ADRENAL FATIGUE & ADDISON’S DISEASE
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Addison’s disease, known as primary adrenal insufficiency and hypocortisolism, is a common and long-term endocrine disorder in which the adrenal glands do not produce enough steroid hormones.
Symptoms may include abdominal pain, low mood, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss.
Adrenal fatigue is a very common problem today. It is the result of frequent stressful situations we have to cope every day and inability to control stress. As a result our adrenal glands are exhausted and unable to produce enough hormones.
The result is constant fatigue, struggling to get out of bed in the mornings, lack of motivation and enthusiasm, poor memory, problems with concentration, insomnia, feelings of apathy, irritability, anxiety, low blood glucose levels (hypoglycaemia) especially in the morning caused also by cortisol deficiency, etc.
Low energy in adrenal fatigue is also the result of deficiency of neurotransmitters adrenaline and norepinephrine. In addition, lower cortisol levels makes the immune system to become oversensitive and over-reacting leading to chronic inflammation and contributing even to auto-immune diseases.
Also, if you experience craving for salty foods, at can be one of the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue as it leads to sodium imbalance.
Adrenal fatigue is a symptom caused by many different factors including: Stress, any vitamin B deficiency (especially vitamin B12 or folate), hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar level, which is a common problem), iron deficiency (often caused by refined diet and heavy menstruation), candidiasis, depression, IBS, allergy, anaemia, poor blood circulation, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, Epstein Barr virus, cancer, diabetes, etc.
Adrenal fatigue is also linked to inadequate sleep, sedentary lifestyle, chronic inflammation, high-fat diet, malnutrition or malabsorption of nutrients, eating foods rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates, high glucose / fructose syrup, prescribed medication, and use of stimulants such as caffeine products (coffee, black tea, cola drinks, etc.), chocolate (high in theobromine), drugs, or alcohol.
According to Dr. Agatha Thrash, “Since caffeine first stimulates the nerves than causes depression, presence of fatigue in those who use caffeinated drinks is common. It is a fact that the commonest complaint in physicians’ offices today is that of fatigue. Yet, many people mistakenly believe that coffee helps them get through a difficult day. In addition to fatigue, mental confusion and depression also result from the use of caffeinated drinks. While caffeine drinks cause an immediate increase in the learning ability, the overall result is a decrease in learning; the physical fatigue resulting from pharinacologic depression of the nervous system produces emotional depression, leading to a reduction of interest in and retention of new material. Headaches are common among caffeine users, and often clear up after only a short period of caffeine abstinence–a week or two. Headaches may occur as a caffeine-withdrawal symptom; some people are so sensitive that they get a headache soon after drinking their last cup.”
Dr Lawrence Wilson blames artificial sweeteners, MSG, caffeine, and other dangerous chemicals for causing adrenal fatigue: “Nutrasweet (also labeled as Equal, Canderel, Spoonful, aspartame, aspartic acid, neotame or phenylalanine) is notorious for causing brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, depression and panic attacks, to name just a few of its symptoms. It is found in over 5000 products and affects some 25% of Americans who use it. It is often hidden in prescription medication, vitamins, toothpaste, breath mints and all types of diet products. Everyone should avoid this food chemical. Other food chemicals that affect sensitive people include excitotoxins such as MSG (monosodium glutamate), caffeine, pesticide residues, bacterial and fungal toxins, fluoride, chlorine and hundreds of other substances that either contaminate or are added to drinking water and food. Caffeine and other stimulants can give one a boost, but eventually contribute to adrenal exhaustion.”
In the book Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia, Dr. Michael Murray says that serotonin deficiency should also be blamed for causing fatigue: “Bad diet, lack of exercise, use of harmful substances such as caffeine or alcohol can rob your brain of the ability to make enough serotonin. This produces a range of significant complications: depression, obesity, insomnia, migraine headache, chronic fatigue.”
I remember certain extremely obese lady who had an unbelievable habit of drinking 16 bottles of cola drink every day! And it’s hard to believe but she told me I was the first person who explained her how dangerous effect that amount of cola imposed on her health. As a result she was addicted to both caffeine and sugar. In addition, she was also unable to control her huge appetite as caffeine in cola caused serotonin deficiency while sugar robed her body of chromium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B complex and other nutrients also making her constantly hungry and tired. But as she started to ask God for strength, she managed to make slow progress in implementing the principles found in the Health Recovery Plan and as a result she finally overcome her addictions and started losing weight.
– In order to speed up the recovery it is crucial to implement principles included in HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
Treating Adrenal Fatigue requires radical lifestyle changes, plant-based unrefined diet and regular energetic exercise, vitamin and mineral supplementation, herbal remedies, natural adaptogens, and emotional counselling. In order to be more effective try also to find other health conditions (hypoglycaemia, depression, etc.) that may magnify the symptoms of AF. Find the description of the problem in the DISEASES section and implement the recommendations. In addition, read carefully and do your best to implement all the principles and recommendations included in the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN.
– Maca helps to regulate and utilize hormones including cortisol and adrenalin. Take 1 tablespoon or 5 – 500 mg capsules of Maca root powder every day for only 7 days. After that take Ashwaganda or Ginseng (both powerful adaptogens able to help in balancing cortisol) for another 7 days. Then, come back to Maca for a week, and again switch to Ashwaganda or Ginseng. Try to do use them alternatively for about 3 months. After that take a break for about one month.
– Excellent Energy Formula (HealthAid) >, Rhodiola, Liquorice root, Cordyceps (mushroom), or Gotu Kola are other excellent adaptogens. You can use them alternatively with Chlorella, maca, Ashwaganda or Ginseng.
Ginseng and Liquorice should be probably avoided if you suffer from hypertension as they both may increase blood pressure. However, they do not cause this effect in every person so you need to test them by starting from smaller doses.
In case of Adrenal Fatigue there are many natural adaptogens in the form of herbal remedies, supplements and super foods which give excellent results. The more of them you use at the same time the better you will feel. From my own experience and our customers I know that almost always the combination of Chlorella, Methylcobalamin and good quality multivitamin-mineral formula gives excellent results. I have recommended it to many people suffering from AF due to different causes and it effectively increased their energy and ability to control stress, detoxified their bodies, improved memory, concentration and quality of sleep.
– Chlorella is the best natural adaptogen and energy booster I know. It is very important remedy for healing adrenal challenges. Please read the article about this amazing super food and get strong motivation to use it on a regular basis. >
– Methylcobalamin (form of vitamin B12) is another very important remedy which helped many people to get rid of chronic fatigue as deficiency of this vitamin is regarded as “rampant” today. > Methylcobalamin (must be sublingual) 2,000 to 3,000 mcg a day under the tongue (only with breakfast) for one month. After 3 months reduce to 1,000 to 2,000 mcg a day (with breakfast). Read very important and interesting article on VITAMIN B12 >
– DHEA supplements might be helpful as it is a natural steroid and precursor hormone produced also by the adrenal glands.
– All B Vitamins are very important for the nervous system, for balancing hormones, and they also participate in energy production in our body and therefore are essential to deal with any fatigue.
– Good quality Multivitamin-mineral formula or Vitamin B-complex: 1 tablet after breakfast. Please do not buy cheap formulas as their potency is very low and they contain only short list of inorganic ingredients. It must be a good quality formula such as Healthy Mega (HealthAid), VM75 (Solgar) or Special Two (NOW Foods) which are an excellent multi-vitamin and mineral formulas fortified with alfalfa powder, rutin, citrus bioflavonoids, bromelain, herbs, digestive enzymes and many other super nutrients. If your diet is very healthy and you stay away from refined foods, sugar and stimulants then take only 1/2 tablet after breakfast.
– Since Vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folate) play very important role in dealing with ADHD I recommand getting B complex with a good quality multivitamin-mineral formula which is high in B vitamins. One of my favourite ones is Healthy Mega (HealthAid) as it is not only high in B vitamins and at the same time it contains zinc, selenium, herbs, digestive enzymes, micronutrients, and few super grasses. Compared with other popular formulas Healthy mega may contain even up to 60 times more vitamins per tablet!
– Beneficial herbs: Tulsi (Holy basil), Lemon balm (Melissa), Tumeric, Valerian root, Chamomile, Hops.
– Make sure you provide your body with sufficient amounts of all vitamins and minerals as Adrenal Fatigue can be caused by deficiency of almost any vitamin or mineral deficiency especially the following ones: Vitamin B complex, vitamin A (beta-carotene), C, D, and E, pantothenic acid, folic acid, iron, calcium, and magnesium. All of them are included in multivitamin-mineral formulas, but B12, D3, Folic acid, and Magnesium should be taken additionally as they require higher doses (especially B12 and D3).
– Vitamin C also helps with adrenal fatigue. Read a very interesting article about vitamin C to know which supplement is most effective.
– Chia seeds are very helpful too as it is regarded as the best source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Mix 1-2 tablespoons with fruit juice or plant-based milk every morning and eat it after at least 30 minutes with your breakfast.
– If possible your child should be on Hallelujah diet (most effective of all diets) or at least use the most important elements of this diet. Read more >
– Vitamin D3: 10,000 – 20,000 IU a day with meal. Try to increase the blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D to at least 50 or more ng/ml.
– Magnesium citrate or another well absorbed magnesium: 2 times a day 200-400 mg between meals. The more vitamin D3 is used the more magnesium must be taken as D3 leads to magnesium deficiency.
– Zinc: 15-30mg after meals. ZINC most important! If you decide to take Brainvit and Healthy Mega at the same time you don’t need additional zinc supplementation.
LIFESTYLE AND DIET
In order to recover from chronic fatigue the following recommendations must be followed:
– Exercise every day for at least one hour trying to induce some perspiration. Fast walk outside is the best type of exercise. One of the key causes of fatigue is insufficient amount of mitochondria (energy producing power stations) in your cells. And the key cause of this shortage is lack of physical activity. Regular energetic exercise, therefore, is the best way to stimulate the body to make more mitochondria. No wonder marathon runners have the highest number of mitochondria in their cells!
– Switch to a well-balanced plant-based and unrefined diet.
– Go to sleep as early as possible. Try to sleep at least seven or eight hours a day.
– Avoid eating foods rich in refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates such as white flour products (body turn white flour into blood sugar).
– Don’t use stimulants such as caffeine products or alcohol.
– Learn to control stress and think positive.
– Use only raw organic Coconut oil. No other oils or fats. Virgin, organic coconut oil paired with a whole foods diet, coconut oil helps sustain energy levels.
– Use only Celtic salt if you experience cravings for salty foods. This craving is often caused also by Adrenal Fatigue which leads to inability to balance sodium in the blood. This, in turn, triggers cravings for foods which can replace the lost sodium.
– If you are on a prescribed medication check whether fatigue is one of its side effects.
– Also make sure you don’t have symptoms of hypoglycaemia, candidiasis, allergy, anaemia, hypothyroidism, Epstein Barr virus, cancer, or diabetes as all these health problems may lead to chronic fatigue.
– Alternative hot and cold showers will improve circulation, elimination of toxins and will stimulate the nervous and immune system. Start with hot shower, and after about 5 minutes when your body is warm enough take a short (3 min) cold shower slowly reducing the temperature. Then alternate the flow of water from hot to cold, back and forth 5-7 times in a row. Before using this treatment consult your physician first if you have any chronic health conditions especially if they are associated with heart.
Please read this extremely important part (LINK) very carefully as it reveals the secret of finding true source of strength necessary to overcome bad habits and will help you to gain a powerful motivation to not only practice but also enjoy the new and very healthy way of life.
– Address the excess stress that wore out your adrenals. Learn to control stress by exercise, plant based unrefined mostly raw diet, good quality supplements, morning and evening meditation (prayer) and reading the Bible (starting from the Gospel of John). Read about MOTIVATION > to learn more about it. From my own experience I know that it is the most effective way to cope with stress including existential fears which are the part of our nature.
– In order to speed up the recovery it is crucial to implement principles included in HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN >
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