Many people associate the adrenal glands as the source of adrenaline, which the glands release when the body faces a dangerous, exciting, or threatening situation. The glands play a much bigger role in our health and wellness, however.
They are essential for everyday function and are responsible for regulating several of the body’s systems. When there is a problem with them, it can wreak havoc on your energy levels, blood pressure, and metabolism, and create other health issues.
The glands are attached to the top of each kidney, where they produce hormones to help the body perform different functions. They can malfunction when they receive insufficient adrenal support, which can cause wide-ranging health issues and create further problems down the road. The hormones produced by the glands help your body:
- Burn fat and protein
- Regulate sugar
- Regulate blood pressure
- React to stressors
Any issues with these glands can hinder these functions, causing adrenal insufficiency and fatigue symptoms that lead to additional health problems. It’s essential to understand their function and to know what to look for if the hormone levels are too low, so you can find an effective remedy. This guide will help you understand adrenal gland insufficiency symptoms, causes, and naturopathic options for treatment.
Adrenal Insufficiency and Fatigue Symptoms
When the adrenal cortex is damaged or stressed, this results in adrenal insufficiency, a disorder that can lead to numerous symptoms and health issues. A damaged or stressed adrenal cortex causes the adrenal glands to produce an insufficient amount of cortisol and aldosterone, two steroid hormones that regulate the body’s stress reactions and sodium and potassium levels. This can cause:
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Salt or sugar cravings
- Lack of motivation or energy
- Brain fog
- Loss of body hair
- Unexplained weight loss
- Low blood pressure
People experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention as soon as possible to determine the actual source of the problem. Finding the root cause of your symptoms can help you choose a holistic solution that meets your needs, whether it is related to this issue or another health concern.
Vitamins and Minerals That Can Help
Vitamins and minerals can help boost the adrenals and regulate hormone production. Those experiencing some of the symptoms above may find that adding these to their diet can help them find lasting relief. Some vitamins and minerals that can help holistically include:
1. Vitamin B5
Vitamin B5, otherwise known as Pantothenic acid, is directly linked to the development of stress-related hormones produced in the glands. B5 helps convert food into glucose and break down fat, proteins, and carbohydrates to use for energy. It also helps heal wounds and maintain and repair hair and skin cells. You can find vitamin B5 in foods such as liver, meat, egg yolk, milk, fish, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms.
2. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 has many benefits, including brain development and improved nervous and immune system function. Combining B6 intake with other B vitamins, such as B5 and B12, provides maximum adrenal support, absorption, and health benefits. Some foods that contain vitamin B6 include poultry, fish, potatoes, chickpeas, and bananas.
3. Vitamin B12
Deficiencies in vitamin B12 are known to cause stress and fatigue, which can affect your sleep and wake cycles. Animal proteins such as meat, seafood, and eggs will boost your B12 vitamin levels.
4. Vitamin C
The glands contain a high concentration of vitamin C and require it to produce cortisol. During and after periods of high stress, the body uses up vitamin C more rapidly, and it needs to replenish its intake of the vitamin. Eating foods like kiwi, bell peppers, grapefruit, broccoli, oranges, and strawberries are good sources that will help reducing cortisol levels and maintain your energy and mood.
Magnesium helps regulate cortisol levels and hormonal systems. This produces more balanced hormone production, which reduces stress, maintains energy levels, and prevents fatigue caused by low hormone levels. Some foods you can eat to boost your magnesium levels include dark chocolate, avocados, nuts, legumes, tofu, seeds, whole grains, fatty fish, bananas, and leafy greens.
Zinc is linked to energy efficiency and is found in every tissue in the body. Low levels of zinc can accelerate the aging process and lead to inadequate stress response. Zinc is also highly beneficial for proper immune function, enhancing athletic performance, and maintaining fertility. Foods high in zinc include red meat, oysters, crab, seeds, and nuts.
Ensuring that you get proper levels of these vitamins and minerals from foods and supplements is a good first step in regulating the necessary hormones. Seeking help from a naturopathic doctor is a good way to find a natural solution.
Herbal Supplement Solutions
The trend among many patients these days is toward natural medical solutions. There are several naturopathic medicine herbal supplements you can take to help your body battle this issue. Some of these potent herbal supplements include:
1. Licorice Root
Licorice root is one of the most widely known herbs for treating adrenal fatigue. It helps by preventing cortisol breakdown, which combats stress and maintains energy levels. It also helps support liver function and treats PMS symptoms, immune disorders, mood-related issues, and digestive concerns.
2. Maca Root
Maca root helps balance and strengthen areas of the body that are compromised due to stress. It also helps replenish the glands to boost energy levels, stamina, and endurance, and reduce cortisol levels.
3. Golden Root
Golden root is an excellent herbal supplement for those who are often stressed. It works to regulate stress response in the sympathetic nervous system, which acts as the stress control center of the body.
4. Siberian Ginseng
Siberian ginseng provides adrenal support and increases stamina. It helps with chronic fatigue, memory issues, low immunity, and blood sugar problems.
All these holistic medicine supplements help provide relief. Adding these herbs, vitamins, and minerals into your daily intake and diet, along with decreasing stress through exercise and deep breathing, can help regulate the glands and provide you with optimal health.
Consult With a Naturopathic Physician for Wellness Advice
Dr. Karen Threlkel is a certified naturopathic physician who teams with medical professionals of other disciplines to offer a complete approach to wellness. The group provides expert medical care, acupuncture, nutritional guidance, integrative psychotherapy, physical therapy, and other health services to get you feeling your natural best.
Contact Dr. Karen R. Threlkel today to learn more about vitamins, minerals, supplements, and holistic medicine techniques that promote adrenal support.