The adrenal glands are small glands located on top of the kidneys and they are essential for our everyday wellness because they create a variety of hormones, such as cortisol and sex hormones. The adrenal glands create hormones that control sugar and blood pressure, react to stress, as well as burn protein and fat. If these small glands don’t create enough of the essential hormones for our everyday wellness, it can ultimately cause a variety of health issues. Adrenal fatigue is a health issue recognized by many healthcare professionals, however, there is no evidence to prove that the condition exists. Adrenal fatigue is characterized as a collection of non-specific symptoms. James Wilson, Ph.D., naturopath and alternative healthcare professional, coined the term in 1998 when he first identified the condition as a collection of associated symptoms that occurred when the adrenal glands aren’t functioning accordingly. He also described that the condition is typically associated with severe stress and fatigue that doesn’t get better with sleep which follows with other health issues, such as bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia. In the following article, we will discuss how to ultimately improve adrenal fatigue with diet.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
According to healthcare professionals, adrenal fatigue can commonly develop in people that have experienced mental, physical, or emotional stress for an extended period of time. However, as previously mentioned, there is currently no evidence to prove that the condition exists. Many doctors are also concerned that if a patient is told that they have this condition, it may ultimately cause them to miss another underlying source of their symptoms that probably also won’t be diagnosed and treated accordingly. However, there are a variety of other health issues that may affect the adrenal glands.
Adrenal fatigue develops when the adrenal glands are overworked due to chronic stress. Many healthcare professionals believe that excessive, long-term stress causes these small glands to become fatigued and unable to keep up with the demands to produce enough hormones. All of the symptoms below are relatively generic, however, they could signal an underlying health issue. Many of the symptoms could also be due to a busy life and a lack of sleep, as well as due to caffeine addiction, poor nutrition, or increased amounts of stress. The common symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue can include:
- craving sugar and salt
- abnormal weight loss
- trouble getting to sleep and waking up
- dependence on stimulants like caffeine
- nonspecific digestive problems
What is Adrenal Insufficiency?
Adrenal insufficiency, commonly referred to as Addison’s disease, is a health issue that develops when the adrenal glands aren’t producing enough of the hormones we need for overall health. Adrenal fatigue is believed to be a mild type of adrenal insufficiency caused by severe stress over a long period of time. Adrenal insufficiency develops when the adrenal glands are damaged, causing them to not produce enough hormones, including cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol regulates our stress response while aldosterone regulates sodium and potassium. Symptoms associated with adrenal insufficiency can include:
In more severe cases, when the adrenal glands aren’t producing enough of the necessary hormones due to adrenal insufficiency, you may experience:
- muscle weakness
- headaches or head pain
- loss of appetite
- unexplained weight loss
- salt cravings
- excessive sweating
- loss of body hair
- irregular menstruation in women
- irritability and/or depression
- low blood pressure
- abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea
- low blood pressure
Understanding the Adrenal Fatigue Diet
As previously mentioned, adrenal fatigue is a health issue that occurs when the adrenal glands aren’t creating enough of the essential hormones we need for our everyday wellness. Fortunately, many healthcare professionals recommend following the adrenal fatigue diet to ultimately help improve symptoms. The adrenal fatigue diet is a nutritional treatment approach that helps improve adrenal fatigue. The adrenal fatigue diet can increase energy levels and control a variety of bodily functions because it promotes healthier eating habits and lifestyle modifications. Following the adrenal fatigue diet can help promote:
- proper adrenal gland function
- increased nutrients in the body
- balanced blood pressure
- reduced stress levels
Moreover, the adrenal fatigue diet is similar to most balanced diets recommended by healthcare professionals, which typically include eating plenty of vegetables, high-protein foods, and whole grains. The goal of this nutritional treatment approach is to naturally increase your energy levels in order for the body not to burn too many essential nutrients. The adrenal fatigue diet is still being tested. Healthcare professionals are still performing research studies on adrenal fatigue. However, it has been demonstrated that eating a proper diet and lifestyle modifications can ultimately make you feel overall wellness.
Foods to Eat with Adrenal Fatigue
Following a balanced diet is the best way to regulate the essential functions of the human body as well as maintain overall wellness. Healthcare professionals recommend eating complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Also, eat plenty of vegetables to get the necessary amount of vitamins and minerals as well as eat foods that are high in vitamin C, B vitamins, and magnesium to support the adrenal glands. It’s also essential to stay hydrated. Dehydration can affect your stress levels and make the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Foods to eat on the adrenal fatigue diet can include:
- low-sugar fruits
- leafy greens and colorful vegetables
- whole grains
- lean meats
- healthy fats such as olive oil, and coconut oil
- sea salt (in moderation)
Foods to Avoid with Adrenal Fatigue
Although the adrenal fatigue diet also doesn’t require any major dietary restrictions that could harm your health, you should still talk with your healthcare professional before changing your eating habits. If you begin to experience any adverse symptoms or if the adrenal fatigue diet makes your condition worse, visit your healthcare professional immediately. Furthermore, if you do decide to try following the adrenal fatigue diet, many healthcare professionals recommend limiting foods and drinks high in refined and processed sugars and fats. Several foods to avoid eating with adrenal fatigue can include:
- refined white sugar
- refined white flour
- fried food
- processed food
- fast food
- artificial sweeteners
The adrenal glands are small glands found on top of each kidney. The outer region of the adrenal gland, known as the adrenal cortex, creates a variety of hormones, including cortisol and aldosterone. The inner region of the adrenal gland, known as the adrenal medulla, creates other hormones, such as adrenaline or epinephrine and norepinephrine. These essential hormones are necessary for a variety of functions in the human body, including: regulating sugar, salt, water, metabolism, and blood pressure, as well as regulating stress and inflammation, among other essential bodily functions. Adrenal fatigue can commonly develop in people that have experienced severe mental, physical, or emotional stress for an extended period of time. However, as previously mentioned above, there is currently not enough evidence to ultimately prove that the condition exists. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight
The adrenal glands are small glands located on top of the kidneys and they are essential for our everyday wellness because they create a variety of hormones, such as cortisol and sex hormones. The adrenal glands create hormones that control sugar and blood pressure, react to stress, as well as burn protein and fat. If these small glands don’t create enough of the essential hormones for our everyday wellness, it can ultimately cause a variety of health issues. Adrenal fatigue is a health issue recognized by many healthcare professionals, however, there is no evidence to prove that the condition exists.
Adrenal fatigue is characterized as a collection of non-specific symptoms. James Wilson, Ph.D., naturopath and alternative healthcare professional, coined the term in 1998 when he first identified the condition as a collection of associated symptoms that occurred when the adrenal glands aren’t functioning accordingly. He also described that the condition is typically associated with severe stress and fatigue that doesn’t get better with sleep which follows with other health issues, such as bronchitis, flu, or pneumonia. In the article above, we will discuss how to ultimately improve adrenal fatigue with diet.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.
Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez References:
- Newman, Tim. “Adrenal Fatigue: Myths, Symptoms, Disorders, and Treatment.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 27 June 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/245810.php#treatment.
- Frothingham, Scott. “Adrenal Fatigue Treatment.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 22 Aug. 2018, www.healthline.com/health/adrenal-fatigue-treatment.
- Felson, Sabrina. “Adrenal Fatigue: Is It Real? Symptoms, Causes, Treatments.” WebMD, WebMD, 8 Feb. 2019, www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/adrenal-fatigue-is-it-real#1.
- Anthony, Kiara. “The Adrenal Fatigue (AF) Diet.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 28 Feb. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/adrenal-fatigue-diet.
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