Are you familiar with the feeling of being so exhausted—to the point you can’t do daily activities without getting out of breath?
If you can’t trace your chronic exhaustion to any other medical condition, you may be suffering from a condition known as adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a collection of symptoms such as body aches and fatigue that is caused by an imbalance in the hormones produced by your adrenal glands.
These adrenal glands, which sit on top of your kidneys, are responsible for releasing a range of hormones in response to stress.
If you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, there are both lifestyle changes as well as medical treatments that can work together to help restore balance to your adrenal glands.
Common Signs of Adrenal Fatigue
If you’re experiencing some of the following symptoms, you may have adrenal fatigue:
- Fatigue that doesn’t go away after rest
- Experiencing body aches and pain, especially in the neck and shoulders
- Unexplainable loss of body hair
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Difficulty regulating blood pressure
The theory explains that adrenal fatigue is a result of an imbalance in a body’s fight or flight hormones.
In a healthy person, adrenal glands will produce adequate amounts of cortisol during stressful situations. Cortisol is important for bodily function as it regulates stress and helps your body sustain energy and focus.
However, in someone suffering from adrenal fatigue, the cortisol levels may not be enough to provide adequate energy to the body. When this happens, you may experience any of the aforementioned symptoms.
While some doctors and medical professionals often fail to recognize the association between adrenal impairment and fatigue, patients can get diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency, which is a real medical condition that can also lead to fatigue and other symptoms.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Reverse Adrenal Fatigue
As there are a number of potential causes for adrenal fatigue, medical treatment plans for adrenal fatigue vary widely depending on your unique case and what works best for your body given your medical history. Consider the following lifestyle changes that may support medical treatment, in an effort to receive relief from the symptoms of adrenal fatigue and help to restore balance in your body’s hormones.
1. Cut Out Drinking and Smoking
Alcohol, smoking, and caffeine can exacerbate adrenal fatigue symptoms.
About 19% of the adult population around the globe are smokers, and one of the primary reasons why people continue to do so is to cope with the stress they encounter in their everyday life.
While these drugs can act as sweet temporary relief, this habit can be more trouble than it’s worth. Nicotine acts as a stimulant, providing a “kick” through a discharge of epinephrine and releasing glucose in the bloodstream. This, in turn, heightens one’s blood sugar levels and heart rate.
When you’re trying to restore the balance in your hormones, it’s important to cut out unhealthy vices from your routine. This means no smoking, no drinking, and no drugs – for good.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet is key when you’re trying to manage adrenal fatigue symptoms. In particular, there’s a food-based approach called an adrenal fatigue diet that helps improve chronic stress in the body.
The adrenal fatigue diet endorses food that is found in other similar balanced diets, including:
- Whole grains
- Green, leafy vegetables
- Lean protein
- Healthy fats
Through a healthy diet, the patient can reverse the effects of adrenal fatigue by naturally gaining back energy levels. Regular scheduling of meals and mindful eating is highly encouraged as well to promote adrenal function and produce cortisol adequately.
In addition, it’s equally important to avoid foods that are considered unhealthy, such as processed meats, sugary drinks, and white loaves of bread. By paying attention to your diet, you can manage your blood sugar levels and restore optimal function in the body.
3. Meditate and Relax Your Body
Adrenal fatigue is often regarded as the result of stress that accumulates over time.
Therefore, it’s important to maintain a healthy body and mind through stress relief techniques. There are more than a few ways to help promote healing in your body. This can include techniques such as:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Tai chi
In addition to helping combat adrenal fatigue, meditation helps ease the symptoms of common psychological conditions like depression and anxiety—which are often intertwined with a fast-paced and stressful lifestyle.
Take a few minutes each day to do some deep breathing exercises or meditate in a quiet space. You’ll ease any sign of mental health conditions in the process.
4. Start an Exercise Program
No matter what type of exercise you choose to get into, doctors recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise every week.
Some forms of exercises that help ease symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Walking briskly, outside or inside
- Playing a sport like tennis or basketball
- Moderate weight training sessions (about 2 to 3 times a week)
- Aerobic exercises (like jogging or biking)
It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to push yourself hard at first, since this might lead to the opposite intended effects. You can start with a moderate level of activity and increase the intensity as you undergo weight loss and as your body feels more accustomed to strenuous movement.
5. Sleep Properly
A healthy sleep schedule is important for adrenal health and restoring any hormonal imbalances. The CDC recommends adults sleep at least 7 hours every night for the best health. This should be uninterrupted, quality sleep.
To get quality sleep, it’s important to establish a regular bedtime routine and adhere to it as closely as possible. This includes avoiding screens before bed, winding down with a nightly routine, and only using your bed for sleep time.
If you have a hard time going to sleep, you may try taking melatonin supplements to aid you.
Contact the Top St. Louis Medical Professionals for a Treatment Plan to Combat Adrenal Fatigue
There is no one-size-fits-all plan to treat adrenal fatigue, as the condition can vary from person to person.
It’s also important to ensure that you don’t have other similar conditions. Similar issues that can masquerade as adrenal fatigue include:
- Immune system diseases
- Kidney disease
- Heart problems
- Lung problems
- Liver disease
However, these conditions can often be found through diagnoses and blood tests that a medical team will perform to determine the underlying causes of adrenal fatigue.
By applying the discussed lifestyle changes, in conjunction with medical treatment for adrenal fatigue from a licensed doctor, you can combat adrenal fatigue more effectively.
The medical professionals at Paramount Men’s Medical Center in St. Louis specialize in treating conditions that impact men’s health. Our concierge approach positions your unique case at the centerpoint of our focus. We don’t just give you a pill and send you on your way. We treat the underlying issues that led to conditions such as erectile dysfunction, adrenal fatigue, low testosterone, and more. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.