Coaxing Your Adrenals Back to Health
Intuitive healing practitioner Muneeza Ahmed lists eight steps to get your energy back.
The first time my adrenals crashed, I had a very challenging, high-profile job. I had a nervous breakdown and had to quit my job so that I could heal myself and recover. I had another adrenal crash after the birth of my first child. The third time it happened was after I was bitten by a very poisonous spider, which paralyzed my arm and caused me to be bedridden for nine months.
Not everyone experiences adrenal fatigue (or chronic fatigue or exhaustion) the way I did, but as I have analyzed my own health history I realize how tired I was all the time. And it’s something that I considered normal.
- I’m tired because I didn’t sleep well last night.
- I’m tired because I had a long day.
- I’m tired because I’m pregnant; it happens to so many women, it’s normal.
- I’m tired because I just had a baby—every new mom is tired.
- I’m tired because I have three kids and work full time.
We have normalized tiredness in our society. But there is nothing normal about being tired. There is nothing that feels good about being tired all the time. If I had known this when I was younger, I know I could have avoided the big adrenal crashes in my life.
The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, one on each side. In a nutshell, they are responsible for saving our lives when faced with danger. The adrenals power the fight or flight response when we are faced with perceived danger. I say perceived because most of us today are not facing a hungry lion—a real danger to our lives. But the threat of losing our job or having a financial crisis are perceived dangers at the same level. They don’t mean life or death, but the brain will perceive them that way and so release the same kind of adrenaline.
According to the Medical Medium, our adrenals can produce 56 different blends of adrenaline. There are 36 blends for everyday activities like getting up in the morning and driving to work, and 20 for charged occasions like the death of a loved one or giving birth.
These special blends are harsher and more corrosive. The problem is that the stresses of today call upon the special-occasion blends more than our body and adrenals are designed to handle. This constant pull on the adrenals causes them to burn out—after too much overactivity, the adrenals can become underactive. Sometimes we can have one underactive and another overactive adrenal gland.
But stress is not the only thing that causes the adrenals to burn out. Underlying viral infections usually contribute to never-ending feelings of fatigue; coffee, chocolate, and matcha tea addictions cover up hidden adrenal fatigue.
You may have an adrenal imbalance if you:
- Are tired early in the day or any other time of the day (even with good sleep)
- Are tired all day but get wired and energetic in the evening
- Are tired/exhausted but can’t sleep
- Wake up feeling tired after a full night of sleep
- Sweat constantly under the armpits, even when you’re not exerting yourself
- Have continual thirst and crave salt
- Have blurry vision and trouble focusing
- Crave stimulants
- Engage in activities that make you “feel alive”—they are triggering adrenaline and mask how tired you truly feel
If you experience even one of the above symptoms, you are likely dealing with a mild case of weakened or imbalanced adrenals, and if you check off more than one, you are likely dealing with adrenal fatigue.
The most important parts of protecting your adrenals is to nourish them and understand how not to trigger them unnecessarily. After having crashed completely three times in my life, I have had to learn very carefully what triggers my adrenals and understand what false energy versus real energy feels like.
Here are the most beneficial things I did to help my adrenals recover. It takes time to figure this out. Be gentle and patient with yourself.
Graze. Grazing maintains your blood sugar levels so that your adrenals don’t kick in to “save your life” by giving you false energy to go look for food.
For those dealing with more severe fatigue, grazing every 90 minutes is helpful.
Understand your body’s true fuel. Your body runs on glucose. If you are struggling with adrenal fatigue, eating high-fat diets will keep you in the loop of fatigue. I grazed on combinations of glucose (fruit, raw honey, squashes, sweet potatoes, or potatoes) and mineral salts (celery sticks, cucumbers, lettuces, spinach—not sea or rock salt).
Address an underlying chronic viral infection. Most people have no idea they have an underlying viral infection. For me, this was the big missing link. When the liver is full of viral debris, the immune system is taxed every day trying to fight the infection.
Establishing a proper antiviral protocol such as that offered by Medical Medium Anthony William (with both diet and supplements) is critical.
Add in specific adrenal support supplements. Herbs and supplements play a critical role in providing support to the adrenals. Examples include licorice root, ashwagandha, and vitamin C.
Sleep better. So many of us struggle with good sleep. Establish a better sleep schedule (get to bed by 10 pm), establish a sleep routine, use supplements to help you sleep better (melatonin, GABA, lemon balm, magnesium glycinate, for example, are
helpful) and also know you can take these supplements when you wake up in the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep.
Manage your stress levels. Meditation and prayer are great ways to manage stress levels. Find a practice that works for you, one that you like, and one that fits your schedule. Commit to it. For me, both meditation and prayer are important.
Find peace. Of course, this is easier said than done. Finding peace is a noble and noteworthy pursuit. For me, peace has come from clearing my body of poisons and toxins, supporting my liver, and also praying and meditating. I think you need both: action on the physical body as well as the non-physical.
Quit caffeine. Caffeine triggers your adrenaline just like a stressful event would. Work toward eliminating caffeine in all forms.
It is not normal to be tired all the time. Please know that it is possible to live
a vibrant life free from exhaustion. It is your birthright. You deserve to have abundant energy.