Running on Empty – Addressing Adrenal Fatigue Naturally

fatigue scaledThe Take Home Message:

  • Adrenal fatigue often arises when the adrenals are overworked as a result of continuous exposure to daily stressors
  • A Naturopathic Doctor will gather a comprehensive overview of your lifestyle to identify and reduce factors that may be causing adrenal fatigue in the first place. 
  • A Naturopathic Doctor may utilize a variety of protocols to help promote optimal functioning of the adrenals
  • A Naturopathic Doctor will equip you with tools to better handle daily stressors and prevent adrenal fatigue in the future.


Life can be busy and stressful, yet many people continue to push through exhaustion without giving their body a break. Often, the constant stress of daily life eventually takes a toll on the body. If you find yourself feeling burnt out, exhausted or unable to keep up with the pace of daily life, you may be struggling with adrenal fatigue.


What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenal glands are overworked as a result of continuous exposure to daily stressors. When the body is exposed to stress, it releases the hormone cortisol from the adrenal cortex. Over time, these elevated levels of cortisol can confuse the body and cause dysregulation of the body’s natural feedback loops. Ultimately, these fluctuating cortisol levels can lead to a variety of symptoms including fatigue, low energy, difficulty sleeping, poor moods, gastrointestinal distress, difficulty losing weight or increased reactivity to stress. 

Some lifestyle factors that can contribute to adrenal fatigue include poor sleep, poor food choices, stimulants such as caffeine, pushing through exhaustion, or high intensity workouts. These daily stressors can compound, and promote a state of stress in the body. When the body is in a state of constant stress, many different issues can arise, such as infertility, anemia or low-blood pressure. 


How Can a Naturopathic Approach Help?

Since the body does not operate as efficiently as it could when the adrenals are exhausted, it’s really important to address adrenal fatigue to help return the body to its optimal state. Naturopathic Doctors recognize that adrenal fatigue can be caused by a variety of different factors and may manifest in different ways for everybody. Therefore, a Naturopathic Doctor will evaluate your unique needs and concerns to help formulate a plan tailored specifically to your lifestyle. 


Here are some common protocols a Naturopathic Doctor will use to address adrenal fatigue naturally:

Identify Stressors:

A Naturopathic approach to treating adrenal fatigue will address the root of the issue. This means that a Naturopathic approach will focus on identifying and eliminating sources of stress that may be contributing to adrenal fatigue in the first place. For example, food allergies or intolerances may be an unnecessary stress on your body, since it invokes an immune reaction, which increases cortisol. Therefore, a Naturopathic Doctor may work with you to identify and eliminate foods that you are allergic or intolerant to through food allergy and sensitivity testing. 

Additionally, your Naturopathic Doctor may also suggest modifications to your exercise routine to help reduce stress load on the body. For example, instead of high-intensity exercises, they may suggest some low impact alternatives such as walking, yoga or pilates.


Restore Functioning of the Adrenals

A Naturopathic Doctor may also implement other protocols to help restore proper functioning of the adrenals. For example, herbs or supplements may be recommended to return the adrenals to optimal functionality. A Naturopathic Doctor may also suggest additional therapies such as massage or acupuncture to help restore functioning of your adrenals. 


Techniques to Cope with Stress

Sometimes, stress is just part of life, so a Naturopathic Doctor will equip you with the proper tools to better cope with these stressors. Some stress management practices may include journaling, meditation, and spending time in nature.


Ultimately, a Naturopathic Doctor will help you make lifestyle and dietary modifications to reduce stress-load on your system and prevent adrenal fatigue from recurring again. 


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