Everything You Need to Know About Adrenal Fatigue Supplements
It’s now the 21st century, and medical knowledge continues to expand with numerous new studies and research. Just as we discover new ways to treat known diseases, we also continue to discover and recognize new medical conditions as well. One of these is adrenal fatigue, and you can take adrenal fatigue supplements to counteract the symptoms.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
It is a condition that’s still not fully accepted by the mainstream medical community. That’s not surprising, as its symptoms are similar to other known medical problems. What’s worse, doctors and other health care providers are not really in a hurry to recognize new conditions and to try to find proper treatments. Conditions such as ADHD and PTSD took a very long time to be recognized, and the medical community for the most part is taking the same glacial approach to adrenal fatigue.
The condition happens when the adrenal glands—that part of your body that produces more than 50 hormones to regulate just about every bodily function—is not working properly. Foremost of these symptoms is fatigue.
Noted endocrinologist Dr. John Tintera was one of the pioneers who sought to shed light on this medical condition, and he wrote a book that delved into the topic as early as 1949. By 1969, he estimated that at least 16% of the population had a severe case of adrenal fatigue, and that as many as 66% may have it to some degree.
That was then, however, and sociologists today recognize that the times now are much more hectic and stressful. James Wilson, who wrote Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, estimates that as many as 80% of the world’s population are affected by it.
You can take adrenal gland supplements so that you can counteract the symptoms. You may need an adrenal supplement when you feel any of the following symptoms:
- You are tired all the time. Sometimes you feel tired even though there’s no obvious reason for it. This is perhaps the most common symptom of adrenal fatigue.
- Body aches torment you constantly. Your muscles may also feel weak and you suffer some inflammation or muscle tension.
- Your thoughts are continuously racing, and you find it difficult to concentrate on anything—a book, a TV show, or your work. Your memory may also suffer.
- Even when you go to bed early, you find it hard to get up in the morning. Sometimes you drink inordinate amounts of coffee just to function normally.
- You feel overwhelmed or run down. It’s as if you feel that there are too many things you still need to do.
- You’re moody and irritable.
- You suddenly find yourself craving sweet and salty snacks. You may also gain weight as well.
- When you’re stressed or sick, you find that it’s now more difficult for you to recover.
- You’re tired and lethargic in the afternoon, but sometimes you may even get your energy back at night. This isn’t good, especially when you get your second wind at a time when you’re supposed to be sleeping.
- You may also experience some digestive problems.
- You show very little interest in sex.
- Some even suffer hair loss.
When you experience several of these symptoms all at once or in succession, then it may be time for you to consider taking adrenal fatigue supplements.
Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
This is a hotly debated issue, and even those who recognize the affliction are not in perfect agreement as to the precise causes of adrenal fatigue. Most agree, however, that the stresses caused by modern lifestyles are a huge part of the reason. Other experts cite the following contributing factors:
- An unhealthy diet and a notable lack of exercise
- Prolonged exposure to pollution and other environmental hazards
- A sudden stressful experience, such as a divorce or a death of a loved one
- Continuous stress from work or family situations
- Too much intake of stimulants such as coffee
- Inadequate sleep
These are essentially forms of stress, and eventually your adrenal glands are no longer able to meet the demands of the stress on your body. Your adrenal glands function by producing hormones in reaction to stress. There has to be a proper balance to these hormones, and what happens is that either a single extremely stressful experience, or a chronic stressful environment, now causes these glands to fail in maintaining that balance.
What that means is that those who experiences stress—which essentially means everyone—can be affected by adrenal fatigue. However, those who are subjected to extreme levels of stress even over time are more susceptible to it.
Which Adrenal Supplements Should You Take?
Various experts recommend several different products but the best adrenal supplements should contain several of these ingredients:
- Vitamins B5, B6, B12, C, D3. All these vitamins are great for the adrenal glands.
- Zinc. Many of us tend to lack enough zinc in our systems. And the adrenal glands need sufficient zinc levels to function smoothly.
- Magnesium. According to some experts, only about 5% of the people are able to get their recommended magnesium allowance every day. The body uses up magnesium in times of stress, and food products may not provide adequate magnesium due to the depleted nutrient levels in soil.
- Probiotics. This helps with the gut problems.
- Fish oil. While this may have numerous health benefits, for adrenal fatigue it can help counter the anxiety and depression.
- Ashwagandha. In Eastern herbal tradition, this boosts the immune system. More recent studies indicate that it helps maintain proper cortisol levels and it balances hormones.
Elevated cortisol levels have been a contributing cause to numerous medical conditions such as heart disease, weight gain, immune system problems, learning and memory difficulties. It also makes you more susceptible to mental illness and depression.
- Holy Basil. This is another traditional herbal medicine that maintains cortisol and balances the hormones.
- Eleuthero. This herb is known to fight off physical and mental stress.
- Gotu kola. This boosts mental health and improves physical performance.
- Olive oil extract. It contains lots of antioxidants that protect the body from stress.
How to Choose the Right Supplement
The first thing you need to do is to check the ingredients. You’ll need to do some online research, but the ingredients should at least counter the symptoms you have. Then you need to read reviews to see whether it works for most people and if it causes some side effects that you don’t want to experience.
- It should be safe with no known side effects.
- It should be made in a facility registered by the FDA.
- The manufacturer should have a good reputation.
- It should be affordable. If it’s too expensive, that may just add to your stress!
- It should be simple to take. It shouldn’t come with complicated dosage instructions which may lead you to commit mistakes. You may end up taking too little that it won’t work, or too much and you overdose.
You should also check with your doctor if you’re taking any kind of supplement, and that includes vitamins. This is especially crucial if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. It’s also very important if you’re taking other medications, as the supplement may cause an unanticipated reaction when taken with other medications.
Remember That It’s a Supplement
Whatever supplement you take, you need to understand that it’s not a miracle cure. The treatment of adrenal fatigue takes more than just supplements. You need to have a complete overhaul of your lifestyle.
First you need proper diet and exercise. At the very least, you should keep to the proper calorie limit so you don’t become overweight. You should reduce your sugar and caffeine intake, and avoid junk food. Make sure you add fruits and veggies to your meals.
You should also exercise regularly, even if it is just brisk walking for half an hour every day. Proper exercise means elevating your heart rate during your workout, so a leisurely stroll may not do.
If the cause of your adrenal stress is a sudden traumatic experience, seek professional treatment. Get some counseling or have a support group to help you recover emotionally.
If the cause is chronic stress, you need to find ways to deal with the pressure more effectively. You should include relaxing activities in your schedule so you’re not overwhelmed by your work. Take regular days off, don’t work 16 hours a day, and take a vacation at least two times a year to recharge your system.
Sleep is also crucial. So don’t stay up late at night and go to bed at a reasonable hour. If you have to, minimize the noise with ear plugs and use eye masks to protect your eyes from the light from the window.
Adrenal fatigue supplements can help, but it’s also important that you do everything you can to ensure your body is not overworked and your stress levels stay at a healthy level. By doing all these things, you can have a healthy mind and body.