In today’s high stress world, more and more people are complaining of chronic and overwhelming fatigue. Many serious illnesses and deficiencies have fatigue as as symptom, but for people with no medical problems, the answer is elusive. Many are beginning to wonder if they are suffering from a condition called adrenal fatigue. This is caused by an under-performing adrenal gland, and manifests in symptoms that cannot be explained tiredness.
Adrenal fatigue is a relatively new condition in medical discourse. It is not fully understood by medical science, and some even question whether such a condition even exists. It is believed that physical, mental, or emotional stress can overload an already poorly working adrenal gland.
Since the adrenal glands create the stress-reduction hormone cortisol, a poorly functioning adrenal gland can lead to a vicious cycle of fatigue. In patients with adrenal fatigue, the adrenal gland cannot create enough cortisol to manage existing levels of stress. When more stressors are added, the gland’s performance continued to deteriorates. This further inhibits the person’s ability to deal with the added stress.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
In the early stages of adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels may be elevated at night. Adrenal fatigue may begin with symptoms of restlessness, hyperactivity, or insomnia at night.
As the condition progresses, cortisol levels continue to be high at night causing sleep issues. They also begin to plunge by midday, causing a feeling commonly described by sufferers as brain fog. In the final stage, cortisol levels have completely flat lined. The patient will feel chronic exhaustion, regardless of rest or activity.
Suffers report feeling irritable, depression, body aches, and decreased sex drive. They maintain chronically high stress levels, have reduced memory and concentration, and have difficulties both falling asleep and waking up.
Despite the well-defined signals of adrenal fatigue, doctors and medical professionals have little evidence-based advice to offer their patients. Unsurprisingly, this is a frustrating issue for patients and many are seeking answers elsewhere.
Some have turned to the web, joining social networks of people trying to cure their symptoms of fatigue. In these discussions, various supplements have been proposed to treat a struggling adrenal gland. These include anything from vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements, omega-3, and probiotics.
In this article, we will go over some of the best supplements for adrenal fatigue available in 2016.
Adrenal Fatigue Vitamins
Like many conditions that present symptoms of fatigue, adrenal fatigue may be linked to deficiencies in nutrition. Several vitamins play key roles in the healthy workings of the adrenal gland. Most important are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and B-complex vitamins like B5, B6, and B12.
WebMD lists poor diet as a potential cause of fatigue. If you feel fatigued and believe it might be linked to your adrenal gland, diet is a good first place to begin investigating. Make sure you are eating foods rich in B and C in particular.
Papayas, bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and strawberries are packed with Vitamin C. B-complex vitamins come from a range of sources like mushrooms, cheese, and oily fish like trout. An excellent recipe for your adrenal gland is bone broth. Bone broth, especially the marrow, is rich in the essential vitamins implicated in adrenal fatigue.
A varied diet of fresh meats, fruits, and vegetables is the best way to supplement your vitamin intake. You might also consider incorporating a vitamin supplement into the mix. Many supplements offer a complete daily serving of each essential vitamin and mineral you should need.
Adrenal Fatigue Magnesium
Magnesium is believed to be involved in adrenal fatigue, partly because magnesium is plays such a key role in setting stress thresholds. Many Americans are magnesium deficient already, simply from not getting enough of the mineral in their regular diets.
When magnesium levels are low, your body’s ability to manage stress is diminished. Cortisol is released at lower stress thresholds. These frequent releases also last longer, since it takes more time for stress to return to levels below those thresholds. To compound issues, magnesium can also be lost through the kidneys in urine. This is especially true for patients taking anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, or cancer treatment drugs.
Magnesium deficiency creates a cycle of fatigue very similar to the symptoms of adrenal fatigue sufferers. This has led some to believe that their adrenal glands might be overworked due to low magnesium levels.
Like vitamin deficiencies, a magnesium deficiency can be treated with diet changes. Spinach, yogurt, almonds and avocados are all rich in magnesium. You can also get magnesium from bone broth too, making it an adrenal fatigue super food.
Magnesium supplements are available over-the-counter, so you can also purchase those if working the mineral into your regular diet is difficult. The recommended daily value of magnesium is 400mg for an adult, so make sure your supplement provides at least that much.
Adrenal Fatigue Licorice Root
Cortisol release and absorption is a major factor in adrenal fatigue, and other stress related conditions. Thus, supplements that target cortisol can help in alleviating the symptoms of an overworked adrenal gland.
A 2011 study in journal of Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology found that licorice might actually have root actually helps mediate the cortisol release and absorption process. Adding licorice to your diet may actually help your body manage its existing cortisol levels more efficiently. This might relieve the workload of the adrenal gland, and improve symptoms of fatigue.
Licorice root can be purchased in supplement form in popular stores or online.
Adrenal Gland-specific Supplements
In recent years, complex adrenal fatigue supplements have been developed to treat the specific causes of the condition. These supplements tend to combine a variety of treatment sources such as vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies. If you have already monitored your diet and are certain that there are no nutrient deficiencies, an adrenal-specific supplement may be able to help you.
They can be found for sale on private individual’s websites, as well as on large marketplaces like Amazon. These formulations vary by manufacturer. It is important to check the listed ingredients carefully, and purchase from a trusted producer.
Gaia Herbs, for instance, combines holy basil, ashwagandha, schisandra, and rhodiola into a daily supplement. These are adaptogenic herbs. When administered, they have been found to help the body adapt to stressors by stabilizing physiological processes. In other words, these herbs help to maintain homeostasis.
Individual adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha have been suggested as cures for adrenal fatigue. Supplements like the one produced by Gaia Herb hope to enhance the curative properties of these plants by administering them together.
If you shop for supplements in a marketplace like Amazon, you can also see reviews and testimonials from other people who have used the product. Gaia Herbs’ product has received several hundred customer reviews, over 80% of which are positive reviews. Reading these can help you determine if it is worthwhile for you to try a targeted supplement.
Patients are often advised to choose the least invasive method to treat their symptoms. Thus, if you suspect that you have adrenal fatigue caused by a nutrient deficiency, the best way to supplement it is with natural foods. The risks of supplementing are reduced if you start by adding real foods rich in the desired nutrient.
If you move on to formulated supplements, start by purchasing the most common vitamins and minerals from trusted brands. A well-balanced multivitamin is easy to find in stores, and tested for health and safety outcomes.
You should only move on to buying specific herbs and targeted herbal supplement combinations after trying the first two options. While these treatments provide hope, most remain unverified in research and unregulated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Adrenal fatigue is still little understood in the medical community, which can be frustrating for sufferers. Many people have added one, two, or many supplements to their diets without seeing the results they desire. Others have tried products that have been ineffective or harmful.
While over 80% of the reviews for Gaia Herbs’ supplement are positive, but 8% of the products reviews are 1-star. Complaints range from the ineffectiveness of the product, to claims that it resulted in hospitalization and medical bills. It is difficult to verify which claims can be attributed to the product.
See a Doctor
Since the best treatment for adrenal fatigue is still being discovered, it is important to keep regular contact with a physician about the supplements you are taking. You doctor will be able to ensure that they do not interact negatively with any conditions you have or medications you are taking.
Your doctor will also be able to monitor the levels of supplements you are taking to make sure you take a safe amount. It might be wise to undergo periodic toxicity screenings when beginning a new supplement. Blood tests, for example, can highlight changes in chemical levels and alert you to adverse reactions.
With this approach, you should be able to safely try a variety of options. The best supplement for adrenal fatigue seems to vary by individual. It is almost inevitable that you will try multiple supplements before you find one (or a combination) that brings you the results you seek.
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