Adrenal Fatigue And Chinese Medicine

by Kalidasa on November 7, 2009

Edit: I recently released two free reports on the adrenal glands. The first one is an expansion on 30 Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue. There are now 50 symptoms in this free report. And, there is an article on what you can do to help your adrenal glands come to full health. This report is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine. You can get both these reports and more free information on the adrenal fatigue at the link.

Many people go to an acupuncturist for fatigue because they often deliver results. What most people don’t realize is that very often they are being treated for adrenal fatigue which traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) calls weak kidney chi. This isn’t the whole story behind what they call weak kidney chi, but it will do for this discussion.

The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys, which is why this energy is said to be related to the kidneys. Weak kidney chi doesn’t usually have to do with the kidneys directly as in kidney failure, but there is a relationship between the kidneys and the adrenal glands.

TCM is great for reaching deep into the body and affecting a change. This is often obvious from of how good people often feel after an acupuncture treatment or taking the proscribed herbs. It really is good work that can have a positive affect on peoples’ energy.

One problem with TCM, especially if the doctor is Chinese, is that they often won’t tell the patient what they need to do to keep from losing kidney chi and developing adrenal fatigue. One reason is they don’t think westerners will follow dietary and other restrictions, so why bother? Unfortunately, for the most part they are right. However, if even one client can be helped, why not give some guidelines?

TCM considers the kidney chi to be the root energy of the body. There are many ways to damage kidney chi. Many Taoist practices are designed to stop the drain on the kidney chi, and to help develop more of it.

One guideline that is given is to limit sexual activity. One of the adrenal hormones is DHEA which is the precursor for both testosterone and estrogens. More sex means the adrenals have to produce more DHEA. More they work, more tired they get, and so does the body.

Another restriction is to avoid sugar. Sugar is a direct stressor on the adrenal glands because of the hormonal nightmare it causes. The body works furiously to balance this sugar induced catastrophe, usually successfully. The adrenals produce hormones that affect the levels of sugar in the blood to create this balance. This is okay from time to time, but many people consume a lot of sugar throughout the day causing a constant imbalance. This attempt at balance usually leads to adrenal fatigue because several of the hormones they produce are directly involved in sugar handling. With high sugar levels, they have to work extra hard causing adrenal stress and therefore fatigue.

Another thing an acupuncturist recommends when the kidney chi is low is to avoid cold and raw foods. The reason for this has to do with how they look at digestion. They see the stomach as a cooking pot. When cold or raw foods are added, extra energy is needed to heat the pot so the food can be cooked — digested. Physiologically, there is something to this. It does take more digestive enzymes and more time to digest these foods.

While getting acupuncture may do a lot of good, try these dietary restrictions for two or three weeks in conjunction with your treatments and herbs. See if it makes a difference, you may be surprised at how much faster you recover from adrenal fatigue.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lianne December 2, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Dear Kalidasa,

Thanks for your informative articles on adrenal fatigue. You mention avoiding sugar. Is there a substitute that can be used that doesn’t cause the imbalances that sugar does? It would be awfully difficult for me to give up sweet food altogether!


Kalidasa December 3, 2009 at 9:03 am

Xylitol measures, cooks and tastes just like sugar. Maybe a little different taste, but hardly noticeable. Stevia has a strange after taste, but is easy to get used to for most people. It is about 100 times sweeter than sugar so takes very little. Agave nectar is supposed to be ok for diabetics, but I have my doubts, so I limit how much I use. Tastes a lot like maple syrup.

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