How long does it take to heal adrenal fatigue? Short answer: A long time. Here’s why.
Adrenal fatigue develops over time. It happens in response to chronic stress. Our body senses a threat, and it responds accordingly.
Our adrenal glands make hormones that allow us to respond quickly to a crisis, such as a pot burning on the stove. However, this survival mechanism is designed for short-lived threats.
Once it’s safe again, our metabolism returns to normal. Our adrenals can catch a rest. Until the next crisis.
Long-term stress is different. It’s more insidious. It’s caused by things that aren’t immediately life threatening. An example is workplace bullying. Spending eight hours a day in a virtual war zone takes a toll. Research shows our stress response doesn’t switch off when we come home.
Chronic stress is sneaky. Chances are, we don’t know our body is on perpetual high alert. So we don’t realize that our adrenals are working much harder than they should.
In the early stages of adrenal exhaustion, you may not notice anything. Or, it may be subtle. You may have a little trouble sleeping. At this point, your adrenals still work pretty well, except they’ve shifted into overdrive. They pump out more hormones than usual, including cortisol. This hormone can interfere with your sleep patterns.
Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
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As adrenal exhaustion progresses, you may tire easily. You may also catch more colds, which don’t go away easily. That’s because elevated cortisol depresses your immune system.
If the stress continues, unabated, your adrenals can further deteriorate, according to this school of thought. Now, they don’t produce enough cortisol. This is when you’ll probably notice more troublesome symptoms, such as joint pain, extreme fatigue, irritability, cold hands and feet, along with other signs of general poor health.
Chemical Sensitivity and Adrenal Fatigue
You may become more sensitive to chemicals. You may be more sensitive to noise. Emotional changes can also happen.
You may feel as if you can’t handle any more stress, no matter how minor. (If that’s the case, please consider finding a good holistic health practitioner, and asking about herbal adaptogens to help stress. These are plants that have been used for centuries to treat people worn down by the cares of life.)
Is It Possible To Recover From Adrenal Fatigue?
The good news is that adrenal fatigue appears to be reversible. Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself, given the right tools.
However, recovery is probably going to take time. At least it did for me. Please understand that I’m not a doctor. So I can’t offer any medical advice. And I can’t promise you’ll get better. All I can do is share my story of my two-time battle with adrenal fatigue.
My hope is that it will inspire you to work with your own healthcare team, to find the right remedies that can help you get well again. I’ve written a lot of articles about healing from adrenal fatigue and chronic pain. These are an overview.
Because I used so many healing methods and natural remedies, it would be impossible to list them all here. So I designed an easy-to-follow online course on Natural Pain Management Strategies. This would also be appropriate for people without chronic pain. Because the path to healing the adrenals would be the same. The course is designed for close collaboration with your doctor, so you can see what’s available, and find what works for you.
How Long Does it Take to Heal Adrenal Fatigue?
I’ve suffered adrenal burnout twice. This happened after dealing with a series of extremely stressful events. Now, I’m more careful not to put myself into stressful situations.
In order to get a correct diagnosis, you probably need to see an alternative health expert. Mainstream medical doctors typically don’t believe this is a real. Standard laboratory tests often appear normal in people with adrenal fatigue.
In order to get the right care, you need to find someone who believes adrenal fatigue exists. This may mean stepping outside of the mainstream medical system. One possibility is to seek chiropractic care. Oftentimes, chiropractors have experience with adrenal fatigue. (At the bottom of this page, you can find a link to advice from Dr. Josh Axe, DC.)
Natural Healing From Adrenal Fatigue
However, a holistic practitioner may employ different techniques, such as muscle testing. He or she will also take a careful case history. This will include questions about your stress level.
My second bout with adrenal exhaustion was much more intense than the first. I’d been putting up with a ridiculous situation for a couple of years. I realized it was bad, but did nothing to change it. Unfortunately, that was a big mistake.
Does Adrenal Fatigue Cause Inflammation?
Soon, my back began to hurt. This pain then began to travel down my leg. After a few months, I was unable to walk. My holistic health practitioner explained that my weakened adrenals resulted in chronic inflammation. My case was particularly severe.
My nerves were inflamed and on fire.
If I didn’t get good alternative medical care, I’m convinced my health would have continued to worsen. At some point, I’d probably have needed a wheelchair. What seemed to turn my situation around was a good diet, homeopathy, essential oils and a firm commitment to avoid toxic situations. Sometimes, dealing with difficult people is unavoidable. In that case, you need to limit these encounters.
Natural Herbal Remedies for Adrenal Fatigue
Because my adrenals were so weak, I took various herbal products for support. Once I reduced the stress, and started to eat right, my body seemed to do the rest.
For me, herbs have been immensely helpful. Because my inflammation was so out of control, I’ll probably need to take these natural anti-inflammatory agents for the rest of my life.
Go Nutrients Adrenal Edge is a popular supplement that contains a mix of herbal adaptogens, such as astragalus, eleuthero, ginkgo biloba, licorice root and lavender. It’s designed to strengthen your body and help with your stress response. This formula is gluten free and alcohol free.
For me, recovery took about five to seven years. I noticed gradual progress along the way. So it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when my health returned. At some point, I realized I could walk again, without a lot of pain.
My condition was very advanced. It was also the second time I’d had adrenal exhaustion. I don’t claim to be completely cured. But I’m about 85 to 90 percent better. My energy level has improved so much. But I’ll probably never have the energy of a perfectly healthy person.
Adrenal Insufficiency Natural Treatment
If you’ve been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, be patient with yourself. My healing took time and a lot of effort.
I eat whole foods made mostly from organic ingredients. I use natural essential oils for stress relief. Toxins, apparently, are another source of stress for the adrenals. All of my cosmetics and household cleaners are made from natural substances. I still make an effort to limit my dealings with difficult people. (Life is so now so much easier.)
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not take herbal remedies, unless under the direction of a health care professional.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.
For Additional Reading
Eating Right For Adrenal Fatigue
My own health didn’t improve much until I upgraded my diet. I now eat real food, and most of it is organic. This means I need to cook my family’s meals from scratch. This was a big adjustment. There was a steep learning curve, until it became easier.
Fortunately, I had a good friend who walked me through the process. She’d been putting healthy meals on the table for years. So she told me how to shop, what to buy and passed along some cooking tips. I encourage my readers who need help cooking to sign up for Real Plans for a month or two.
This is a low-cost meal planning service designed to save you time and money. You receive a weekly shopping list, along with delicious, healthy recipes. So you buy only what you need, reducing the likelihood of waste. This service includes live chat with meal planning experts. Click on the image below for more information.
Dr. Josh Axe, DC is one of my favorite online health experts. I’ve found that in general, chiropractors are very aware of adrenal fatigue and know how to set you on the road to recovery. He offers some really good advice in his article called 3 Steps To Heal Adrenal Fatigue.
Another great source of information on adrenal fatigue is Dr. Michael Lam, MD. Unlike most regular medical doctors, he believes adrenal fatigue is real. His website is filled with great information on how to regain your health.