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How Traditional Chinese Medicine Treats Adrenal Fatigue

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

Adrenal fatigue is a common yet highly under-diagnosed syndrome caused by chronic overwork, stress and/or lack of sleep. It manifests itself in a variety of symptoms including: extreme fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, depression, mid-section weight gain, digestive problems, chronic infections, sleep issues, and more.

Your adrenal glands (adrenals), also known as suprarenal glands, are two thumb size organs that sit above your kidneys. They are part of the endocrine system and help produce over 50 essential hormones in your body. Your adrenal glands are also responsible for balancing certain hormones, such as glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, estrogen, testosterone, and epinephrine, to name a few.

How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue? Good question, let’s take a look.

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms:

  • Decreased sex drive/libido

  • Moodiness and irritability

  • Depression

  • Muscle or bone loss

  • Autoimmune conditions

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Brain fog

  • Hair loss

  • Hormone imbalance

  • Body aches

  • Unexplained weight loss

  • Low blood pressure

  • Lightheadedness

  • Skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation)

  • Weakened stress response

  • Insulin resistance

  • Lightheadedness

  • Sleep problems

  • Weight gain

  • Sweet and salty food cravings

  • Difficulty getting up in the morning

  • Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms

  • Inability to handle stress

  • Increased allergies

  • Frequent sighing

  • Cravings for salty foods

  • Higher energy levels in the evenings

  • Overuse of stimulants like caffeine

  • Low blood pressure

Ways to Overcome Adrenal Fatigue:

Diet Changes

  • Avoid caffeine, sugars and sweeteners, gluten, starch, white flour, processed foods, and hydrogenated oils.

  • Increase coconut, olives, avocado, cruciferous vegetables, wild caught fatty fish (e.g., salmon), free-range poultry, bone broth, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin, chia and flax seeds, kelp, Himalayan sea salt, chaga and cordyceps mushrooms, and more green leafy veggies.

Lifestyle Changes

  • Drink filtered water

  • Take adrenal supplements, like Ashwagandha

  • Get proper rest

  • Laugh more

  • Reduce stress

  • Increase Zinc, B Vitamins and Magnesium intake

  • Exercise more

  • Spend time outside in the sun each day

  • Do more things that you enjoy

  • Eliminate negativity from your life

How can Traditional Chinese Medicine Help Treat Adrenal Fatigue?

In Chinese medicine, adrenal fatigue is associated with imbalance of the kidneys. Acupuncture treatments can help promote healthy levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. It can also stimulate your “happy hormones,” serotonin and dopamine. The result is relaxing, stress relief, and overall sense of wellbeing.

Another important way that Chinese medicine treats adrenal fatigue is to reduce your intake of cold (i.e. ice cream and other frozen foods, iced drinks), raw foods and antibiotics, as these foods inhibit your body’s warming function, causing a negative affect.

Finally, over the course of treatment, custom Chinese herbs can be a tremendous aid in treating adrenal fatigue. Chinese herbs work to boost your immune system, and treat the underlying issues associated with adrenal fatigue. Custom Chinese herbs are one of the most successful forms of treatment for adrenal fatigue.

We provide our patients with adrenal testing to evaluate and diagnose adrenal fatigue as well as offer custom treatment programs to recover. If you feel that you might be suffering with adrenal fatigue, or you have been diagnosed and have not found success in treating it, call our office to schedule your health evaluation today!

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