Who Else Wants Help For Adrenal Exhaustion? Adrenal Support For Adrenal Stress.

I covered 30 symptoms of adrenal fatigue in an earlier article, so I’ve been asked what to do to heal adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal stress is one of the biggest issues in peoples health that I have seen in my practice. It isn’t hard to bring them back up with proper care. The hard part for most people is the change in diet that is necessary.

There are different levels of what you can do for the adrenals. It depends on how bad things are, what you can afford — some of the better supplements are expensive, and what you are willing to do.

Adrenal dysfunction primarily comes from diet and emotional stress. We’ll start with diet.

Adrenal Dysfunction And Diet
The adrenals are the base line energy for the body. In Chinese medicine they call it kidney chi. They also say that cold food and drinks are hard on kidney chi and should be avoided.

One of the most important avoidance’s is processed foods which includes all forms of sugar (there are exceptions, I’ll talk about theme another time). Sugar includes honey, maple syrup, fructose, dried fruit, fruit juice, carrot juice, sweet fruits like red apples, oranges and bananas, and any other kinds of ‘natural sugar.’ The body metabolizes all of these sugars the same way it does white sugar. And, all put severe stress on the adrenals.

All processed foods like bread and noodles, even whole wheat or other alternate grains are also to be avoided. If grains are ground up they are processed and will metabolize in almost as bad a way as white sugar. It doesn’t matter if the original form was whole or not. White rice is also out unless you get the low glycemic kind. Thick whole oats are okay, but the steel cut ones aren’t.

If you’re really committed, you could give up grains all together. That will help a lot. This is really hard for most people to do, so only try this if you are really ready for something like that. Minimizing grains is another option. Eating boiled potatoes and sweet potatoes (not baked) can help you too feel full.

I’ve made it a life practice to not eat grains at all. I only eat animal protein, vegetables and a little fruit. This is called the paleolithic diet since that is what our most early ancestors ate. It is what our bodies evolved eating, and it’s what is best for optimum health.

Animal protein is essential to bringing up the adrenals. If you are vegetarian then things are going to be much harder to correct and will take much longer. I’ll write on how to do that if anyone wants me to.

Animal protein means fowl (chicken, turkey), eggs, fish and limited red meat like pork and beef. Different bodies can tolerate different types of animal protein, but that is a long discussion. Most body types do fine with fowl, eggs and fish, but rotate the types of fish you eat.

You can also use protein powders like whey and egg white protein. These are really good for when you are in a hurry.

It is stressful on the adrenals to go hungry, so it’s important to eat when your body asks for food. The problem happens an hour or so after hunger hits, when you stop feeling hungry. It’s an adrenal hormone that brings up the blood sugar causing you to not feel so hungry anymore.

Also, you should have animal protein every time you eat anything. The only exception might be if you were to have nuts as a snack to keep from being hungry. Almonds are the best as they are mostly fat, and the little bit of carbohydrate they have in them won’t cause a spike in the blood sugar. Cashews are not as good as they have a high carbohydrate content. Peanuts are not nuts, they are carbohydrate. They should only be eaten with protein.

Adrenal Supplements
Adrenal support in the form of supplement adrenal is a big subject. Here are three protocols with a little variation.

If your adrenals are in really bad shape you can take whole desiccated adrenal cortex, but only for a short time. Taking it for too long causes the adrenals to burn out even more. One an hour for five to seven days is one protocol that will kick start the adrenals. Stop taking it three or four hours before bed so you can sleep. You’ll feel pretty good in a day or two, but the adrenals are not yet in good shape. They need more nutrition to heal completely.

If you use the desiccated adrenal, take it for a few days, then switch to another protocol. I know this is repeating myself, but it’s important.

The cheapest nutrition is a few B vitamins and an amino acid. B6 is probably the most important one since most people in the world have a deficiency in it. The reason is that the body doesn’t have the necessary enzymes to convert B6 into its usable form. Red bell pepper has those enzymes if you juice or eat a lot of raw vegetables. About a half of a medium sized pepper a day is what it takes. The seeds are even higher in the enzymes. Otherwise, you can get pyrodoxyl 5 phosphate, or P5P. This is the enzyme activated form of B6. Five tablets a day with food in two doses is optimal. The ingredients on most will say either 50 or 34 mg, or something close to that. The numbers are the same, different parts are measured.

Two other B vitamins are pantothenic acid and niacinamide. The dossage is 300 mg per day with food, morning or evening, just pick the time you’d like to take it. Both usually come in 500 mg tablets, it’s okay to take the whole tablet.

Note: Be sure to get niacinamide and not niacin. The later causes a skin flush that is rather unpleasant and not necessary.

Vitamin C is also needed. 5000 mg a day. Break this one up into three or four doses, with food.

B12 is the final one. 400 to 600 mcg a day in two doses, also with food. Get the enzyme activated form if you can, it just works better.

The amino acid that helps the adrenals is found in mushrooms, so you can eat them raw or supplement with tyrosine. 500 mg in the morning will probably make you feel great.

These supplements are available in most health food stores for a reasonable price. You might not be able to find the adrenal cortex though. I use one from Standard Process called Whole Desiccated Adrenal. You can probably find it online even though it goes against Standard Process’s terms to sell over the internet, but people do it anyway.

The best supplements for the adrenals are from a company called Apex Energetics. It is against their terms to sell their products unless you are a licensed medical practitioner, but again, people do it anyway. Adrenastim and adrenacalm are the main ones. They are in a cream form which you apply topically. They come with a little spoon for measuring, a slightly rounded spoon full is a dose. In other words, not much. Apply it to an area where there isn’t any hair to impede absorption. Use the adrenastim twice a day, morning and around noon. It can keep you up at night, so avoid taking it too late. And, use adrenacalm three times a day.

If the adrenals are in pretty bad shape you will need adaptocrine. Four tablets a day in three doses if you can remember, two if you have trouble remembering to take supplement three times.

Another good protocol is herbal. I only use the highest quality herbs, and the only two companies that have good herbs that I know of are MediHerb and Kroeger Herbs. I’ve only used MediHerb, so I’ll give those dosages.

Use the liquid herbs from MediHerb, not only are they better, but they are more cost effective. Licorice root, the high grade, 4 ml per day, and Siberian Ginseng 11 ml per day. You can just mix them up and take them in two dosages on an empty stomach is best. This is for the first few weeks. After you feel better you will want to change the herbs, usually in four weeks or so.

Ashwaganda (withania) and Rehmannia are for when the adrinals are a little stronger but not yet fully healed. Mix the two with just a little more ashwaganda than rehmannia and take 15 ml per day, also on an empty stomach.

That’s the basics. There is a lot more to the subject, but you could easily get yourself back in decent shape in one to six weeks. Twelve weeks at the most. It all depends on age and how desperate the adrenals are.

Feel free to ask questions about this. Using the comment box with this post is the best as I’ll get those sooner than an email.

You can learn more about the adrenal glands from wikipedia.

Meet the Author

Hello and welcome to my blog! There are several reasons I decided to start writing a blog on natural self-healing. The main thing I want to do is to share information on health and healing so that people can take action to heal themselves using natural techniques. I have met so many people who couldn't afford natural health care. They may have had health insurance, but they didn't trust that model. Many people want to know how to be healthy naturally. They want to know what really works and what doesn't. They want to be health conscious and often fail because of poor information, lack of knowledge, bad science and other factors. This blog is intended to help demystify the body and its various functions and to help people understand what is really needed to obtain optimum health. One of the great things about knowledge of the body is that once you know and understand how it works it becomes easy to know what the right things to do for it. And, it is much easier to do the right things when the consequences of the wrong things are fully understood. To do this I will be drawing from the knowledge of many people that I have learned from. I will talk about biochemistry relating that to what is needed to obtain optimum health. There will be information about the physical structure of the body and how to keep that aligned and functioning well. A major part of yoga has to do with health, so information about yogic techniques will be included. Mental and emotional health are important for the health of the body/mind, so articles about these topics will be included. And, there will be an occasional article about me and what I am up to. Hopefully I can relate that back to some health issue as well. The title Self Adjusting Technique comes from my technique for self-adjusting the structural part of the body, that is adjusting the body's various vertebrae and joints. For this blog it will include the idea of how to adjust health issues for yourself and those you care about. With a little knowledge there is a lot people can do to help heal themselves and stay healthy. I want to explain complex information about the body in a way that is easy to understand and useful. The comments section will help in that goal as people can ask for clarification if there is something they don't understand. And maybe we can get some helpful input from people smarter than me that will benefit us all. I hope you find information that can help you with your health issues. Kalidasa

95 comments… add one
  • Kelli Aug 6, 2011, 11:59 am

    I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s a year ago in July ’10. My GP ordered the labs for it due to chronic fatique and difficulty with weight gain. I immediately was put on Levothyroxine .75mg. I almost instantly felt better, and lost about 10lbs over the following 2 months or so. Then I began to feel tired again. Dose was increased to.88mg, but had to stop due to heart palps. Returned to .75mg without incident. The following March & May, bloods were done again due to reoccurrence of fatigue. Gp states all is good, but what about the sluggish feeling, I was told to try to exercise more, this is a good time to lose weight due to my levels.(I regained the 10lbs I had lost previously).

    So I decided to seek an opinion of another doctor who had lots of experience with thyroid, adrenal, hormones in general for women. I was put on Levothyroxine .50mg(was at .75mg), and armour 30mg. I felt great, but experienced fatigue in the afternoon as from what I have read from other’s, T3 is short lived and I was taking it in the am. We then broke the dose in half, 15mg in am and 15mg in afternoon. I did feel better but needed a tad bit more energy in afternoon. So, blds were drawn, ft3, ft4 remained the same, total t3 was .62 before armour and now finally crept up to .82, but TSH went from.62 to .18, my dose of armour was then decreased to just 15mg in am. I surprisingly felt better but gaining weight. Initially with the start of Armour, she also gave me bioadaptogen, but caused insomnia for weeks even taking it early in am.stopped after several weeks.(Sorry, didn’t mention it earlier). So now taking .50mg/Armour 15mg and just started me on another adrenal supp. 2 of them in am, now I’m tired again only after taking it for a couple of days. Is it possible that I am detoxing in some sort of way due to the supplements. UGHHH. SHe wants to do blds again in 8 weeks and is thinking of taking me off of Armour and putting me back on Levo. 75mg/100mg but stated I need thyroid support because I wasn’t converting the t4 to t3 just alone on Levo. I am very nervous about this and I don’t want to gain even more weight. Please help if you can. Should I just hang in there with the adrenal supp. will my fatigue eventually go away from taking this. Hope this makes sense, I need the t3 if it’s taken away I know it’s not gonna work out too well. I am NOT a doctor, but I need to be fixed-this is so frustrating……

  • Kelli Aug 6, 2011, 12:02 pm

    Also, if fixing adrenals the answer to t4 converting to t3 with Synthroid/Levothyroxine.

  • pan Aug 18, 2011, 7:10 am

    Thank you so much for your articles. I’ve never seen so much useful information. My doctor never considered adrenal fatigue even when I mentioned it. I was prescribed sleeping medication for years and still haven’t had a solid nights sleep in 5 years. I am now off the meds but can’t sleep for more that a couple of hours a night and am tired most of the day.
    I admit that to get some things done I have overused caffeine and sugar but am currently not drinking coffee and taking less sugar. But haven’t done this long enough to see results. I don’t work and left my marriage largely due to the fatigue and the stress of it being Denied or being rejected because of it though I can understand people’s frustration with me always saying I’m tired. This whole thing began with menopause.
    I am a 54 year old woman who has been suffering from extreme fatigue
    Since menopause 6 years ago. I tried hormone replacement but that didn’t do much except help with hot flashes. I checked my thyroid function for years but it always was considered normal. 3 years ago they found a thyroid nodule and removed half my thyroid but nothing was found there I was vegetarian for years but one eat salmon and eggs now. I have eaten organic foods for years but admit it wasn’t balanced with a lot of grains and sugar. I had a lot of other family stress with sick parents and have some bad habits re taking care of myself generally but now i,ve taken care to stabilize things and can focus on my health and well being. The stress and unhappiness of the past years didn’t help. I do now fee less stressed but still fatigued. Could you outline a daily protocol and how long you think it might take for me to recover. Also what advice do you have about exercise I really appreciate the support and insight you are offering

  • Emily Oct 5, 2011, 12:07 am

    Hi Kalidasa,

    Really enjoying reading your blog – finding it very informative. Was just wondering – you mention you are following the paleo diet. I too believe strongly that this is the right diet for me. However, although I generally feel well on it I find I am unable to sleep with a low carbohydrate intake. Or if I do get to sleep it is a light sleep and I find myself waking up in the middle of the night. Was wondering if you have any suggestions as to what to do about this? Many thanks

  • Suzanne Innes Dec 9, 2011, 4:46 pm

    was wondering if someone could shed light on what’s happening with my body. I do crossfit and have been doing that for 2 yrs, started training for a marathon last year, got all caught up with running and my food intake went down dramatically, still kept running and probably not fueling enough. Legs and body started retaining fluid, protein albumin levels went down, not my iron stores are virtually non existent even though been taking iron tablets for the last 4 months! Went through a stage of not sleeping, only managing an hour at the most a night, sleeping brilliant now but wake up feeling shattered and that feeling never goes. Went back to crossfit 2 months ago, the fluid has got worse, so decided to take a couple of months off! Been to a natrualpath and have got activated b’s, adrenal support, magnesium, she seems to think that it’s adrenal fatigue, but didn’t think adrenal fatigue could cause fluid retention. I have gained 10kilos over the last 8 months. I cannot shift the weight no matter what I do. Will I eventually get over this? Thanks for any info I am at a standstill on what to do..

  • Kalidasa Dec 9, 2011, 5:16 pm

    @Loretta King Adrenal fatigue is the usual culprit when it comes to irritable bowel type issues. You need something besides dessicated adrenal, it’s not good to take more than a month or two.

  • Kalidasa Dec 9, 2011, 5:20 pm

    @Kathleen with Lyme in the mix a lot of possibilities are present. It really complicates things a lot. In some cases taking adrenal support is not a good idea, others it’s ok. What you really need is to detox from heavy metals as per Dr. Klinghart’s protocol — he’s the only person I know having success with Lyme.

  • Kalidasa Dec 9, 2011, 5:24 pm

    @Kelli When there is adrenal fatigue the thyroid goes down as well, a biochemical adaptation. Treating the adrenals is pretty important in those cases.

    T4 to T3 conversion is selenium dependent, try taking about 200 mcg a day, more than that is considered toxic though you may need more.

  • Kalidasa Dec 9, 2011, 5:25 pm

    @Kelli I don’t know drugs very well. These issues can be very complex, but getting the adrenals up should help. Also, there may be a chronic fight or flight response going on.

  • Kalidasa Dec 9, 2011, 5:28 pm

    @pan The info in my book Adrenal Fatigue — Get Your Life Back should help. You really need to just give up all grains and sugar, even ‘good’ sugars like honey, they are all just as bad as the white stuff. If you have to have some grain use whole grains that aren’t ground up. BTW, hot flashes aren’t normal, they are almost always due to adrenal fatigue.

  • Kalidasa Dec 9, 2011, 5:30 pm

    @Emily Most sleep issues are adrenal related. However, if you really don’t have enough substance in the evening try eating a few beans like black eyed peas or limas, pinto are high carb and should be avoided while healing.

  • Kalidasa Dec 9, 2011, 5:32 pm

    @Suzanne Innes Over exercising causes the body to go into a fight or flight response. It is impossible to heal when the system is revved up like that. It is also impossible for the body to make use of nutrition when you’re in fight or flight. You need calming herbs and maybe someone to take you out fo fight or flight, something I can do on the phone if you like.

  • Denise Jan 12, 2012, 9:59 am


    I tried taking the adrenal dessicated for 3 days now and my symptoms worsen, especially irritability/back pain/ inability to deal with stress/insomnia. What should I do?

  • Benjie Petersen Feb 13, 2012, 10:24 am

    Hello Kalidasa. I just found this site and have been reading through all the helpful articles regarding Adrenal Fatigue. Thank you for your help and information.

    I had a quick question regarding the Desiccated Adrenal from Standard Process. I finally have found a place to purchase it online. I can’t find how many mg’s are in each pill, it just says that the bottle contains 90 pills. I am trying to figure out how many bottles I need to purchase and how I should be taking these (what time each day, how many pills per day, how long to take until I need to switch off and move on to the next protocol). The pills are only $12 per bottle, so I’d like to buy as many as I need just this one time. I have severe adrenal fatigue, as I practiced intermittent fasting and ate very low carb for 5 straight years, not too mention I took 400 mg of caffeine EVERY DAY for 5 years while in the fasted state and exercised. I ignored all the symptoms despite feeling absolutely miserable for the past 4 years because I had a really good physique and I was young and that’s all I cared about. Now I would like to just feel good again. I had 20 of the 30 symptoms you shared in that article, and most of them are extreme. Thank you so much for any assistance you can give me

  • Kelly Mar 4, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Hi there. I have Neurally Mediated Hypotension (as well as POTS Syndrome). I have been pretty much bedridden since 2010. My doctor just prescribed Cortef and I am hesitant to take it. I have been through massive trauma in 2010 being hospitalized so many times and being put on tons of medications. In 2011 I just basically rested. I am beyond exhausted – like waking up in cement. I have been seeing a Naturopath who had me on a fruit only ‘detox’ – I ended up in the hospital. What are your thoughts on Cortef? My adrenals are beyond ‘moderately fatigued’. I wish I could talk to you personally. This is a living nightmare.

  • Kalidasa Mar 5, 2012, 12:05 pm

    @Denise, I’m not sure. Probably keep taking it, but I can’t be sure without seeing you. Sometimes symptoms can worsen before they get better, but that’s not usual with desiccated adrenal. You could have an allergy to it, or it could just be the wrong thing.

  • Kalidasa Mar 5, 2012, 12:08 pm

    @Benjie Petersen There are two ways to take it. One three times a day for up to a month, and one every waking hour till five hours before bed for three to ten days. I wouldn’t know the exact for you without seeing or at leas talking with you.

  • Kalidasa Mar 5, 2012, 12:10 pm

    @Kelly, the artificial cortisone could be a good treatment, at least temporarily. There are other natural treatments that might be better though. If the adrenals are completely shut down the natural methods may not work. Hard to say unless I see or talk with you.

  • Alex Mar 29, 2012, 1:34 pm

    I think i might have adrenal problems. I went to a doctor and had my thyroid checked and allso a cat scan done with no problems found. My head feels hot most of the time like i have a fever but i dont. My head feels like it is radiating heat, it gets worse when i am around heat sources. It allso gets worse at night for some reason. I have had theses problems for 4 months. My hands are allso cold all the time since i have had this problem. Any ideas?

  • Kalidasa Mar 31, 2012, 1:45 pm

    @Alex, there are other things that can cause your symptoms. Are there any other symptoms? You might try a simple adrenal fatigue test. Also, the standard thyroid test is not very good, blood work only tells part of the story.

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