Hard to say in my case what caused the Adrenal Fatigue, the Hashimotos or the stress we’ve been through over the last few years. Which was more than most people in their late 20’s and early 30’s have to deal with. One thing I do know for sure…the consequences of having it are adding up fast.
The cost of the doctor appointments, the tests and now the huge boatload of supplements I’m on. Wait, I forgot to factor in the cost of gas to drive back and forth and the jump in grocery budget to try to buy all organic for my autoimmune body and the future health of my family. If I had an unlimited budget I’d gladly throw in a massage every now and then too.
Ok, let’s be real. I’m sure plenty of people out there can heal themselves from adrenal fatigue just by making some lifestyle changes. I however, am not one of those people. My body is complicated. I have methylation issues that make it hard for my systems to work optimally. So I’ve gotta work even harder to get back to health and maintain it. Throw in an autoimmune disease and yup it’s a nice storm to calm *sarcasm*.
Not to be all negative nelly on you guys I’ll throw in some tips that actually are pretty inexpensive!! Wait. Did I just say inexpensive?!
- Drink mineralized salt water. I won’t lie, it’s disgusting and I hate it but it’s actually helping me not feel so thirsty all the time. People with adrenal fatigue tend to have low blood pressure. (I know I do and I sense it when I stand up and immediately feel very dizzy for example.) increasing my sodium intake and lowering the amount of potassium rich foods is something most functional medicine doctors recommend to help with this. Basically sodium increases aldosterone, something that usually low in peeps with AFS. There’s a long medical explanation as to why this all happens but dude I’m not a doctor. Just drink some salt water, K?! 32 oz filtered water with 3/4 tsp real sea salt stirred in. Don’t drink plain water at all unless you’re replacing fluids lost from sweating.
- Deep belly breathing. Something I’m really trying to be mindful of! That old saying when you’re spittin mad and you’re suppose to count to ten and take a few deep breaths… Well it’s an old saying for a reason. It works. For reals. Breath in deep and your belly should expand. Exhale and it’ll go back in. Aim for 5 inhale and 5 exhale in a one minute time period. Basically I count to 5 with each breath in and out. It’s close enough. Close your eyes and calm your mind.
- Take a mid-day break for 10-15 minutes to just chill out. Drink some herbal tea and just sit and relax. Don’t think of everything you have to get done or anything else that causes stress. Think like a monk and chill. It helps reset your cortisol cycle and get you back to the right rhythm.
- Never ever skip a meal. Ever. Like ever. People with adrenal fatigue almost always have blood sugar spikes and crashes. You won’t get the adrenals fixed without fixing the stress in your life and without fixing blood sugar issues. It’s a vicious cycle. So eat frequently about every 2-3 hours. It can be 3 larger meals with snacks in between or 5 smaller meals. Whatever works for you.
- Eat a high (healthy) fat diet, moderate protein ~20% and moderate carbs ~20%. Adjust according to how you feel. But all the research I’ve done points to this being the sweet spot to healing. Plus my dr told me to do it. Eat minimal carbs at breakfast and high protein. It’ll set the tone for the whole day.
- Light to moderate exercise. This one is tough for me. Really tough. I’ve been enjoying the benefits of paleo and feeling better lately but my doctor made it a point to tell me to chill out some on the heavy lifting and try something less taxing on my body. Walking, yoga, light weights. In 6-8 months I can hopefully get back at it. Till then it’s all about my adrenals instead of deadlifts. 😩
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugar. I get it, it feels like all the fun is being sucked out of your life! I keep trying to remember this isn’t forever though. Once I’m better I can enjoy some of these things again in moderation.
- Get a lot of sleep and rest! Nap if you have to. It’s vital for this one. Your adrenal glands and cortisol recover between the hours of 10PM and 1AM while you sleep. Aim to be in bed before that. Go to bed before get that second wind of energy. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.
- Spend time outside. Preferably barefoot. Nature itself is incredibly healing.
Alright, that’s all I have for you. These are simple instructions in theory but can be difficult to put in place. I know this because I’m battling it. Most people with adrenal fatigue have the Type A personality and the two biggest components to healing they scoff at-bed before ten and decreasing stress. Without fixing those two things, you’ll never get better. It’s a fact all doctors agree on.
Here’s to hoping next weeks appointment to go over my gut issues goes better than this weeks about my adrenals. Peace out. ✌🏼