12 Minutes

Edited & clinically reviewed by THE BALANCE Team
Fact checked

For health-conscious people, the term “adrenal fatigue” is becoming a household term. It is a common disorder in which the body doesn’t respond effectively to life’s pressures, resulting in a range of symptoms that make daily life difficult. The following are some of the most prevalent signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  • Continual exhaustion
  • Headaches and a weakened immune system
  • Between meals, you may feel lightheaded, shaky, or angry.
  • Insomnia, particularly between the hours of 3 and 6 a.m.
  • After a night’s sleep, you don’t feel rested.
  • Changing from a sitting to a standing position causes dizziness.
  • The “blahs” of the afternoon
  • Cravings for caffeine and sugar

People frequently inquire about which supplements or pharmaceuticals can strengthen the adrenals when in reality, some lifestyle practices are just as crucial — if not more so — in promoting long-term adrenal repair and stability.

There is currently no pharmacological treatment for adrenal fatigue, which some osteopaths and naturopaths believe is a factor in conventional medicine’s understanding of the issue. Lifestyle adjustments like a low-caffeine/low-sugar diet, abstinence from junk food, a balanced sleep routine, and vitamin supplements are advised as natural therapies.

1. Get some rest!

One of the most effective methods to maintain adrenal health is to get plenty of rest on a regular basis. Even if you have insomnia, the following practices can help you alter your life:

  • Every day, go to sleep by 10 p.m.
  • If you can, get 9 to 11 hours of sleep a night.
  • Stop using all digital screens for an hour before bedtime to allow your brain waves to change into sleep mode.
  • Well before night, have a modest snack that’s rich in proteins and healthy fat but low in carbohydrates and sweets.

2. Limit your intake of sugar, processed carbs, and seed oils from industrial sources.

Blood sugar levels rise and then fall as a result of eating too many carbohydrates and sugars. To restore blood sugar balance, the adrenals must release more cortisol. Adrenal function is depleted over time as a result of this. Inflammation caused by industrial seed oils exhausts the adrenals as well.

3. Quit stimulants, particularly caffeine.

Yes, there’s coffee involved. Caffeine is one of the deadliest enemies of your adrenal glands! Caffeine and other boosters induce the adrenals to release additional stress hormones, which depletes the adrenals over time, causing you to become more exhausted. That caffeine “pick-me-up” from coffee or tea isn’t really the help you need… at any time of day.

4. Avoid sugar and stimulants when you’re fatigued.

You might be inclined to reach for a coffee or some sweets when you’re feeling down in the afternoon. By raising sugar levels and promoting cortisol release, will only further deplete your adrenals. Rather, fill your body with a balance of healthy fats, protein, and limited carbohydrates to maintain good sugar levels and brain function, which is just what you need to get rid of the blues.

5. Exercise that is moderate, not strenuous.

Exercise is essential for maintaining excellent health. Strenuous activity, on the other hand, can be overly stressful for your adrenals, leaving you exhausted. If you suspect adrenal fatigue, keep your workouts light and quit before you become exhausted.

6. Consume a variety of well-balanced meals on a regular basis.

Adrenal function is influenced not just by what you consume, but also by when you eat. The adrenals go into emergency mode when blood sugar levels drop due to irregular meal scheduling, pumping out more cortisol to correct the problem. Regular meals assist to keep blood sugar levels consistent, which helps the adrenals operate properly.

Important Suggestions:

  • Breakfast should always be eaten, and it should be rich in proteins and healthy fat, with no refined sugar or stimulants. Even if you’re not hungry, have a little breakfast. It defines the tone for the rest of your day.
  • To avoid blood glucose fluctuations earlier in the day and the afternoon “crash,” limit sweets and fruits before lunch.
  • To keep blood glucose levels steady, eat every 2-3 hours.
  • Include some proteins and healthy fat in each and every meal – even snacks – to maintain blood sugar constant and assist maintain normal adrenal function.

7. Have a good time and take care of yourself.

  • Joy and rest help your adrenals function correctly by reducing stress.
  • Play! Laugh! Goof off!
  • Make time for yourself each day for at least 10 minutes of peaceful, stress-relieving exercise, like lying down with your legs up, meditating, or gently breathing while sitting motionless.
  • Follow your body’s message and lie down for a bit if you’re exhausted.

8. Deal with stress in your life

Continuous life stress is a deal-breaker for adrenal function, and it is by far the most difficult thing on this list to handle. The adrenals react to any kind of stress, whether it’s extrinsic or intrinsic, big or small. While stress is an inherent part of life, many stresses can be avoided. An honest examination of the sources of stress in your life will uncover areas that need to be eliminated or reduced. Do you have any friends with whom you have negative feelings? Is this a bad job? Too many committees to chair? Everyone has a distinct list of stressors and a varied level of stress responses; figure out yours and take steps to eliminate the ones you can while minimizing the ones you can’t. One by one, one by one, one by one, one by one, one by one Every cause of stress that is eliminated benefits your health.

Bonus Points: Address the source of the irritation.

Although not explicitly related to lifestyle decisions, underlying inflammation demands special attention because the complete adrenal function is impossible without it. The adrenals, as you’ve known, play a critical role in regulating inflammation, including the inflammatory processes that characterize autoimmune reactions. Your adrenal glands are less likely to release enough cortisol to appropriately counteract this additional inflammation when you have adrenal fatigue. Consult your doctor about underlying causes of chronic inflammation, such as dietary intolerances, gastrointestinal infections, environmental pollutants, chronic infections, brain inflammation, and other autoimmune conditions. Inflammation that isn’t treated keeps the immune response on high alert, which overtaxes the endocrine system over time, causing debilitating symptoms of adrenal fatigue and impending adrenal repair.

If you suspect adrenal exhaustion, ask your doctor about the 24-hour Adrenal Stress Index (ASI), a simple saliva sample that indicates your present adrenal condition and can be a useful tool in defining your adrenal recovery path.

This list may seem onerous whether or not you experience debilitating adrenal exhaustion. “But I have to be so diligent!” you could say. Remember that persistent stress is the primary cause of adrenal fatigue, which is exacerbated by lifestyle practices that decrease adrenal function. Do you want to keep feeling blah, or do you want to feel energized, with a sharp intellect and a zest for life?

Begin with one of the items on this list that you can handle. Commit to improving one of these adrenal support practices at a time until you’ve completed the list. It may be easier than you think, since as you promote adrenal health, your energy levels rise, and you’ll be more motivated to take the next step. Every action you take to promote healthy adrenal function is a step toward better health and vitality, and the more you include these habits into your daily routine, the faster – and stronger – your recovery will be.

An adrenal fatigue diet seeks to aid your body’s capacity to keep healthy blood cortisol levels and sugar levels. This diet plan is similar to many other healthful, balanced diets in that it emphasizes whole grains, veggies, healthy fats, and high-protein meals to give your body a steady supply of energy. If you are wondering how to boost cortisol with meals, you can do so by eating refined sugars, processed foods, caffeine, or alcohol, but these might lead to dangerous collapses. To begin your adrenal fatigue or Addison’s disease diet, increase your intake of the following foods:

  • Vegetables, particularly those that are brightly colored and non-starchy.
  • Apples, Pears, cherries, plums, papaya, mango, and kiwi are among the most popular fruits. Conserve fruit for later in the day, and be mindful of how much you consume, as too often can quickly elevate your blood sugar.
  • Whole grains.
  • Proteins.
  • Fats that are good for you (like fatty fish, avocado, flaxseed oil, olive oil, grape seed oil).
  • Salt. When you have adrenal fatigue, using sea salt in your food (in limits) can assist your body to obtain the vital nutrients it needs.
  • Although the foods listed above can help supply your body with plenty of energy, try to minimize the below foods to avoid energy and blood sugar fluctuations.
  • Alcohol
  • granulated sugar
  • Fast food/fried foods
  • Caffeine
  • Flour (white)
  • Processed foods
  • Sweeteners made from artificial sources

When it comes to an adrenal fatigue diet, it’s equally crucial to pay attention to what you consume. Eating well-balanced meals on a frequent basis will help you maintain a constant blood sugar level. Make sure you eat breakfast and avoid skipping meals as much as possible!

  • Supplements for Adrenal Function
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • B vitamins
  • Ashwagandha
  • Rhodiola
  • Root of Licorice

Other healthy habits, including proper daily hydration, blood sugar management through a planned eating schedule, and meditation, are thought to aid in the restoration of adrenal gland functioning.

When it comes to addressing adrenal exhaustion, the prolonged cardiac exercise of more than one hour is not recommended, and some recent research suggests that hard interval training with brief times of rest maybe even worse! Most adrenal stress is caused by workouts like CrossFit and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). Lower-level aerobic and weight training is more useful if you have adrenal issues because it is less stressful on the neurological system.

  • Keep your workouts under one hour; thirty minutes is great for beginners.
  • Get your feet on the ground! If possible, go for a walk in the woods, preferably barefoot. Walking in the woods has been demonstrated to have numerous health advantages, including the reduction of stress and anxiety.
  • Purchase a heart monitor to keep track of your pulse rate and make sure that you’re not overworking yourself. Zone 2 should be your optimal HR (60-70 percent of heart rate max)
  • Over time, gradually enhance your workout ability. Add some more volume, some more workouts, and your performance will improve over time!

Insulin, cortisol,  blood glucose, thyroid hormone, and human growth hormone levels are all normalized by exercise. It increases the amount of oxygen in your brain, which is necessary for brain performance and development. Exercise can also help alleviate depressive feelings, which are a typical side effect of adrenal exhaustion.

Cortisol should be secreted during activity, but it should be produced as rapidly as possible once you’ve finished exercising. This cortisol reaction can be reduced by eating the correct nutrition after exercise. A proper balance of natural carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium should be present in each adrenal snack. Here’s a list of some of my favorite adrenal-boosting meals that also actually reduce cortisol levels.

  • Dates, apple, and celery
  • Cauliflower, apple, and cucumber
  • Spinach, orange, and avocado
  • Lemon, sweet potato, and kale
  • Lime, cucumber, and avocado
  • Romaine lettuce, bananas, and dates
  • Apricots, coconut water, and celery
  • Spinach, banana, and coconut water
  • Mache, pears, and berries
  • Celery, figs, and mango
  • Butter lettuce, orange, and cilantro
  • Green leaf lettuce, raspberries, and tangerines
  • Cucumber, raw honey, and berries
  • Collard greens, apple, and dates

Most rehab centers provide excellent treatment and aftercare, but people seeking a higher level of luxury might look into high-end inpatient and outpatient luxury treatment centers across the world. Behavioral treatment and psychotherapy in an upscale luxury inpatient or residential facility with upscale amenities such as private rooms with hot tubs, swimming pools, and fitness centers with access to personal trainers who can provide training targeted to your specific needs. At a premium inpatient and residential adrenal fatigue treatment program, the symptoms of adrenal fatigue can be considerably improved. It provides superior services, and the high-end luxury rehab focuses on health and nutrition, which patients may not discover at regular rehabs. If you or a dear one prefers an upscale luxury therapy, speak with a treatment professional to discuss your alternatives and ask questions.

Many people find premium luxury rehab enticing because of the high quality of the food. The meals served during high-end luxury residential treatment are top-tier, high-quality, restaurant-quality foods that provide nutritional support. Furthermore, some patients’ nutritional needs may be taken into account by private chefs. This would be dependent on the specific institution. Healthcare practitioners can provide more data to those with unique dietary needs. Offering nourishing and delicious food that is prepared with care might whet some people’s appetites and encourage them to eat meals on a regular basis. Gourmet foods are also used in upscale luxury rehab to appeal to the patient’s desired treatment approach while also replenishing crucial nutrients that be lost during the course of endocrine and/or metabolic imbalance.

Eating nutrient-dense foods can nourish the body while also releasing endorphins that can improve one’s mood. Patients get nutritional care in the form of meal plans, as they do in most facilities, to help balance out the vitamins lost. Dietary programs guarantee that people in treatment eat meals that give them energy, balance their chemistry, help them manage their cravings, encourage healing, and improve their general health. Finally, patients who might have lost a lot of weight might be urged to consume healthy meals on a regular basis throughout their rehab stay in order to restore healthy muscle mass and weight.

FAQs