Last week, we looked at some of the causes and symptoms of adrenal fatigue and exhaustion. So what can be done? Since it didn’t develop overnight, treatment will take time. Once it is correctly diagnosed, it may take several months to several years to heal, depending on severity. But with proper care, most can expect to feel well again.
The most common and reliable test is an adrenal stress test: a saliva test which checks the level of cortisol. Blood tests do not test for “free and circulating” cortisol and can be misleading by providing a false “normal.” One physician’s tip to check for these fatigued glands is to have the person take their blood pressure while sitting. Keeping the cuff in place, they are to stand up and immediately take their blood pressure again. The pressure should normally rise upon standing. If it drops, it is a strong indication for adrenal fatigue.
Since we are what we eat, diet is a strong defense. It should exclude white flour and white sugar, caffeine, processed food, alcohol, hydrogenated fats and soft drinks. Grains, beans and potatoes should be restricted or avoided. The food should be organic as much as possible. Nutrient rich fruits and vegetables (choosing vegetables more often than fruit) along with nuts and seeds are essential. Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries are excellent as they are low in sugar content. Apples, pears and plums are also good choices. Healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, walnut oil) are recommended. Eggs and free-range chicken, grass-fed beef, turkey and buffalo provide wonderful protein. Lots of filtered water (free of chlorine and other contaminants) is crucial. When using salt, use sea salt. Vitamin C, licorice, B vitamins, Siberian Ginseng or D-ribose may be considered. Conventional medical treatment may include low-level therapeutic dosages of hydrocortisone.
Intensity of treatment will depend on the degree of fatigue or exhaustion. As stated in Part I last week, it is crucial to consult a physician/practitioner with expertise in diagnosing and treating these disorders. The healing plan will need to be specialized for each person. Someone in the early stages may benefit from a particular treatment plan while the same treatment used in advanced stages could worsen the symptoms.
Regardless of the stage, reducing stress and getting as much rest as possible is vital. These small glands do most of their repair work between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. Deep breathing, prayer or soothing music can be beneficial. Exercising must be gentle; otherwise, it will cause further depletion of the adrenals. Spending time with nature or having a creative outlet can support their function. “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:2-3 / KJV) God can heal both the body and the soul. What activities help you relax?