PART IV - 3 Ways to Heal Adrenal Fatigue Naturally: Supplements
by Dr. Alaina Gair, ND
Supplements can be an important tool in recovering from adrenal fatigue, especially if your stress isn’t going anywhere. Products are chosen on a case by case basis after symptoms are assessed and testing has been completed. This ensures that I pick the right solutions for you. Product options are endless so get help! There are two ways to support adrenal function depending on what your testing indicates. For patients in earlier stages of adrenal dysfunction, where cortisol is imbalanced and often high, we use toning herbs to modulate hormone production and release. For patients in later stages of adrenal fatigue where cortisol is depleted, we use stronger adaptogens to improve the body’s ability to tolerate and respond to stress.
Here are the top 5 most common herbs I consider to help heal adrenal fatigue:
1. Ashwagandha: Used to rebalance the stress response – helping prevent cortisol loss within the adrenal glands. This herb is wonderful for helping improve sleep quality and energy levels in people in earlier stages of adrenal fatigue. However, for people in more severe stages of adrenal fatigue – this herb can cause experience of feeling “wired”.
2. Rehmannia: This is an adrenal toning herb, particularly helpful when there is also immune system dysfunction or autoimmune disease. Stress management is very important in restoring healthy immune function and this herb has been shown in clinical practice to help reduce autoimmune antibodies.
3. Licorice: This herb helps with blood glucose regulation, decreases inflammation, improves fat metabolism and modulates hormones. The triterpenoid saponins it contains also help to reestablish cortisol balance for adrenal recovery. It is important to note that the active ingredient in licorice is Glycyrrhizin – which can increase blood pressure through it’s action in the kidney. For patients with low blood pressure, this can prove to be very helpful, easing symptoms of dizziness and lightheadeness. For people struggling with hypertension, this herb requires close monitoring and other herbs should be considered ahead of it.
4. Rhodiola: This herb regulates cortisol and stress-activated protein kinases resulting in improved stress responses. It is used for fatigue, mild depression, and mental performance. This ability to support mental performance makes it a strong contender for supporting adrenal recovery in students and those with high-stress/mentally demanding jobs.
5. Panax Ginseng: The ginsenosides this herb contains helps to balance the HPA axis so it can be used for both mental or physical exhaustion. It helps to fine tune the on and off switches for the stress response, and helps the body respond to stressors by reducing an exaggerated stress response.
One More Idea…
Intravenous therapy can help reduce recovery times! Infusions made up of vitamin C, B vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants give the body what it needs to recover healthy stress response functioning. Because we are bypassing the digestive tract (which can be sluggish in adrenal fatigue) and infusing the treatment directly into the blood stream, we don’t have to worry about whether or not you are absorbing your supplements. We see faster and more sustained recovery!
If you are in the Guelph area and would like help recovering from adrenal fatigue, book an appointment so I can help you feel like yourself again!