People often assume that being tired throughout the day is normal. But consistent feelings of fatigue could mean something serious. Signs such as tiredness unrelieved by sleep, trouble getting out of bed, dependence on caffeinated beverages for energy, and overall feelings of being stressed or run down are all symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue, or Adrenal Exhaustion.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a condition involving the adrenal glands – glands that rest on top of the kidneys and are responsible for maintaining and releasing hormones that help the body respond to stress of any kind. These hormones play crucial roles in energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, etc. When a person undergoes physical, emotional, or psychological stress the adrenal glands responds through the release of hormones that maintain balance in the body. If a person is consistently exposed to stress or undergoes a certain traumatic event, the adrenal glands can become over-stimulated and begin to lose their ability to function in releasing hormones and responding to stress. Initially, under chronic stress the adrenal goes through a hyper phase, and the person may be restless, anxious, and an insomniac. Later when the gland can no longer keep up, blood sugars drop, hypoglycemia and allergies set in, and fatigue is a major problem. Hence, a person feels consistently run-down and fatigued.
The Hauser Diet for Adrenal Fatigue
People who are experiencing Adrenal Fatigue, or adrenal exhaustion, may turn to caffeine and sugar as a source of quick energy. But these food sources do much more harm than good in the long run. Diet plays a crucial role in treating adrenal fatigue and helping people obtain better energy. The Hauser Diet® take a deeper look at the root cause of the problems in people with adrenal fatigue, through Diet Typing. The main objective of Hauser Diet Typing is to determine the proper proportions of carbohydrates, fats and proteins that one needs for obtaining optimal health. It is an objective testing procedure that involves a fasting venous blood pH measurement, a modified glucose insulin tolerance test, and hemoglobin A1c test.
Flat Line Results of Adrenal Exhaustion
In our years of clinical experience, we find most people with Adrenal Fatigue are “ultrafast oxidizers” as demonstrated by their glucose tolerance. This means they have a low fasting blood sugar level and their blood sugar levels barely rise after ingesting a glucose/sugar drink. (See Graph.) The 50grams of sugar is used by the body in the first thirty minutes. The blood sugar levels are well below the response that a healthy person would have to a glucose drink. Their body is so stressed that they cannot even mount a reaction to a bottle of fruit juice! This hypoglycemia can cause a person to feel tired and consistently hungry. The combination of low energy and high hunger is not a good one for losing weight or maintaining health and peace of mind. Although a person suffering from adrenal fatigue may need to be on a supplement program to help the adrenal glands, incorporating the right foods and eliminating the wrong ones can provide huge benefits. A person with adrenal fatigue requires a diet that supports the hypoglycemia and flat line glucose curve. Most of these patients are placed on the Otter or Lion Diets, both of which provide high protein and high fat that will provide longer lasting energy to the body than fruit, starches, and other carbohydrates.
Diet Typing is done in our lab after an overnight fast. After a fasting blood glucose level is drawn, the patient consumes a sugary drink that contains 50 grams of sugar. The blood glucose level is then drawn every 30 minutes for the next 90 minutes to determine the rate of a person’s oxidation. Once a person drinks 50g of glucose the blood sugars should gradually rise and fall (see the normal curve below). In the case of Adrenal Fatigue a flat line result occurs. Blood sugar levels do not rise much even after a glucose load.
Adrenal Fatigue Diet – Putting it all together
A blood test, unique to our office, used for individualizing a diet for adrenal fatigue is venous whole blood pH. The various functions of the body, along with energy level, are at their best when blood pH is normal, versus being too acidic or too alkaline. How we eat every day, the climate we live in, our hormones, and many other factors, effect our blood pH. Rather than urine pH or saliva pH, we have found that venous whole blood pH offers the best metabolic snapshot for determining a healthy diet plan, when combined with the glucose insulin tolerance test and hemoglobin A1c. As we often see ultrafast oxidizers need a higher protein/lower carb diet, but the blood pH helps to determine the breakdown more specifically. Meaning, the Diet Type testing will tell you if you are a Lion, Otter, Bear, Monkey, or Giraffe Diet Type.
Diet alone may not be enough to treat adrenal fatigue, but it is always the starting point. To dig further, we generally recommend specific natural medicine tests to check for underlying, delayed food sensitivities, along with blood hormone levels. Often the results of these tests further pinpoint the best food choices for an individual, and perhaps a need for natural (bio-identical) hormone replacement. Additional treatments such as supplements and discussions on lifestyle changes to reduce stress are important and utilized, but are most effective once you have established a healthy diet plan, by eating according to your Diet Type!
In our experience, the comprehensive solution to Adrenal Fatigue is not just cover up the symptoms, but get Diet Typing and develop a natural medicine program specifically designed to improve YOUR symptoms. If you want to discuss your case more in detail, call us or make an appointment online!
If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, which means the ability of your adrenal glands to carry out their normal functions has decreased, usually due to over stimulation, you may also tend to be hypoglycemic. In order for hypoglycemia to be diagnosed, our doctors typically run a Modified Glucose Tolerance Test. If you took the testing one step further and received the whole Diet Typing package (additional pH testing and nutritional evaluation), many people with hypoglycemia tend to type out as a Otters or Lions on the Hauser Diet scale.
Hypoglycemia can cause a person to feel tired and consistently hungry. The combination of low energy and high hunger is not a good one for losing weight or maintaining health. Although a person suffering from this may also need to be on a supplement program to help the adrenal glands, incorporating the right foods and eliminating the wrong ones can provide huge benefits. When we’re tired, sugary foods and caffeine are the usual choices we grab for a quick “pick me up”. However, these are the worst possible choices for a person with adrenal fatigue. Below is a list of foods to choose, foods to avoid, and why to do so.
|Foods to Avoid||Foods to Choose|
|Coffee: contains caffeine which will stimulate your adrenal gland even more||Foods high in protein: will help stabilize blood sugars|
|Fruit: contains sugar, it may be natural sugars, but sugar is sugar in this case. Especially try to eliminate from breakfast when blood sugars tend to be their lowest||Healthy fats (essential oils and nuts): will help stabilize blood sugar and provide necessary nutrients|
|Sugar: will increase hypoglycemia||Natural/Organic foods: will decrease the amount of toxins the body has to handle|
|White flour products: will increase hypoglycemia||High fiber foods: can help alleviate constipation which can occur during stress|
|Soda: contains caffeine and unnatural substances, as well as sugar||Complex Carbohydrates: are a better carbohydrate choice for blood sugar stabilization, try to pair it up with a protein source|
|Chocolate: also contains caffeine and sugar!||Bright colored vegetables: great source of antioxidants|
By incorporating the right foods into your diet you can not only improve your adrenal fatigue, you can also see an improvement in your overall health. Although many of the “foods to avoid” are not typically recommended on any of the Hauser Diets, it is important for a person suffering from adrenal fatigue to know why they specifically should not eat them! As previously stated, diet alone may not be the answer to adrenal fatigue. If you think you may suffer from adrenal fatigue you should consider making an appointment to get Hauser Diet Typing!