Adrenal fatigue means the normal functional adrenal glands do not make sufficient amounts of its hormones at the right time of the day. When there is a decrease in levels of hormone cortisol, it leads to a constant feeling of fatigue throughout the day. Some of the causative factors of adrenal fatigue resulting in insufficient concentration of cortisol hormone are chronic stress, trauma, emotional turmoil and modern lifestyle.1 In such situations, adrenal glands are forced to secrete their hormones and they get overworked resulting in ‘fatigue or exhaustion’ of the adrenal glands. According to reports, many people suffer from adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a problem caused over many years and it cannot be reversed easily. A number of alterations have to be made to correct the adrenal problem.2 Changing lifestyle includes eating well balanced and healthy diet, consuming right supplements, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, meditation and mild physical exercises. These corrective measures slowly release stress on the adrenal glands and improve their working. However, depending on severity of adrenal fatigue it takes six months to one year for recovery.
8 Good Supplements for Adrenal Fatigue
Along with eating a well-balanced diet, intake of some of the following supplements is helpful in the recovery from adrenal fatigue.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B complex has an important role in cell metabolism. It increases the energy levels in our body by acting as co-factors of various enzymes. Vitamin B6 is required in different pathways involved in production of hormones of the adrenal glands. It has been observed that people suffering from adrenal fatigue lack Vitamin B5 and B12. It is advised to take oral supplements of Vitamin B complex and to consume foods such as eggs, whole grain, meat and nuts which are rich in this vitamin.
Vitamin C for Adrenal Fatigue
It is also called ascorbic acid and is a powerful antioxidant. It is a very important vitamin since it is directly involved in making cortisol hormone in adrenal glands. Hence, it is essential that people suffering from adrenal fatigue must consume Vitamin C which helps in recovery of these glands. Oral supplement of Vitamin C can be taken.
Consuming Vitamin C rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, spinach, citrus fruits is also helpful.
Magnesium is an important macronutrient, which is essential to maintain the energy levels in our body. It is involved in nearly 300 processes of our body. Lack of magnesium can lead to stress and also over working of adrenal glands. Hence, consuming supplements such as Magnesium malate or lactate and eating green leafy vegetables and black beans is helpful. However, excess of magnesium is also not good for the body.
It is a microelement which is required in minute quantities in our body. Adrenal glands depend on sufficient quantities of Zinc. People with adrenal fatigue lack zinc in them. Hence, zinc supplements and oyster should be consumed to reduce adrenal fatigue.
Many adrenal fatigue sufferers have poor digestion. Consumption of probiotics helps to improve digestion. Probiotics help to extract more of the nutrients that we eat and provide with good amount of minerals and vitamins. While choosing probiotic drink, it must contain at least five different strains of bacteria especially Lactobacillus acidophilus.
It is a phospholipid which has been reported to balance overproduction of cortisol after intense exercise.
Sea salt (is unrefined salt) contains nutrients and minerals which are essential for proper functioning of adrenal glands.
Herbal Supplements that are Good for Adrenal Glands
Herbs have medicinal value. Herbs have an important role in recovery from adrenal fatigue. The herbs include:
Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng): It is a medicinal and adaptogenic herb. It decreases symptoms of stress by decreasing increased levels of cortisol. Ashwagandha helps in overcoming symptoms of adrenal fatigue such as weight gain, altered blood sugar levels and increased cortisol levels. Ashwagandha has calming effect and is to be taken at bedtime.
Licorice: It is considered to be an ideal herb for people with adrenal fatigue. It is to be taken at morning. It allows cortisol levels to remain longer in circulation. However, licorice is to be taken only after consultation with a nutritionist since it has one major drawback that it can increase blood pressure.
Maca Root: This herb has beneficial effects on regulation of cortisol and blood sugar. It helps the cells to respond to hormones effectively.
Holy Basil Leaf: It is a stress relieving drug. Its extract improves cognitive function and cortisol production levels.
Adrenal fatigue cannot be treated with any medicines. The adrenal glands need to be repaired by changing lifestyle. Instead of taking stimulants such as coffee or alcohol, it is good to take a well-balanced diet along with supplements to prevent adrenal fatigue or cure it.
- Clinical perspective on stress, cortisol and adrenal fatigue.
James L. Wilson DC, ND, PhD Advances in Integrative Medicine Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, May 2014, Pages 93-96
- Adrenal fatigue.
Allen LV Jr1., Int J Pharm Compd. 2013 Jan-Feb;17(1):39-44.