If you’ve ever been to the doctor to get to the bottom of a fatigue issue, you know how frustrating the process can be. In fact, if you’ve complained of feeling constantly run down, then the likelihood is you probably didn’t get a straight answer.
There’s a good reason for this. Fatigue is such a general symptom that it can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to place. However, enduring, unexplainable fatigue coupled with difficulty sleeping, brain fog, memory issues, and poor digestion can point to a specific problem--one that remains officially off the books...
Adrenal fatigue is a problem that has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, but it remains highly disputed. Many experts clash over whether or not it even exists, and as of now there is no official consensus. Yet complaints of chronic exhaustion and malaise remain high. Somewhere around 20% of primary care patients visiting the doctor annually are complaining about fatigue. That's around 18 million people.
Is ‘Adrenal Fatigue’ a Misnomer?
For those in the adrenal fatigue camp, there has been a long-standing theory that the problem stems from the body’s inability to produce cortisol. Cortisol, if you don’t know, is one of the body’s primary stress hormones. It plays a wide role helping to regulate the body’s immune response and metabolism.
Some researchers believed that over time through years of exhaustion and chronic stress the adrenal glands could ‘burn out,’ meaning that they could no longer keep up with the body’s demand for cortisol. As research advances, however, this explanation of adrenal fatigue is becoming less accepted. A popular theory now is that adrenal fatigue is a dysfunction of something called the HPA axis. It sounds extremely technical, but it’s really not so complicated. Let’s take a look at what the HPA axis is and what many people now believe Adrenal Fatigue really is.
A More Accurate Explanation?
The HPA axis stands for the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system. This is basically your body’s network for handling stress. This can be any type of stress, whether from poor diet, lifestyle, personal issues, health problems, etc. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland are located in the brain, and the adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. These three areas are responsible for releasing and regulating key hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, oxytocin, and many others. Many researchers now believe that prolonged stress on the body can lead to a dysfunction or blown fuse in the HPA. Rather than being a result of low cortisol, ‘adrenal fatigue’ may actually be an issue in the brain signaling portion of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
So, What Now…?
No matter which theory is true, the reality for many people is that the struggle is real, and persistent fatigue can be life-altering. In this article we would like to discuss three adrenal adaptogens that could be helpful to you if you are dealing with stress, sleeplessness, exhaustion, or other effects of adrenal fatigue. If you’ve never heard the term, an adaptogen is a substance that helps the body handle stress and exerts a normalizing effect on bodily processes. These herbal supplements can boost your energy and help you on your health journey.
3 Adaptogenic Herbs For Adrenal Support
1. Ashwagandha — A supplement that is exploding in popularity, ashwagandha is an herb that is native to Asia and has been used for millennia. The benefits of ashwagandha are many, and it can help the body adapt to stress as well as boost overall mood. The root of Ashwagandha is especially potent and can help modulate hormone balances. Because of its calming properties, it could also help signal to the brain when it is time to sleep. One study found that Ashwagandha could be beneficial in helping certain types of sleep disturbances.
2. Rhodiola — One of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs, Rhodiola rosea not only combats stress, but it also boosts energy, mood, and libido. Sometimes called “golden root,” Rhodiola has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help your body adapt to physical, chemical and environmental challenges. For those struggling with fatigue, rhodiola has shown promising results. In a 2017 study, researchers found that Rhodiola "might be an important first step toward a continuous alleviation of burnout symptoms.” Over a 12-week trial, participants reported lower levels of exhaustion, emotional fatigue and an overall higher level of vitality and happiness.
3. Panax Ginseng — Referred to sometimes as Asian ginseng, Panax ginseng is invigorating and energizing. Panax ginseng also has mood-boosting properties as well as cognitive benefits. One study revealed that Panax ginseng was beneficial in alleviating mental fatigue and boosting cognitive performance during a 10-minute test. Another study found that Panax ginseng support an overall sense of calmness.
Where to Find Adaptogenic Herbs for Adrenal Support
If you’re dealing with fatigue or burnout and you don’t have any answers, it can be a discouraging place. Sometimes the mental and emotional battle can be as difficult or more difficult than the physical challenge of struggling with energy. Even though there is mystery and confusion surrounding this issue, there are resources out there that can help you. The adaptogenic herbs that we listed in this article may help alleviate fatigue, sleeplessness, and boost cognitive health. All of these adaptogens are found within our Advanced Brain formula. Procera Advanced Brain was designed to be a “one stop shop” for brain health. It contains the three adaptogen ingredients discussed for mood and energy support as well as Gingko Biloba, which promotes blood flow in small vessels and increases circulation to the brain.