Are you convinced that your symptoms are related to adrenal fatigue but all the supplements you take haven't changed your energy, mood, or insomnia?
Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- muscle weakness
- depression, sadness
- trouble waking up in the morning
- brain fog and brain fatigue
Maybe you have read through every blog (just like this one!) and read all of the books and you have been trying every herb you can get your hands on. Ashwagandha, licorice, rhodiola, ginseng, and bone broth aren't doing anything for you. Why when everyone else swears by it??
Here is a quick run down on why your supplements aren't working:
1. Your problem isn't actually your adrenals!
The adrenals have been blamed for every bad symptom but they are a passive organ just working to respond to the orders coming from the brain.
The main influencers of the adrenals are blood sugar, brain chemistry, inflammation and infection. This is not a glandular based issue but a brain chemistry issue.
Adrenal fatigue symptoms are similar to thyroid dysfunction, changes in brain chemistry, and insulin resistance. Know what is going on in your body!
2. You're taking the wrong supplements.
We assume that when we have stress that our cortisol is too high, but that might not be the case.
My main concern is that you stop taking any type of cortisol reducers or suppressors. If you don't know where your actual numbers are then you are doing more harm than good.
The best way to test your cortisol levels is through a saliva test and we test the level of free cortisol throughout the day and evening. This also tests your DHEA and melatonin levels.
3. You have a nutrient deficiency.
When you take an adrenal supplement and you feel worse, more fatigued, and ready to call it quits you most likely have a nutrient deficiency.
Most adrenal supplements have herbs that are glutathione recyclers. This means that they take the glutathione our body has used and recycles it back to its original form to be used again. If you don't have enough glutathione then your body will become increasingly tired as the demand for glutathione isn't met.
The other common deficiencies I see in my practice are general multiple vitamins and B complex deficiencies.
4. You aren't managing your stress and lifestyle.
No supplements can make up for overwhelming stress and a poor lifestyle. If you tell me that you have to stay up working until 4am but you still can't figure out why you are waking up in pain then no supplement will be able to help you or override the abuse you are putting your body through.
Strategies to help:
- stop ignoring signals to wake up
- slowly start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier in 5 minute increments
- no social media or video games before sleep because it triggers your neurotransmitters
5. You're not eating, eating the right foods, eating enough, or eating consistently.
Strategies to help
- Eat every 2 hours
- Track your calories to make sure you are getting enough!
- Start paleo type food plan
- Rule out leaky gut
- Eat ahead of symptoms aka eat before you get hangry