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I’m so thankful for all of the people who have the creative ability, time and energy to put together these fabulous informational online summits I’ve been enjoying lately! The Reversing Diabetes Summit in May, the Grow Your Own Food Summit in early July, and now the Functional Health Summit going on as I write this. Today’s presentation on natural approaches to adrenal burnout from Dr. Ron Grisanti was one I wished I could have heard about two years ago when I first became aware I was suffering from adrenal fatigue. Knowing what Dr. Grisanti shared would have helped speed my own recovery and also answered a lot of questions about what was going on.
I don’t remember how I first heard about adrenal fatigue or adrenal burnout, but I did find a lot of good advice from Dr. Wilson’s book Adrenal Fatigue: the 21st Century Stress Syndrome. If you are tired all the time but have difficulty falling asleep (night owl), or find yourself getting dizzy when you stand up too quickly, or have a constant craving for salt you might want to look into this further. Dr. Wilson has a quiz on his website that can get you started. Be sure to ask your doctor if you suspect it for yourself. In the meantime, anyone can benefit from these 11 tips from Dr. Grisanti to restoring energy and nurturing your adrenals.
1. Remove the stressors in your life – both the internal and external ones. External stressors include the obvious ones like job, finances, relationships, and environmental toxins. Internal stressors might be harder to see and can be things like undiagnosed gluten sensitivity, GI infections, leaky gut, impacted teeth or prescription medication reactions.
2. Go to sleep by 10pm every night. Physically our bodies use the time between 10pm and 2am to repair and detoxify. If you aren’t asleep it can’t happen.
3. Avoid coffee and other caffeinated beverages. Caffeine stimulates your adrenals, and if they are already taxed then caffeine can push them off the cliff.
4. Keep your glycemic load low. Look up the Glycemic Index and try to choose most of your foods from the list of those at 50 or lower on the glycemic scale. A Paleo-style diet is recommended.
5. Minimize TV and computer use – especially after 8pm.
6. Exercise as much as you can tolerate, but don’t over do it. And certainly don’t do long-duration cardio workouts like distance running which can actually harm your adrenals. Instead do HIIT exercises (High Intensity Interval Training) and resistance training as well as yoga or tai chi.
7. Stop multi-tasking. Doing everything all at once and living a fast-paced lifestyle creates cumulative stress on your adrenals. Slow it down and concentrate on one thing at a time. Consider using meditation or HeartMath technology.
8. Don’t skip breakfast. Take time the night before to plan your breakfast the next morning so you won’t be too rushed to eat. Half of an avocado and a scrambled eggs with some fermented salsa will give you lots of healthy fats and protein plus antioxidants and probiotics for a great start. Check out the Breakfast Recipes here on this site using the links on the right side of this page.
9. Don’t eat sugar. This is a time for serious recovery, so be serious with your diet. Sugar only adds to your stress by causing inflammation throughout your body.
10. Use a high quality sea salt and use it liberally (unless you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure). The adrenals use a lot of salt.
11. Balance your carb/protein/fat intake. Most people eat too many of the wrong kinds of carbs and not enough of the right kinds of fat. Again, a Paleo diet is recommended.
Again, your doctor can test you for adrenal fatigue through blood tests, cortisol tests and other specific tests. He can also help you determine if you might have food allergies, heavy metal toxicity or other issues that could be causing your fatigue.
Restoring your adrenals to optimum health is one of the longest health journeys you can take – because it takes a long time to wear them down in the first place and you can’t undo years, maybe decades, of abuse in just a few weeks. Don’t give up hope – and try out these suggestions. Pin this article for later, or Tweet it to share with friends using the media buttons at the top of the page. Leave us a comment and let me know what you have found to be the most helpful thing in your recovery journey!