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Heal Your Adrenals

Let's talk about healing your adrenals naturalluy from phase two adrenal fatigue, which I call "tired but wired," or phase three adrenal fatigue, which I call burning down. Once your adrenals are actually in phase four, "burned out," you will probably need to work with a practitioner to use glandular or hormone supplements to restore the normal cortisol curve.

As we’ve discussed in the last two podcast episodes, your adrenals are essentially the fall-guy for modern life. They are overtaxed by the way society functions now because they evolved to cope with the way society functioned for our more primitive ancestors. Possibly in 1,000 generations, they will be better adapted, but for now it’s important to understand how to heal your adrenals and nourish and protect them against future damage.

In this post I will talk about healing your adrenals from phase two adrenal fatigue, which I call “tired but wired,” or phase three adrenal fatigue, which I call burning down. Once your adrenals are actually in phase four, “burned out,” you will probably need to work with a practitioner to use glandular or hormone supplements to restore the normal cortisol curve. It is possible without hormones, but takes much longer.

Please remember this is a general idea of how to proceed, but isn’t medical advise. You should talk to your own doctor and health care team before starting anything medical that you hear, read, or see on the internet.

Adrenal glands  are not adapted to modern life and so it is important to heal your adrenals, heal adrenal fatigue, and know how to nourish your adrenals.

Heal Your Adrenals Without Adrenal Hormones – Lifestyle.

The lifestyle changes are a crucial component to healing adrenal fatigue, because your lifestyle is what got you into trouble in the first place. These are also, some of the hardest changes to make because your lifestyle is where it is for some very good reasons.

First, reality check. I understand that there are times in life when you have to push through and don’t have a choice because that is how life goes. Sometimes partners get sick, parents need caretaking, children have extra troubles, and you still have to pay the bills. I understand. Do what you can.

In terms of a healthy adrenal lifestyle – here are the important things.

  • Choose a regular bedtime and stick with it as much as humanly possible. Preferably, 10:00 pm or earlier. Even if you aren’t sleeping after this time, lay quietly in bed in the dark.
  • Choose a regular waking time and stick with that as well. Even on weekends or non-working days if possible.
  • Make sure you are using no screens (I mean none) for the hour before bedtime and that you turn the lights down low in your house. Switch to a table lamp and turn off the overheads.
  • Get bright light first thing when you wake up for 10 – 15 minutes. Outside is ideal, but a full-spectrum happy light will do as well. This can be while you’re multitasking, but if you can make it a restful, restorative time that would be great.
  • Before breakfast drink 16 oz of water with a good pinch of himalayan salt, sea salt, or half-salt in it.
  • Eat three meals per day, with a good amount of protein and fiber. Try to limit the starchy, sugary, carb-rich foods because that is what you’re probably craving right now, but it also forces your adrenals to work harder.
  • Limit yourself to one to two cups of coffee in the morning and no caffeine after noon.
  • Eliminate sugary drinks like soda or energy drinks.
  • Gentle movement for 10-20 minutes in the morning is encouraged. Walking in nature, gentle yoga, dancing, or something that helps your body move and feel connected but doesn’t push you to any athletic extreme. This isn’t the time to be trying to meet athletic goals, this is the time to nourish and rest your body.
  • Drink at least 4 more 16 oz glasses of water with a pinch of good salt, not table salt in it. If you are on a salt or water restricted medical plan then talk with your doctors about this.
  • Avoid sugary or starchy snacks and don’t eat after dinner.

The full list, just so you don’t have to frantically write it down, is in the blog post linked to this podcast episode. I will put the link in the show notes.

Heal Your Adrenals – Supplements

Your adrenals have nutritional needs just like the rest of your body. Also, there are a few tricks that you can use to help your body balance cortisol more effectively. Remember that doing the supplements without making lifestyle changes will just make the inevitable collapse of your adrenals take longer and cost more.

  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is actually bioconcentrated in your adrenal tissue and so adding some extra vitamin C supplementation can help to nourish and support your adrenal glands.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium is necessary for many processes that are vital to proper adrenal function, and extra magnesium during times of fatigue is important. Magnesium can’t be absorbed in large doses, so divided doses of no more than 500 mg of elemental magnesium at a time are best. Magnesium is also physically and mentally relaxing so many people take their largest dose of the day before bed.
  • B vitamins including niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, and B12 – The B vitamins work as a family, I always suggest using a good multivitamin or B complex, rather than taking these individually.
  • Melatonin – Taking melatonin at bedtime, even if you don’t notice sleep effects, can help to lower nighttime cortisol.
  • Adaptogens – Adaptogens are a class of herbs that can help to regulate cortisol balance by raising or lowering cortisol in a way that is responsive to your body. These herbs are generally restorative on many levels. This includes siberian ginseng, panax ginseng, maca, ashwaghanda, schizandra, licorice, rhodeola, astragalus, holy basil, and cordycepts. Each one has its own unique profile of actions, for example rhodeola is known as heating and energizing, licorice can raise blood pressure if you tend to bottom out, and holy basil is calming and relaxing. These are often sold as blends, but you can also make a custom formulation for herbal teas. Experiment with a few different ones to see what your body likes the best.
  • Fat soluble antioxidants – This includes vitamin A, vitamin E, glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid (which is especially beneficial if your blood sugars have risen), and melatonin.

Heal Your Adrenals – Mindset

This is, in fact, the most difficult part of healing your adrenals becuase we already know you like to push yourself hard. Otherwise you wouldn’t be in this place. Changing your mindset is crucial though, and so I want you to think of doing half or even a third of what you’re capable of doing. Instead of stacking your to-do list the way you normally would, do less. Do the minimum necessary amount to keep your life going. No joke. Here’s a short video on the hows and whys.

This is the hardest part to fix when you want to heal your adrenals.

Thank you so much for reading, watching, or listening today. Share this with a friend if you think they might be struggling with adrenal fatigue.

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Amy Neuzil
Amy Neuzil

Dr. Amy Neuzil, N.D. is a leading expert in MTHFR and epigenetics, and she is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellness for their genetic picture. She has helped thousands of people overcome health challenges using a simple, step-by-step approach that starts with where they are today. Dr. Neuzil's unique approach to wellness has helped countless people improve their energy levels, lose weight, and feel better mentally and emotionally. If you're looking for a way to feel your best, Dr. Amy Neuzil can help. Contact her today to learn more about how she can help you achieve optimal health and wellness.

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