Hey! I updated the adrenal fatigue recovery plan. So if it looks different to you… it is. I hope it will serve you better :).
Tired of being tired? Ready to make an adrenal fatigue recovery plan?
Before I get to the adrenal fatigue recovery plan ideas, I thought I should tell you that I had a severe adrenal fatigue and suffered from it for many years before I was diagnosed. The ideas on this page are based on what helped me. You can read more about my story in the My AF Story.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience and for me to get a tiny percentage at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Consult your healthcare provider before starting any treatments.
What is Adrenal Burnout
Adrenal fatigue is a stress induced condition with a variety of symptoms such as extreme fatigue, inability handle stress, nervous stomach, tinnitus, and insomnia.
Adrenals are a part of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. When you are under stress the hypothalamus assesses how much cortisol, the stress hormone, you need and then it signals the pituitary gland to produce adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). ACTH tells the adrenals to make cortisol and other hormones such as adrenalin.
Once the stress is over your body returns back to normal. But if you are under constant stress this will cause problems. Your adrenals can’t keep up with the cortisol demand and eventually you will have low cortisol levels no matter what. Low cortisol levels affect the cells, the nervous system, the heart, the liver etc.
The lower your cortisol level go the worse you will feel.
In the early stage adrenal fatigue the cortisol level is way too high which is not good either.
Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Plan
1. Make Assessments
Since adrenal fatigue is caused by stress it is important to figure out what your stressors are.
Stress Factors Include:
- Glucose Levels
- Body Temperature
- Blood Pressure
- Chronic Pain
- Lack of Sleep
- Seasonal Changes
- Sensory Stimulation
- Lack of Nutrients
- Toxic Personal Care Product
- Hormonal Imbalance
What kind of symptoms you have and what other organs has your adrenal fatigue affected. This will give you an idea what kind of treatments you might need. Some of the symptoms are also stressors.
Here are some common adrenal fatigue symptoms:
- Multiple allergies
- Upper back pain
- Body aches
- Brain fog
- Memory loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Cold hands and feet
- Dry skin
- Brittle nails
- Hair loss
- Heart palpitations
- Severe PMS
- Unexplained nausea
- Unexplained and frequent headaches
- Nervous stomach
- Sudden fatigue
- Constant fatigue
- Low tolerance for cold
- Shaky under stress
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
- Swollen ankles
- Salt, sugar and fat cravings
- No energy
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Thyroid problems
Different doctors define the stages differently so it is not about certain number but more about how is your cortisol level. Are you in the early stage or in the later stages. In the post What Is Adrenal Fatigue I briefly go through a one way to define the stages.
You can order a cortisol saliva test online that will show you the cortisol pattern throughout the day and will help you and your healthcare provider in determining which treatments are best for you. The test results will be emailed to you directly.
These worksheets come handy when tracking symptoms and making plans.
2. Create an Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Plan
Once you have figured out your stressors, symptoms, and stage it is time for the plan. My Journey to Feeling Better Planner is a great aid in this!
It is helpful to work with a doctor who knows about adrenal fatigue but it is also important to know as much about this conditions as possible so you can make more informed decisions as you work on your adrenal fatigue recovery plan.
So read. There is so much info out there now. My blog is a great place for tips ;). I also really like the book written by Dr. Wilson. You can get it here.
The Simple Yet Effective Recovery Plan
1. Reduce Stress
Reduce stress by working on removing stressors. Some of them you can’t remove and that’s okay. You can use effective stress relief methods to cope with them and strengthen your body to handle those stressors. Don’t try to do it all at once… that could be stressful. Baby steps.
Join the Less Stress Challenge. It is an email course that gives tips for reducing five common stressors. To keep the course from stressing you out you will receive the challenges every other week.
2. Heal Adrenals
Support and nourish your adrenals back to health. I’ll tell you what I did in a moment.
3. Heal the Other Organs
Support and nourish the other organs that have been affected.
I know so profound. But it does not have to be complicated to work. It took me for awhile to realize that I really needed to work on the stress factors and not just taking supplements to support my adrenals.
I have an integrative medicine doctor who helped me to get my life back. Many of the treatments I did were recommended by her. Some I did on my own after doing some research.
My blog is all about reducing stress and having more energy. I started it to share info on the treatments I did and I hope you will find the tips helpful.
My Adrenal Fatigue Recovery Plan
Some of my big stressors were the burden of genetics (weak endocrine system), lack of sleep, lack of nutrients, chronic pain, chronic infections, multiple chemical sensitivity, severe allergies, lack of alone time, electromagnetic field sensitivity, hypothyroidism, loneliness…
My symptoms list was long. I had pretty much all the symptoms mentioned above and some others.
I was between stages 3 C and D (Dr. Lam’s definition of stages).
1. Reduce Stress
a. Dietary Changes
One of the problems that made my fatigue worse was a lack of nutrients. I switched to organic fruits and vegetables to the extend I could. I cut back on sugar and began to use raw honey.
It is important to avoid foods you are allergic to keep down the stress level.
For a long time I could not eat raw vegetables. I had trouble digesting them. I also could not eat big meals or go too long between my meals. Switching to raw milk enabled me to enjoy milk without bloating. I also began to make kefir and kombucha.
I needed to increase my protein, fat, and salt intake. Salt craving is very common with adrenal exhaustion. And it is not a bad idea to satisfy that craving. Sea salt heals adrenals. Also coconut oil has earned its place in the recovery plan.
b. Tuesday Therapy
I have a friend whom I usually see on Tuesdays for an afternoon of mutual sharing, encouragement and laughter. It’s been such a blessing to have someone who listens and understands. Often the ones who understand and don’t get tired of listening are the ones struggling with similar problems.
I hope you have or will find a support person who will be there for you, encourages, and listens to you. Emotional support is important to your healing.
c. Alone Time
This one was a vital part of my recovery. I had gone without alone time for way too long and having it was a life saver.
d. From Supermom to Mom
Just like so many of us moms/wives I set too high standards for myself. I tried to be everything to everyone but in the end I just hurt myself. My health failed. So instead of trying to be a supermom I’m happy being a mom. Lowering standards around the house was not easy but it had to be done.
Since my symptom and stressor list overlap a lot I will list the rest of the stuff under healing adrenals and the other organs.
2. Heal the Adrenals
Anything that you do to reduce stress helps your adrenals to heal.
a. Rest and Sleep Enough
Adrenals benefit from your lying down. I began to take frequent breaks whenever I could. At one point I was pretty much bedridden so lying down was what I did.
Lack of sleep was a huge stress factor in my life. So it was one of those things I had to fix. I found sleep supplements that worked for me and with those I was able to get the sleep I needed.
b. Adrenal Fatigue Support and Supplements
Supplements were very important to my recovery. I tried a couple of adrenal support supplements before I found the one that helped me the most. I wrote a couple of posts about the supplements I took.
c. Daily Routine
Morning Routine includes a few things I did in the mornings to aid in the recovery.
Evening Routine was also a big part of my recovery.
3. Heal Other Organs
a. Gut and Liver Health
Gut health is probably going to be a part of your adrenal fatigue recovery plan. Healing the gut was one of the big remove stressors steps I took. I had yeast problems, h. pylori, and parasites. I suffered from a severe chemical sensitivity and my liver was congested.
To give my gut some good bacteria to work with I take a probiotic, drink kefir and kombucha.
I have not yet had time to post about the parasite or yeast treatments but they are coming.
Just be careful with detox because it can be overwhelming to your adrenals and cause you to crash. I could not handle footbaths or epsom salt baths. Dry skin brushing was helpful.
I had some problems with my heart and took supplements to help with the palpitations.
c. Immune System
I had to take care of any acute or chronic viruses I dealt with. Boosting the immune system took a stress load off the adrenals.
As many adrenal fatigue sufferers, I have problems with thyroid. I have not written yet a post about it but these are the supplements I use:
e. Hormone Imbalance
My hormones including progesterone were out of whack. I used these homeopathic drops called Hormone Combination by DesBio to help with the hormonal imbalance.
I had allergies year around. I was allergic to pollen, dust, mold, and had a multiple chemical sensitivity.
Exercise is good for you, right? Not always. Your can read about that in the following posts. In the Avoid post you will also find a list of personal and home care products I was able to use in spite to multiple chemical sensitivity.
Keep a Record of Your Progress
It really helped me a lot to keep a track of my symptoms. These forms are super helpful in creating a plan. You will get 20 forms to aid you in your plan making process. Check it out!