During the holidays, it’s common to feel exhausted and struggle with a lack of productivity due to fatigue. While traditional medicine does not recognize adrenal fatigue as a legitimate condition, some alternative practitioners believe it occurs when the adrenal glands function below their necessary level.
Fatigue Can Be Overcome
Stress from daily activities can put a strain on the adrenal glands, making them less able to manage stress hormones such as cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. This is often linked to stress and can occur after chronic infections like flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia. Although there is no officially recognized test for adrenal fatigue and symptoms can be general, it is important to rule out other conditions, such as depression, fibromyalgia, or hypothyroidism, first. Improving one’s diet can be beneficial.
Tulsi, also known as holy basil, is a plant native to India that is frequently used in traditional Indian medicine. This adaptogen may help to alleviate an overworked fight-or-flight stress response that can put a strain on the adrenal glands. A recent study found that consuming a cup daily for four weeks helped to reduce stress response and improve chronic exhaustion levels among participants.
Some Herbs May Reduce Fatigue
People who often crave sugar or salt in the mid-afternoon should know that this could be a sign that their body is compensating for sluggish adrenals that cannot produce enough energizing hormones. Eating apple slices with plain peanut butter before the typical crash can help. A study conducted on mice found that protein may improve adrenal function when the body is under stress. While apples do not have a significant amount of protein, peanut butter is also a good source of protein, and the fruit is a great source of fiber to pair with it.
People who are feeling ready to go to bed long before their usual bedtime should consider engaging in a hobby such as scrapbooking, knitting, or doodling. Not only can this soothe the adrenal glands, but it is also beneficial to stimulate creativity. A study found that participants who engaged in art-making experienced a significant reduction in their cortisol levels. While cortisol is important for overall health, high levels can cause harmful symptoms such as fatigue.
Adrenal glands that are exhausted can get a person wired and tired, which can cause fatigue and difficulty in sleeping. One possible solution is ashwagandha. This herb may help to calm overworked adrenal glands and lower the production of cortisol, which can disrupt sleep. A study deemed ashwagandha a natural compound with the potential to induce sleep, particularly for those with insomnia.