3

votes

Healing Adrenal Fatigue the Paleo way

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 28, 2010 at 12:15 AM

I have just found out that I have some problems with my adrenals, luckily not to the point of Addison's Disease but still they are under-performing. According to testing, my thyroid is fine, so luckily I don't have to worry about this, but when it comes to helping my adrenals recover I am looking for advice. I don't want to follow the CW diet advice (which, naturally, involves several small meals a day and whole grains), so I was hoping that someone could give me some anecdotal accounts of paleo eating and making an improvement with this lifestyle. I don't have such a severe deficiency that I need to take medication, but I also don't want this to degenerate into a full-blown disease. Of course, "adrenal fatigue" isn't recognized as a disease or syndrome by most doctors, and I don't want to get to where they decide I have one! I have no problems with the other advice (stop with the caffeine, bedtimes, etc) but I need help with the food! Is just a paleo/primal lifestyle enough, or is there anything I should add? Any other advice?

Thanks in advance!

5b9a25a1a676397a25579dfad59e1d7b

(2318)

on September 30, 2013
at 03:50 PM

I thought I had adrenal fatigue. This article struck me: http://gokaleo.com/2013/01/25/adrenal-fatigue-as-a-cover-for-starvation/ ... not sure if this is the case with you but it's interesting none the less.

17ddb44b8762b37bcf0c7706cb2fbc78

(0)

on September 10, 2013
at 02:00 AM

Hey Bobby, I have not used this site before and am not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this. However, I would love to hear more about your experience with adrenal fatigue and its relation to running. I am a very serious runner and have had some issues myself (not sure if they are adrenal related). Would be great to hear about your symptoms, how you knew you had it and what type of running you were doing. Thanks, man!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 08, 2011
at 06:19 AM

Haig! I wan't to know what going no-caffine was like for you?

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on August 01, 2011
at 11:43 AM

Wondering if anyone can recommend an adrenal supplement that is gluten free. Lady, do you remember your brand?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 01, 2011
at 04:21 AM

I never took the "no coffee" thing seriously and never gave it up completely. Probably wasted about a year of my life because of this. I've had adrenal problems. I'm two weeks into no coffee and it's such a difference. jeeze

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 11, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Total agreement. All those things worked for me. The hardest part was backing off on the number of days I exercised a week. Too much exercise can be as bad (or worse) then not enough.

30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

(165)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:47 AM

I cannot tell you how happy I was when I saw that I could eat as much salt as I have ALWAYS craved. I have had low blood pressure as long as I can remember, and I've always craved salt. Being told that it was not only okay to eat as much as I wanted, but that I actually should was one of the few things that made me feel good about this! I've always wondered what was wrong with me that I craved salt all the time, and now I know. I'm really looking forward to playing with the different kinds of salt!

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 30, 2010
at 04:43 PM

Thank you for responding. I'm very familiar with the Jaminet's theory about that, but what I'm wondering is if you have direct experience in feeling better with more carbohydrate and feeling worse with none or if this is speculation.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 29, 2010
at 06:49 AM

My speculation is that on long-term VLC/ZC the body becomes too dependent on gluconeogensis which strains system. Glycogen depletion also a problem if involved in regular intense exercise. Body becomes fatigued, and infrequent 'carb reloading' doesn't help and actually makes things worse since the body is not prepared to handle that level of glucose. I settled on 50-75g/day carbs from veggies & sweet potatoes, but some days I'll go as low as 20g or as high as 150g just from how the day's eating and exercise works out. Check perfecthealthdiet.com for great info along these lines.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 28, 2010
at 11:29 PM

Haig, can you elaborate on how you knew that avoiding VLC/ZC was helpful? Did you feel better when adding sweet potatoes? I tend to feel a strong inverse relationship between carb intake and energy levels, but I haven't tried, for example, just meat and sweet potato.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on December 28, 2010
at 06:20 PM

I second Bobby's answer, sea salt is excellent for the adrenals. I've seen several sites, including this one: http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2010/08/adrenal-fatigue-tips-use-sea-salt-to.html recommend supplementing with sea salt either by salting all food to taste (apparently, the more you need it, the more you crave the taste, and the healthier you are, the less you need) or actually using it as a supplement in your water, or both. If you do this, you need a high quality, unrefined sea salt- preferably Celtic sea salt, or Himalayan pink, or some other sea salt with color to it.

Dd78061776671a12054e17c660aee14a

(259)

on December 28, 2010
at 11:59 AM

If you are looking to supplement your diet to help with adrenal fatigue, you may want to add more sea salt. This will help balance sodium at the cellular level - most people with adrenal fatigue are sodium deficient (I think). Get a good quality sea salt and salt your food to taste.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on December 28, 2010
at 08:21 AM

& maintain a normal sleep schedule.

30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

(165)

on December 28, 2010
at 04:32 AM

I just started a routine of Vitamin D, fish oils (for the Omega 3) and an adrenal supplement. I don't remember the brand, but it's gluten free (which is a necessity for me) and contains dried bovine adrenals. I am looking into which supplements for B vitamins and magnesium, as well as a general mixed vitamin since I know I am running short. But thanks for the list - I've been looking for something like that!

30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

(165)

on December 28, 2010
at 04:27 AM

I'm slowly phasing out caffeine (only one iced tea today!) and I've stopped skipping breakfast. I'm relaxing as much as my job lets me (I'm a teacher on break right now). I'm not consciously on a calorie deficit, but I'm not going to over eat either. As for LC, I'm just sticking where my body tells me. I'd say it's more moderate carb, but my blood sugar is under control which is the reason behind the "eat frequent" thing from what I see. I'm just hoping to recover from this relatively quickly! :)

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8 Answers

15
3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 28, 2010
at 01:13 AM

Speaking from experience, the important factors for me to avoid, in order of importance, were:

  1. Caffeine (completely eliminate it from diet)
  2. Fasting (stick to 3 meals/day for now then reintroduce IF later if you want)
  3. Overexertion and Stress (rest, relax, and recover)
  4. VLC/ZC (Get more than just the minimum carbs from good sources like sweet potatoes)
  5. Prolonged caloric deficit (When trying to lose fat, I now 'zig-zag' by alternating lower-calorie and higher-calorie days)

Stay Paleo by not eating the most harmful neolithic poisons, but adjust the other variables like macronutrients, exercise, etc. as you see fit by listening to your body for feedback.

30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

(165)

on December 28, 2010
at 04:27 AM

I'm slowly phasing out caffeine (only one iced tea today!) and I've stopped skipping breakfast. I'm relaxing as much as my job lets me (I'm a teacher on break right now). I'm not consciously on a calorie deficit, but I'm not going to over eat either. As for LC, I'm just sticking where my body tells me. I'd say it's more moderate carb, but my blood sugar is under control which is the reason behind the "eat frequent" thing from what I see. I'm just hoping to recover from this relatively quickly! :)

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on December 28, 2010
at 08:21 AM

& maintain a normal sleep schedule.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 30, 2010
at 04:43 PM

Thank you for responding. I'm very familiar with the Jaminet's theory about that, but what I'm wondering is if you have direct experience in feeling better with more carbohydrate and feeling worse with none or if this is speculation.

3020fb359dfbedaf90f1611b036d3432

(1138)

on December 29, 2010
at 06:49 AM

My speculation is that on long-term VLC/ZC the body becomes too dependent on gluconeogensis which strains system. Glycogen depletion also a problem if involved in regular intense exercise. Body becomes fatigued, and infrequent 'carb reloading' doesn't help and actually makes things worse since the body is not prepared to handle that level of glucose. I settled on 50-75g/day carbs from veggies & sweet potatoes, but some days I'll go as low as 20g or as high as 150g just from how the day's eating and exercise works out. Check perfecthealthdiet.com for great info along these lines.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on December 28, 2010
at 11:29 PM

Haig, can you elaborate on how you knew that avoiding VLC/ZC was helpful? Did you feel better when adding sweet potatoes? I tend to feel a strong inverse relationship between carb intake and energy levels, but I haven't tried, for example, just meat and sweet potato.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 01, 2011
at 04:21 AM

I never took the "no coffee" thing seriously and never gave it up completely. Probably wasted about a year of my life because of this. I've had adrenal problems. I'm two weeks into no coffee and it's such a difference. jeeze

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 08, 2011
at 06:19 AM

Haig! I wan't to know what going no-caffine was like for you?

6
Dd78061776671a12054e17c660aee14a

(259)

on December 28, 2010
at 05:47 PM

If you are looking to supplement your diet to help with adrenal fatigue, you may want to add more sea salt. This will help balance sodium at the cellular level - most people with adrenal fatigue are sodium deficient (I think). Get a good quality sea salt and salt your food to taste.

I think using a good quality sea salt is important, as adding regular table salt to your diet might not have the same beneficial effects. Refined table salt is altered chemically by the refining process and is ~98% sodium vs. unrefined sea salt which is ~85% sodium with the other 15% being trace elements and minerals that are good for health.

I don't think adding more sea salt to your diet will be the end-all, be-all cure for your adrenal fatigue, but it could be an important part of healing your condition in a paleo way.

I have experienced adrenal fatigue (as a distance runner), and when looking for ways to combat it I realized that I was still scared of salt in my diet and consuming very little. I think low sodium intake coupled with too much running and not enough sleep is what lead to my adrenal fatigue. I have since increased my salt intake a lot (I'm not sodium sensitive and have no problems with blood pressure) and am slowly feeling better.

30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

(165)

on December 31, 2010
at 05:47 AM

I cannot tell you how happy I was when I saw that I could eat as much salt as I have ALWAYS craved. I have had low blood pressure as long as I can remember, and I've always craved salt. Being told that it was not only okay to eat as much as I wanted, but that I actually should was one of the few things that made me feel good about this! I've always wondered what was wrong with me that I craved salt all the time, and now I know. I'm really looking forward to playing with the different kinds of salt!

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on December 28, 2010
at 06:20 PM

I second Bobby's answer, sea salt is excellent for the adrenals. I've seen several sites, including this one: http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2010/08/adrenal-fatigue-tips-use-sea-salt-to.html recommend supplementing with sea salt either by salting all food to taste (apparently, the more you need it, the more you crave the taste, and the healthier you are, the less you need) or actually using it as a supplement in your water, or both. If you do this, you need a high quality, unrefined sea salt- preferably Celtic sea salt, or Himalayan pink, or some other sea salt with color to it.

17ddb44b8762b37bcf0c7706cb2fbc78

(0)

on September 10, 2013
at 02:00 AM

Hey Bobby, I have not used this site before and am not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this. However, I would love to hear more about your experience with adrenal fatigue and its relation to running. I am a very serious runner and have had some issues myself (not sure if they are adrenal related). Would be great to hear about your symptoms, how you knew you had it and what type of running you were doing. Thanks, man!

4
B76f22ed4373946b3c8990b667562683

on December 28, 2010
at 02:53 AM

In addition to the avoidances mentioned by Haig (which are great!), I'd recommend dietary supplementation for adrenal support. This is not a long term solution, but rather something to help "jump-start" your adrenals by picking up some of the slack so that they can recover, having a long-term effect. Drenamin, produced by Standard Process, is a great supplement. It does contain a small amount of wheat germ, but since this is a short-term assistance, I think it can be overlooked.

If you disagree, though, and would rather not take such a supplement, I'd say get plenty of Vitamin C, all B vitamins, and Magnesium. Here is a more extensive list of vitamins, minerals, and herbals that will help with adrenal fatigue, explaining what each one does.

Dd78061776671a12054e17c660aee14a

(259)

on December 28, 2010
at 11:59 AM

If you are looking to supplement your diet to help with adrenal fatigue, you may want to add more sea salt. This will help balance sodium at the cellular level - most people with adrenal fatigue are sodium deficient (I think). Get a good quality sea salt and salt your food to taste.

30c294a878674535234b5b3720128efe

(165)

on December 28, 2010
at 04:32 AM

I just started a routine of Vitamin D, fish oils (for the Omega 3) and an adrenal supplement. I don't remember the brand, but it's gluten free (which is a necessity for me) and contains dried bovine adrenals. I am looking into which supplements for B vitamins and magnesium, as well as a general mixed vitamin since I know I am running short. But thanks for the list - I've been looking for something like that!

662a4ea915eb7c758bdd797d77ead7b6

(656)

on August 01, 2011
at 11:43 AM

Wondering if anyone can recommend an adrenal supplement that is gluten free. Lady, do you remember your brand?

3
22212e9ba2a041e6da6c963d4d41615a

(5773)

on December 28, 2010
at 11:06 AM

As mention coffee, sleep and less stess mentally and physically worked for me. And just simply sticking to the paleo lifestyle. Eat no grains, legumes, or dairy and get outside in the sun as much as possible.

Also, I did a ton of mindfulness meditation. If would pick up some books or cd's if interested. Stuff really works!

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 11, 2011
at 05:02 PM

Total agreement. All those things worked for me. The hardest part was backing off on the number of days I exercised a week. Too much exercise can be as bad (or worse) then not enough.

0
3b0721f7de8b69b4a4f83fc1b0f3dd0d

on August 21, 2013
at 04:23 PM

Tammi,

I cannot find the "Adrenal Life Support" anywhere. Who is it made by?

Blackjack. I have hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. Pregnenolone is the only thing you did to feel better?

Thank you!

0
B023a84cf6f4dd3e2469df99ab626346

on May 13, 2013
at 01:26 AM

I have nearly healed my adrenal fatigue and greatly improved body comp and hormones. via pregnenlone, thyroid, high carb (fruit sugar), gelatin,, 1-2 cups of coffee a day....

0
Ce661e5657878b2c5be22db7f90923dc

on May 13, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I know this post is a couple years old, but there is a very good product called Adrenal Life Support. I have been using it for some time, gluten/grain free, amazing stuff.

0
78b3689f6856d5ef1996671da8461a82

on August 01, 2011
at 03:53 AM

I tried Standard Process. They made me very tired. If you look at many of their vitamins there are quite a bit of grains in them.

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