January 31st, 2017 | Posted By: Magdalena Wszelaki | Posted in Adrenals, Articles, Estrogen Dominance, Estrogen Dominance | Tagged , , , , ,

How Adrenal Fatigue Causes Weight Gain, Fluid Retention and Exhaustion

Did you know that gaining weight around your belly could be a classic sign of adrenal fatigue?

Did you know that gaining weight around your belly could be a classic sign of adrenal fatigue?

And that chronic stress can directly block your ability to lose any weight at all?

If you have too many adrenal hormones they go straight to your waistline. Your body gets stuck in “high alert” mode and stress hormones are released over and over due to constant daily pressures, they can cause adrenal exhaustion. It’s one of the most common hormonal problems I see. Yet, many women and their doctors don’t recognize the warning signs of adrenal fatigue until it’s far too late. Addressing stress responses is one of the most overlooked natural ways to balance hormones, achieve stable weight, a healthy immune system,  good sleep, and stable moods.

Does Your Day Look Like This?

Have the words “I’m so stressed” and “I’m exhausted” become daily mantras? Do you often feel teary and tense and think, “I can’t handle this pressure anymore”? If stress calls the shots on your life, it’s highly likely you’re suffering from adrenal burnout. Or you’re well on the way there. Meanwhile, it will also cause symptoms of hormone imbalance.   

Over time, as your adrenal fatigue worsens, it can totally compromise your natural hormone balance, which may lead you to experience enormous energy fluctuations that look something like this:

  • 6-8 am Energy Slump On Waking: You struggle to drag yourself out of bed and can’t get going without a strong coffee or two (or three).
  • 9.30-11am: Energy Low: Your body still feels like you’ve got no gas in the tank.
  • 12-2pm: Energy Rise: After lunch, you finally feel awake enough to get more done. But the energy doesn’t last.
  • 3-5pm: Energy Slump: At work, you keep wanting to put your head down on the desk. At home, you’re so exhausted you have to have a quick nap.
  • 6-9 pm: Energy Rise or Continued Dip: You slowly recover from the afternoon energy trough. Or if you’re seriously fatigued you actually have to have a nap when you get home.
  • 9.30/10pm: Energy Low: You’re tired, even nodding off, but you’ve been rushing all day so you want to sit up a bit longer to feel you actually have a life.
  • 11 pm: Energy Rise: You suddenly get a second wind and end up reading for hours or watching back-to-back episodes of the latest ‘it’ series on Netflix.
  • 1-2am: Energy Dip: You finally feel tired enough to sleep.
  • 3-5am: Energy Rise: You wake from sleep feeling suddenly alert or very tense. You don’t fall back asleep quickly or only manage to nod off again shortly before it’s time to get up for the day.

These constant slumps and dips are signs that your adrenals are really struggling. Adrenal fatigue is one of the biggest cause of hormonal imbalance in women.

What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?

Your adrenals are two walnut-shaped glands that weigh about 0.2 ounces or 5 grams each and sit on top of your kidneys. They produce hormones that have a range of functions in your body, but one of their most important jobs is to ramp up production of stress hormones when you’re under duress.

A few weeks or months of stress are all it takes to start taxing your adrenals and ramp up signs of hormone imbalance. The trouble is –  your brain and body don’t register the difference between a true health threat (a poisonous snake crosses your path) and a flip out over something in your day (your computer just shut down due to a virus). It treats that argument with your partner, social anxiety at the dinner party and overwhelms you feel about your ‘to do’ list the same as if your life was under threat from a pack of hungry wolves.

The Stress That Kickstarts Adrenal Fatigue Can Be:

  • Physical: You experience infections (like Lyme, EBV, herpes etc) or suffer allergies and food sensitivities. Excessive sports like marathon running and over-exercising can cause or worsen adrenal fatigue.
  • Emotional: Caused by issues like work pressures, financial or relationship problems. Past unresolved trauma and abuse. Feeling unworthy, not good enough, pushing yourself to over-achieve all the time. (That was certainly me!)
  • Chemical: Your liver is overloaded by toxins coming from xenoestrogens, antibiotics, prescription drugs; or you have lived or worked near places (like factories or farms) that are highly toxic. Chemo and radiation can also contribute.
  • Spiritual: You feel a lack of purpose or direction in life.
  • Dietary: A period spent overloading on caffeine, carbs and high-sugar foods can stimulate repeated cortisol release, setting up the adrenal fatigue pattern. Chronic gut issues like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, IBS, “leaky gut” and unaddressed food sensitivities can also cause adrenal fatigue.

Whatever the trigger, if the resulting hormonal imbalances are not corrected and the stress continues, your adrenal glands may end up completely and utterly taxed and worn out. Then the very hormones meant to give you energy and keep you alive if you’re under threat, can start to compromise your health. And eventually, they become depleted.

Your Body On Stress – Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

You’re about to go for a job interview. Your body treats this as a perceived threat and triggers a powerful “danger” signal. This activates your HPA (Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal axis), a feedback loop between your brain and other organs such as the kidneys. Your hypothalamus is like the command center and its job is to send urgent “Watch Out” messages to your pituitary and Adrenal glands. Within femtoseconds, your fight or flight response kicks in. This preps you to defend yourself or flee. So you experience a rapid cascade of other stress responses:

  1. Your adrenal glands quickly pump out adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol. Part of their job is to ensure that glucose is quickly dumped into your bloodstream to give you energy and focus to handle this emergency.
  2. Breathing and heart rate speed up in order to pump oxygen and nutrients to your brain (for quick thinking) and to your muscles, which tense up at the ready, in case you have to sprint away.
  3. Your mind and hearing zoom in on sensory information, but you could not focus easily to write a report or read a book.
  4. Blood-clotting clotting ability is heightened in case you sustain an injury.
  5. Perspiration increases to help prevent your body from becoming overheated if you have to make a quick getaway.
  6. Your pupils dilate and let in more light to sharpen your focus for fighting or fleeing.
  7. Everything that’s not essential shuts down so your body can mobilize all it got to keep you alive. That means that to conserve energy, important bodily functions such as digestion and tissue repair are delayed while your immune system and reproduction go on “slow-mo”.  This article helps explain why women who are chronically stressed to the max often find it difficult to become pregnant.

What is Adrenal Fatigue – Understanding the Phases

If you have too many pressures in your life and constantly push yourself too hard, you can end up with health problems, even if you are doing everything to ensure you are balancing your hormones through diet. The over-triggering of your HPA axis can lead to one of three phases of adrenal fatigue:

Phase 1. On High Alert

When you’re meeting a huge deadline for work or you’ve been up all night with a very sick child, you enter this first adrenal phase for a short period of time. Elevated stress hormones initially power you up with energy and then drop you down, leaving you feeling more worn out than usual. But your body is still able to make all the hormones it needs to respond to stress effectively and to energize you to get through the day.

Phase 2: Tired But Wired

Once constant pressures or a taxing situation puts you under chronic stress, the repeated triggering of your adrenal glands can cause high cortisol release one moment and low another. You can’t get going so you start to rely more and more on coffee and tea to try to boost your flagging energy levels. But this article explains why the caffeine only causes further hormonal imbalance. 

How Stress (Cortisol) Steals Your Other Hormones

Normally pregnenolone works as a precursor hormone to help produce testosterone, estrogen, progesterone and DHEA (which has anti-aging benefits). When your body is struggling to keep up with stress, it diverts an important hormone called pregnenolone to making more cortisol instead of progesterone. This reaction is known as the “pregnenolone steal” – see the chart below:

Cortisol Pregnenolone StealThe classic example is a woman stressed about getting pregnant (she experiences pregnenolone steal) who then adopts a child; as her stress levels go down with the new baby, she gets pregnant with her own child. I’m sure you have heard (or know) of stories like that. As her pregnenolone is not longer directed to over-produce cortisol, she can now also produce sufficient progesterone and get pregnant.    

Phase 3: Burnout

Your adrenals have been overtaxed for an extended period of time by the constant triggering of the body’s stress response – which has become like an over-reactive alarm. Recognizing that you shouldn’t have so much cortisol in your system, your body becomes cortisol resistant, shutting down some of its cortisol receptors to try to help you get better hormonal balance. As a result of this shutdown, instead of your cortisol level rising in the morning and lowering in the evening like it used to, it no longer peaks first thing in the morning to give you energy. Instead it just flat-lines all day, which is why you feel so incredibly fatigued all the time.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

Traditional allopathic Western medicine doesn’t recognize adrenal fatigue, even though the changes it can cause are now starting to be confirmed by science. Referring to it as “exhaustion syndrome” research from Umeå University in Sweden has found that people suffering adrenal fatigue have lower activity in their frontal lobes (which are involved in emotions, memory and decisions) and also altered regulation of cortisol.

The study also found that people more prone to this condition are often over-achievers and perfectionists. This is not news to functional and integrative practitioners who see women suffering from this problem every day. They arrive feeling absolutely at the end of the line and suffering from these kinds of chronic complaints:

1. “I can’t shed any pounds no matter how little or how well I eat.”

Blame it on: High and low cortisol

Do you:

  • Hate getting dressed in the morning because you have to find new ways to disguise the extra kilos that keeping appearing on your belly?
  • Feel distressed by unpredictable fluid retention that makes you look puffy in the face, tummy and legs?
  • Struggle to shed any kilos or even just maintain your current dress size even though you eat right for your body and exercise regularly?
  • Complain that even if you ate nothing but air you still wouldn’t lose any weight?

Then it’s highly likely you have adrenal fatigue. It’s well accepted that stress and weight gain go hand in hand.

The culprit? Cortisol. The impacts of high cortisol can easily be seen in people who suffer Cushing’s disease, a condition that causes chronic excess cortisol. Cushing’s sufferers experience round puffy faces, high blood pressure and weight gain, particularly around the belly and chest.

But similar side effects can occur if you are exposed to sustained stress. Suddenly you pack on more pounds even though you’re not eating more food. And exercise doesn’t shift it either.

2. “Exercise doesn’t help me lose weight or even look more toned.”

Cortisol is a catabolic hormone. This means that when it’s released during stress it breaks down protein to use for energy. End result?  Rapid and ongoing muscle wastage even though you are working out every day.

Cortisol is also released when you exercise and the higher the intensity or duration of your workout, the bigger the cortisol release.

Here’s what that means:

Cortisol from your life + Cortisol from exercise = Excessively high cortisol.

That’s why you may not be looking leaner or more toned after exercised – your high cortisol is actually breaking down your muscle to help give your body fuel because it thinks you’re in a life or death situation – 24/7.

3. “After a really stressful week my belly suddenly looks bigger”.

Even women who have a healthy weight, have excess abdominal fat if they’re stressed, shows research from the University of Yale:

This study also showed that women who reported more stress in their lives, also secreted higher levels of cortisol in response to doing stressful tasks.

Cortisol’s job is to ensure you have enough energy to get through an emergency. And when stress triggers you to release cortisol it remains in your system for around nine hours (or longer, if your body is not detoxifying hormones effectively). When in high circulation, cortisol can widen your waistline because it:

  • Triggers gluconeogenesis: Cortisol wants high levels of blood glucose and other fuel sources in your bloodstream. Now. To produce that quick energy it triggers your liver and muscles to release and break down stored protein and fat as well as glycogen, so you have readily available blood glucose. But if the cause of your stress is a huge house repair  bill or fight with your boss, you can’t burn up that blood glucose through fighting someone or sprinting away. So you end up with an excess of sugars in your bloodstream, which usually get stored as fat.
  • Makes you store tummy fat:  Cortisol tells your brain you’re under threat. If that threat appears day after day, it tells your body to lay down fat cells in your tummy and start storing fat there in case food becomes scarce. Those fat cells in your belly also contain more cortisol receptors.

So when you’re stressed, along with the adrenal glands, your fat cells release cortisol too (hello, more blood glucose and more fat storage).

Recently scientists have also discovered that there appears to be a signalling pathway where body fat sends messages directly to your brain and if there is too much fat stored, this may interfere with your body’s ability to turn the stress response off.

No wonder you can’t lose weight when you’re stressed out.

  • Promotes storage of visceral fat: This is the dangerous fat you can’t see because it is laid down deeper in the belly where it wraps around vital organs like your kidneys and heart. Visceral fat is not inert. It pumps inflammatory chemicals and hormones like estrogen into your body, which can lead to estrogen dominance. And it continuously releases free fatty acids into the bloodstream. These goes straight to your liver where they can cause fatty liver and interfere with your liver’s detoxifying of excess hormones like cortisol and estrogen. Tip: If you’re experiencing symptoms estrogen dominance, you can find out more by taking my Free Estrogen Quiz here.

Visceral fat also stimulates excess glucose, which travels to the beta cells in the pancreas that control insulin function and it damages them. This can lead to insulin resistance, which again leaves more blood sugars circulating in your bloodstream (increasing the risk of Diabetes Type 2), and of course: worsen adrenal fatigue.

4. “I feel wired at bedtime but exhausted in the mornings.”

Blame it on: High and low cortisol at the wrong times of day

When you suffer adrenal fatigue:

You struggle to drag yourself from bed

Your body is clever and registers that your cortisol levels have been chronically high, so it tries to put the brakes on cortisol by reducing its normal daily production. Then instead of the normal peak of cortisol you would get in the morning, you get a flat line.

The impacts can be seen in people who suffer Addison’s disease, due to low cortisol and experience extreme fatigue, abdominal pain, depression, decreased appetite and salt cravings (which are common in women with adrenal fatigue).

Interestingly, John F Kennedy suffered from Addison’s disease but managed to keep it a secret throughout his presidency.

When on autopsy was conducted after his death his adrenal glands were in such a bad state, there was hardly any tissue left.

Interestingly, he also suffered colitis (inflammation of the bowel) which may well have been involved in triggering his thyroid issues (he also had Hashimoto’s) . Due to his ailments he took steroid drugs which over many years, affected his bones. The resulting chronic back pain led him to wear a back brace to support his degenerating spine.

You’re exhausted and drained, but can’t sleep.

The problem? Your cortisol levels are rising at the wrong time of day and night. Even though you are not making your usual amounts of cortisol for daily energy, your adrenal glands are constantly pumping out cortisol to help you deal with each crisis. So by nightfall, when cortisol should be dropping, it is high from the accumulated stress. Then cortisol tells your brain you are under threat, so it is not about to let you get into a deep sleep. That’s why you keep getting woken by the slightest sound. It’s also why you wake in the night feeling alert or experiencing feelings of stress or panic.

5. “My face, legs, feet and hands are often puffy and I get lightheaded”

Blame it on: Aldosterone

Some women complain that they can swell up with fluid within minutes of feeling stressed. This is not their imagination.

Or, their fluid retention may creep up after repeated stressful triggers over the course of the day. Here’s why:

When your body flicks on the fight or flight reaction, it pumps out a chemical called aldosterone. This hormone has the important job of regulating levels water and electrolytes (including sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride) in your blood and your blood pressure.

But when you’re under duress, aldosterone sends a message to your kidneys to retain salt, so your body retains as much fluid as possible.

This sodium retention is a survival strategy, just in case you need that fluid on board to face any emergency. This not only leads to puffy face, ankles and tummy, it can also lead to the appearance of cellulite in areas like the thighs, because the high levels of sodium there is pulling more water to those areas.

Frustratingly, this water retention can make you feel like you’ve gained weight, even though it is all fluid. Yet you may also find that you need to get up go to the toilet at night. This can happen because it’s the first time in the day when you’re not rushing so your body feels safe enough to not have to retain as much fluid and starts to release some of it.

Over time though, as you enter the second and third phase of adrenal fatigue and your body struggles to produce enough cortisol, your aldosterone may sometimes drop far too low as well. Then you can have periods of too little sodium in your system – which is why women who are chronically stressed often experience cravings for salt.

Since aldestrone also regulates your blood pressure, exhausted adrenals can also translate to getting light headed when getting up from a bed or chair.

6. “My stomach is usually sore and bloated, particularly after food.”

Blame it on: High adrenalin and cortisol

These two hormones can wreak havoc on your digestive system.

  • Reduction in stomach acid: You know how you just can’t eat when stressed out? This is partly due to a primal response of your body to shut down the digestion so you are light to escape and deal with danger. In modern times, this low stomach acid can translate to feeling overly full and bloated after a meal, indigestion, seeing food particles in your poop, bad breath and nutritional malabsorption. This is some information about acid relux, stomach acid and some solutions.
  • Reduce blood flow to your gut: Your body doesn’t need you to digest food or ovulate when you’re stressed, so it quickly shuttles blood away from organs like your ovaries and gut, to organs like your heart. This means that your digestive system gets far less blood and oxygen to nourish it. This can lead to chronic inflammation, which compromises the protective functions of your gut wall. As a result, your stomach may become over-sensitive and develop food sensitivities or you may suffer discomfort every time you eat. Meanwhile, you are absorbing less nutrients, which only makes you more exhausted.
  • Encourage gut bacteria to grow: Studies show that when adrenaline is added to gut bacteria in a Petrie dish in a lab, the growth of bacteria like E.Coli increases substantially.  This makes sense as low stomach acid creates a “perfect” environment for the pathogenic bacteria to grow.

So getting stressed gives your bad bacteria a boost. As good bacteria helps produce serotonin (the happiness hormone) and melatonin (the sleep hormone) in your gut, an unhealthy gut microbiome reduces your levels of these important hormones, which you need to promote calm and rest. This worsens your adrenal fatigue even more.

7. “I get chest pain and heart palpitations.”

Blame it on: High adrenalin, cortisol and aldosterone (but can also be cardiovascular disease or overactive thyroid)

When you’re feeling wired your stress hormones:

  • Move blood out of some organs to others so your heart has to work harder to shift the blood around.
  • Make your blood vessels constrict so that you don’t bleed as readily should you suffer a wound. This too puts pressure on your heart.

The end result? You may suffer everything from chest pain to heart palpitations (and these flutterings may occur more often when you lie down). You may also find it hard to get up the energy to exercise, because your heart is already working harder 24/7 just to get through the day.

8. “I can’t think straight, I’m foggy-brained.”

Blame it on: High cortisol and its effect on the hippocampus.

Ever noticed how hard it is to keep your mind operating on all four cylinders when you’re having a heavy-duty day? You sit at the computer but can’t focus, go to the shops but forget what you need to buy, misplace your keys or wallet or both. This mental meltdown is a direct result of adrenal fatigue.

Stress induced brain drain is caused by the hippocampus, a little seahorse shaped organ in the brain involved in our short term memory. With too much cortisol in the brain, dendrites (the little branches which connect brain neurons) start to shrink and don’t work as properly.

9. “The smallest things now make my anxious or make me want to cry.”

Blame it on: High adrenalin and cortisol

When you have adrenal fatigue you are functioning with a chemical soup of high stress hormones constantly circulating in your system. This keeps your body on red alert so things that used to stress you a little bit (such as almost dropping your glass) can cause a stress response totally out of proportion to the trigger. Crying can then occur as a stress release.

Meanwhile, your body thinks it is in a state of emergency so it:

  • Dumps calming minerals: These include magnesium and zinc – after all – your body doesn’t want you to be calm and relaxed right now, it wants you to be ready for fight or flight. Unfortunately, without magnesium you will feel more anxious. And with less zinc, your immunity will drop.
  • Retains more copper: This is due in part to the drop in zinc. And elevated copper levels cause excitability and agitation in your brain, worsening your adrenal exhaustion.

10. “I’m always getting sick” or “I take a long time to recover.”

Blame it on: High adrenalin and cortisol

Apart from stress management, the adrenals are also responsible for regulating your immune system. Remember a problematic project at work or a family crises that took time to resolve? You had sufficient energy and focus to get through the hard time (attribute that to the adrenals). But, as soon as it was over, you fell sick. Sound familiar?

Ongoing stress can weaken the adrenals so much so that they are not able to sufficiently stimulate the immune system to keep you healthy. I’m not just talking here about superficial conditions like cold and flu but more serious ones like cancer or autoimmune conditions.

I vividly remember my interview with Dr. Veronique , of The Breast Cancer Conqueror, who in spite of being that super healthy person, developed breast cancer.

Testing for Adrenal Fatigue – It Can Be Tricky

If you go to a traditional doctor to see if your cortisol is skyrocketing or flat-lining, they will order a blood test. Unfortunately, this can give a very inaccurate or incomplete picture. It might show that your cortisol levels are fine in the morning, but won’t show that your cortisol levels may be barely there by 3pm when you are having an energy crash. Also, blood tests only show the “total” value of cortisol and not the “free” value which is what your body utilizes.

Urine or saliva testing is a far more accurate way to check cortisol levels. Good tests will check your levels around four times over the course of the day.

I’m also a fan of the DUTCH test.

Instead of collecting many samples, you need only one sample – which involves placing urine on filter paper and letting it dry.

You can also check your adrenal function at home.

Try This Quick Iris Test:

Your eyes are not just the window to your soul, they are also the window to your levels of arousal and stress. An article by Scientific American magazine, gives a good rundown on the science of pupillometry.

A similar study is also looking into this area. 

But you can also conduct a simply little eye experiment at home. Here’s how:

  • Go into a dark room that has a mirror (or take a hand mirror) and allow your eyes to adjust for a few minutes – this allows your pupils to dilate.
  • Stand close to the mirror or hold it close to your face.
  • Using a penlight or a weak flashlight, shine light across your right eye. 
  • Watch your right pupil for about 30 seconds to see what happens.

It should quickly contract when exposed to the light. If, within seconds, it dilates again, this is a sign of adrenal fatigue. Rest your eyes, get accustomed to the dark again and repeat with the other eye.

Adrenal Fatigue Treatment: How to Break the Cycle

Of all the hormonal balance problems that I’ve worked with, adrenal fatigue takes the longest to heal (sometimes one to two years) and is the toughest to reverse. That’s why it is important to embrace solutions as soon as you can.

When combined, the following strategies can balance hormones naturally and increase your energy and calm, to break the cycle of adrenal fatigue:

Get Enough SLEEP

This is key to your recovery. No amounts of supplements and herbs will help adrenal fatigue if you are not getting 8 to 10 hours of quality sleep and rest. When I gave up my job in advertising and took a few months off, I slept 10 hours per day for 2 months.

Do:

Don’t:

  • Live on less than six hours sleep. Sleep is one of the best antidotes for adrenal fatigue. So get as much as you possibly can. To heal from adrenal exhaustion you should be in bed by 9 to 10pm every night.

Follow an Adrenal Fatigue Diet

Do:

  • Eat regular meals: This not only keeps your blood sugars and energy stable, it also reassures your body that you’re not in crisis. The opposite happens when you skip meals – particularly breakfast. Once your blood sugars get too low your body identifies this as a threat and triggers adrenaline and cortisol.
  • Eat right for your body: Food sensitivities and unhealthy food choices can add another stress load. To ensure you are eating foods that balance hormones for your body, I invite you to check out Cooking for Hormones Balance to learn how to use food to regain energy.  
  • Minimize sugar intake: Cut back on sugar in all its different forms including honey and agave syrup. Watch out for hidden sources of sugar in packaged foods such as dextrose and maltose. And, minimize your intake of fruits, giving preference to lower fructose varieties such as berries and kiwi fruit. Very sweet foods put your body under the stress of having to quickly pump out insulin to lower the high blood glucose levels. Your body regards blood sugar crushes as a threat and you guessed it – will trigger more stress hormones in response. It’s a vicious cycle.
  • Breakfast like a queen: Enjoy a hearty, preferably savory breakfast, to help increase your cortisol levels at the beginning of the day. You can learn how to add more hormone-balancing ingredients to your meal with our free 15 Breakfasts to Rebalance Your Hormones guide here.
  • Eliminate suspected problem foods: Common culprits include wheat, soy, dairy, corn and eggs. Cut them out then reintroduce one at a time and watch for physical reactions to see if they trigger health issues. Food sensitivities can create an adrenal response. Addressing these issues can help ensure you are eating the best diet for hormone balance. 

Don’t:

  • Live on caffeine: That cup of Joe may perk you up but have you stopped to think how? The reason a caffeine hit wakes you up is because it rapidly sends your adrenal hormones skyrocketing. This causes adrenaline to rise by around 32% and noradrenaline to spike by around 14%.

If you are caffeine sensitive, that adrenal rush may be accompanied by shaking, heart palpitations, difficulty sleeping and a general sense of anxiety. So if possible, cut caffeine out. Or at the very least, cut caffeine intake right back. Instead, try my matcha latte – it has less caffeine so it is a much gentler stimulant.

  • Drop your carbs too low: Research shows that ketogenic-style diets that cut right back on carbs and increase protein, can increase cortisol levels by 18% while also reducing the thyroid’s T3 hormones.

You don’t need extreme measures to ensure you are balancing hormones with food – so make sure you eat some healthy carbs such as buckwheat, quinoa and sweet potato.

Exercise Smarter but Not Harder

Do:

And the scenic stimulation of blue sky and nature, means that you come back from your walk usually feel uplifted, not depleted.

  • Move at a moderate pace: I recommend exercise like weight training, use of kettle bells and dancing.
  • Do more gentle forms of exercise: It may seem counter-intuitive to slow your exercise pace to get more benefit but it really is important. Think about animals – they don’t go on marathon runs or head to the gym every day.
  • Calm your brain with yoga: Yoga is like a moving meditation that connects your mind, breathe and body and induces a relaxation response which helps lower your cortisol levels. At the same time it boosts your alpha brain activity, which promotes greater calm.

Don’t:

  • Engage in intense exercise every day: I’m not a fan of exercises such as jogging and cycling or anything that gets your heart rate into the 70% zone. Intense exercise actually increase your cortisol levels, which does not do your waistline any favors. Science is now starting to confirm that in people who have gained weight, doing intense workouts may actually be counterproductive because it raises stress hormones: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512101406.htm
  • Exercise until you hurt: Repeating those squats or burpies until you burn, is stressful, so your body will release more cortisol. Same goes for marathon running. I’ve had a number of marathon runners seek my help to balance their hormones. Unfortunately, they had to give up the running because our bodies are not designed to sustain hours of exercise. Marathon running and exercise that depletes you so much that you are in pain or can barely keep going, trigger the adrenal glands to pump out stress hormones to energize you when you’re running on empty.
  • Engage in HIIT workouts every day: High Intensity Interval Training, which includes short but taxing bursts of activity can make some people feel energized. If it works for you, aim to do it twice a week. If it leaves you absolutely worn out, try something gentler. Also remember that HIIT workouts are not supposed to be done for lengthy periods. So aim for a 10 – 15 minute HIIT session, not one that lasts 30 – 40 minutes.

Become a Pleasure Seeker

When you add oxytocin-releasing (the pleasure hormone) activities to your like, it helps rebalance the adrenal deficiency. What makes gives you lots of joy? Here are a few ideas:

Do:

  • Watch a comedy series or film: Not only does laughter boost your immune system, it directly reduces levels of cortisol and epinephrine.
  • Use music to calm you: Try some classical or ambient music. Or just put on a CD of soundscapes from nature.
  • Enjoy a relaxing aromatherapy bath: Add some candles and close your eyes. Enjoy!
  • Schedule a massage that gives you lots of pleasure. If you have limited funds, think about doing a “massage swap” with a friend where you do it for each other.  
  • Orgasm on a regular basis: that gives us a HUGE oxytocin release.
  • Embrace a child or a pet: regular touch is very healing.
  • Do the twist: Take up dancing – join a class or follow online tutorials at home. Research shows that taking up tango dancing can relieve stress more than meditation.

Don’t:

  • Make yourself the last priority – as women we tend to put everyone else first and only when we hit the bottom, we start looking into our own  deficiencies. When I polled our community on “what is the one health advice you would yourself a few years ago,” the most common answer was “take better care of me.”
  • Make your weekends too busy: Make sure there is down time just to kick back with a book as well as social time to catch up with friends.
  •  Say “yes” to social events you won’t enjoy: Your leisure time is precious – and when you have adrenal fatigue your leisure time is important for rebooting – so spend it doing something that nourishes you.

Try a Variety of Relaxation Approaches

Do:

  • Keep your focus here and now: Try to live through your senses, not just your head. The more mindful you are, the more this will help to reduce your cortisol levels.
  • Take a break in nature: This can not only reduce your stress hormones, but also boosts natural killer cells that increase your immunity.
  • Enjoy regular touch: Through hugs, making love or enjoying a massage. Enjoyable physical contact triggers the release of oxytocin, which has calming impacts.

Don’t:

  • Persist with meditation if it’s not working for you: Try visualization or listening to soothing music with your eyes closed. Chanting for just 12 minutes a day can also reduce stress levels and lower inflammation in people who are stressed.
  • Slouch: Instead strike a power pose. Try the victory pose (with hands raised above your head in the air) and the wonder woman pose (legs slightly apart, hands on your hips). Research from Harvard University shows that these kinds of poses, drop your cortisol and raise your testosterone, so you feel more in control and more able to handle risks and tricky situations. Amy Cuddy, who is an expert in this area, gives a fantastic Ted talk about the impact of body language on hormones and emotional states.

Address Root Causes of Your Stress

Do:

  • Seek counseling: if you need to help heal from unresolved trauma or need support for depression.
  • Reduce life’s daily stressors: These can add up to big adrenal impacts if they continue day after day. That might mean you get up just 15 minutes earlier so you don’t have to rush and have time for breakfast. Or it might mean that you try pull back your mortgage payments so you have more money to get through the week.

A while ago, a woman from our Hormones Balance community contacted me for help with stabilizing her hormones. When she wasn’t improving we tried to identify hidden stresses that may be standing in the way of her hormonal balance. She identified that she was suffering stress every morning when she had to walk through an area where she didn’t feel safe on her way to work. Once she took a different route, even though it took her a little longer, her stress levels significantly reduced and her hormonal health substantially improved. It’s a potent reminder of just how much we are hardwired for survival and as a result, how big even seemingly small stressors can be.

  • Address relationship problems and potential abuse: Make time for more intimacy and improved communication with your partner. If you’re not in a good place together, read some self-help books together or attend couples counseling. I did a call about abusive relationships (are you in one or are you the abuser – you will be surprised by the signs), watch it here

Don’t:

  • Stay in a job you hate: Start applying for other jobs and look at any training you can do to help give you wider job options.
  • Hold on to the day’s stress: Keep a journal to help you debrief from days where you’ve had wall-to-wall stress.
  • Withdraw when you feel stressed: Reaching out to share your feelings or seek support can boost your oxytocin levels and lower stressful feelings.

Adrenal Fatigue Supplements

These can give your stressed out body support but will only help if you are also taking steps to address and reduce some of the major stressors in your life. Try:

  • Herbal Adaptogens:

For Phase 2 Adrenal Burnout: Hormone balancing herbs can really help settle cortisol issues for some women. Use adaptogen herbs in a tincture (which works faster then pills) to re-balance your hormones. I like products from herb pharm. Try these:

  1. Ashwaganda: Often called “Indian Ginseng” this herb is used in Ayurveda medicine to lower stress hormones and stabilize thyroid hormones.
  2. Rhodiola: Has great energy-boosting actions and has long been used in Scandinavian countries to boost energy and counter adrenal fatigue.

For Phase 3 Adrenal Burnout: Try licorice, which may help boost cortisol levels when they are flat lining.

  • Vitamin C: Your adrenal glands utilize vitamin C and store it too. So take a good vitamin C in powder form or powdered camu camu, a Peruvian berry that contains more vitamin C than oranges.
  • Vitamin B: When you’re stressed you burn through your B complex vitamins, so a good B complex is important.
  • Magnesium: This important calming mineral helps relax both your nervous system and muscles.
  • Herbs for Sleep: These include valerian, skullcap, passionflower and tilia flower.

Try:  For a complete Adrenal Repair Kit, please see our own Wellena line of supplements. The kit includes:

  1.  Adrenal TLC – a combination of standardized herbs and nutrients that may support and nourish the adrenal glands.  Also available separately here.
  2. Magnesium Replenish –  a highly absorbable form of magnesium chelated to two molecules of the amino acid glycine.  Available separately here.
  3. Essential Omegas is a high potency fish oil delivered in the natural triglyceride form.  Available separately here.

Learn more with Overcoming Estrogen Dominance

Overcoming Estrogen Dominance

“The body has an amazing ability to heal. We just need to give it the right resources.”

In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, my goal is to empower and give you the tools to take control of your hormones and health.

More than 70% of women experience estrogen dominance. The symptoms range from lumpy and fibrocystic breasts to thyroid nodules, hot flashes, fibroids, uterine polyps, painful, heavy or irregular periods to infertility and miscarriages, from mood swings to insomnia, weight gain to fatigue.

So many women have experienced the pain and frustration that comes when they feel their symptoms and complaints are dismissed or minimized. This is particularly true for women who are experiencing the symptoms of hormone imbalance. Even when doctors do offer treatment, it’s typically in the form of prescription medication or invasive surgical procedures.

In Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, I hope to show that those extreme interventions are often unnecessary, and to give women a roadmap to reverse estrogen dominance using food, herbs, supplements and natural protocols to rebalance hormones.

To get your copy of Overcoming Estrogen Dominance, go here.

71 Comments to How Adrenal Fatigue Causes Weight Gain, Fluid Retention and Exhaustion

      • I realize this site seems to cater to women but I’m really struggling.

        I took a cortisol test at 9:30 am and it was 0.3!! Then my doctor ordered an am and pm.

        Am test was 1.0 and my pm test was 1.3!

        I’ve gained about 30 pounds, after losing over 130 pounds. From 385 to 259. I’m back up to 285. My triglycerides are elevated, my blood sugars are up. From 5.0 to 5.3; not much but enough to piss me off. They were at 7.2.

        I’m watching all my hard work go down the drain. Please help!!

  1. Katie,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. You will be an inspiration to other women.
    Health regards, Angela HB Team

  2. I have just been diagnosed with adrenal exhaustion and this article is very helpful! Thanks for the information. It explains so many of the symptoms I’ve been struggling with after my Dad’s passing in June (I was his caregiver for seven years before that). One of the absolute worst summers of my life. Incidentally, for any ladies who are post-menopausal and may have also experienced vaginal spotting (which I had) adrenal exhaustion can also cause that, according to my naturopath, because the adrenals take over from the ovaries with hormone production after menopause…so if your adrenals are out of whack, so will everything else be.

    • HI Charlotte,
      I’m sorry you had a rough summer combined with hormone imbalances. You are absolutely right, the adrenal responsibility post menopause increases and it is so much more important to manage stress. I hope you are on the mend now and can begin to find balance.
      Kindly, Angela HB Team

  3. Hi Taylor,
    Magdalena started with IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) and then did a number of other functional nutrition courses like the Holistic Nutrition Lab, Labrix practitioner training, etc.
    Angela HB Team

  4. This article was very very helpful, thank you for providing this information 🙂

  5. 9 Herbs That Help Adrenal Stress (Exhaustion, Always Wired) - HormonesBalance.com says:

    […] Underactive Adrenals occur when your adrenals have been overtaxed by the body’s stress response being constantly in the “on” position.  Your body becomes cortisol resistant when it recognizes that you should not have that much cortisol in your system, it will then shut down some of its cortisol receptors to try to help you get better hormonal balance. Instead of a normal cycle, where your cortisol levels rise in the morning and fall in the evening, it no longer peaks first thing in the morning to give you energy. Instead, it just flatlines all day, which is why you may feel incredibly fatigued all the time. To learn more about adrenal burnout, read my post on it here […]

  6. The bs c and magnesium have actually helped my sleep still no energy at all anytime

      • I was just told my saliva cortisol results show my cortisol is low in the morning and in the evening. The doctor told me I have adrenal fatigue. He recommended ashgawandha, but doesn’t that lower cortisol? My melatonin is also low so he wants me to take a melatonin supplement. It sounds counter intuitive to take a supplemen that lowers the cortisol when it’s already low? Also, is low cortisol adrenal fatigue or adrenal insufficiency? I thought adrenal fatigue was high cortisol. I’m so confused.

  7. Adrenal
    Hyperplasia is not adrenal insufficiency it stems from a coletelt different enzymatic defect in the adrenainfrastructure. The issue is usually cortisol due to a decrease in the precursor enzymes and pathways above cortisol. Treatment is very specific to each person and can include the mineralocorticoid Florinef and the glucocorticoid hydrocortisone. What someone needs is best decided between the person with the issue, an endocrinologist and if the person being treated wishes there naturalist. The eastern and western medical worlds should not work apart but together.

    • I concur with Julia. She ( I interpret) isn’t against alternative medicine, right? She just wants to make sure your advice is coming from a professional. Everyone has health concerns @ some level. So,people use the internet to save time & $ trying to make a self diagnosis, but this can be very dangerous. You have no idea really, who on the other end of the chat. You believe it must be a nurse or doctor that answers your questions, right? Who knows it could be anyone… I think that was some of Julia’s point he/she must be trained certified licensed physician. As a nurse, I know don’t know of one doctor (that I ever worked with) that would adiagnosis, or prescribe medications or any other treatment until they were seen in person. Why? It’s just too many “what if’s”, and unknowns about a new pt. Doctors’ must know it all, like medical hx , medications etc. So, call ur dr & he/she examines you 1st, for initial asst & then u r referred to a endocrinologist . All doctors are licensed to te reat dx & prescribe meds 4 treatment. Just try a holistic approach. Start w/medical doctors , then if u still aren’t happy look into alternative therapy. If & when u decide to use herbal supplements , plz notify ur physicians before,starting any new treatment so they are aware.
      Just my opinion, hope u find help..

  8. I share your story. I have weight gain with little or no appetite. I only eat healthy, small portions and I also exercise. Between the weight gain, brain fuzz, lack of energy, etc, I was feeling hopeless until I found a new doctor that discovered that not only did I have three chronic viruses (one of which was Epstein Barr), but also was suffering from adrenal fatigue. I am hoping that adding certain foods and supplements will help although I was already incorporating those into my diet months ago. She also suggested taking Valganciclovir but at over $1000 a month it was no longer a possibility. Has anyone tried taking glucocorticoid medications like prednisone or hydrocortisone ?

    • HI Vicki, Thank you for sharing part of your story. Magdalena teaches about natural ways to support the body through gut healing, liver support and sugar balancing. You are invited to preview the Cooking for Balance program here https://hormonesbalance.com/cfb/
      ~HB Team

    • Yes, I’m working with a naturopath who has prescribed a low dose of cortisol along with Cytomel. Finally, I’m functional during the day and can sleep through the night. It’s a sign that I need to up the cortisol a bit if I start waking at 4 am again, but it’s GREAT to be able to sleep the whole night. Hope you find the combo that works for you!

  9. You are describing me to a T. !!!!! I need to do something about it. Thank you so much!

  10. You have described me to a T. Thank you so much for this article. I definitely have Stage 2 Adrenal Dysfunction. I just had the saliva test done and I see the correlations. I have so many of the symptoms. Thank you so much for helping me make the connections.

  11. BH, this is me! Phase 3. The only difference being that I am ALL DAY shattered. Can’t keep my eyes open, but cannot sleep either. The good part of this phase is that you don’t give a s…t anymore about anything. I do hope the feeling will last because it feels soooo good (for a change)! BTW, my symptoms also included strong palpitations, diziness and lightheadeness – very scarry.

  12. It’s really a great and helpful piece of information. I am happy
    that you shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Hi Columbus, we are happy to hear you have enjoyed reading this article! If you are interested in learning how to balance hormones with food, here is Magdalena’s exclusive 8-day Cooking for Balance Program Preview you might want to check out: https://hormonesbalance.com/cfb/ ~Jeanne HB Team

      • I believe that I have adrenal fatigue. I have finally found an endochrinologyst who listens to the words that come out of my mouth. We are just starting the correct labs. My morning cortisol level was 1 after taking the dexamethasone. I am always tired. My muscle mass is close to zero. My a1c is 11. I can NOT lose weight. My arms and legs are skinny and I have a ton of abdominal weight. I bloat after every meal, nausea, vomiting and ibs are a regular part of my day. I am always hungry. I eat and feel full and bloated but within 20 minutes I am hungry again. I crave salt and sugar. My sodium is low my,potassium is low, my magnesium is low, and everything else is through the roof. Can you offer any advice on where to go from here?

        • I recognize this. I was born with Graves disease and am most of the time bedridden. Adrenal supplements helped after 6 months but then my doc wanted an ACTH test and so talked me out f continuing them. I went back on but it was too much stress on the adrenals, I cant go back and become well again, I’ve accepted I’ll die from this, I feel dying everyday and am bedridden 98% of my time with noone to help. This disease is hell itself.

  13. So what happens to the rest of your body if your Dr tells you that you should get these glands removed?? They already killed my pituitary gland yrs ago. I have high blood pressure, gained alot of weight stomach area. I have alot of the symptoms described here but am wondering if the surgery is a good idea or not.

    • Surgery? You cant live without your adrenal glands, what kind of bogus doctor is that?

    • I was complaining of not just general fatigue but bouts of leg weakness that made it difficult to walk or climb stairs. I had neurological testing done with no major red flags. Finally after one of my episodes, I asked my doctor to check my cortisol. She did blood cortisol and it was .4. She didn’t say anything so I asked and she said a one time low reading was no concern. I had to work like hell to get a second test and it raised to 4. Both were at 9:30a.m.

      I am beyond frustrated and angry that no one has listened to my complaints for probably 8 years or more. I am getting an ACTH stimulation test soon but this is after many years and only because I asked for testing.

      Of course I gained 40 pounds and can no longer run as I have a low tolerance for exercise. I don’t recognize myself anymore. Heavy and unfit when I was always in shape. I feel as though I have to give up hope on ever being fit and healthy ever again.

      • Hi Jackie, it is extremely frustrating when we have doctors that don’t listen to our needs or trust our bodies intuition. Know that there is still hope and many ways that you can manage cortisol, stress, and return your weight to a comfortable range. Are you seeing an integrative or functional practitioner? They are much more skilled in treating the whole person. Here is a link to get connected with someone: https://www.ifm.org/find-a-practitioner/

  14. Hi. I’ve been trying to obtain a diagnosis for maybe 2-3 years and still didn’t have any success. Visited several doctors in this period, of multiple different specialties, such as endocrinologist, obgyn, neurologist, vascular, etc etc etc) and I’m just gonna write a few things with the objective to understand if any of you has been through something like this and if you have any helpful input, cause I really don’t know what to do anymore. Long story short: gained around 50 pounds in a period of a year (always been thin and eat anything), can’t lose it (currently in a low carb diet of 600 calories/day + daily exercise for a month and lost only 3lbs so far) and have multiple symptoms, such as daily headache, fatique, depression, loss of appetite, nauseas and bowe issues. Out of all tests I’ve done, the only ‘inconclusive’ ones are aldosterone levels, of around +40 ng/dl in multiple blood tests. No other imbalances, no findings in image exams, no nothing. Please help!

    • Try a Low Oxalate diet, it cleared all my symptoms when all else failed. Join the Trying Low oxalates Facebook group or yahoo group for accurate food lists 🙂

    • I think that you may want to look into cushings disease or syndrome. I maybe dealing with the same thing. Just so many symptoms that mimic so many things. It can make you go crazy. Just think about how good you are taking care of your body with the whole foods and the light exercise. That is always a good foundation for anything that we may be struggling with. So keep that up. Also look into hidden stressors. Like even your shampoo or bath and body products. Try to do a neural retraining program to address trauma. There are alot of wonderful things we can do for our bodies and maybe just give it your trust. I know personally I have to work on trusting my body. I can only imagine that must effect it negatively somehow. With so much uncertainty try and find one everyday. Just one and by the end of 30 days see where your at. The list alone might provide some really good feel good hormones when you think of it. Good luck and god bless.

    • I’m having the exact same issues. I was thin/low BMI my entire life and then gained 50 lbs (so fast, +30 lbs in only 2 months), and nothing allows me to drop any pounds. I’ve tried every diet, every exercise, I even fasted for 10 days and gained 4 pounds (which I realize is stressful on the body)..

      My DUTCH TEST shows I am flat-lined. Which makes no sense because low cortisol, veering on Addison’s, should cause weight loss!

      I barely eat because my stomach is so upset all of the time.

      I know I need to give up coffee and maybe try licorice a bit. But the coffee is the only way to get going during the morning.

      Any advice?

      • Hi Sarah,
        Thank you for sharing. That is strange that your DUTCH didn’t reveal anything. You can take a look at these two articles for more insight, but they are hormone imbalance-based.
        https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/why-you-struggle-with-weight-and-solutions/

        https://hormonesbalance.com/articles/digestion-impacts-hormone-imbalance-weight-gain/

        Have you tried the elimination diet? From there, we suggest balancing your blood sugar and detoxing your liver. If you have any more questions, feel free to send us an email at [email protected]

        Healthy Regards,
        Sarah

      • Yes, please , I need advice, too!!!! I’m going through the same and it’s so horrible!!! Meanwhile, I’m also waiting on back surgery to fix two breaks, so I can’t even walk a lot for exercise during those ‘up moments’ … which happen mostly at night anyway. I was SKINNY, beyond thin, most of my life and never dieted because I needed to gain. In the last two years I’ve gained 69 pounds and I’ve dieted most of that time because I just keep expanding. My Dr is now testing me with a serious of more blood work that takes all day to narrow down what steroids I’m going to NEED PROBABLY FIR THE REST OF MY LIFE. Will I bloat more for those??? It’s 3:28am right now and I’ve been wide awake since midnight … this happens every night, too.

  15. Hi Ari,

    I’m sure you’ve done so much already, since this post was from early this year. Number one, your symptoms are absolutely adrenal related. Please, please get off the mainstream doctor train. They do not recognize adrenal/chronic fatigue and will not treat this condition. Find a naturopath doctor immediately. I would also suggest looking for an expert naturopath in chronic fatigue/adrenal issues. Dr. Andrew Neville is nationally recognized in this field. Get multiple perspectives and don’t stop fighting. The naturopath world will get you on the right path. I’m a sufferer and have been searching for the right treatment plan as well. I’ve shown a little progress, but am getting closer to locating experts and getting the right plan. All my best to you and this tough journey. -Caitlin

  16. Hello I had labs done and my Cortisol was 10…is this considered normal since it is within range for am reading?

  17. Hello I had labs done and my Cortisol was 10…is this considered normal since it is within range for am reading?

    • Hi Jennifer,

      What labs did you have done? What time of day to did you have them done? We prefer urine or saliva testing to check cortisol levels. Good tests will check your levels around four times over the course of the day. You may wish to work with a functional medicine doctor to interpret testing.

      Healthy Regards,
      Taylor Hurry

  18. Interesting the article equates adrenal fatigue with high cortisol. It is usually the other way around. AF means cortisol is low, or flat lined as you mentioned. Low cortisol has very bad side effects. It also doesn’t allow someone to sleep through the night. Too little cortisol reek havoc on all systems. What I didn’t understand is how someone with low or no cortisol can still have the symptoms you have discussed in the article. Even with tests showing low or minimal cortisol hormone activity. That is something that would be interesting to know.

    • Hi Denise, low cortisol is actually be related to adrenal insufficiency rather than fatigue. Fatigue occurs when there is overproduction in the adrenals glands and they become overworked, therefore less effective over time. I agree with you that covering this more in depth & in relation to other hormones would be worth exploring more of. I will this onto my team. ~HB Support

  19. I’m just figuring out that I had extreme adrenal exhaustion some years ago, and my family blamed and shamed me and said I was crazy and lazy and just using my dad’s money. They kept a roof over my head, but I never got the medical care I needed, just got sent to a therapist. I feel sad and angry now at everything they put me through and I don’t know how mad I should be and how can I forgive them?

    • Been there. For me it was over 40 years ago. I was forced to study natural medicine on my own, because “doctors” only made things worse. Either that or die. Every cloud has a silver lining. Understanding natural medicine has HUGE benefits. But people are really good at misunderstanding you! For a long time I did not think I would be able to forgive — especially people who are never wrong. But I eventually came to realize that everyone is sick in their own way, and if you believe in Christ, you know that is why he died a sacrificial death. When you finally understand that we are all messed up, and imperfection is something we all share, forgiveness happens pretty easily. All of us have hurt others, whether or not we meant to, or even realize it. I know how you feel, and it’s very difficult. I ended up changing my name! And after my alcoholic sister died 2 years ago, I found a handwritten scathing letter in her car, aimed at me. I tried so hard to get over that! But I just couldn’t. Until after her ashes wound up in the garbage. So believe me, I know what you’re going through. Give yourself a break. It will take time, but you’ll get there.

  20. Please someone research if this could be the true cause of Hyperadrenergic POTS. I’ve had all these symptoms for most of my life. Could that be why I’m now diagnosed with Hyperadrenergic POTS? We need more research and study into this.

    • Hi Erin, Thank you for your suggestion. We will send it to Magdalena. Are you in our Hormone Thriver’s group on Facebook? If you’re on the newsletter list, you should get an invite. Or send a message to [email protected] and we can address this there. Thank you.
      Healthy Regards, HB team

  21. I have recently started experiencing all the symptoms outlined in the article, especially, waking up in the middle of the night, feeling fatigued when waking up and increased energy in the late afternoon. New period related headaches and breast pain appeared too. I have assigned all those symptoms to perimenopause but now i am wondering if actually it is adrenal burnout that caused hormonal imbalance?… I have been through marriage break down in last few years due to domestic abuse which made me relocate to different city and start my life from scratch… last year was also full of stress! Noisy neighbours made us unable to sleep and eventually forced us to move out and find new place again…. plus all the stress related to covid! On the top of that, what i am realising now, being on a very low carb diet might have made things worse since it would put me in the state of even more cortisol release. Is my thinking correct? could this be actually adrenal fatigue and not menopause since I am 39yo only? How would i know? Thank you for all you ever so helpful information, lots of love x

  22. Not sure if this was already mentioned but those struggling with adrenal fatigue should do a little research on drinking salt water for adrenal fatigue. This is something that has been unbelievably helpful for me. It gives me energy and puts me in a better mood right away. I believe this is due to the fact that excess coristol can tank your sodium levels.* Do your research as this may not be appropriate for everyone

    • Hi Heidi, this is a wonderful way to naturally replenish your bodies electrolytes. We’re glad you have found this method helpful. ~HB Support

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