Chronic physical or emotional stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, a condition that results in lowered amounts of several hormones. Adrenal fatigue can leave you too tired to work out or even carry on with daily activities, which is why many people look for alternative treatment methods. Manufacturers offer a number of adrenal fatigue supplements, but are they effective? Let’s find out.
Reasons for Taking Supplements
Herbalists and Eastern medicine practitioners have long recognized the value of certain vitamins and herbal supplements for maintaining and improving adrenal health. Western health care providers are now realizing the benefits as well, and are advising their patients to take adrenal fatigue supplements instead of harmful medications that might cause unwanted side effects. Furthermore, emerging science that shows a declining amount of nutrients in our food has gained the medical community’s attention, making it more likely that doctors will prescribe vitamins and minerals rather than prescription drugs.
There are numerous adrenal fatigue supplements on the market, but some of the most commonly-used ones include:
- Magnesium – According to fitness coach Vanessa Bennington, the “set point” at which your adrenals kick in is much lower whenever you are magnesium deficient. Stress, a leading factor in adrenal fatigue, can also cause you to lose more magnesium than necessary through the kidneys, thereby compounding the problem.
- Ashwaghanda – Popular in Ayurvedic medicine, this adaptogenic herb improves stamina and relieves stress. Numerous studies also show it is effective at reducing depression and maximizing thyroid function.
- Siberian Ginseng – This herb boosts energy levels and increases stamina, which is why it is often used by Russian Olympic athletes.
- Rhodiola Rosea – Often used in Scandinavia, this supplement improves circulation, causing an increase in cortisol (a hormone that helps you manage stress) production.
Two adrenal fatigue supplements that should be used with caution are maca root and licorice root. Maca root helps balance hormones, but also acts as a stimulant and may therefore cause those with advanced cases to become overstimulated. Licorice root is known to raise the blood pressure, so you should avoid using it if you have hypertension.
Other Treatment Methods
You must do more than just take adrenal fatigue supplements if you are to manage this condition properly. Some other things doctors often recommend include:
- Eating a healthy diet that includes little caffeine, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or processed food. Add as many nutrient-dense foods as you can, particularly ones such as nuts, avocado, and seeds that contain healthy fats.
- Eliminating stress.
- Exercising daily, but do not overdo it. A study performed at Texas A&M University shows that Overtraining Syndrome (OS) produces chronic stress and might therefore lead to adrenal insufficiency.
- Getting enough sleep each night and taking naps throughout the day if you feel tired.
If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, the lack of energy can affect nearly every area of your life, not to mention the fact that exercising and getting in great shape will become more difficult. Taking supplements along with making certain changes in your lifestyle can help you better manage this condition, and eventually reverse symptoms.