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So your stressful life has contributed to sleeping issues? You have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue or all at the very least the symptoms seem to fit. Your energy levels have dropped off significantly over the years and it’s especially problematic during afternoons.

 

Fatigued Coffee

The best remedy combines B-vitamins, magnesium, adaptogenic herbs and critical amino acids like GABA. However, there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue. Unless you have Addison’s disease, your adrenal glands are working as intended. It’s the signaling upstream that is the problem.

Adrenal glands don’t excessively secrete cortisol to the point where they can’t produce unless damaged. This is the finding by the vast majority of scientific research. So why do adrenal fatigue support formulations work? It’s because the effective formulas are resetting the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) just as the vitamins, minerals and herbs previously mentioned.

Why is this distinction important? If only your cortisol levels are tested a patient can get a false negative for “adrenal fatigue” or worse. Then the patient is given cortisol that might exacerbate the situation. This is one more reason to always choose well-formulated herbal based supplements rather than synthetic stimulating or suppressing cortisol drugs.

Cortisol plays a critical role in sleep, stress and inflammation. Our cortisol levels should be highest when we first awake so we are alert and then it tapers off quickly. When perceived stress or chronic inflammation occurs, cortisol secretion is initiated. During times of stress it boosts our system in a threatening situation. Where there is chronic inflammation, cortisol reduces the inflammatory response to protect us from the aging process. Unfortunately sleep is interrupted when cortisol is secreted anytime other than early in the day.

There are four triggers causing HPA axis imbalance between these three glands mistakenly referred to as, “adrenal fatigue,” according to Dr. Thomas Guilliams, an expert the field of Molecular Immunology.

  1. Perceived stress.
  2. Inflammation primarily in the gut caused by small bacteria or candida overgrowth.
  3. Sugar dysregulation.
  4. Circadian dysregulation.

While this topic deserves a deeper dive, the important takeaway is that the HPA axis includes a set of neurotransmitters with self-regulating feedback loops. When the body isn’t in balanced, the pathways either no longer result in cortisol secretion or the cells become cortisol insensitive like a diabetic in the presence of too much insulin. This is the body’s system of checks and balances.

To address the four triggers, incorporate stress-reducing behaviors like meditation, yoga, essential oils and supplements. Begin by reducing inflammation in the gut by eating a healthy diet reducing sugar and eliminating rancid vegetable oils. Try to get outside and take in natural light and stay away from your computer screen late at night.

If you consistently struggle from low energy, crave sweet & salty foods, have trouble concentrating and experience dizzy spells; it’s possible you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue. The adrenals are small glands located above the kidneys which are involved in hormone production. They play a huge role in our stress response and over time can become fatigued if we’re not managing our diet and lifestyle well or constantly exposed to stress. To overcome adrenal fatigue it’s important to eliminate highly processed foods, sugar & caffeine. Instead try to nourish the body with healthy fats such as avocados & nuts, oily fish such as salmon and lots of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. Lifestyle changes such as reducing stress & consistently getting lots of sleep are important. Using essential oils can also be a great way to support the adrenal glands in a natural way and speed up recovery time. Here are the top 5 essential oils for adrenal fatigue:

Basil

Basil’s regenerative and stimulant properties make it an uplifting essential oil that helps to wake up the body. Applying it topically to the bottom of the feet each morning and evening is a good way to experience the benefits consistently. Basil can help to energise the mind so is an ideal oil to diffuse in a room if struggling with forgetfulness or mental fatigue.

Grapefruit

Fresh & detoxifying, grapefruit is another essential oil that can prove really helpful for adrenal fatigue. Mixing it with basil & applying it topically over the adrenals will help support over worked adrenal glands. Grapefruit can also be added to water or placed in a vegetable capsules which will also help combat the sugar cravings that often come with fatigue.

Geranium

Regenerative and strengthening, Geranium is often used to support organs such as the liver and kidneys and to help hormonal conditions such as PMS. Applying Geranium over the abdomen or taking it internally helps to support adrenals and to balance hormones. It is also a good oil to help balance emotions and a nice floral oil that is ideal for diffusing.

Rosemary

Often used for combating fatigue, Rosemary is a great essential oil to use alongside Basil to support the adrenal glands in recovering. Muscle weakness and tension is often reported as one of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Applying Rosemary topically can also help to ease the pain of sore or stiff muscles. Diffusing Rosemary can help combat mental fatigue and improve memory & concentration.

Wild Orange

A popular recommendation for combating stress, Wild Orange essential oil is incredibly uplifting and energising. It can help with concentration and inhaling it is a good way to improve your mood and at the same time reduce stress levels. Wild orange can also help with insomnia and improving the quality of your sleep is an important way to aid recovery from adrenal fatigue.

 

When selecting essential oils it’s important to choose 100% pure essential oils for the safest and most effective health benefits. Only certified pure therapeutic grade oils should be taken internally or used neat on the skin. Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil if applying topically to children.

Essential oils can be used aromatically to affect mood and open airways; topically for quick absorption into the body through the skin, and internally for immune & digestive support.

Essential oils are a great way to improve your health easily and quickly. Drop me a line if you’d like to learn more about using essential oils or where to purchase 100% pure oils.…

caroline@honestabouthealth.com