[Holistic Squid's note: While I love me a good latte, all the coffee in the world can't make up for the deep fatigue that comes from a chronic lack of rest combined with too much go-go-go. Ready to feel better? In this post, Jaclyn walks us through some easy ways to treat adrenal fatigue NOW…]
Hey mom… yeah you: the one who is totally exhausted… cranky with your kids… and in no mood for romance.
Your blood sugar is going haywire and you feel like you're always starving…or like you'll gnaw your arm off if your next meal doesn't appear stat.
But you have a family to take care of. And that meal? It isn't going to make itself.
You've got to find a way to keep your head above water long enough to get three square meals on the table, keep laundry and dishes done, take a shower and brush your teeth daily (if you're lucky), and maybe even work a job outside (or inside) the home.
Forget about getting to use the bathroom without an audience.
You want to feel better, but exhaustion feels like a normal part of life. I know, because I thought so too.
It can get better and you don't have to be SO tired. Being extremely tired all the time is a symptom of more than motherhood… it may actually be a symptom of adrenal fatigue. The good news is, there are lots of easy ways to treat adrenal fatigue.
First, what are adrenals?
The adrenals are two small glands responsible for regulating your response to stress, producing sex hormones, and managing your sleep/wake cycle and energy levels. When they begin to struggle, thyroid problems can develop, weight gain is inevitable, and disease can set in.
Adrenal fatigue can be caused by poor diet, chronic infection, stress, and poor sleep habits.
Nine easy ways to treat adrenal fatigue NOW
There are lots of things you can do to heal and protect your adrenal glands, and many of them are easy, inexpensive fixes. Below, I'll give you nine things you can start doing now to feel better.
#1 – Fix your diet
The single most important thing I've done to support my adrenals is cutting sugars, including all grains, refined sugars, and high carb/ starchy foods. Cutting out foods that cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash eliminates that stress on the adrenals.
The adrenal glands may become stressed due to infections such as candida or fungus, viral infections like Epstein Barr, or even bacterial infections like Lyme disease, so eliminating sugary, starchy foods that feed pathogens is an important step to healing.
If you are just switching over to healthier foods, take baby steps to cleaner eating: cut out the most toxic ingredients like artificial colors, sweeteners, and preservatives, then hydrogenated oils, high fructose corn syrup and MSG, and go on from there to whole grain, gluten-free, and reduced-sugar eating.
#2 – Have good #2s
If you are struggling with pathogen overload (which is a strong possibility if you have adrenal fatigue), it becomes crucial to make sure your body can properly eliminate toxins.
First and foremost, make sure you are using the bathroom daily. Consider taking a supplement like Natural Calm if you are struggling with constipation.
Additionally, cleansing your bowels, liver, gallbladder and blood can be accomplished with coffee enemas, one of the best detoxification methods you can use at home.
#3 – Do fat bombs
Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, author of Gut and Psychology Syndrome, says, “One of the major functions of adrenals is maintaining our blood sugar level, so people with exhausted adrenals often have unstable blood sugar levels manifesting with many unpleasant symptoms.
“I recommend making a mixture of raw butter or coconut oil with some raw honey: get the butter soft at room temperature and mix a little honey according to your taste. Put this mixture into a glass jar and carry that jar with you everywhere. Eat 1-2 teaspoons every 15-20 minutes all day long.
“This mixture will maintain your blood sugar at a normal level and help your adrenals recover… Usually it takes 2-8 weeks of eating this mixture for a person with unstable blood sugar to recover, providing that they follow the GAPS Diet.” (source)
#4 – Drink sole water
Pronounced “solay,” sole water has been instrumental in helping me to recover from my own adrenal fatigue. It's made from just water and high-quality salt, which is rich in minerals.
Minerals are essential for every function in the body, including blood sugar stabilization, hormone production, and detoxification.
To make sole water, fill a quart-sized jar with 1 cup pink salt and 3 cups filtered water; let sit over night. I started with one teaspoon in a full glass of water every morning on an empty stomach and now take 4-5 teaspoons in the morning and another couple of teaspoons in the afternoon.
I leave my jar of sole water out on the counter at all times and add a little salt and water to it from time to time. If you'd like to read more about the benefits of good salt, check out this post.
#5 – Try iodine painting
Iodine deficiency can lead to poor thyroid function. Because the thyroid and adrenal glands are codependent, you must support the thyroid in order to treat adrenal fatigue. Painting iodine on your skin can be a simple and effective way to support your thyroid and adrenal health.
I use Lugol's 2% iodine and paint a palm-sized amount on my inner thigh at bed time. I have learned that if the patch is gone by morning, I am deficient and need to paint more.
#6 – Avoid blue lights after 7pm
The blue light from devices like cell phones, computers and televisions suppress the natural production of melatonin (the sleep hormone), disrupting the circadian rhythm. As you begin to wind your day down and the sun is setting, you can support your body's ability to create melatonin by avoiding these artificial light sources.
Invest in a pair of inexpensive blue light blocking glasses to prevent light-induced melatonin suppression for times when you use electronics at night.
#7 – Get to sleep by 10 (and take a nap)
When we stay up too late, we miss our body's cue to drift into restful sleep and our rhythm gets thrown off. By 10:30 you should be asleep; turning the lights out by 10 pm should allow plenty of time to become relaxed before falling into a good, deep sleep. For more severe adrenal fatigue, going to sleep as early as 9 pm may be beneficial.
Resting during the day can be healing and beneficial as well. If your body is telling you it needs a rest, honor that need and find a way to grab a little shut eye.
#8 – Try supplements
Ashwagandha – an ayurvedic herb that helps to balance hormones, increase energy and mitochondrial health, and improve neurological health, as well as help to balance blood sugar, improve gut health, and more. (source)
Liver – if you don't love eating liver, you can take it in supplement form. Liver is a rich source of b12 (the energy vitamin), plus it supports liver health, which is necessary for proper elimination of toxins. (Read about some easy ways to get liver into your diet here.)
Magnesium – a crucial mineral, magnesium is vital to every function in your body. I eat magnesium rich foods, but due to today's depleted soils, it is harder than every to get a sufficient supply from food alone, so I take Epsom salt baths and supplement with both magnesium l-threonate, and a magnesium oil spray.
#9 – Take extra tender care of yourself
While you are recovering, it's important to take care of yourself. Allowing yourself to become too tired and run down is what got you into this mess in the first place (ask me how I know). It's hard as a mom to put your needs first, but you have to make a purposeful effort to take care of your own health so that you can better take care of your family.
By implementing these small tasks into your daily routine and making your own needs a priority, you can begin feeling better and your family will be glad you are as you experience less mood swings and crankiness, better energy, and more focus and mental clarity.
A happy, healthy mom is a goal the whole family can get behind!
Be sure to share this post for your friends who may also be experiencing adrenal fatigue.
When Jaclyn became a mom more than eight years ago, health food was the last thing on her mind, but when her oldest son began to struggle with behavioral disorders, she dove in headfirst to begin learning about how to live and eat naturally. When she began to focus on paleo and GAPS diet foods, her son's behavior began to improve, her children were healed of eczema and digestive problems, and her own thyroid disorder was healed. Today, she blogs about raising her four boys to be happy and healthy at The Family That Heals Together.