Are you always tired? Hoping that someday you’d feel well again.
That was me too. I made some simple lifestyle changes that helped me a lot. These changes were a vital part of my recovery.
I suffered from severe fatigue for many years. And spent a lot of time in bed or just dragging myself around the house to do the absolutely necessary chores.
You can read more about my story in My Adrenal Fatigue Story.
I found an amazing doctor who put me on the right path and I regained my health. I’m not 100% well but I’m able to enjoy my life again.
The following lifestyle changes were a very helpful part of my adrenal fatigue recovery. I did numerous other things too but these were really important.
Note in 2021: I wrote this post a long time ago.
If you are interested in hearing another adrenal fatigue story and more current health info, check out Jess at Study In Fitness.
I’m not a doctor or any kind of medical professional. This post is not intended as advice. It is just a part of my story.
Consult your healthcare provider before starting any treatments.
1. Less Exercising
I learned the hard way that exercise can sometimes do more harm than good.
For a long time, I thought that intense exercising was one of the things I needed to get better at. So I kept doing it. But instead of getting better, I got worse.
I was utterly wiped out and shaky after a workout. Also, my heart was not happy. I began to experience heart flips whenever I exercised.
On top of that, I started gaining weight! Exercising and gaining weight!! I’m not saying that the exercise was the cause of the weight gain, but it was not helping. I gained over fifty pounds in three years. Most of it while exercising 4-6 times a week.
I had to accept the reality that I should quit exercising to give my body a chance to heal.
Since I had adrenal fatigue, I needed to remove stressors from my life, and exercise was one of them.
Quitting over-exercising was one of the essential lifestyle changes I made.
2. More Sleeping
I suffered from insomnia for close to two decades, and it kept getting worse. I had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.
At first, it was due to high cortisol and then later on low cortisol. Additionally, problems with the liver, thyroid, heart, female hormonal imbalance, etc., affected the quality of my sleep.
Sleep is so vital to health. During sleep, you can restore your energy, and that’s also when your body has the opportunity to do some healing.
I was not thrilled with the thought of sleep supplements. I was concerned that it could be addictive. But accepting the fact that I really needed to get some sleep to heal, I began to take sleep supplements.
And I’m so glad I did. I got more sleep which made a huge difference. And the natural sleep supplements weren’t addictive.
I tried various sleep supplements. Some of them did nothing; some only worked for a while. But some really helped.
The one that worked best for me is called Native Rest by Primal Force. I was suspicious first because it has melatonin in it (among other things), and I had tried melatonin before. But I was pleasantly surprised with Native Rest. It helped me to get more sleep.
I used it also successfully when traveling to Finland to visit my family and dealing with the seven-hour time difference.
3. More Talking
For many years I didn’t tell anyone how I really felt. I just mentioned the obvious ones: I had severe allergies and multiple chemical sensitivity.
Then I met my friend, Tammy, and as our friendship grew, I began to confide to her the struggles I faced, the horrible symptoms I was going through.
It was so lovely to have someone to talk to. Tammy listened and encouraged me. She supported me during the times when I felt frustrated and validated my feelings and pain.
Most times, we got together on a Tuesday and considered it a mutual “therapy” time. Thus the name My Tuesday Therapy for this blog.
My Tuesday Therapy with Tammy was an essential part of my recovery and continues to be a special time that I cherish.
4. More Salt
I would have never thought that adding more salt into my diet could make such a huge difference.
I learned that the more advanced your adrenal fatigue, the less salt you retain. The adrenals don’t produce enough aldosterone to maintain the sodium level in the body.
I craved salt. But instead of eating bags of chips all day long, I began to add more of it to my food, and I also started to drink salted water.
And what a huge effect it had!
I drank ½ tsp in 1 cup of water in the mornings. And an additional ½ tsp to 1 tsp in the afternoon.
I use pink Himalayan Salt and French Grey Sea Salt.
Some are sensitive to salt, so I checked my blood pressure for a few days to see whether I’d react to it. I didn’t have any problems with it.
As my health improved, the salt craving went away.
5. Less Plain Water
I didn’t know that drinking lots of water could make my symptoms worse. But it did.
After my burnout diagnosis, I spent a lot of time reading about adrenal fatigue, and I learned that people with adrenal fatigue have trouble with water balance.
Adrenals produce aldosterone, a mineralcorticoid. Aldosterone helps your body to maintain salt and water balance.
I found out that if your aldosterone is low, you will have trouble retaining a sufficient amount of salt and water in the body. Which makes adrenal fatigue patients thirsty. And to go to the bathroom all the time. And to be dehydrated.
So, I decided to try cutting back on drinking plain water. (I did not completely stop drinking it.)
As I mentioned, I began to add salt to my water.
Sometimes I added apple cider vinegar.
I also drank herbal teas and kombucha.
These lifestyle changes alone did not cure me of severe chronic fatigue, but they were vital to my recovery.
I took various supplements to support my adrenals. I used natural remedies to improve my gut health and work on many other problems I experienced.
You might also enjoy reading: