, release energy stores for immediate use, sharpen your senses, slow digestion and perform an array of secondary functions.
But all these tasks require normal levels of cortisol and other hormones which affect every tissue, gland, and organ in your body. Without that balance, the body cannot respond adequately to stimuli or even support a healthy immune system. Simply put, it’s only a matter of time until the body cannot passably sustain life if nothing is done to bring cortisol levels up. So, how does adrenal fatigue present itself?
Signs And Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue
So, just how do you recognize adrenal fatigue and separate it from normal exhaustion? Well, alternative medicine splits the symptoms of adrenal fatigue into two sets. Since the condition leads to lower hormone and neurotransmitter levels, the first set of symptoms are experienced by most if not all patients.
The second set includes less common or nonspecific symptoms that are only experienced by a smaller group of people. I’ll start off with the most common symptoms and work our way down.
- General fatigue and lethargy
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- High energy levels in the evening
- Cravings for either sugary or salty foods
- Overuse of stimulants such as caffeine
- Moodiness and irritability
- Lightheadedness when rising from a relaxed position
- Difficulty concentrating / focusing
- Lowered blood pressure and sugar
- Unexplained body aches
- Loss of body hair
- Chronic fatigue
- Difficulties sleeping
- Mild depression
- Decreased sex drive
- Skin discoloration
- Tendency to gain weight faster
- Lowered immune system
- Consistent bouts of illnesses and infections
- Increased PMS symptoms for women
Causes Of Adrenal Fatigue
We already know that the primary cause of adrenal fatigue is a lack or insufficiency of certain hormones in the body. But what exactly are the factors that lead to this shortage, so to speak? The most obvious reason is as a result of prolonged, insistent burden on the adrenal glands to produce high amounts of cortisol and other hormones. Other causes and risk factors that lead to adrenal fatigue include:
- Chronic Stress – When the body is under any type of pressure, then the adrenal glands respond by stepping up the cortisol production. Cortisol helps the body deal with physical, mental, emotional and any other stress you may be going through. But when your body is in a constant state of stress, then it’s only a matter of time until the adrenals become exhausted from this unrelenting demand.
- Recurring Infections and Disease – Chronic infections and diseases such as amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, fungal infections, tuberculosis, AIDS, metastatic disease among others can leave your immune system vulnerable to chronic ailments and physical stress. Each additional strain adds up and eventually, the adrenal glands become weak due to the greater demand for cortisol and hormone imbalances.
- Corticosteroid Withdrawal – Using high doses of steroids for a while leads to the suppression of adrenal glands. After prolonged suppression, your adrenaline glands literally shrink (atrophy) and could take months to fully recover all the lost functionality. It’s during this time that people are prone to getting adrenal fatigue and other hormone related issues.
Treatments And Remedies For Adrenal Fatigue
It’s time for the segment we’ve all been building up to. Sorry to keep you waiting, but I always insist on giving my readers as much information as possible so they can see the bigger picture. At least once we know the symptoms and causes first, we’re able to make more sense of the treatments.
Now, while adrenal fatigue is entirely treatable, it could take months if not years for your glands to recover completely. After all, didn’t it take the same time or even longer for you to wear out your adrenals?
So no matter what route of treatment you choose, know that it will take time to build up strength – so be ready for some solid lifestyle changes and plenty of patience. We’ll start with the weak excuse of a treatment that conventional medicine has to offer before jumping to more natural and efficient remedies.
1. Prescription Medications and Pharmaceuticals
If your doctor or pharmacist is sharp and smart enough to correctly diagnose the early signs of adrenal fatigue, then they will prescribe a few conventional medicines to treat and offer relief for the condition. These include:
Hydrocortisone – This drug contains what can only be described as a bio-identical type of cortisol. When administered in pure form and in similar amounts to what is required in the body, hydrocortisone can be quite effective and have minimal side effects.
Corticosteroids – You gotta love western medicine – turns out that the same stuff that causes adrenal fatigue can also be used to cure it! Imagine that. Well, corticosteroids are used to relieve inflammation in several parts of the body. The great thing about this medication is that is can be extremely quick and effective at treating symptoms of adrenal fatigue such as arthritis, skin problems, allergies, asthma, among others. But since most corticosteroids contain synthetic hormones, they have a tendency to both suppress and shut down adrenal function causing even greater hormonal imbalance. What’s more, common side effects of cortisol include dizziness, kidney failure, immune system issues and even death.
2. Essential Oils
For centuries, essential oils have been used to cure a broad range of ailments. That’s right, before the pharmaceutical industry and drug companies acquired an unbreakable stronghold over medicine as we know it, plants and herbs were literally the only source of relief from all ailments. And if you really think about it, some of them still are even today.
But unlike plants and herbs, essential oils are highly concentrated hydrophobic liquids that possess virtually all the plant’s beneficial nutrients such as amino acid precursors, vitamins, oxygenating molecules, trace minerals, hormones and other enzymes. And because these oils are super concentrated, the average essential oils are 50 to 80 times more medically and therapeutically potent than the derivative plant itself.
When it comes to adrenal fatigue, new research has shown that essential oils treat it on a cellular level. Just in case you haven’t heard of it before, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a network of non living tissue that plays a protective and supportive role to cells.
Adrenal fatigue has been sighted as a major contributor to damaging the EMC. Essential oils can be an invaluable tool for not only optimizing EMC and other health functions, but also relieving the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. How?
Simply by instantly penetrating the surface of the skin and cell membranes to reach crucial regions of your body. What’s more, they also have anti-inflammatory anti-bacterial, antifungal and sedative properties that all help deal with infections, pain, and other symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
But listen to this: out of more than 250,000 plants in the entire plant kingdom, only a couple hundred of them actually produce essential oils with the potential to treat adrenal fatigue syndrome. I present the top EO’s that are literally working wonders for adrenal fatigue patients. And they’re all laid out conveniently below.
5 Best Essential Oils For Adrenal Fatigue
1. Cinnamon Bark
Apart from being one of the most favorite spices in the kitchen, cinnamon bark also produces quite the potent EO. For starters, the oil is known to nourish and strengthen the entire endocrine system including the adrenal glands. Similarly, cinnamon helps boost the nervous system and balance blood sugar levels all while stimulating the immune system. In turn, this promotes physical energy and reduces some of the physical and mental fatigue.
Introducing one of the most well-known and versatile essential oils, lavender essential oil is widely documented for its antibacterial, antiviral, sedative, calming and aromatherapeutic properties. When it comes to adrenal fatigue caused by chronic stress, nothing beats the medicinal benefits of good old lavender. It has actually been shown to have the same biochemical effects on the mind and body as anti-anxiety meds.
Here’s another incredibly popular EO with some pretty potent uplifting and transformational benefits. Now, it takes thousands of rose petals to create just one ounce of pure rose essential oil, so it can get a tad expensive. However, the immediate effect of the oil can be felt thanks to its brawny antiviral, antiseptic, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties that all work towards relieving symptoms of adrenal fatigue. In addition to restoring hormonal balance, Rose EO also acts as an aphrodisiac to return lost sex drive.
It’s always nice to see a Biblical oil make it to our list of the best EOs for anything. That just goes to show that this particular oil has been helping people treat a myriad of ailments for millennia. Aside from the usual anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties, Frankincense EO has the ability to sedate and kill pain. This is a useful tool for symptoms such as body aches. Similarly, the sweet aroma is ideal for helping alleviate anxiety, anger, irritability, moodiness, and stress that could all make adrenal fatigue worse.
Strengthening, regenerative and packed with a load of medical benefits, Geranium essential oil is vital for dealing with adrenal fatigue. Research has already proven the oil invaluable for supporting organs like the liver and for helping with hormonal conditions such as PMS. The effects of geranium are so potent that even applying a bit of it on the abdomen can help support the adrenals and restore balance to cortisol and other hormones.
7 Essential Oil Recipes For Adrenal Fatigue
Recipe 1: EO Adrenal Support Blend
The reason why I haven’t included the exact amounts is because there are quite a few ways to use this adrenal support blend. For starters, you can add 1-2 drops of each essential oil on a cloth and inhale deeply. However, just make sure you don’t touch your nose. Secondly, you could mix about 6 to 8 drops of all the above essential oils and combine them with Epsom salts to create the perfect bath for adrenal fatigue. Just swirl on in there for about 20 minutes or so and you’ll feel great.
Recipe 2: EO Adrenal Massage Blend
- 3 drops Rose EO
- 3 drops Rosemary EO
- 3 drops Basil EO
- 2 drops Clove EO
- 4 drops Frankincense EO
- 1 ounce of carrier oil of choice
Mix all the above essential oils in a jar or glass bottle and add in your preferred carrier oil to dilute the essential oils – the above gives you a 2 percent dilution approx. After the oils are mixed in thoroughly, rub the blend to your adrenals which are located on your lower back atop the kidneys.
Recipe 3: Quick Lavender Miracle Formula
- 2 drops Lavender EO
- 2 drops Roman Chamomile
- 1 tsp Rosehip seed oil
Considered very safe to use topically, both lavender and chamomile essential oils can really come in handy for relieving symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Just drop a few drops of each essential oil on your hands, add some rosehip seed oil, inhale deeply and then apply to your temples. This formula will positively affect nausea, pain, appetite loss, anxiety, paranoia, moodiness, among others.
Recipe 4: Nourishing EO Skin Lotion
- 6 drops Frankincense EO
- 7 drops Lemon EO
- 5 drops Cinnamon EO
- 30 ml choice of lotion or carrier oil
Combine all the oils in a dark glass bottle and top it off with natural cream or your own selection of carrier oils such as jojoba, coconut or sweet almond. These oils work wonders at treating and repairing skin conditions as well as other issues brought about by adrenal fatigue.
Recipe 5: EO Mental Exhaustion Formula
- 8 drops Thyme EO
- 6 drops Rosemary EO
- 1 ounce (30ml) tsp of coconut oil
For this recipe, we’ll be creating a mental relief rub to help reduce headaches and increase concentration and mental capacity. Thyme helps one overcome fatigue and exhaustion while the rosemary alleviates stress levels and rapidly controls cortisol levels in a matter of minutes. Mix the above oils in a glass bottle and apply to temples and back of neck when needed.
Recipe 6: Nutmeg Foot Rub for Adrenal Fatigue
- 10 drops Nutmeg EO
- 6 drops Helichrysum EO
- 30ml (1 ounce) jojoba or almond carrier oil
As always, proceed to mix the oils with your choice of carrier oil and you will have created a highly effective foot rub that will detox your body, alleviate nervous fatigue and increase the energy levels in your body. Apply to the reflexology points under your feet twice a day. An alternative foot therapy gel can be found here.
Recipe 7: Manuka Stress Buster for Fatigue
- 5 drops Manuka EO
- 3 drops Lavender EO
- ½ ounce carrier oil
Method – As we’ve already established, stress can be a major contributor to adrenal fatigue and other ailments. That’s why you need a stress busting blend to kill off any anxiety and depression. Combine your lavender and manuka essential oils with the carrier oil to create a blend that can be applied to your lower abdomen, temples, or at the adrenal vita flex points under your feet.
3 Home Remedies For Adrenal Fatigue
Like my grandpa used to say, the best type of medicine is the kind you can get your hands on ASAP. So just in case you’ve not re-stocked your medicine cabinet with essential oils and don’t want to poison your body with some of the pharmaceutical gunk these companies are spewing nowadays, this little segment here is just for you.
I’ve scoured both hemispheres in search of the best home remedies that different people use to find relief from the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Here are some of my recommendations.
1. Adjust your Diet
Making a few changes to your diet can not only help optimize your health, but also combat some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. From gurgling down jugs of bone broth to avoiding certain food, the following suggestions will help your adrenals recover much faster.
- Avoid foods that you are allergic or sensitive to at all costs. Not only do these foods prevent the body from taking in some much-needed nutrients, but they also cause inflammation that can aggravate your adrenal glands even more.
- Always eat a healthy breakfast to get your blood sugar stabilized and keep your body from stressing because it doesn’t have enough sustenance. Good breakfast includes oats, eggs, fruit, Greek yogurt. Try to keep away from sugary foods.
- Avoid caffeine since it stimulates the adrenals to overproduce cortisol and adrenaline.
- Pack up on super-foods such as bone broth, seaweed and low sugar, high energy foods that can reduce inflammation.
2. Add a Gentle Exercise Regimen
Seeing that most people with adrenal fatigue tend to be too tired or in pain to perform vigorous activities, incorporating a gentle exercise program to your treatment can help alleviate the symptoms. These activities include walking, swimming, jogging, yoga, tai chi, and others to decrease stress levels. As a bonus, exercise helps you sleep better at night too.
3. Reduce the Stress in Your Life
As one of the most influential underlying causes of adrenal fatigue, stress can really wreak irreparable havoc on your entire endocrine system and overall health. As such, it goes without saying that reducing the levels of stress in your life will really go a long way towards the long term treatment of your adrenal fatigue.
I’ll be the first to admit; reducing stress is never as easy as you think. That’s why I’ve compiled some of my favorite stress reducing techniques and others that might also work for you too. And FYI, you can expect some major TMI (too much information).
Catch Enough ZZZs
If there’s one system that really benefits from some shut eye, it’s the endocrine. This includes your overworked adrenal glands too. You’ve been sleeping for years, so you know the drill, right? Make sure you get 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day, don’t stay up too late, maintain a regular sleeping cycle and sneak in naps during the day – you know, just like your kids (or maybe not!).
If your goal in life is to cut down stress, then activities such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can really do you a world of good. Unplug from your phone, computers, movies, games, and electronics at large and try to relax instead. These light exercises not only improve circulation and eliminate toxins in your body, they also substantially increase energy levels through circulation.
Have Great Sex
Hey, why not, right? It’s not a drug, you can’t overdose, it’s got no side effects and it’s the most natural thing in the world, am I right guys? Nothing loosens up the body and spreads happy hormones all around like a great bang sesh, so to speak. So when you’ve having a rough day and you’re feeling all stressed and wound up, take it all out on your better half; or better yet, have them do all the work because, well, fatigue and all that…
That wraps up today’s segment on what to do when your body needs some more go-juice. With this information, preventing, diagnosing, managing and treating adrenal fatigue should be much easier. And major love to our vocal readers who have toned down their vehement hatred for pharmaceuticals (most importantly in the comments).
It’s not worth stressing yourself with what the laboratories are cooking up, we all know that the profit agenda comes first for these guys. But here at Olivia’s, we’re always looking out for our readers well-being. I hope this segment will lend a helping hand offer some relief for your situation. And remember, full recovery from adrenal fatigue can take months if not years. So take heart, don’t give up, be ready to accept change and most importantly – don’t forget to tell me how it goes.