The Adrenal Fatigue Diet Demystified
Adrenal Fatigue: The Facts
Adrenal fatigue is a collection of symptoms that result from an underperforming adrenal gland. Of these symptoms, the most prevalent one is fatigue that will not go away, even with extra sleep. As may be expected, adrenal fatigue can be hard to diagnose and pinpoint because the sufferer may not feel like she has a specific illness. Severity can range from a general feeling of being tired and unwell to more extreme cases where the sufferer may hardly be able to get out of bed. The less the adrenal gland performs its proper role, the more the rest of the body is negatively affected.
You may be asking yourself how this tricky condition comes to manifest itself. Adrenal glands respond to stress in the body – whether physical, mental or psychological – by releasing hormones that help the body cope with stress. Adrenal fatigue is what happens when the adrenal glands cannot keep up with the stresses in the body and cannot maintain a normal state. This causes the adrenal glands to produce too few of the necessary hormones and adrenal fatigue sets in. With bodily functions like blood pressure, blood sugar, the immune system and fat storage all being regulated by the adrenal glands, it’s easy to see how dangerous adrenal fatigue can be.
The Adrenal Fatigue Diet
Like countless other physical ailments, adrenal fatigue can be improved by a healthier overall lifestyle. In fact, this is actually the best way to recover — excellent news for those who do not want to rely on medications and expensive doctors to return to their normal state of being. The adrenal fatigue diet contains many food recommendations that would be found in most healthy diets, as well as lifestyle changes that contribute to overall health. This helps keep adrenal gland function normal and blood sugar levels stable. As the body tried to recover from adrenal fatigue, it uses up stored nutrients. This means that the food you choose to nourish your body with and replace those nutrients becomes even more important than usual.
When To Eat
The adrenal fatigue diet is about the combination of what you eat, when you eat, and overall lifestyle choices and habits. People with adrenal fatigue should eat as soon as possible after waking up and definitely before 10 a.m. This helps to boost blood sugar. We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less, so there’s no excuse to skip it anymore. It is also ideal to have an early lunch (around 11 or 11:30 a.m.), a healthy snack between 2 and 3 p.m., and dinner between 5 and 6 p.m. It is also just fine to have a small, nutritious snack before bedtime to keep you full since people with adrenal fatigue often have problems sleeping.
What To Eat
Again, many of the healthy eating tips that we know we should be following apply in this case too. Avoiding junk food, eating five to six servings of a variety of vegetables each day, eating high quality foods in general, and getting carbohydrates from whole grains are all recommended for the adrenal fatigue diet. However, there are some less common tips for this diet plan specifically. Adding a modest amount of salt to food, avoiding fruit in the morning, and avoiding fruits such as bananas, raisins, dates, figs, oranges and grapefruit is suggested. Some combinations, such as mixing legumes and grains or combining legumes and seeds, are advised to get the maximum benefits from these foods. There are also supplements and vitamins that can be beneficial to adrenal fatigue recovery. Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, vitamin E with mixed tocopherols, B-complex supplements and licorice root extract can add to a healthy diet and many are already found in multivitamins.
Activities that help eliminate stress can be a great support when overcoming adrenal fatigue. Plus, most of these will help to improve your quality of life overall. Laughing, exercising, making time for fun, lying down to rest throughout the day, going to bed by 10:30 p.m. and chewing food well can all positively affect stress levels and adrenal fatigue. There are also some activities that are best to avoid. Spending time with negative people and drinking caffeinated or sugary beverages that interfere with sleep patterns can both thwart recovery from adrenal fatigue.
Ideally, with these diet and life improvements, adrenal fatigue can be a thing of the past. Minor adrenal fatigue can be recovered from in as little as six months, while severe adrenal fatigue may take up to 24 months to fully disappear. The best thing about the adrenal diet is that you have nothing to lose. Even if it takes a few months or more than a year, overall health should improve by following these healthy guidelines and not taking unnecessary medications. For more information on adrenal fatigue and the diet, read Dr. James Wilson’s “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome,” the leading book on the topic.