What is Adrenal Fatigue?
While many doctors will say adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist, we have experienced first hand that it does and that you can heal from it and regain your zest for life.
Back in 2009, Victor started having a ton of varied symptoms that were not normal for him. He went to many doctors looking for answers only to be told it was all in his head and “Here, take this medication!”
Well, being in the health & fitness industry for over a decade at the time, we didn’t think going the prescription drug route made any sense. He ate good, worked out, and had a great life, but something was dramatically off.
After many months of research and over a year of trying different strategies for healing, we were able to naturally heal his adrenals. Now, at age 48, he has more energy & is healthier than ever in his life. And you can be too!
If you feel wired and tired, anxious, depressed, low libido, injuries that won’t heal, trouble recovering from a workout, sleep abnormalities, wake up feeling unrefreshed, chronic dehydration, panic attacks, and there is a good chance that allopathic doctors will not find anything wrong with you.
Why Do Doctors Say This Doesn’t Exist
The term Adrenal Fatigue is a term coined by Dr Wilson in the 90’s to described the symptoms he was seeing in his patients. The point of conflict with the medical system is linked with the fact that adrenal glands don’t get tired.
The fact is that adrenal glands don’t get tired per-se but how the body generates and absorbs hormones can be greatly affected by stress and disease.
When I went through my adrenal fatigue I ended up in the ER. After them blaming my panic attack on creatine, I was prescribed Xanax, prednisone, and antidepressants. I was never asked about my stress, my past, sleep or nutrition.
In truth, doctors are probably not qualified to deal with emotions or consoling and what could they really accomplish in the 5 minutes of attention they gave me? Besides, there’s no money for the medical industrial complex in dealing with feelings, emotions, and lifestyle and they’d rather just use labels like obesity, anxiety, and depression to prescribe more pills.
In general, doctors are great a testing for big red flags such as adrenal crisis, celiacs, or hypothyroidism but here is the thing if you don’t feel right, trust your intuition and know there is another solution for you.
Your life is your medicine
As a society, we have been taught to look for a diagnosis, something to label and point our finger at. Our modern industrial complex has trained us to think that you are a victim and that they are our solution.
Adrenal Fatigue isn’t something that just jumped out and got you and is not a life long sentence and it can be an amazing opportunity to heal deeper wounds and imbalances. It’s probably been in the works for years, if not decades, and now is a good time to rebalance yourself.
Getting your shit together requires a level of honesty you can’t even imagine. There’s nothing easy about realizing you’re the one that’s been holding you back this whole time.
Instead, I encourage you to accept this is where you are at and know that the body is an expert in healing. Your body has the ability to heal itself but it needs you to help it along. You are your own solution and the body will heal itself, but you need to stop putting poison into it via thoughts and food.
While you certainly can do this on your own, it might take 2 years to completely heal from adrenal fatigue like it did for Victor. We can help you fast track your results. Through Nutrition, Exercise, Mindset, Mindfulness, & Trauma Healing we help our clients get rid of their anxiety within a month and many are in the best health of their life within 6 months.
ONE LIFE. JUST ONE.
WHY AREN’T WE RUNNING LIKE WE ARE ON FIRE TOWARDS OUR WILDEST DREAMS?
Signs & Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
The signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue are so varied and diverse that doctors often don’t know where to start. The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys and produce hormones such as cortisol testosterone, and adrenaline They are also host of many other important functions that provide you energy, a healthy metabolism, and proper hormone function.
Chronic stress physical and emotional negatively impacts the ability of the adrenal glands to keep up. That, coupled with the propensity for other aliments, impacts the balance of the body. Adrenal fatigue really is a condition where you have so much stress on the body that your adrenals can’t keep up and you end up with adrenal insufficiency. The symptoms below are only a few of dozens of symptoms that are commonly reported but can help you diagnose if you have adrenal fatigue.
1 | Wired & Tired
One of the most obvious signs of adrenal fatigue is feeling like you don’t have enough energy to get through your day, while at the same time, you have trouble relaxing, shutting down, or falling asleep. This wired & tired feeling can be really frustrating because you want to feel productive and get things done but you just don’t have the energy or focus to do so. Which leads to the next issue below.
2 | Sleep Off
A common symptom of adrenal fatigue is inverted cortisol. When you’re healthy, your cortisol will be highest in the morning and then taper as you move through your day. But with adrenal fatigue, you typically experience higher cortisol levels in the evening between 6pm and 10pm, and then in the morning, you tend to have trouble getting up and feel really tired. In addition, another common symptom of adrenal fatigue is waking up in the middle of the night, especially between 1am and 4am.
3 | Trouble Losing Weight
Another reason adrenal fatigue may cause you to gain weight or not be able to lose the weight is due to food allergies that cause you to release too much cortisol, which is a fat storing hormone. Releasing too much cortisol over a long period of time can cause auto-immune issues to develop so it is important to get your diet and stress level under control so you don’t develop more severe health issues. If you feel like you eat very little and are still having trouble losing weight, this is a good sign that you have adrenal fatigue.
4 | Gassy & Bloated
A common symptom of adrenal fatigue is leaky gut. When you have issues with permeability in the intestines, you’ll naturally have issues with inflammation, high cortisol release, and which will impact your hormones, metabolism and ability to lose weight. In turn, this causes symptoms such as gassiness, bloating, & IBS.
5 | Injuries That Won’t Heal
Another byproduct of high cortisol and inflammation is having aches and pains that just won’t go away. When I have clients who do all the correct recovery exercises but still can’t heal, I know that there is something more at work that is causing them to stay in pain.
5 | Moodiness, Anxiety, Depression
Adrenal Fatigue causes a wide variety of issues with mood changes, anxiety and depression. Blood sugar management issues can lead to moods swings and anxiety. One of the easiest ways to impact these symptoms is to systemize your eating plan and eat many small meals through the day. Depression like symptoms can also arise from high cortisol and inversion of your other hormones.
6 | Hormone Imbalance
When cortisol is high your “rebuilding hormones” will be lowered. A simple analogy, imagine that you were being chased by a bear, not much time to think about sex. Your libido is off because of some level you body feels that it is in a survival situation.
7 | Electrolyte Imbalance
Do you feel dehydrated all the time? One of the greatest complaints when you have adrenal fatigue is that you cant hold on to the water of fluids you consume. One of the many functions of your adrenal glands is to regulate your electrolytes. An easy way to improve this is by adding 1/4 tsp of Himalayan salt to your diet or a few sprays of this electrolyte supplement.
8 | Eye Test
One of the easiest ways to see if you have issues with adrenal fatigue is to do an eye test. The concept is simple the eye has muscles and a tell tail sign of adrenal fatigue is poor muscular contractions. The eye is no different. Using a flashlight and shining it into one ye youll be able to tell if the pupil can hold its contraction to minimize the amount of light that can go into the eye.
It’s All Connected
While there are a lot of symptoms with adrenal fatigue, one thing you will learn as you recover from adrenal fatigue is how all our body systems are connected. By fixing one of the symptoms, there’s a good chance you’ll end up fixing other symptoms at the same time.
Don’t wait for a diagnosis to start making positive changes in your life. The system wants to put you on a meds to treat the symptoms but it is always better to get to the root cause of the issue.
Testing For Adrenal Fatigue
One easy way to check if your adrenals aren’t functioning optimally is to do a 24-hour cortisol test. It’s really easy and affordable and the best part is that you can do it at home without having to deal with going to the doctors.
Personally, I say skip the test. If you don’t feel right, you don’t need a test to tell you something is wrong. Start by implementing the 10 steps in this ebook. Depending on the severity of your adrenal fatigue it may be enough to get your health to turn a corner.
The Hard Truth: Don’t Do This If You Have Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal Fatigue can be one of most frustrating aliments you can face. When I went experienced adrenal fatigue a decade ago, I thought I would never feel myself again.
Once I realized I was making a few crucial mistakes in my healing protocol and made some changes, I was able to rapidly heal myself.
These are some of the mistakes I was making and that I commonly see in my clients when they are working on fixing their adrenal fatigue. If you are struggling with adrenal fatigue, try to follow all the guidelines outline below. It really will make a difference in how quickly you can recover.
Train Don’t Drain
Exercise is a stress on the body so depending on the severity of your adrenal fatigue, you may need to rethink your exercise program. If you have severe adrenal fatigue, walking and stretching is probably all your body can handle at first.
Cardio needs to be very low intensity to ensure that it doesn’t have a negative impact on blood sugar management. If you need to workout regularly to maintain your sanity, try to workout or exercise in a way that leaves you feeling great.
Personally, I love to workout and had to figure out a way to train without putting my self into a hole. When is comes to lifting, try doing to 1 or 2 movements after a warm up and ensure you don’t do so much that you end up putting your hormones out of whack more than they already are. Leave the gym feeling amazing not dragging.
If you are suffering with adrenal fatigue you likely know that exercise is part of your recovery plan but did you know that it can put you into a deeper hole. Working out can be something amazing for the body but it can also create more stress on the body.
Symptoms of over training overlap the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, too much burden and not enough repair.
Here are 5 reasons why you should really control the intensity of your exercise program if you have adrenal fatigue.
When you train intensity you increase the amount of cortisol the adrenals generate. Cortisol in high amounts and constantly damage the walls of the gi system. This increases the susceptibility of food getting into the blood stream and creating an auto immune response. Training with a lot of intensity when you have adrenal fatigue mirrors a fight/flight response which can lead to greater levels of anxiety.
A big part of rebuilding yourself after adrenal fatigue is to calm the body to rest and restore. One of the tell tail signs of over training is difficulty staying asleep. The nervous system has a hard time shutting down and intense training puts a greater load on the endocrine system so blood sugar will drop while you sleep more rapidly.
ONNIT’s New Mood because it helps you feel calm, produce more serotonin to fight off depression, and improves your focus. ONNIT’s Total Human supplement pack is also amazing!
One of the best things about workouts is that you can improve your hormone profile. Most men and women will see an improvement in libido with a good workout program. Overtraining will cause a lowering of testosterone in men and mess up the testosterone, estrogen, progesterone balance in women.
Prone To Injuries
Overtraining increases susceptibility to injuries because you have extended yourself farther than you can recover from. If you have nagging injuries that won’t heal, you might be overtraining. In general the vast majority of people struggling with adrenal fatigue are chronically inflamed in all major systems. A good workout creates inflammation to which the body adapts and gets stronger. But when you are over training you are chronically inflamed and can’t recover.
Overtraining will cause symptoms of depression and apathy. One of the major symptoms of overtraining is changes in mental health this is due often to the interaction between low testosterone and poor gut health. A huge portion of our neurotransmitters are made in our gut. If testosterone is low in has a direct impact on dopamine (feel good ) neurotransmitters.
Gluten & Dairy
For some reason this seems to be the hardest nutritional rule to stick to simply because it is in everything. By far, the number one thing I see people get lazy about, is the adrenal fatigue eating plan. Gluten and dairy are two of the most common allergens and can wreak havoc on the gut. When trying to fix your adrenal fatigue, you need to not touch any gluten and dairy in order to heal.
Remember, if you have significant adrenal fatigue, you also have leaky gut. Leaky gut is damage to the GI lining that allows particles of food to pass into the blood stream. Those particles create an autoimmune response in the body and further tax your adrenals.
Going To Bed Late
When you are struggling with adrenal fatigue it is easy to become an insomniac. One of the major issues associated with adrenal fatigue is inverted cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone which is produced by the adrenal glands and should at its highest when you wake up in the morning. When you have adrenal fatigue cortisol tends to be inverted and most individuals tend to feel best between 6pm and 10pm so it is critical to get to bed before 10 to start to establish your circadian rhythm.
if you have severe adrenal fatigue you likely have leaky gut and are not getting energy from the food you eat. This leads to increasing consumption of stimulants in order to have enough energy to get anything done. The problem is that it creates a vicious cycle.
If you have adrenal fatigue stay away from coffee and shift to green tea. Yes, green tea has some caffeine but nowhere near the same amount and has a significant amount of antioxidants which will help you recover quicker.
One of the biggest complaints associated with adrenal fatigue is GI issues that cause individuals to feel gassy, bloated, and burping after meals. If you go to a doctor, they will generally prescribe an antacid, but this is actually the opposite of what you want to do to recover.
The truth is that when you have adrenal fatigue, you don’t have enough acid to digest your food which is why you’re burping all the time.
An antacid will only bring down the acid levels in you gut even further and decrease the breakdown of your food. Instead, consume apple cider vinegar and water before meals to help you better digest your food. You can also take some HCL in capsule form before meals to aid in digesting your food.
In addition, when you have adrenal fatigue, you tend to be on chronic high alert (either subconsciously or consciously). The result of being in this state is that the body never prepares for the food you are sending down.
By taking time to prepare your own foods, smell them, and cook them, it allows your body to relax and get hungry.
Another symptom of adrenal fatigue is always feeling sore or having trouble recovering from exercise. Again, doctors will try to cover up the issue with medication and may offer you a steroid such as prednisone, but I encourage you to resist.
Prednisone is incredibly powerful and the euphoria of being pain free is short lived. While the steroid may mask the current issue, it will only further tax your body and create more issues in the long run. Plus, as you go into the taper phase, most individuals will experience high levels of anxiety as the body tries to adjust and this will just complicate the current emotional rollercoaster that you probably already feel.
As a general rule, when cortisol is high testosterone will be low, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that your hormones are out of whack when you have adrenal fatigue.
As tempting as it may be to start taking testosterone supplements, this too will avoid getting to the root issue and will create its own problems down the road.
When is comes to testosterone it’s not how much you have often but how much you can use. Diet, exercise, and living life in alignment are more powerful than you can imagine!
Instead, try to limit the body burdens that are dropping your Testosterone such as processed foods, EMF, stressful relationships, alcohol, and poor sleep.
I know how hard it is to implement all of these things but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to heal your body from all these angles and not just mask your symptoms with medication.
Healing Strategies For Adrenal Fatigue
Quiet the Mind
Meditation is absolutely critical to getting to the root cause of your anxiety. If you are new to meditation, download our free meditation here or pick a nice playlist and sit under a nice tree with your eyes closed for 10 min a day. Start to become aware of your thoughts, don’t judge them just recognize them and let them float away.
Exercising is a way that really help you off load that stored energy. I love to recommend activities that really resonate with an individual.
Move but don’t drain yourself and move in a way that makes you happy. Dribble a ball, shoot some hoops, go fro a nice walk, dance, or try some qi gong.
Reprogram Your Mind
I have personal experience with childhood trauma. I was sexually abused as a child and really thought I had gotten over it but it wasn’t until my massive adrenal fatigue that it uncovered the depths of the damage.
Anxiety can be a message that the body is out of alignment. It is giving you insight into potential stored energy from trauma and living out of alignment.
As mammals we tend to react one of three ways to a stressful situation. You can fight, you can flight or you can freeze.
The freezing is the reaction leads to stored trauma. In the wild if the gazelle plays “possum” and the cheetah loses interest in the prey, the gazelle will go through a very elaborate thawing process to shake that energy out of the body.
For more about this, read this book Waking the Tiger by Peter Levine and watch Robyn & Gabi explain how programming can effect your life.
Think back about a time the you may have frozen and didn’t get a chance to to shake out or deal with the energy associated with your trauma. The vast majority of us have never had a chance to deal with our trauma in from an energetic perspective.
Adrenal Fatigue is caused by stress but the root of that stress is more than likely linked to childhood programming.
We can help you heal & change this.
Eat an Anti-Inflammation Diet
It is very important if you are having significant symptoms of adrenal fatigue that you go all in to heal. An anti-inflammatory diet is crucial to heal the gut, regulate hormones, and drop anxiety. In my experience, clients that still occasionally eat any of these can derail their progress quickly.
An adrenal fatigue diet should consist of well sourced protein, organic fruits and veggies, and healthy fats. In addition, an adrenal fatigue diet should eliminate all gluten, corn, grains, dairy, processed food, sugar, alcohol, eggs, and caffeine in order to promote gut healing and decrease inflammation.
Leaky gut tends to go hand in hand with adrenal fatigue. The stress response from gut issues generates a huge amount of cortisol output from the adrenals so healing the gut is critical to improving your adrenal fatigue.
People with adrenal fatigue often struggle with anxiety which could be just caused by poor blood sugar regulation. An easy way to test this and work to manage your blood sugar better is by eating more protein, healthy fats, and fibrous carbs as listed below.
1 | Well Sourced Protein
When we talk about well sourced protein it means organic, farm raised or wild caught meat, chicken, fish or wild game. Get to know a farmer and order your meat and eggs from the source.
The reason this is so important is that what an animal eats and how it lives directly affects how it will provide you with necessary nutrients.
Well sourced meats are a super foods that will provide you with great sustained energy.
Well sourced meats and eggs digested slower and provide a steady source or energy and hop to manage fluctuations in blood sugar.
In addition, it’s very important that you avoid all seed oils. While there is a lot of misinformation out there saying that a vegan diet is healthier, eating products with seed oils such as Beyond Beef Burgers can really limit your ability to heal your adrenal fatigue.
Check out this article to see how seed oils damage your mitochondria & lead to chronic disease.
2 | A Wide Variety of Veggies
Eat the rainbow when it comes to fresh organic vegetables. Vegetables are a great source of fiber and low in sugar supporting the blood sugar management issues you might be facing.
Micronutrients are important for helping your body to heal from adrenal fatigue. Eating a diversity of veggies will provide you with a wide array of vitamins and minerals that will boost your immune response and assist your body in doing what it knows how to do, which is heal.
3 | Sweet Potatoes & Wild Rice
Trying to avoid inflammatory foods like dairy and gluten can feel frustrating when trying to fix your adrenal fatigue. Organic sweet potatoes and wild rice are great substitutes for bread and dairy products.
We highly recommend preparing your rice and sweet potatoes in as many ways and you can. We sauté, bake and fry them in coconut oil to add amazing flavors that don’t leave you missing bread.
4 | Beans & Lentils
Beans and lentils are an amazing source of protein and fiber. Many individuals struggle with gassy and bloated symptoms when they have adrenal fatigue.
If you have significant issues with gas from beans integrate them slowly and in small amounts. Lentils are a bit easier to digest and integrate them in soups to ease digestion. Also, remember to soak your beans overnight to help decrease the impacts on the GI tract.
5 | Organ Meats
Ancient medicine believed that like cures like and eating organ meats provides a nutrient dense, vitamin packed delivery service for recovery. Organ meats such as liver and kidney can provide you with vitamins that are more bioavailable.
As little as 2-4 ounces of organ meats a week are more powerful than any multivitamin. I
f you struggle with consuming organ meats, a few companies that will freeze dry them and put them in capsule form. As with all meats, make sure the organ meats are sourced well.
6 | Bone Broth & Fermented Foods
One of the most powerful things you can do daily to help improve your gut health is consume good organic beef bone broth.
The glutamine in beef bone broth will start to close up the holes in your gut, which in turn will allow your adrenal glands will recover faster. Adding bone broth to your meals is also a cheap and easy way to improve gut health.
You can buy grass fed soup bones and throw them in a crockpot with onion, celery, carrots, and garlic overnight and then add it to your meals or sip on the broth throughout the day to get the glutamine you need to recover.
Healing your gut is a top priority in recovering from adrenal exhaustion so also consuming fermented foods daily like kimchi, sauerkraut, or kombucha will speed up recovery.
7 | Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is antibacterial and anti-fungal and kills off the bad bacteria in your gut, helping you to heal. Eating spoonfuls of high-quality coconut oil throughout the day is one of the many ways to repair your gut health. You can also use coconut oil for cooking and baking.
In addition to coconut oil, try adding more healthy fats like MCT oil or a few spoonfuls of almond butter before bed.
Recovering from Adrenal Fatigue can feel like a grind but if you stick to these core eating principles it will help you heal your gut and give you sustained energy.
Managing blood sugar can lead to highs and lows when you are recovering but having a balanced diet high in protein, healthy fats, and fibrous carbs will help you feel more level. Consistency over time is the secret to recovering from adrenal fatigue.
Join Be The Hero Academy and get access to all our nutrition hacks, meal plans, shopping lists, and detox guides.
Best Supplements For Gut Health
Glutamine provides for recovery from intense workouts but it has a powerful ability to heal you digestive system. L-glutamine helps by healing the gut lining to minimize particles getting into the blood stream. There are many foods that can provide glutamine however, when you’re going through adrenal fatigue, it’s always helpful to supplement since most suffer from bad absorption.
Foods High In Glutamine include bone broth, grass-fed beef, spirulina, chinese cabbage, asparagus, broccoli rabe, wild-caught fish (cod and salmon), venison, and turkey.
Naked Foods has a pure L-glutamine that you can add to your foods or Enduropacks sells capsules of L-glutamine.
ONNIT’s Total Gut Health supplement is great because not only does it have digestive enzymes and probiotics, it also includes prebiotics and betaine HCL which will improve digestion and in turn, improve adrenal function.
We get it! Look, we don’t think any of this information should be kept a secret. It took Robyn months of research to understand why I (Victor) was so f-ed up at the time.
Doctors weren’t helping and family would just tell me it was “normal” and part of aging.
I’m here to make sure you know that this is not normal. It’s not just part of aging. And I have your solution.
If you can implement everything on this page, there is a very good chance that a year from now you will have a level of health and vitality that you never imagined was possible.
The trick is being able to implement.
If you want to make sure you don’t miss a step along the way or you want the support of someone who is compassionate and realistic, then set up a Discovery Call with me and let’s talk about the best strategies for your unique situation.