+ Well Nourished | Treating Adrenal Stress Naturally

Treating Adrenal Stress Naturally

Stress, in particular elevated adrenal hormones effect so many aspects of our physical health, mood and wellbeing.  To fully understand one of the key drivers of disease (adrenal stress), catch-up  here.

As a person who is passionate and determined, I have found managing that intricate balance between family and work commitments, often taxing and overwhelming.  Having suffered enormously at the hands of stress in my lifetime (more about that here), I understand the need to make amends when my stress levels increase (before I actually become sick again).

So if you believe adrenal stress is the underlying cause of your particular health concern, then here are some important strategies to regain balance.  There is no single ‘cure’ or fast track to restoring adrenal function.  But by implementing small, deliberate changes,  you will notice a difference…

Eat regularly
When we go for long periods without food, our body is programmed to respond by releasing cortisol and adrenaline to alter our metabolism and stabilise our blood sugar levels.  Without going into detail, irregular eating is very taxing to the adrenal glands and causes more stress and more fatigue!

So eating regular, whole foods is crucial to supporting adrenal function and keeping your blood sugars stable.  Three meals and healthy snacks between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner are critical.

If poor sleep is an issue or if you are waking fatigued, eating a small snack (like a few almonds) before bed is essential too.  NEVER miss meals!

Meal times

Breakfast
Breakfast needs to be the biggest meal of the day.  It needs to always include lots of protein and be consumed within an hour of waking which will help to balance your metabolism and cortisol throughout the day ahead.

But what if you have no appetite in the morning?  This is not uncommon in adrenal fatigue where the liver is not functioning to capacity (your naturopath can advise on ways to improve liver function).  If you’re bored by breakfast ebook “Rise and Shine” will inspire you no end.

A word on snacking
By this I mean, maybe a carrot stick or five or six nuts  for example – not a mini meal or a sweet treat.  Once your blood sugars are stable and your adrenals are working well, you may well drop the snack altogether.

Cut the crap
It should go without saying, but I can’t help but warn that processed, highly refined, additive and sugar-laden foods are not foods that our bodies recognise or have evolved to eat.  Whilst I have largely discussed the effects of psychological stress on our bodies, the burden of chemical stress and poor nutrition further depletes the adrenal glands (and liver).  Aim to eat a variety of clean, whole foods.

Just a word of warning.  If you adrenally fatigued, this is not a time to undertake radical fasts or restrictive detox diets.  They will only worsen your symptoms.  A kind, gentle, nurturing approach is best.

Blood sugar round about
When our blood sugars are low and we are adrenally (physically and mentally) exhausted, we, unfortunately, crave refined carbohydrate, sugar, and stimulants.  Whilst this is SO tempting and will give you a quick ‘pick-me-up,’  it will also trigger the release of more adrenal hormones and set you in a very viscous cycle.   What goes up, must come down and you will, often with a thunderous crash.

The good news is that you can avoid cravings by eating good food regularly, avoiding stimulants, exercising gently and practicing stress management techniques.

Image 1

Move gently
Hard, prolonged physical exercise drives UP cortisol release and needs to be avoided if adrenal fatigue is at play.  If you are struggling with your weight and in adrenal overload, intense exercise will not help you to lose weight (quite the opposite).

Gentle movement like walking, restorative yoga or tai chi is much more healing and beneficial to your health.  Find a physical outlet that suits you and schedule it into your week.

Relax
Personally, eating well and regularly comes easily to me; but valuing myself enough to relax is my greatest sticking point.  In the course of a busy day, it is the one thing that gives – my challenge is reversing this pattern and putting myself on my ‘to do list.’

Here, psychotherapist Jane Faulkner shares 5 simple steps to stress less now.  Changing negative patterns associated with feeling constantly stressed is possible.  Jane’s powerful technique is amazing!

Herbal support
There are SO many amazing, restorative herbs for the adrenal glands and nervous system.  If you believe stress is affecting you, I’d urge you to consider taking a skillfully formulated herbal tonic.  Herbs obviously can’t remove the stressors in your life, but they definitely assist in improving the way you and your body copes and adapts.

B vitamins and magnesium are two nutritional supplements that are often indicated to support adrenal health.  Please speak to your naturopath or herbalist about the best herbs and supplements for you.

Further help
As depression is sometimes linked with adrenal stress, if you feel you need to reach out, contact…
Lifeline – Phone 13 11 14
Beyond Blue – Phone 1300 22 4636

This is a massive subject which is why I have chosen to break it down into bite size bits.  Take the bits you need and focus on them – don’t overwhelm yourself.  Slow and steady always wins the race in overcoming adrenal related illness.

All comments welcome…I love to hear from you so post yours below.

All of the content here at Well Nourished is FREE to assist you to be the healthiest you can be.  But you can help me to build a healthier world, please  Share this post with a friend Share this post with a friend.

You can also support my work by purchasing my ebook “Rise and Shine” – more details HERE or “The Well Nourished Lunchbox” – more details HERE.

Adrenal stress

Disclaimer – this information is not intended to diagnose or take the place of medical advice.  If you feel unwell, please seek the advice of your health care practitioner.  Full terms and conditions below.

Comments are closed.

Kind words…

“I downloaded your ebooks after hearing you speak at the Health and Wellness Summit in Melbourne. Love them, life changing… Don’t stop! Thank you for getting the whole food message out there, I certainly heard it.” Melanie

“I love your ebooks, I have all three of them now and they are now my only go to receipe books. They are simple, wholesome and taste great. THANK YOU!!! I have spent alot of money on courses about healthy eating and recipe books but your books have covered it all and my little man enjoys the snacks etc. Wish I would have found you earlier “. Brooke

“I just want to say a huge thank you for your amazing website and information. I’ve never liked cooking and never got excited by my ‘healthy’ cooking. My husband is even worse and if he could, he would just eat beacon and eggs every morning and steak every night. He hardly ate any veggies. Since I found your website I have gone through almost every recipe. My husband is loving every meal as well – even meat free Monday, and he’s taking left-overs to work for lunch (honestly, who thought that could be so hard?!)” Rose

“You have truly helped me and my family to lead a healthier lifestyle. I’ve been referring to your page every few days, very inspiring, so thank you!” Emily

“Thank you very much for your awesome website & facebook page posts, you have motivated & inspired me heaps!” Fiona

“Just discovered your site 3 weeks ago, its been a great help with kids lunches for back to school, thanks so much!” Ange

“What a fantastic blog filled with so many great recipes and information!” Carla

“I just wanted to let you know that you have absolutely inspired me to a better way of eating, I’ve been making my shopping lists based on recipes you’ve shared and am educating my kids with the reasons behind different foods and why they are good etc! This page has become my little bible hehe! Thank you so much for all the detail you give. It’s absolutely wonderful!” Sky

FREE Newsletter
chocolate-recipe-200X204

Register to receive:

  • FREE Chocolate Ebook
  • Weekly whole food recipes
  • Practical health and nutrition tips
  • Subscribers only special offers

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required