What are modern examples of deep suffering

What to do with adrenal fatigue

The pace at which modern life goes is sometimes overwhelming. Do you feel constantly tired and tense in the face of long overtime, a seemingly endless list of tasks and errands, as well as maintaining your social contacts and family ties? And as if all of this wasn't enough, you will certainly still feel the pressure a little more to give, to push a personal project or to pursue a sideline and more Earning money - just in case.

You can keep this pace for a while with the help of caffeine and sleeping in on the weekend. But if your life is just like this and you don't take enough breaks, becomes You overtake this. Strange symptoms may have already set in. These include, for example, lying wide awake in bed at night, (never) waking up refreshed and strengthened, waking up constantly at night to go to the toilet, or not being able to finish sentences with ease.

Does that sound familiar? Then please take the time to read this article. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as "burnout", but from a scientific point of view it is an adrenal fatigue. It is widespread and yet poorly understood. In any case, adrenal fatigue has a major impact on your long-term health. These include, for example, weight gain, skin problems and constant burnout.


What is adrenal fatigue?

First of all, what are adrenal glands?

Have you ever heard of adrenaline or had an adrenaline rush? Bingo. Adrenaline is a stress hormone made in the adrenal glands. Everyone has two adrenal glands that “sit” on top of the kidneys on each side. It produces many important hormones that are needed for stress, reproductive health, metabolism and blood pressure regulation.

We have most control over our stress hormones:

Stress hormones: adrenaline and noradrenaline.

These are the two temporary Stress hormones. They are set free in a fight-or-flight situation or in an emergency to ensure our survival. Think of a situation where a car suddenly swerves in front of you and almost crashes into you. In such a situation, you have certainly seen your heart begin to race, you breathe heavily, and you react very quickly.

Adrenaline and noradrenaline ensure that your brain as well as your arms and legs are quickly supplied with glucose and oxygen - precisely where energy is most needed in such a situation. In order for these substances to be quickly available to your brain and muscles, your heart and breathing rates increase and your blood pressure rises.

Long-term stress hormone: cortisol

Cortisol is the long-term stress hormone. The level increases when you suffer from chronic stress. Essentially, the hormone is responsible for regulating the rest of the body's functions in response to this stress, i.e. blood sugar levels and metabolism, the immune system, blood pressure, etc.

Some degree of stress is quite normal. Therefore, the cortisol level peaks during the day and then falls towards the evening and night. However, if you suffer from chronic stress, your cortisol level is higher than normal and therefore does not drop as much in the evening as it should.

The adrenal fatigue

If you stare at a screen twelve hours a day, you get a headache and, over time, your eyesight deteriorates. Why? Because you've overused your eyes by putting so much strain on them.

It is the same with your adrenal glands. When you are constantly under stress, you overuse your adrenal glands, causing their function to deteriorate. After a while, they can no longer produce enough cortisol, leaving you dependent on stimulants to get through the day. These include coffee, tea, sugary foods or lots of carbohydrates that give you the energy you need for the day.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue

Before we get into the long list of symptoms, it's important to understand the basic concepts:


The adrenal glands perform a variety of tasks; the production of stress hormones is just one of them. However, if you are constantly suffering from stress, the brain sends a signal to the adrenal glands. All energy then flows into the production of the stress hormones. This means that other hormones are neglected. These include, for example, sex hormones, i.e. estrogen and testosterone. It so happens that excessive stress can affect your libido, and even fertility PMS symptoms affects.

The adrenal glands then use pregnenolone and progesterone to produce cortisol instead of converting them into sex hormones or hormones that affect the aging process (DHEA).


An important function of stress hormones is to release glucose as a source of energy. This causes the blood sugar level to rise. From an evolutionary point of view, this makes sense: if our ancestors had to flee from a tiger, they could use that extra dose of glucose. This gave them the energy they needed to save their lives. Nowadays, however, that "tiger" is an important meeting or deadline to meet. As a result, the extra portion of glucose or the released energy is not used efficiently. After all, we sit at the desk all day. Instead, it keeps our blood sugar levels high, which is too increased cravings for food, weight gain, and irritability leads.


Cortisol affects the sleep hormone melatonin. The latter cannot be produced as long as the cortisol level does not drop in the evening. If you are stressed, think about a lot or work in the evening, cortisol prevents you from falling asleep. That leads to sleep disorders.

Do you see how a disorder in one hormone affects the entire body?

If you're not sure whether you fall into the three categories above, check out the following list of the most common symptoms. If you're suffering from most of these, alarm bells should be ringing for you.

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  • Sensitive to bright light
  • Brittle nails
  • Tightness in the throat ("lump in the throat")
  • Unable to deal with stressful events
  • Mood swings; Tendency to cry easily
  • Difficulty relaxing
  • Feeling of tension in the neck, head and shoulder area beyond the normal range
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Recurring infections (you get sick all the time.)
  • Low libido
  • Brain dysfunction, problems remembering things
  • a headache
  • Cravings for salty or sugary foods
  • Allergies
  • Blood sugar disorders
  • Frequent urination in the middle of the night
  • Weight gain
  • Digestive problems

Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

By now it should be clear that the main cause of adrenal fatigue is stress. It's not just emotional stress that affects your adrenal glands. What follows is a list of underlying causes that overload your body and reduce its ability to respond appropriately to stressful events.

Causes of adrenal fatigue are:

  • A high-carbohydrate diet, including lots of sugar, white flour, and processed grains
  • For the digestion or metabolism of sugar, the body needs certain B vitamins, some vitamin C and some trace elements in order to be able to absorb and use the energy.
  • These are exactly the same nutrients that are important for healthy adrenal glands.
  • coffee
  • Pick-me-ups give us an artificial boost by triggering the release of stress hormones. For someone with adrenal fatigue, this worsens the situation dramatically and creates a vicious circle.
  • nicotine
  • alcohol
  • Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides
  • Traces of toxic ingredients that accumulate over time and disrupt the body's hormonal balance. Once one hormone is compromised, it affects everyone else.
  • Heavy metals
  • Preservatives, additives, artificial colors
  • Insufficient sleep
  • Little sleep leads to a greater need for stimulants, poor nutrition, and too little time for the adrenal glands (and the rest of the body) to recover and renew.

Test your adrenal function

You can easily tell if you have Adrenal Fatigue by using the list of symptoms as a guide. If you are feeling burned out in general, this is also a sign. For a more accurate test, you will need a blood pressure monitor. If you don't have one, contact a pharmacy.

A normal blood pressure is 120/80. When you stand up, the systolic pressure (120) should increase ten points, i.e. 130/80. However, if it goes below 120, it means your adrenal glands are not working as they should. (2)

Take the following steps:

  1. Lie down and rest for five minutes.
  2. Measure your blood pressure and write down the result.
  3. Stand up and take your blood pressure again immediately. Make a note of the result.

Ideally, you should repeat the test two to three times to confirm the result. If your systolic pressure has stayed at 120 or has decreased slightly, you will find the following information useful.

Treatment of adrenal fatigue

Lifestyle tips:

Surprise! The most effective way to treat Adrenal Fatigue is effective stress management and enough time to relax. Before we give you a long list of suggestions, let's show you two methods that have been found to be extremely effective. It only takes a few minutes and you can do it right away.

Progressive relaxation

  • Lie on your back on a yoga mat or on your bed.
  • Tense a muscle group for a second or two and then relax again.
  • Systematically tense all muscle groups (i.e. face, neck, shoulders, arms, etc. - from top to bottom).
  • Repeat this two to three times.

Deep breathing

  • Find a comfortable and quiet place and sit down.
  • Spread your feet a little apart. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
  • Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
  • Inhale as you count to four - hold your breath and count to two - and exhale as you count to six.
  • Feel your stomach rise and fall.
  • Repeat as many times as necessary.

Stress Relief Ideas

  • Go for a walk during breaks or take a long morning stroll.
  • Meditate yoga (if you are feeling drained, do yin yoga as opposed to power yoga)
  • Write a diary for five minutes each day. (Keep a gratitude diary to reduce fears.)
  • Take a few hours each week to do a hobby or something that interests you.
  • Start coloring pictures.
  • Work in the garden.
  • Treat yourself to a monthly massage.
  • Take a bath with essential oils, Epsom salts, or bath bombs.
  • Lose yourself in a novel.
  • Spend time with good friends.
  • If the gym is too strenuous for you, enroll in a dance class or go for a swim.
  • Don't do anything (Sounds crazy, doesn't it?)
  • Use essential oils:
    • Smell receptors in the body are connected to the limbic system in your head (responsible for how you feel). For this reason, aromatherapy is used for relaxation.
    • The following fragrances are great for reducing stress: lavender, vanilla, ylang-ylang, rose, chamomile and lemon balm.
    • Put a few drops in an atomizer, in your bath water, on your pillow or smell the fragrance straight from the bottle.

Diet for adrenal fatigue

3 herbs for adrenal fatigue

Certain herbs are known as adaptogens and help the body cope with stressful situations, increase stamina and endurance, and bring the body back into balance. Essentially, they help you recover from your burnout and prevent another one. The good thing about adaptogens is that they have been used for centuries, for example holy basil in India or ginseng in China.

If you want to try adaptogens for yourself, you can find them in capsule form in every health food store, as a powder for the smoothie, as a tincture to dissolve in water or as an herbal tea. Adaptogens should be taken in a specific cycle so that they can take full effect. For example, an adaptogen can be taken for 3 months and then discontinued for 1 month.

The following are the three adaptogens most recommended based on clinical studies:

1) Ashwagandha

  • Use a high quality ashwagandha extract that has been shown to be effective against stress and adaptogenic.
  • One study found a significant decrease in anxiety, cortisol, blood pressure and C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
  • Dosage: 125-250 mg daily

2) Rhodiola

  • Creates better relaxation and is effective against anxiety
  • In one study, patients said that their general performance and ability to concentrate improved. In addition, the cortisol response was reduced after getting up.
  • Daily dose: 360 to 600 mg with 1% rosavin standardized extract; 180 to 300 mg for 2% rosavin, 100 to 200 mg for 3.6% rosavin

3) Ginseng (Siberian and Panax)

  • Studies show that both types significantly reduce stress and anxiety. In one study, a group of nurses who took ginseng reported that their performance improved - they were more attentive and yet significantly calmer.
  • Use Siberian ginseng for mild to moderate stress. If you are under a lot of stress, take the more effective Panax Ginseng.
  • Daily dose: 2-4 ml, 1-3 times a day (liquid), 250-500 mg, 1-3 times a day (powder extract in capsules)

Recommended nutrients for adrenal fatigue

The first step to a balanced diet for adrenal fatigue is simply to eat real, whole foods, with a special focus on fresh fruits and vegetables. Eliminate fast food, caffeine, and processed foods from your diet as much as possible.

Next, make sure you have adequate intake of certain nutrients that are important for healthy adrenal glands. The following nutrients aid in the production of hormones in the adrenal glands. Especially in stressful times, there is a deficiency that you have to compensate:

1. vitamin C

  • Contained in: papaya, pineapple, strawberries, peppers, broccoli, oranges
  • Dosage as a dietary supplement: 1000 mg daily (or up to 5-6 g daily in smaller units)

2. Vitamin B5

  • Contained in: legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, salmon, sweet potatoes, tomatoes
  • Dosage as a dietary supplement: B-100 Complex daily

3. Vitamin B6

  • Contained in: turkey, grass-fed beef, avocado, pistachios, pinto beans
  • Dosage as a dietary supplement: B-100 Complex daily

4. zinc

  • Contains: pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, garlic, sesame seeds, chickpeas
  • Dosage as a dietary supplement: 15-30 mg

5. magnesium

  • Contains: dark leafy vegetables, avocado, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, bananas, almonds
  • Dosage as a dietary supplement: Magnesium bisglycinate 200 mg daily

If you have a mild or moderate form of adrenal fatigue, care should be taken to consume more foods that contain these nutrients. In the case of more serious illnesses or to fill up a clear deficiency, dietary supplements together with the corresponding foods are recommended.

How to get started

If you are experiencing the symptoms mentioned in this article, start with the easiest method - give yourself a break. Slow down a little and take more time to relax. Put your to-do list aside for a moment and take the time to identify your body's warning signs: a lump in your throat or that you don't feel rested in the morning. See these symptoms as warning signs to slow down your life.

The first steps are to recognize the situation and slow down your life. Only then can you focus on building a healthier lifestyle. It takes time for new habits to become commonplace. It is therefore advisable to take dietary supplements to fill up empty stores in the body.This creates a good starting point for you to build on.


Sources (in English):

Allen, L. V. Jr. (2013, January-February). Adrenal fatigue, International Journal of Pharmaceutical Compounding, 17(1):39-44 

Bonnecaze, A. K., Reynolds, P. & Burns, C. A. (2017, December). Stress-Dosed Glucocorticoids and Mineralocorticoids Before Intensive Endurance Exercise in Primary Adrenal Insufficiency. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: Official Journal of the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine, 19, doi: 10.1097 / JSM.0000000000000540

Hahner, S. & Allolio, B. (2005, November). Management of adrenal insufficiency in different clinical settings. Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy, 6 (14): 2407-17, doi: 10.1517 / 14656566.6.14.2407

Gatta, B. & Tabarin, A. (2006, September). [Adrenal insufficiency]. La revue du practicien, 56 (13): 1465-72; quiz 1498

Oelkers, W., Diederich, S. & Bähr, V. (2001, April). Therapeutic strategies in adrenal insufficiency. Annales d'endocrinology, 62(2):212-6