Adrenal Fatigue is a decrease in the adrenal glands’ ability to carry out this normal function. It is commonly caused by chronic stress from any source (including emotional, physical, mental, or environmental) that exceeds the body’s capacity to adjust appropriately to the demands placed on it by the stress.
Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger. You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.
Adrenal Fatigue Diet
In every case of adrenal recovery, diet is a huge factor. There are a number of foods that support adrenal function. They help replenish your adrenal energy so your system can come back to full health. But first you must start by removing any hard-to-digest foods and any toxins or chemicals in your environment.
The idea is to remove anything that taxes your adrenals.
Foods to avoid include:
Caffeine: This can interfere with your sleep cycle and make it hard for your adrenals to recover. If you must drink coffee or a caffeinated beverage, then have a limited amount in the morning before noon.
Sugar and sweeteners: Includes avoiding high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners as well. Avoid sugary foods, cereals, candy, sweets, etc. Be aware that sugar is an additive in many breads, condiments and dressings. Try to avoid as much extra sugar as possible. Seek the benefits of raw honey as an alternative.
Processed and microwaved foods: First of all, the microwave has its own dangers, but additionally, most microwaveable foods have many preservatives and fillers that are hard to digest and wear out your body’s energy and digestion cycle. Try to buy food on the outer walls of your grocery store and prepare your own food whenever possible.
Hydrogenated oils: Vegetable oils like soybean, canola and corn oil are highly inflammatory and can lead to adrenal inflammation. Try to only use good fats such as coconut oil, olive oil, organic butter or ghee.
Ashwagandha and Adrenal Fatigue
Separate studies on rats also revealed the ability of Withania somnifera to help boost stamina in swimming endurance tests. It also prevented the adrenal glands from producing cortisol and ascorbic acid under this stress. Due to the stress from chronic swimming, the animals had lowered levels of glutathione (GSH) and saw lipid per oxidation. Further, antioxidant defense enzyme levels also dipped. But when the herbal remedy was administered, their GSH levels were restored and lipid per oxidation also declined. Researchers inferred that oxidation stress had a critical part to play in chronic fatigue, making antioxidants like Indian ginseng a good line of treatment
Ashwagandha has been found to be beneficial for the following conditions:
- Anxiety – combined with proper breathing and personalized diet, Ashwagandha may reduce anxiety symptoms.
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – one product that contained Ashwagandha and other ingredients helped children with attention and impulse control.
- Cerebellar Ataxia – people with this brain disorder who took Ashwagandha in an Ayurvedic intervention, showed improved balance.
- Diabetes – taking Ashwagandha may improve blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
- High cholesterol – the herb shows some cholesterol-lowering abilities.
- Male infertility – Ashwagandha may improve sperm quality.
- Arthritis – in a formulation with other ingredients, Ashwagandha helped alleviate arthritis symptoms.
- Parkinson’s disease – Ashwagandha and other herbs improved symptoms of Parkinson’s.