Fatigue, Headaches, Anxiety, Weight-Gain, Insomnia?

Previously by Margaret Durst: Check Your Inflammation Levels

Almost everyone has trouble with their adrenal glands at some point. If you are feeling stressed out and don’t have enough energy, then you may need a supplement that supports the adrenal glands.

The adrenal glands help us handle stress and they make several important hormones that run many significant functions in our bodies.

Adrenaline is our fight or flight hormone. Adrenaline helps speed up metabolism and helps the body cope with danger. Over time, we lose our ability to distinguish between life-threatening stress such as almost having a car wreck and situational stress such as being stopped at a red light too long. The end result is stressed out adrenal glands.

General signs and symptoms of adrenal stress include fatigue, headaches, anxiety, depression, weight gain and insomnia. There are also some specific signs. These include waking up tired, poor short-term and/or long-term memory, inability to concentrate, learning disorders such as ADD, and dizziness when changing positions.

Other adrenal symptoms include allergies, fainting spells, craving sweets and caffeine, shakiness between meals, muscle twitches, blood sugar problems, discomfort with bright lights, chronic upper-respiratory infections, hay fever, and asthma. While you may not have all of the symptoms, one symptom I find that occurs in many people with adrenal dysfunction is dark circles underneath the eyes that end underneath the pupil.

To strengthen stressed out adrenal glands decrease stress (easier to say than to do), balance your blood sugar by eating meals with plenty of lean protein along with salads and healthy vegetables, and avoid stimulants such as cigarettes, caffeine, sodas, sweets and starchy carbs. The difficult part of this is that initially you will be even more tired. You will know you are better when after 3 to 7 days you begin to feel more rested when you wake up and more energy throughout the day.

One of the first pieces of advice I offer to anyone with adrenal stress is to make sure they are eating a good breakfast. Note that this is generally not a cereal bar, waffle, pancakes, or skipping breakfast altogether. A good breakfast has some protein in it. The protein can be from eggs, cottage cheese, sausage, or protein powder – it just needs to be high quality and complete in all essential amino acids which typically come only from animal sources.

There are great adrenal supplements available – I recommend one called Adrenal Support or Cytozyme AD. Sometimes I recommend a multi-vitamin that really works with hypoglycemia and other adrenal symptoms. These all contain animal glandular. Now while this may sound odd, it is an old remedy that tends to really work. Think of the nutrients required to build healthy adrenal glands – where would they be located in a body? The answer is in the adrenal glands. With this kind of product, get the best quality you can. I prefer pharmaceutical grade from the best sources available.

If you are looking for vegetarian options – try Royal Jelly – or a store favorite, Amla Royale– a botanical preserve made from a 2000-year-old formula. There are many other good natural supplements to strengthen the adrenal glands available.

Severely stressed adrenal glands require a lot of time to heal, but some of the information here will help you get started.

Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas.