Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands become impaired and stop producing a sufficient amount of hormones that have important roles in the body. (1)
The hormones produced by the adrenal glands help regulate electrolyte balance, manage fluid retention and body weight, help you sleep, concentrate and perform many other daily activities. Adrenal insufficiency natural remedies can help get your hormones back on track.
The condition is most often the result of autoimmune reactions caused by chronic stress, exposure to environmental toxins, lack of sleep and poor diet. (2)
Adrenal insufficiency natural treatment focuses primarily on improving the diet and reducing stress levels.
For starters, adrenal insufficiency (which also goes by the names Addison’s Disease and hypocortisolism) is a relatively rare condition. It affects roughly 1 in 100,000 people.
Interestingly, men and women, regardless of age, can suffer from it.
During the diagnosis process, doctors will typically carry out one, or several, of the following tests:
- A blood test aimed at measuring nutrient and hormone levels as well as detecting antibodies that indicate adrenal insufficiency.
- An ACTH stimulation test that provokes cortisol production in your adrenal glands.
- A CT scan of your abdomen, which allows doctors to look at your adrenal glands and check for any abnormalities in that area.
Doctors will also likely inquire as to whether or not you’re experiencing some of the common adrenal insufficiency symptoms.
Adrenal Insufficiency Symptoms
- Chronic fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Weight loss
- Digestive issues
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness or fainting
- Mood changes
- Missed or irregular menstrual periods in women
Once a doctor has determined that you suffer from adrenal insufficiency, there are several traditional treatment options they may propose.
Most typically, doctors will recommend hormone replacement therapy.
Doctors will attempt to monitor your medication dosage, increasing it temporarily during times of stress or illness.
The potential severity of adrenal insufficiency makes it imperative that you speak with a medical professional before attempting to change or cease your conventional treatment.
Missing even just one day of your medication can pose serious risks, which is why doctors recommend precautions such as:
- Carrying a medical bracelet at all times, which will let people know what care you need in the case of an emergency.
- Keeping extra medication on hand at all times.
- Carrying an injection kit that contains an emergency dosage of medication.
- Keeping up with regular checkups. You doctor may test you periodically for other autoimmune diseases.
With the above in mind, let’s explore some potential natural aids for those with adrenal insufficiency.
Be sure to consult a medical professional before making major changes to your diet.
Remember, it’s always good to get a second or third opinion from someone who has your data in front of them and can speak regarding details specific to your case.
Adrenal Insufficiency Natural Remedies
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the most important parts of adrenal insufficiency treatment is adjusting your diet. Removing processed foods and replacing them with whole foods that replenish your adrenal energy can help get your hormone levels back on track. (3)
Remove foods that cause adrenal stress, including:
Replace them with healthy foods such as:
- Natural, healthy fats such as coconut oil, avocado, nuts and seeds
- Leafy green vegetables like broccoli and Brussels sprouts
- Sea vegetables that are high in iodine such as kelp and seaweed
- High-fiber foods such as berries, chia seeds and flaxseeds
- Probiotic foods including kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir
Keep your sodium levels in mind, however. Doctors may recommend consuming more sodium, especially during high exercise periods.
2. Reduce Stress
Stress is a common cause of adrenal insufficiency.
Of course, receiving an adrenal insufficiency diagnosis can be stressful in itself as well. This has the potential to become a very harmful negative feedback loop if it gets out of control.
As such, finding ways to manage your stress levels is a vital part of relieving adrenal fatigue and regulating proper hormone production. (4) Try the stress-relieving techniques below as adrenal insufficiency natural remedies:
- Spending time in nature
- Breathing techniques
- Taking up a new hobby
- Avoiding stimulants such as alcohol, sugar and caffeine
- Seeing a counselor
There are also foods you can eat to reduce your stress levels. These include:
- Swiss chard
- Fatty fish
You may also want to consider using anxiety-relieving essential oils. These include:
- Valerian root
A good way to use essential oils for anxiety relief is in a diffuser. A diffuser will release the essential oil’s scent over time, allowing you to keep the scent active in your living or working area.
If you choose to put essential oil on your skin, be sure to dilute the mixture heavily; applying it directly to your skin can cause burning, especially if you’re applying it to a wound.
3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Adrenal insufficiency natural treatment includes making sleep a priority. Lack of sleep puts extra stress on the body, which increases cortisol levels and reduces your energy. (5) Aim for 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night to help ensure healthy adrenal glands.
4. Change Your Exercise Routine
Over-exercising and not getting enough sleep can put added strain on the adrenal glands. Changing your exercise routine can work as an adrenal insufficiency natural treatment. Staying active is important, but make sure you’re allowing yourself to rest when you need it. Listen to your body for signs of injury or fatigue.
If exercise is a large part of your life, be sure to mention that when speaking to your doctor about adrenal insufficiency.
Some doctors will recommend keeping your sodium intake fairly high during periods of heavy exercise.
The good news is that exercise does help relieve stress; you’ll just want to manage this benefit with potential side effects.
5. Try Helpful Supplements
Supplements that work as adrenal insufficiency natural remedies include:
- Adaptogen Herbs – Ashwagandha and holy basil help the body deal with stress
- Magnesium – A natural anti-stress remedy for the body (6)
- Vitamin C – A powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
- Vitamin D3 and Zinc – support proper hormone functioning