The Ultimate Guide to Healing Adrenal Glands Naturally to Prevent Burnout Symptoms
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys, being only about the size of two Brazil nuts and weighing less than two grapes, these glands may seem small and useless.
However that’s far from the truth, because your adrenal glands actually control the secretion of cortisol and adrenaline. Your adrenal glands are also able to produce small amounts of androgens, such as testosterone and DHEA.
The main reason why you should make sure that your adrenals function properly, is the fact that the glands keep up the natural circadian rhythm of certain hormones.
The circadian rhythm is mainly controlled by the stress hormone cortisol. And if your adrenal glands function properly you’ll wake up with elevated cortisol which gives you a jolt of energy first thing in the morning. Then when you hit the sack in the evening, your adrenal glands make sure that your cortisol levels are low so that you can drift into sleep instantly.
So basically your adrenal glands are your inner clock of hormones. Waking you up in the morning and getting you into the bed on time when its close to the night.
But what if your adrenal glands are burned out and won’t function properly?
Adrenal gland problems are estimated to affect up to 80% of adults in the world at some point of their life, and when the glands won’t function properly, then your inner clock of hormones is wrecked.
Basically everything will start working kind of backwards…
…You’ll wake up with low cortisol, having zero energy and no motivation to do anything. Then as the day processes your adrenals will increase their cortisol secretion which drops your testosterone levels and makes you feel pretty sick, slow, and stressed out.
When it’s time to hit the bed, your adrenals make sure that your cortisol levels are sky high, meaning that you can’t sleep properly.
That’s a recipe for disaster, because if your cortisol is high when you’re trying to sleep, then your endocrine system can’t produce adequate amounts of testosterone when you’re sleeping (or trying to).
Basically adrenal gland health is very closely tied into testosterone production. If your adrenal health is bad, then your endocrine health and testosterone production will also suffer, which is pretty obvious as cortisol is the main enemy of testosterone, and wrecked adrenal glands will make your cortisol secretion go crazy in the absolute worst times possible.
The classic symptoms of adrenal fatigue, include: lethargy, no motivation, sleep problems, thyroid problems, and a list of hormone disturbances (low T and HGH along with elevated E).
Not to mention the fact that when the whacked up adrenals keep your cortisol levels elevated for long periods of time, then you expose yourself to pretty much all the medical conditions known to a man, inculding: cancer, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and pretty much everything you can think of.
So yes, it’s damn important to make sure that your adrenal glands function properly.
How to Know if You’re Having Adrenal Fatigue
This would be an obvious question to ask at this point.
How can one actually know if their adrenals are out of whack?
There’s few answers and logical solutions to the question…
…And here’s a list starting from the best ways to find out if you’re having the adrenal system problems:
a) The Kalish method, which was invented by the world famous adrenal gland guru Dr. Kalish, is a simple method where they test your cortisol levels 4 times in a day for several days to see if your inner clock of hormones functions properly (your cortisol should spike in the morning and then drop gradually towards the evening if everything functions properly). They’ll also test various other hormones too such as testosterone and estrogen to make sure that the problem is in fact in the adrenals and not somewhere else.
b) Monitor the health of your thyroid, as the functions of your thyroid gland will rapidly slow down if your cortisol is elevated for an abnormally long period of time. This in the long run causes hypothyroidism and low testosterone. So if your thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) are on the low side, one obvious thing is to check if its caused by adrenal fatigue.
c) If you sleep a solid 8 hours and still wake up lethargic, then there’s probably something screwed up in your innate circadian rhythm of cortisol secretion, which screams adrenal fatigue.
d) If you have been under a lot of emotional or physical stress and then suddenly start having all these medical problems and extreme lethargy, then it’s most likely that your adrenal glands have burnt out due to the fact that stress takes its toll on the glands.
e) If you have low testosterone levels and can’t seem to find a way to get them up no matter what you do, then it would make sense to check if your innate hormonal clock (the adrenal glands) function properly.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue
Before we start evaluating the ways to heal your adrenal glands naturally, we first have to know what causes the problems in the first place.
Yet again there’s probably hundreds of different reasons on this modern day world that can cause those problems in your innate adrenal system…
…Here’s the most obvious ones:
1) Long term emotional or physical stress. Stress truly takes its toll on the glands. This is the reason why there’s so many stress related diseases:
You’re stressed for a long period of time -> Your adrenal glands will burn out -> Your cortisol levels go out of whack -> Your whole body gets out of control and is vulnerable to multiple diseases.
2) Dietary factors. The modern day diet is what it is… Filled with processed and refined foods, pesticides, toxins, and foods that lack nutritional value. Omitting yourself from any food group, carbs in particular, can trigger issues in thyroid and adrenal production.
3) Long term use of stimulants. Stimulants such as coffee or epidheprene used for prolonged periods of time at very high dosages can eventually burn out the adrenal system, and this includes the glands of which we’re speaking about.
4) Overtraining. Excessive exercise, especially that long duration cardio or endurance training really takes its toll on the adrenal glands. So remember to rest, and unless you’re a marathon runner, stop those long-ass cardio sessions.
Now that we understand a bit about what are the adrenal glands, why their health matters, the symptoms, and the causes, I guess we can finally take a look at the natural solutions:
Optimize your DHEA Levels
DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is one of the male sex hormones – androgens – that your gonads, adrenal glands, and the brain produce.
It acts as the mother (or should we say father) of hormones in the body, and one of its main functions is to counter effect those overblown cortisol levels.
When your adrenal glands are out of whack, then your DHEA production will suffer greatly, and your stress hormone cortisol can roam freely inside of your body, destroying stuff.
If your adrenal glands function properly, then the glands naturally produce DHEA to counteract all that cortisol. However if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, then your glands can’t really produce adequate amounts of DHEA on their own.
That’s why one of the main solutions for treating adrenal fatigue, is bio-identical DHEA. It’s available as an over the counter supplement, but I do not recommend straight DHEA to anyone.
Mainly because it’s an androgen and it’s basically almost the same as using synthetic hormone replacement. There really isn’t scientific evidence on the fact that bio-identical DHEA would harm your innate natural system, but if synthetic testosterone replacement means that your balls stop producing their own juices, then it’s pretty obvious that synthetic DHEA would have similar properties in the adrenal glands…
That’s why I recommend a more natural, yet as effective solution:
Magnesium oil. It’s applied transmedally to the skin from where it absorbs and metabolizes naturally into DHEA.
So if you’re thinking about synthetic DHEA, forget it. Get some magnesium oil and have someone to rub it into your back, right to where your kidneys and adrenal glands are located. Then just wait and let the natural DHEA work its magic in the glands.
Adaptogens are a class of herbs that have stress relieving properties.
All the adaptogenic herbs that I’m aware of, have the ability to balance overblown hormones.
In the case of adrenal fatigue, you’re most likely suffering from overblown cortisol levels, along with very low testosterone and DHEA.
Adaptogens will help to balance those levels back to normal (helps your body to achieve the state of homeostasis).
Some of the most researched and scientifically proven adaptogens include:
- Ashwagandha (used in Eastern medicine for the past 2,500 years. Known for it’s immuno-modulating effects which balance cortisol levels).
- Rhodiola Rosea (used by cosmonauts and the elite athletes of now fallen Soviet Union. Research has shown that this herb has very strong anti-stress and cortisol lowering effects).
- Panax Ginseng (The most respected and studied herbs in Chinese medicine. Has very strong healing effects in the body, including anti-stress properties).
Vitamin C and Antioxidants
Antioxidant rich foods would also be pretty important, as high cortisol tends to induce oxidative stress and do damage all over the body, and antioxidants can stop and even reverse the oxidization process.
Some good vitamin C and antioxidant rich foods can be found in this article.
And more details about the importance of vitamin C here.
Get Rid of The Stress
Easier said than done huh?
Although it’s kind of a dumb move to just tell someone that he needs to stress less (when really, they probably would if they could), it’s just what you need to do if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue.
After all, one of the leading causes for adrenal problems is prolonged emotional or physical stress.
So if you’re constantly stressed out, you’re only fueling the fire.
On a serious note, if you’re seriosuly in the verge of ultimate stress. Then you have to do everything you can to take that stuff under your control.
Get therapy, listen to relaxation tapes, walk in the fresh air, talk with someone, meditate, lift heavy weights, even do yoga or some shit if it helps! Just try your best to get the situation under control.
Obesity is the principal reason why people end up sick in the modern society.
No matter how healthy you try to eat, and no matter how much supplements, herbs, and other stuff you’re trying to do, you’re always going to fall short healthwise if you’re fat.
There’s just not a way to go around it.
This is one of the multiple problems with being obese:
Being fat induces aromataze -> aromatase lowers testosterone and increases estrogen -> your thyroid gets out of whack -> leptin and insulin resistance take place -> your cortisol skyrockets -> adrenal fatigue steps in -> You’re one sick fella -> Your doctor will put you on various drugs -> you’re still fat and the drugs likely won’t fix the problem.
How to stop and eventually reverse this?
Answer: Start from losing that fat mass. It’s that simple, after that you can introduce the supplements, herbs, and other bodyhacks to make stuff more interesting and quicker.
Reduce the usage of Stimulants
Stimulants are compounds that basically give you a short burst of energy, such as coffee or epidheprene.
Stimulants can even be healthy in some manner, for example right before a sports event or a fight (if you’re a boxer etc)…
…But if you use them daily at high dosages (like most people do with coffee), you’ll run into problems.
One of those problems is the fact that your adrenal glands will get exhausted. After all that’s what stimulants do. They stimulate the adrenal system to produce cortisol and adrenaline.
Stimulate the system daily and it will soon burn out.
The whole adrenal system and those small glands that control your cortisol secretion is just one widely overlooked issue.
It’s a hugely important system in the body, one that most people have out of whack, and they just don’t even know it. They’ll think that the lethargy and stress is just “normal”.
If you ever experience adrenal fatigue (like 80% of the population do), remember this article, and fix the issue before it escalates.