When your body is under consistent stress certain key nutrients are depleted. And if you’re not absorbing your nutrients well, (which many of us aren’t due to poor digestion or unhealthy guts) then no matter how much “healthy food” you eat, your adrenals won’t be getting the vitamins and minerals they need in order to heal.
If you’re feeling rundown and burnt out, or if you know you’re suffering from some kind of HPA axis dysfunction, (and definitely if you’re a working mummy!) you should think about taking the following supplements:
B vitamins are our “anti-stress” vitamins so it stands to reason when we’re stressed these are some of the first vitamins to be diminished. When it comes to adrenal issues, B5, B6 and B12 are vitally important as they help with cell metabolism and energy production. A good B complex should be sufficient, just make sure it has a minimum of 250mg of B5, 50mg of B6 and 1,000mcg of B12. B12 is not easily absorbed and so an additional sublingual B12 would likely not hurt just make sure it's in the form methylcobalamin not cyanocobalamin.
About 70-90% of the population are deficient in magnesium. Just like B vitamins are our anti-stress vitamins, magnesium is our anti-stress mineral. It’s also important for energy production – something sufferers of adrenal issues or any fatigue-related condition desperately need. Unfortunately, magnesium is quickly used up when we’re under stress but it’s vital to the health of our adrenal glands. An added bonus is that it can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Start with 400mg in powder form before bed, (make sure it’s magnesium bisglycinate as this is one of the most bioavailable forms).
Vitamin C is directly involved in the production of cortisol in our adrenal glands and when we’re stressed we chew through this vitamin like no one’s business. It’s an imperative nutrient to take when you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, and it’s also required for serotonin production. Consume high vitamin C foods in your daily diet like camu camu, baoba, amla and rose hips or take a vitamin C supplement that also contains bioflavanoids.
Taking a daily probiotic is imperative for everyone, but especially those suffering from intense amounts of stress. Stress shuts down digestion, which leaves bits of food in our gut for microbes to feed off of. This generates an unhealthy ratio of good to bad bacteria, which can have devastating affects on our overall health, and puts even more pressure on our body and adrenal glands. Additionally, 70% of the serotonin we produce is produced in our gut, so keeping our guts healthy should be a top priority. Probiotics will help to boost digestion, which helps us extract more of the nutrients required to heal from adrenal fatigue and produce the various hormones we need as well as energy. They’ll also aid our immune function, since roughly 70% o our immune system is located in our guts, further reducing stress on our adrenals. I suggest a high quality, high CFU (minimum 25 billion) enteric-coated supplement for better bioavailability taken once a day with food.
There are tons of other supplements that can benefit you when you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, that fall into the category of “adaptogens”. However, you have to be super careful when playing around with these herbs as they can actually end up making your condition worse if not administered properly. Contact me to discuss how we can tailor a supplement protocol to suit your current stage of stress management/adrenal fatigue.