Do you constantly feel tired, irritable, weak, or downright stressed out? Well, it’s one thing to be stressed out after a long day, but if things go beyond normal, you might want to visit your doctor.
In some cases, those extreme feelings of fatigue, frustration, stress, hopelessness are related to a condition called adrenal fatigue.
Sometimes referred to as adrenal insufficiency, adrenal fatigue usually occurs after periods of prolonged stress. And it is characterized by persistent exhaustion, brain fog, frustration, and irritability despite getting enough rest.
The good news? With the right diet and supplements, it’s possible to combat the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
But what exactly causes this condition? What type of foods or even dietary supplements are recommended for combating this condition?
In this article, we take a look at some of the best adrenal support supplements and foods that are worth considering.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue usually comes from long-term stress. Basically, when you’re stressed, your adrenal glands are designed to release cortisol.
So, what are adrenal glands? They are small, crescent-shaped organs that sit just on top of your kidneys. The glands are in charge of releasing various hormones including cortisol, norepinephrine, DHEA, and epinephrine.
Generally, when you’re constantly stressed for a long time, your adrenal glands tend to produce more cortisol than usual. This makes the glands become less sensitive to how much cortisol they produce because of being overworked.
And as a result, the glands may stop secreting optimal levels of cortisol hormone that are sufficient for optimal function.
Simply put, chronically overworked adrenal glands are believed to be the major cause of adrenal fatigue. Experts say that you’re more likely to develop adrenal fatigue if, for example, you are a working student or have a stressful job.
Other causes of adrenal fatigue include:
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs
- Emotional trauma or grief
- Lack of quality sleep
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise or too much of it
- Autoimmune conditions
What Are The Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?
Feeling constantly tired, particularly upon waking up is just one symptom of this condition. See our past article on causes of sleepiness after breakfast.
Other common symptoms of adrenal fatigue are thought to include:
- Desire to overuse stimulants like energy drinks or caffeine
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Cravings for salty and sweet foods
- Poor mood regulation and stress response
- A weakened immune system
- Decreased libido
- Low blood pressure
- Frequent urination, and insomnia
However, these symptoms are very common and non-specific. This means that can be found in many diseases like autoimmune conditions, mental illnesses, lung problems, liver, and kidney diseases. They may also occur as part of a normal but busy lifestyle.
Are Treatments for Adrenal Support Really Available?
Currently, there is no pharmaceutical treatment for adrenal fatigue. The good news is that this condition can be supported by promoting healthy adrenal function or simply managing your stress levels.
Additionally, supporters of adrenal fatigue may advise you to join an exercise program, give up drugs, smoking, and alcohol. Also, eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep may make you feel better.
But what are some of the best foods to eat for optimal adrenal health? Well, you should probably consider taking foods that rich in vitamins B5, B3, B6, B12, and C as well as magnesium.
According to a 2013 study, dietary intake of B-vitamins like B6, B12, B9, and B5 may have positive effects on mood and stress. So, how do these vitamins work?
Vitamin B6 has been shown to help the body produce neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. Consequently, the body is able to easily cope with stress.
In one study, vitamin B6 was shown to help alleviate stress in adults with severe stress levels when combined with magnesium. This is because it exerts modulatory effects of neurotransmitters that affect anxiety and depression.
Vitamin B12 (Methylcobalamin)
A deficiency in vitamin B12 has been linked to adrenal cortex stress. According to one study, deficiencies in B12 or folate are associated with increased incidence and risk of depression.
This B vitamin may help reduce stress by simply promoting a healthy nervous system function. You see, when the nervous system is in top shape, the adrenal glands don’t secret as much cortisol.
Therefore, supplementing your diet or eating foods rich in this vitamin can be beneficial to your adrenal glands.
Generally, vitamin B12 is found in animal products including fish, eggs, milk products, meat, milk, and poultry.
Also known as folic acid or folate, vitamin B9 has been shown to help support the body during stressful situations.
Studies suggest that it’s one of the key vitamins that have a direct effect on neurotransmitters and mood regulation.
For instance, in a 2014 research, folate deficiency was shown to cause a reduction in the production of neurotransmitters. This includes transmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin which are responsible for a positive mood.
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
Pantothenic acid is very critical to the secretion of stress-related hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands.
In an article published on PubMed, vitamin B5 along with other vitamins was shown to have effects on stress. According to this study, it may help individuals sustain an adaptive response to stress and also reduce the systematic effects of stress.
Your body’s stress response system largely depends on vitamin C to function optimally. As such, the more stressed you are, the more your body uses up this vitamin.
According to a scientist from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, large doses of vitamin C may alleviate the body’s response to stress. The study simply tested the effects of this vitamin on the adrenal function of rats subjected to stress.
Additionally, vitamin C is known to be potent in antioxidants that help neutralize free radicals which could lead to stress.
That said, there are also adrenal support supplements that claim to be made just for optimal adrenal health. But do they work?
Best Adrenal Support Supplements Reviewed
Adrenal support is considered to be vital as far as your mood, energy, stamina, and health are concerned. The good news is that there are many supplements available on the market designed for adrenal fatigue.
However, some of them are not as effective as they claim. So, here are our top picks for the best adrenal support that are worth your time and money.
NB: Remember to always discuss your supplement consumption decisions with a medic who is well informed on nutrition issues.
1. 1 Body Adrenal Support
This is an all-round supplement designed to support adrenal gland health. It’s made up of ingredients that are believed to support balanced cortisol levels including B vitamins and magnesium.
What’s more? It contains powerful adaptogens like Rhodiola Rosea, schizandra, and ashwagandha all which are widely thought to provide relief from stress.
On top of that, this supplement includes eleuthero extract and licorice extract which have been theorized to improve energy levels and regulate cortisol.
- 100% vegetarian and gluten-free
- Non-GMO and manufactured at a GMP certified facility
- Made without wheat, egg, fish, tree nuts, soy, or milk
- Backed by 60-days money-back guarantee
- Some people reported headaches
2. Healths Harmony Adrenal Support & Cortisol Manager
Formulated to promote calmness, stamina, focus, and better mood, this is yet another great supplement for adrenal support. And according to Healths Harmony, this product may help individuals maintain already healthy cortisol levels.
Apparently, it contains carefully selected ingredients that have been shown to help regulate stress and ensure the optimal functioning of the adrenal gland. And like most supplements, it is made up of basics like Vitamins C and B6.
Also included are powerful adaptogens such as ashwagandha and Rhodiola Rosea that may help your body adapt to varying levels of stress.
- Made up of an expertly formulated herbal blend
- May help support cortisol balance, energy levels, and adrenal health
- Manufactured in the USA at a cGMP facility
- Easy-to-swallow non-GMO capsules
- Capsules are not vegan/vegetarian friendly
- May not work for everyone
3. Rejuvical Health Active Adrenal
While most adrenal support supplements are available in capsules/tablets form, Rejuvical Health Active Adrenal comes in liquid form. So, if you don’t like swallowing capsules, you might want to consider this formula as it is easily absorbed by the body.
Here’s the best part; the formula contains essential nutrients that are critical to promoting adrenal health. These include vitamin B5, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, magnesium, and vitamin C.
Additionally, it comprises a proprietary blend that includes ingredients like holy basil, ashwagandha, and Rhodiola.
- Supports your natural energy balance while optimizing adrenal function
- Vegetarian and vegan friendly
- Made without gluten and soy making it easy on the stomach
- May help optimize your mood, focus, and inhibit stress
- Some of the ingredients are in proprietary blends
- Has a pretty strange taste that takes time to get used to
Bottom Line on Adrenal Support
So, is adrenal fatigue real? Well, no scientific proof exists to support it as a true medical condition. On top of that, there are no formal criteria to define or even diagnose adrenal fatigue. `
As such, adrenal fatigue may not be real. But this doesn’t mean that the symptoms associated with it aren’t.
Therefore, if you constantly feel tired all day long or burned out, you could be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
However, it’s advisable to see a medical doctor just to rule out the possibility of a serious condition. But if the medical testing does not yield a firm diagnosis, you may want to try out adrenal support supplements.