Adrenal fatigue is a growing concern in our society. Constant stress from a variety of sources has led to greater occurrence of numerous issues such as fatigue, mood disorders, and unwanted weight fluctuations. Unfortunately, many are not aware that these issues are closely linked to adrenal fatigue.
Supplementation has been shown to be a powerful tool can help resolve adrenal issues. However, before discussing treatment it is important to understand the condition.
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
The adrenals are a pair of small, walnut-shaped glands that rest just above the kidneys. These glands influence numerous areas of health including weight management, energy level, mood, and stress response. The adrenals regulate these areas through the production of over 50 different hormones including estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. An imbalance of these and other adrenal hormones can result in widespread dysfunction.
Continuous dysfunction frequently results in adrenal fatigue and its associated symptoms:
- Anxiety disorders including ADD/ADHD and OCD
- Brain fog
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty handling stress
- Extreme fatigue that is not resolved with sleep
- Fluctuating energy level throughout the day
- Food sensitivities
- Mental alertness that inhibits sleep
- Muscle weakness
Adrenal fatigue is a long-lasting condition that is often overlooked and frequently goes untreated. When the body experiences regular or chronic stress, whether it be caused by toxic a work environment, unhealthy relationships, or unsafe physical exertion, the adrenals work hard to maintain bodily function by releasing greater and greater amounts of the stress hormone cortisol.
Cortisol is part of the body’s natural stress response and helps keep the body alert, energized, and physically active. These effects are beneficial but only at the appropriate time. Constant release of cortisol frequently causes more harm than good because the body is unable to relax and regenerate. If stress is constant, the body’s ceaseless demand for hormones causes the adrenals to become overworked and cortisol stores to be depleted. This is when the adrenals begin to crash and adrenal fatigue is fully established.
What’s the Answer?
To effectively resolve adrenal fatigue the adrenals must be restored through supportive regulatory action. Fortunately, there are naturally occurring substances and many helpful herbs that can be used to improve adrenal function and better balance cortisol.
Phosphatidylserine is a powerful phospholipid that inhibits cortisol production, and supports adrenal function. These effects help give the adrenals time to repair and return to normal function. Further benefits of phosphatidylserine include improved neurological function, sleep regularity, stress reduction, and neuroprotection. Phosphatidylserine does this by promoting protective neurotransmitter function. This helps prevent potential neurological damage and ushers our excess cortisol. These actions benefit adrenal activity by relieving much of the stress placed on it to produce additional cortisol.
L-theanine is an amino acid the supports adrenal function and promotes relaxation. L-theanine can be found in multiple naturally occurring substances such as teas, specifically green teas. L-theanine triggers the production of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. These chemicals are two of the primary reasons we feel happy and relaxed. Importantly, L-theanine prompts these sensations without causing drowsiness or fatigue. Additionally, theanine promotes alpha wave production, which increases alertness, concentration, and limits anxiousness without relying on cortisol.
Adrenal adaptogens have the impressive ability to normalize cortisol levels regardless if there is a deficiency or surplus. Therefore, adaptogenic supplements are an incredibly powerful way to support adrenal health and function. Ashwagandha and magnolia bark are two powerful adaptogens that greatly benefit adrenal balance and should be considered when treating adrenal fatigue.
The adaptogenic properties of ashwagandha support various areas, particularly cortisol regulation. Excess cortisol is a primary cause of sleep disruptions and inhibited sleep quality. Furthermore, as mentioned above, increased cortisol levels contribute to the development and perpetuation of adrenal fatigue. Ashwagandha can help prevent cortisol influence on neurological activity, which reduces stress and allows for better healing and repair.
Ashwagandha also benefits the following areas:
- Blood sugar regulation
- Immune function
- Knowledge acquisition
- Muscle growth
- Thyroid function
Because ashwagandha is non-stimulating, it can be taken in the evening without risk of interrupting sleep. The recommended dosage of ashwagandha ranges from 500-2000 milligrams depending on the degree of cortisol imbalance and individual tolerance level. Treatment duration can range significantly. It is not uncommon for patients with adrenal fatigue to remain on ashwagandha supplements for six months or more.
Magnolia bark, or magnolia officinalis, is a naturally occurring herb that supports healthy cortisol levels, particularly in the evening. Excess cortisol in one’s system during the evening hours can induce sensations of feeling wired but tired, where the mind is racing but the body feels exhausted. This is a primary problem with adrenal fatigue. Even though the body is exhausted, it cannot get the rest it needs to restore itself. Reducing cortisol levels relieves stress on the adrenals, thereby improving sleep quality and adrenal regeneration.
Some studies have shown that magnolia bark is more effective at reducing cortisol levels, and by extension stress and anxiety, than other common medications such as Ativan and Valium. Furthermore, magnolia bark has the benefit of being nonaddictive and does not cause significant side effects associated with other anxiety and mood medications.
Supporting the Adrenals with Supplements
Resolving adrenal fatigue cannot be done without adequate support. The substances mentioned above, provide a wide range of benefits that support adrenal function, neurotransmission, and healthy cortisol regulation. One of the best ways to incorporate these impactful elements into your treatment plan is by using HoltraCeuticals’ HPA Balance. This powerful product is a carefully prepared formulation adrenal adaptogens. The high-quality ingredients in HPA Balance help restore adrenal function and improve sleep quality, stress response, and energy level.
Appropriately supporting adrenal treatments with powerful supplements such as ashwagandha and L-theanine can lead to greater adrenal restoration and an improved quality of life.
1. How To Choose The Right Herbs For Your Adrenals. Dr. Christianson. https://drchristianson.com/how-to-choose-the-right-herbs-for-your-adrenals/
2. The Best Adrenal Fatigue Supplements + How to use them. RestartMed. https://www.restartmed.com/adrenal-fatigue-supplements/#tab-con-18
3. L-Theanine, Fatigue and Adrenal Support. Livestrong. https://www.livestrong.com/article/310267-l-theanine-fatigue-and-adrenal-support/
4. L-Theanine: Good For What Ails You and Your Neurotransmitters. Integrative Psychiatry. https://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/blog/ltheanine-good-for-what-ails-you-and-your-neurotransmitters/
5. What is Phosphatidylserine and What Does It Mean for Me?. Dr. Lam. https://www.drlam.com/blog/what-is-phosphatidylserine-and-what-does-it-mean-for-me/20914/