How to support adrenal function naturally

Posted by Fruit Of Spirit on

Adrenal insufficiency or fatigue can be particularly draining for a person affected by it. If you are one of those people who are affected by this disease and are looking for a way to finally make it go, then this place is where your search comes to an end.

Medicines do not always bring the desired results in every individual, and even if they do, they bring along with them a wave of possible side effects that can adversely contribute to deteriorating your health even further.

Adrenal insuffiency can cause extreme fatigue and tiredness. Photo credit: freepik.com

Here, we shall discuss some of the most popular tried and tested ways to naturally boost your adrenal function, with no risks of side effects and harmful reactions as experienced with oral and injectable medicines. 

 

Introduction

The adrenal glands are paired glands, each of which is located on the top of the kidneys. The adrenal glands, even though small in size, are responsible for synthesizing hormones like cortisol, aldosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). These hormones are collectively called the "Stress hormones," They help the body carry out numerous essential functions.[1]

These functions are necessary for the normal development and functioning of the body, and include: 

  • Increasing blood pressure, heart rate, etc.
  • Regulating fat and glucose metabolism.
  • Synthesis of sex hormones. 

 

What Causes the Adrenal Gland to Malfunction?

Under circumstances when the adrenal gland is not synthesizing sufficient amounts of hormones or is unable to utilize these hormones efficiently, the adrenal gland is said to be going through a period of "insufficiency" or "fatigue" [2].

Adrenal insufficiency usually occurs when the adrenal gland is subjected to excessive amounts of stress. Your autoimmune response might also be a cause for it, and in either of the situations, the normal functioning of the adrenal gland is significantly compromised. 

People of any age group may be affected.[3] This defect might also be present at birth or develop at a later stage in life due to some other secondary causes. 

 

What Are the Symptoms of Adrenal Insufficiency? 

The symptoms usually vary from person to person. However, the most common types of symptoms that arise in a person suffering from adrenal fatigue [4] or insufficiency include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Body pains 
  • Muscle aches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Nervousness, anxiety, and depression
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • General weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Vomiting, diarrhea
  • Hair loss. 

Whatever the symptoms are, a thorough evaluation and investigation by the doctor or physician help diagnose the real cause. 

 

Ways of Naturally Boosting the Adrenal Gland [5]

Naturally, the adrenal gland is already placed under a lot of stress due to continually synthesizing hormones and putting them to use. 

In some instances, relieving the adrenal gland of its state of stress can cause its functioning to return to normal. If not, the adrenal gland is held in a constant state of distress, which alters its working and causes it to malfunction. 

 

A doctor usually prescribes a lengthy treatment regimen comprising both oral and injectable medicines to relieve the stress and resolve the primary problem affecting the adrenal gland. In the long run, these medicines may prove to be doing more worse than good; that is, they might start showing side effects that are unwanted and negatively impact the health. For example, cortisone is a go-to drug for adrenal insufficiency; some if its prominent side effects include cartilage damage, nerve deterioration, inflammation, and pain in joints, among others.

To avoid this, here are some ways of naturally boosting the adrenal gland. Practicing these habits can help you boost your adrenal glands naturally. 

1. Alter Your Diet:

A diet rich in while grains and vegetables is recommended for adrenal fatigue. Photo credit: freepik.com

Your diet can play a huge role in improving and supporting your adrenal function. Since adrenal gland hormones are concerned with the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates, therefore increasing food items that are rich in proteins (lentils, meat, eggs) and carbohydrates (wheat, milk), the adrenal gland receives ample amounts of essential nutrients to function properly.

The diet for adrenal fatigue is similar to most recommended balanced diets. Typically, it should include high-protein foods, whole grains, and vegetables. The end goal is to enhance your energy reserves naturally, so you don't burn all your stored nutrients.

While trying an adrenal-friendly diet, medical professionals recommend limiting your intake of foods and drinks high in processed or refined sugar. Cutting down unhealthy fats is also a key step forward. Some of the foods to avoid are white flour, white sugar, caffeine, soda, fast food, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners.

Timing your meals is also an effective practice that aids in regulating your blood sugar, which ultimately supports your adrenal glands. If you eat regular meals without skipping breakfasts or lunches, your body will not burn stored nutrients, and your energy levels, as well as the cortisol levels, will be maintained throughout the day.

 

2. Eliminate Stress:

Practicing yoga or meditation can help support your adrenal function naturally. Photo credit: freepik.com

When you're in a state of constant stress, your adrenal glands continue releasing hormones like cortisol, which should not be released so often in a healthy individual. As a result of excessive hormonal production, your adrenal glands are exhausted and overworked.

To relax your internal body systems, you need to relax your mind too. The crucial step is to identify the various stress factors in your life and finding ways to manage and minimize them. For this purpose, practicing yoga can do wonders for your health, especially adrenal glands. If that's not your domain, consider meditation, deep breathing exercises, brisk walk, or even keeping a gratitude journal.

Try to remain as much stress-free as you can, and your body will thank you back in response.

 

3. Supplementation:

Fish oil supplements contain omega-3 fatty acids which are good for adrenal fatigue. Photo credit: freepik.com

Many physicians also recommend adding supplementation to your diet to provide an extra boost for your adrenal glands. 

Among all supplements, vitamin C is the most important one. Stress levels and the requirement of this vitamin go hand-in-hand. The more cortisol your adrenal glands synthesize, the more vitamin C they require. Vitamin B complex provides optimal levels of B6, B12, and folate in your body. These can positively impact your stress levels and particularly the cortisol levels. Magnesium has a calming effect and plays a significant role in supporting adrenal function and improving sleep quality. Omega-3 fatty acids are inflammatory fatty acids that play a pivotal role in communication between the brain and adrenal glands. A deficiency in these fatty acids can inhibit communications and negatively impact adrenal functioning. Taking supplements with fish oil can help to improve adrenal health during mental stress. Some of the herbal supplements like licorice root, maca root, golden root, and Siberian ginseng are also popular for cases of adrenal fatigue or insufficiency. 

However, there is no guarantee that these supplements would help in "treating" the condition; if anything, they are meant to empower your body and help manage the disease.

 

4. Sleeping Habits:

Good quality of sleep plays a key role in supporting adrenal function. Photo credit: freepik.com

Many people have a habit of sleeping at odd hours, or not sleeping for an extended period of time. This disturbs the normal circadian rhythm of the body and also puts stress on the overall health. 

Adequate sleep of about 7-9 hours every night is crucial for healthy adrenal glands. However, the most critical factor overlooked while discussing sleep is - quality. If you sleep from 10:00 p.m. to 7 a.m. but wake up frequently in the middle of the night, that's not good quality sleep. 

Improving your sleeping habits can go a long way and help in supporting your adrenal function.

Bottom Line:

All in all, the adrenal gland, despite its small size, performs a wide range of essential functions for the body. Excessive stress on the adrenal gland may cause it to dysfunction, or under synthesize its hormones. This causes fatigue in the adrenal gland and alters with the normal functioning of the body. Relieving the stress from the adrenal gland through natural remedies may especially help improve its overall functioning and state, and also save it from the harmful effects that medication might otherwise have. If you ever experience symptoms like tiredness, weakness, or depression, you should get a full diagnosis from your healthcare provider on an urgent basis.

References:

  1. Dutt M, Wehrle CJ, Jialal I. Physiology, Adrenal Gland. [Updated 2020 May 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK537260/
  2. Allen LV Jr. Adrenal fatigue. Int J Pharm Compd. 2013;17(1):39-44.
  3. Raff H, Sharma ST, Nieman LK. The physiological basis for the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of adrenal disorders: Cushing's syndrome, adrenal insufficiency, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Compr Physiol. 2014;4(2):739-769. doi:10.1002/cphy.c130035
  4. Ross, I., Jones, J., & Blockman, M. (2018). We are tired of 'adrenal fatigue'. South African Medical Journal, 108(9), 724-725. doi:10.7196/SAMJ.2018.v108i9.13292
  5. Nussey S, Whitehead S. Endocrinology: An Integrated Approach. Oxford: BIOS Scientific Publishers; 2001. Chapter 4, The adrenal gland. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK26/

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