Fighting Adrenal Fatigue, Naturally

fight adrenal

After losing our son in the early second trimester in August, my body just never recovered. I lost a lot of blood, resulting in plummeting iron levels and extremely low energy. Walking up the stairs, exercising, and even holding my daughter were exhausting to me.

Even when I got to a point where I was eating a very clean diet, pushing through workouts, and taking my multivitamins regularly, I still couldn’t shake the fatigue and general feeling of “unwell”. I gained 15-20lb in about 3 months. My self confidence was waning and I honestly felt hopeless.

Several friends encouraged me to research adrenal fatigue- and, boy, were they on to something! Adrenal fatigue is kind of complicated, but you can read up on it here. The general premise: stress and life events render your adrenal glands basically inactive. Your body stops making adrenaline, or produces it at inappropriate times, resulting in crazy fatigue but then sometimes insomnia and unnecessary panic. Weight won’t budge no matter what, exercise makes you feel worse, and you can have random bouts of inflammation. I had all of these symptoms and more.

Because I don’t currently have health insurance, I was cornered into a self-diagnosis through trial and error. However, I am happy to report that after about 6 weeks, I am already starting to feel much better! So, I want to share some of the lifestyle changes that I have made to fight my battle with adrenal fatigue.

Cut out the caffeine…
This was so hard for me! I was drinking 4-6 cups of coffee throughout the day and I was feeling NOTHING. No jolt, nothing. It does’t help that I like the taste of coffee, the feeling of a warm mug in my hands- so yeah, it was an issue. Overusing caffeine, particularly after 12PM, overworks and confuses the adrenal glands. So out went coffee.

Now, if I have any, I drink decaf or maybe a half cup of regular- and I feel it. Instead, we drink Chaga concentrate or sometimes even Mate!

…and the sugar…
Sugar functions much like coffee in that it makes it more difficult for the adrenal glands to function properly, let alone the myriad other health issues it causes. Out goes the sugar. Boo!

…and the gluten.
Same thing. Gluten takes a lot of work for the body to digest, and when the body needs to be healing instead…you need to conserve that energy. I am not 100% gluten free at this point, but I try to limit my consumption as much as possible to give it the break it needs.

Support your body’s natural rhythms.
ACV and honey in the morning help naturally jumpstart the metabolism and support the adrenals! Also, see the supplements below.
Magnesium and chamomile or lavender at night- help relax the body and the mind. Tell your body that it’s time to shut off and sleep! I love to drink this magnesium just before bed.
Epsom salt baths to relax at night- again, helps relax the body and get ready for sleep. These are particularly helpful if you are struggling with any kind of sleeping issues. This kind is great!

Add in supplements to support healing.
Ashwagandha, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba all support the adrenals and productively manage stress. You can find formulas with all of these, or each individually. There are also adrenal support specific formulas that often include these.

Support your healing with essential oils.
Essential oils can be very supportive of the healing process. Using “awakening” oils in the morning, such as citruses or mints, and calming oils in the evenings, like lavender, chamomile, or cedarwood, can further support the body’s new rhythms. There are also oils that specifically support the adrenals, such as rosemary and lemongrass. For more information on essential oils and for purchasing options, please email me: karli.vonherbulis@gmail.com.

Replenish minerals and vitamins and FEED your adrenals with SOLE.
Sole water is one of the best ways to do this! Sole is a high-mineral salt water infusion that is drank on an empty stomach each morning (ideally). You can buy high quality sea salt crystals made specifically for making sole and make it at home! This has made a huge difference in my healing process and I have come to (almost) crave the taste 🙂

Limit heavy cardio and stick to restorative exercise
For most healing protocols, this sounds counterintuitive- but when your body isn’t making energy hormones to even get you through the day, making them for a sweaty cardio sesh just isn’t gonna work. Stick to things like yoga, tai chi, or walking until you feel your energy starting to return.

SLEEP!
For the love, your body is healing! Go to bed early, sleep in if you can, nap if you need it. This is a good, good thing!

Have you suffered from adrenal fatigue? What was helpful for you in recovery?

Establishing a Daily Routine With Essential Oils

Establishing a Daily Routine With Essential Oils

Last week, we discussed building the best collection of essential oils for the needs of YOUR family. Just as important as selecting the correct essential oils for your family is establishing an effective routine to use them! For me, this includes many different methods of treatment:

Topical
Aromatic
Internal
In Products

To figure out how best to use oils for your family, first look at how the oils you have on hand are supposed to be used. Each oil bottle should be labeled with it’s safe usages: A for aromatic (inhaling or diffusing), T for topical (put directly on skin, or diluted in a carrier oil), and I for internal (ingested in a pill, liquid, under tongue, etc). These are the most important guidelines you can follow, and they should shape the rest of your plan!

Next, consider what you are trying to accomplish– and how to most effectively make that goal happen! Again, here’s two of my favorite resources: Modern Essentials and The Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook.

Some oils, used daily, should have a specific time of day that you routinely apply, so you don’t forget! Things like oils to boost immunity are great examples of this: apply them in the morning, and you’re set for the day. Others, like a relaxing blend, should be applied every night before bed.You don’t really need these oils throughout the day.

Other oils are used for more acute reasons- tension, energy boost, focus- and should be kept with you to use when needed.

In addition, you may want to incorporate oils into your household products- DIY cleaning solutions, beauty products, etc- and those will be used throughout your day as well!

Here’s an example of my daily oils routine:

ON WAKING:
Frankincense and OnGuard behind ears and on bottoms of feet to boost immunity and level mood

THROUGHOUT DAY:
Lemon in my water to aid in detoxification and prevent fluid retention

AS NEEDED:
Peppermint under the tongue for energy levels
Citrus Bliss applied behind ears/to temples for energy levels or quick mood lift
Deep Blue diluted in coconut oil on back for relaxing muscles
Lavender and Peppermint diluted in coconut oil for dissolving tension
Citrus Bliss diffused to mood/energy lift
OnGuard diffused for boosting immunity

IN PRODUCTS:
Melaleuca, Oregano, OnGuard in all-purpose cleaning spray
Lavender in deodorant
Peppermint or OnGuard in toothpaste or added to coconut oil for oil pulling

BEFORE BED:
Serenity on the bottoms of feet and on temples for restful sleep

Taking the time to establish an effective oils routine- that you can stick with every day- will do wonders for the health and wellness of your family, and make it easier on you, as well!

What’s your favorite way to use essential oils? Do you have a routine that you stick to?