If you find yourself exhausted all the time, you might be wondering: What are the best supplements for adrenal fatigue? While it’s one thing to be tired after a long day, feeling fatigued every day for no apparent reason can be an indication of a larger problem. Could your symptoms be adrenal fatigue? The answer is complicated.
First of all, what are adrenal glands?
Adrenal glands are the tiny organs that sit on top of your kidneys, and they’re responsible for producing a handful of important hormones. Cortisol, aldosterone, DHEA and androgenic steroids, epinephrine, and norepinephrine all come from your adrenals. John Hopkins Medicine says that some hormones produced by your adrenals are responsible for reactions to stress and maintaining your immune system, while others regulate metabolism and blood pressure. All of these hormones play important roles in keeping your body healthy, so when you face adrenal insufficiency, or possibly adrenal fatigue, it’s easy to see why your body is exhausted.
What is adrenal fatigue?
According to Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, adrenal fatigue is your body’s response to too much stress, anxiety, and poor diet. He tells Woman’s World, “Adrenal fatigue is a very common medical condition that has some controversy surrounding it. A similar diagnosis, which is referred to as a kidney qi deficiency, has been around for nearly 4,000 years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM and Eastern medicine, practitioners don’t single out individual organs as much as they look at systems of the body and how they interact with each other and how they function when they are over-stressed. Emotions of fear and anxiety tax the adrenals, which can lead to adrenal fatigue, along with a poor diet.”
To combat this, many experts recommend common sense practices, like reducing stress, getting regular sleep, and eating a healthy diet. While those are good habits for everyone, Maria Fleseriu MD, FACE, professor of medicine (endocrinology) and neurological surgery and director of Oregon Health and Science’s (OHSU) Pituitary Center, doesn’t consider adrenal fatigue to be an actual medical condition. She notes that it hasn’t been recognized by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, Endocrine Society, or Pituitary Society. “A recent systematic literature review (3,470 analyzed articles with 58 studies [that] fulfilled the inclusion criteria) confirmed that there is no substantiation that ‘adrenal fatigue’ is an actual medical condition,” Dr. Fleseriu says.
So, is adrenal fatigue real?
Many doctors and naturopathic doctors in the alternative medicine realm believe that adrenal fatigue is a significant medical problem that can be helped with supplements and dietary changes. The doctors who validate adrenal fatigue believe that it is a lesser version of adrenal insufficiency.
However, according to conventional medicine, adrenal fatigue isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis. On this side of the argument, doctors say that non-specific symptoms, such as dizziness, fatigue, depression, and low blood sugar are found in many other diseases and conditions. Narrowing down your mental and physical health problems to just adrenal fatigue can prevent you from finding other underlying causes of your symptoms.
Fleseriu finds that that the “diagnosis” is more of a feeling than an actual medical condition. She tells Woman’s World readers, “The idea of the adrenal getting ‘tired’ from stress has not been proven at all and additionally, we have clear-cut clinical studies showing that cortisol gets actually high and not low with stress. Interestingly, the symptoms of ‘adrenal fatigue,’ are very vague, multi-organ, non-specific, [and] are not even overlapping too much with the ones caused by adrenal insufficiency.”
While she supports the growing awareness surrounding cortisol problems and abnormalities, Fleseriu believes the proper diagnosis is essential when it comes to helping patients. “When we think that patients could have symptoms related to the cortisol being either too low (or too high for that matter), we need to ensure the proper and reliable scientifically proven screening, followed by confirmatory diagnosis,” she says.
In the end, there is still much debate surrounding adrenal fatigue in the medical community. If you’re interested in reading more, the book Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome – Reclaim Your Energy and Vitality with Clinically Proven Natural Programs ($35, Amazon) by Michael Lam, MD, MPH, is a great start. It covers everything from the symptoms to the scientific evidence Dr. Lam has found showing that adrenal fatigue is a real medical problem. He also includes the methods he used to help patients recover from the condition.
The Best Supplements for Adrenal Fatigue
If you’re someone who believes in taking supplements to boost your energy, there are several vitamins and herbs out there that may help reduce stress and fatigue. These minerals, superfoods, and antioxidants help your body in many ways. The supplements listed below are what many naturopathic doctors recommend for reversing possible symptoms of adrenal fatigue. As always, it is best to consult your doctor before starting any new medicine or supplement, but if you want to learn more about the best supplements for adrenal fatigue, keep scrolling.
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Best Treatment For Adrenal Fatigue
1. Ashwagandha for Stress
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that is said to have anti-inflammatory properties. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center says that, “Ashwagandha also relaxes the central nervous system in animals. Laboratory studies found that ashwagandha kills some cancer cells and enhances some immune cells.” On top of killing cancer cells, ashwagandha has been found to increase red blood cell count, which helps reduce fatigue.
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Best Supplement For Adrenal Fatigue Reviews
2. Vitamin B for Energy
Vitamin B plays a powerful role in many bodily functions, including red blood cell production and making energy from food. A vitamin B12 deficiency has also been linked to depression, so taking a vitamin B supplement may benefit your body in more ways than one. This mineral is a great way to boost your energy if you’re feeling fatigued or lethargic.
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3. Magnesium for Stress Relief
According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium is required for over 300 enzyme functions in the body. As to be expected, a magnesium deficiency affects quite a few parts of your body, including blood pressure regulation, muscle and nerve function, and regulating blood glucose levels. Because of magnesium’s ability to relax the muscles, it works wonders for calming your body’s reaction to stress.
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Best Vitamin C Supplement For Adrenal Fatigue
4. Vitamin C for Energy
Immune-boosting and collagen-producing vitamin C is known for its ability to affect many different tissues, organs, and bodily functions — our adrenal glands included. Vitamin C is an important cofactor for the adrenal cortex and the adrenal medulla. Providing your body with this supplement will allow it to replenish a run-down adrenal and immune system, and make sure that stress and fatigue won’t progress into something more serious.
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What Are Best Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
5. Maca Root for Energy
This superfood hailing from Peru has plenty of healing properties for the body, from boosting metabolism to increasing sex drive. Whether you use its superfood powder form in a smoothie or take maca powder pills, your body will absorb the benefits. One study found that maca root had hormone-balancing properties, which is ideal if your cortisol levels are high and you’re feeling stressed more often than not.
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6. CoQ10 for Energy
This potent supplement improves multiple areas of your health, including your heart and cellular energy. Although your body produces this antioxidant naturally, its production decreases as you age. Finding space in your medicine cabinet for CoQ10 pills will also benefit your energy levels. With this enzyme’s ability to boost your energy, fatigue won’t stand a chance, and you’ll be feeling vibrant and lively.
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Cortisol Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
7. LES Labs Cortisol Supplement
When you’re chronically stressed, it affects more than just your mind. Studies have found that your body is also physically affected by stress, which usually means getting sick. While you can’t prevent all stress — in fact, some stress can be beneficial to your body — it’s important to reduce it so your hormones aren’t constantly being overworked. This supplement has a mix of ashwagandha and phosphatidylserine that may help maintain and promote healthy cortisol levels. Magnesium is also in the ingredient list, adding an even more calming effect.
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Herbal Supplements For Adrenal Fatigue
8. Vitamin E for Adrenals
Vitamin E protects cells from free radicals, helps with immune function, and keeps skin looking youthful. But according to one study, a deficiency in this antioxidant happens to affect the adrenal glands. Though it’s found naturally in some foods, vitamin E supplements may ensure that you’re getting an adequate amount for optimal health.
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9. L-Tyrosine for Stress
Amino acids are important for creating new proteins, and l-tyrosine is one of the 20 standard acids your body needs. While some studies are conflicted on whether or not this supplement can reduce stress, others have found that it can help with fatigue-related memory problems and support adrenal stress hormone production when levels get low.
Where to buy: $11.39, Amazon
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