I’ve been giving you tidbits about the tools I used to recover from adrenal fatigue syndrome, but now I’m ready to create a plan of action that you can follow. Most recently, I wrote about how I incorporated fat bombs into my protocol. Below, I’ll give you every step in my adrenal fatigue syndrome recovery protocol.
What is adrenal fatigue syndrome?
The adrenal glands are responsible for all sorts of functions in your body:
- they regulate stress (cortisol) and reproductive hormones
- they regulate blood sugar and blood pressure
- they regulate your sleep/wake cycle
When the adrenals become stressed due to poor diet, poor sleep habits, or high stress levels, they struggle to maintain all the functions they are responsible for, and adrenal fatigue syndrome begins to set in.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome
- abnormal fatigue
- blood sugar roller coaster
- excessive crankiness
- weight gain or loss
- insomnia or other sleep disturbances
- lack of interest in sex
- hair loss
When adrenal fatigue syndrome set in for me, I had been excessively tired for as long as I could remember. Then the fatigue got worse. I would wake up starving and spacey in the mornings, and would have not patience with my kids.
When I realized my hair was falling out (a lot), I knew something was seriously wrong. I spoke with my practitioner about what was happening and it became clear: I had severe adrenal fatigue syndrome.
It had come on fast, due to my body detoxing quicker than it was capable of handling, and I felt very out of control all of the sudden. It was really scary.
How my adrenal fatigue syndrome recovery protocol can help you
Once I knew what the problem was, I made a plan of action. If you’re also suffering from adrenal fatigue syndrome, you have my sympathy! But know, you can recover. Here’s what I did:
#1- eat a balanced diet
I had eaten a grain-free, low-carb diet for years (read about our success with the GAPS diet), which was great for helping me recover from a number of ailments. But, as my adrenals began to struggle, it was time to up my carb intake. I ate sweet potatoes every day and began incorporating white rice several times a week. I enjoyed white potatoes again.
Female stress and reproductive hormones need a fair amount of carbs to stay stabilized, and, for me, I needed to increase my intake. Read my in-depth article on how being too low carb might not be so good for you here.
#2- drink sole water
Sole water is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to support your adrenal glands. It’s made from only two ingredients, and packs a huge nutritional punch, as it’s chalk full of minerals.
It’s made by putting one cup of mineral-rich salt (I’ve used both Real Salt and Himalayan salt) into a quart jar (with a plastic, non-reactive lid), then fill the remaining way with filtered water. Let sit overnight, then take a teaspoon each morning in a glass of water.
I worked my way up to taking 2-3 Tbsp. a day.
#3- eat fat bombs
Perhaps my favorite adrenal fatigue syndrome recovery tool, fat bombs are both incredibly healing and delicious! They’re made by mixing your fat of choice (good options are butter, ghee, and coconut oil) with some raw honey.
You can make fat bombs like these coconut melts, or, you can do what I usually do (especially in the moments when my blood sugar used to frequently get dangerously low), dig out a spoonful of raw honey, then dip it in a block of softened butter and go to town! 😉
I wrote in detail about fat bombs here.
#4- eat liver
Not many people love liver, but it is a hugely important food to help heal the adrenal glands. Liver is full of vitamins and minerals, especially b vitamins, which helps support energy levels. Please read about how this superfood should be part of your adrenal fatigue syndrome recovery protocol here.
There are a few ways I’ve found to get liver into my diet on a daily basis:
- Take liver capsules. This is the easiest way to eat liver every day. Just pop a few high-quality, grassfed liver capsules and you’re good to go. Get them here, or make your own with this tutorial.
- Thaw liver, soak in water with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, then puree in a blender. Scrape into molds and freeze, then store in a sealed, freezer-safe container. Throw a couple into ground-beef meals, especially those with lots of sauce and spices, and no one will be the wiser!
- Thaw and soak as above, then chop into tiny pieces. Freeze on a tray, then transfer to a sealed freezer-safe container. Pop a handful every day like pills and wash down with a swig of sole water to help mask the taste. (This doesn’t taste bad, really!)
#5- take adaptogenic herbs
Adaptogenic herbs are those that adapt to what your body needs. They can be helpful to take in the morning to increase energy, but also at night to help you sleep because they lower cortisol (the stress hormone) levels.
Adaptogens are especially supportive for the adrenals because they help the body deal with stress while supporting its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue.
I personally took ashwaghanda extract. Get it here.
UPDATE: I later incorporated other herbs into my protocol and had huge success with rhodiola rosea. You can read more about how much I love it here.
#6- support restful sleep
Not only is is important to be sure you’re getting to bed early (getting to sleep by 10 pm is really important to support you circadian rhythm- the internal clock that helps your body wake, sleep, and maintain energy levels), but you may need some extra help to sleep restfully.
First- you should block out blue light once the sun goes down by installing blue light-blocking apps on your devices, or using tinted glasses like these.
Most importantly, I use an herbal remedy to help me fall and stay asleep. For me, the perfect combo includes:
- lavender extract- lavender is soothing and relaxing. Get it here.
- passionflower extract- passionflower calms the nervous system. Get it here.
- valerian root capsules- valerian relaxes the muscles and calms the nerves. It is a very stinky herb, so I choose capsules vs an extract. Get them here.
Or learn to make your own herbal sleep remedy here.
You may have to play with the dosage a little, but I’ve found that all three work together to help me sleep better, and if I remove one, it doesn’t work as well.
#7- take high doses of vitamin C
Did you know that vitamin c is found in the highest concentrations in your adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands use vitamin c to produce cortisol, so when your stress levels are high and constant, your body becomes depleted of vitamin c quickly.
Unfortunately, the most natural, food-based vitamin C supplements are not enough to saturate your body with the vitamin C it needs. Instead, you need a more potent form, such as sodium ascorbate.
To get my body fully saturated with vitamin C, I do weekly vitamin C “flushes.” I take one teaspoon of vitamin C powder every 15 minutes until my bowels become loose. However many teaspoons it takes is my bowel tolerance, and I take maintenance doses throughout the day the rest of the week.
Vitamin C flushes have been critical for recovering my energy levels. The only vitamin C I have experience with and can recommend is this one.
#8- kick the coffee… but keep using it
Finally, when you’re recovering from adrenal fatigue syndrome, you want to limit your intake of caffeine, which will further stress the adrenals.
However, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to keep coffee around for other purposes.
During adrenal fatigue recovery, you want to be sure you are supporting your detox pathways. Detoxing too quickly uses up the body’s resources and puts stress on the adrenals.
I use coffee to do enemas in order to help my body flush out toxins quickly and keep my blood clean. They are really not as scary as they sound, and once you try them, you will feel so great that you’ll get over the “ick” factor.
I wrote all about coffee enemas, including the what, why, and how, here.
You can recover from adrenal fatigue syndrome
It took me a few months to feel like I was recovering, but now, over six months since my initial crash, I feel so much better, and I have lots of goofy baby hair growing! This hair regrowth, combined with stable energy levels, and a happier wife and mama, lets me know that I’m no longer suffering from the severe adrenal fatigue that was kicking my tail last year.
Give my protocol a try, and you can begin healing from adrenal fatigue syndrome too!