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Adrenal Fatigue: Nutritional & Lifestyle Considerations

Your adrenaline spikes when faced with critical circumstances. Adrenal fatigue happens when life becomes a series of critical circumstances, but it can be treated naturally!

In today’s modern society with all of the various stressors, high sugar consumption, high caffeine intake, medications, and many other forms of adrenal stressors, it’s no wonder that many Americans deal with fatigue and even adrenal burnout. The adrenal gland has a number of vital functions, one of which is the production and secretion of many hormones. Two of these hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine (also known as the ‘flight or fight’ hormones), are meant to be used primarily during times of acute stress, such as being chased by a bear. The adrenal gland was not designed to handle the chronic, daily, consistent stressors that many of us experience.

When the adrenal gland is chronically stimulated to release these flight or flight hormones on a daily basis, they will begin to fatigue and eventually burn out. Because the adrenal gland produces and secretes over 50 hormones, having a fatigued or burnt out adrenal gland can affect every tissue, organ, and system of the body.

Chronic stress comes from constantly being stressed, not just mental stress, but physical as well. This means that even if you don’t feel stressed in terms of how we generally think of stress, but if your adrenal glands are constantly being stimulated to secrete these flight or fight hormones, you’re internally stressed. For example, coffee, energy drinks, processed sugar, medications, and other such stimulants can wreak havoc on the adrenal gland and lead to burnout.

If you think you might be experiencing adrenal fatigue, the good news is that it’s treatable with some dietary and lifestyle changes. Below are some top tips for healing your fatigue naturally.

Avoid Caffeine, Energy Drinks & Alcohol

Any drink that has caffeine will stimulate the adrenal gland and will, therefore, rob it of energy. Instead, choose chamomile, ginseng, or passionflower herbal tea. Even green tea can be stimulating, so be mindful of its use. However, green tea is a far better choice than caffeinated or alcoholic drinks.

Avoid Synthetic Energy Boosts

Anything that provides energy through stimulating the adrenal rather than nourishing it will cause stress and can lead to fatigue and burnout.

Avoid White Products (flour, sugar)

Any processed white food is lacking in any true nourishment and is treated like sugar in the body. This puts stress on the adrenal glands, as they are involved in the hormones required for blood sugar control. When using sweeteners, opt for raw and local honey, fruit, or other truly natural sweeteners.

Avoid Processed Foods

Processed foods are lacking in proper nutrition and often contain a list of toxic additives that wreak havoc on the adrenals and the body as a whole. Eating a diet containing such foods will only worsen the fatigue you’re experiencing.

Consume Healthy Fats

Healthy fats (grass-fed butter, coconut oil, avocado, olive oil) are vital for so many functions within the body that it’s no surprise they would be beneficial for adrenal function as well. Among other things, healthy fats are needed for the hormone production that occurs within the adrenals. Healthy-fat deficiencies place added stress on the adrenals.

Consume Natural Salts

Natural salts include ones such as Redmond’s Real Salt, Pink Himalayan salt, and true sea salt. Salt (not the processed sodium chloride) is essential to a properly functioning adrenal.

Consume (Organic) Vegetables

Fresh, whole vegetables are an excellent food to consume for those with adrenal fatigue, as vegetables are high in nutrients and low in sugar.

Eat Fruit in Moderation

Fruit, while natural and nourishing, can also be high in sugars. Those with adrenal fatigue or burnout need to closely monitor the amounts of sugar in their diets, as too much sugar is a large stress on the adrenals. The higher sugar fruits are the ones to consider avoiding or minimizing the most (such as bananas, figs, raisins, dates). Better options would include apples, berries, kiwi, or pears.


Doing all you can to avoid mental stress also affects the adrenals. Because our minds and thoughts have a physical effect on our bodies, being stressed mentally causes the same physical response on the adrenals as physical stimulants do.

Get Moving

Make sure to get proper amounts of physical activity.

Keep Hydrated

Water keeps all the energy in your body flowing properly. Make sure to stay hydrated.

Maintain a Regular Sleep Schedule

Proper rest allows the body to heal from the stresses we put on it. This is a time where those adrenal glands are allowed to take a much needed break. Make sure your adrenals get that break.

Good food helps lift moods as well. Try this zucchini blueberry cake!

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