Feeling Pooped? Read this!

Exhausted business woman rests her headCan’t seem to make it through the day or regain your energy no matter what you do? You could be suffering from adrenal fatigue. I’ve seen this condition in both the “unhealthiest” people, and in the “healthiest” people.

Anyone can experience adrenal fatigue at some point in his or her life. Nutrient deficiencies, inadequate rest, a life crisis or too many pressures, can all drain the adrenals of even the healthiest person. I too, suffered from adrenal fatigue in my early thirties. It was exhausting!

Adrenal glands are part of the endocrine system. They produce estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, cortisone, adrenalin, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. Our adrenals help us cope with everyday stress and survival and are involved in the recovery of chronic diseases, energy levels, and endurance. The quality of our health depends on the optimum functioning of our adrenals.

Symptoms indicating your adrenals may need some TLC:

  • Chronic fatigue (lack of energy even after a full nights sleep)
  • Lightheaded and dizzy
  • Anxiety
  • Both low and high blood pressure
  • Brain fog and forgetfulness (why the heck am I reading this blog?)
  • Poor immunity; allergies, colds, slow recovery from infections
  • Craving salty and sugary foods for stimulation and energy
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Morning nausea (and you’re not pregnant!)
  • Depression
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Insomnia and/or restless sleep

“When your body is under stress – physical stress from infection, illness, or disease and/or emotional stress – the adrenal glands respond by stepping up cortisol production. Cortisol helps your body deal with stress and curbs inflammation.  Without enough cortisol, you may experience increased infections, nausea, and changes in blood pressure and blood sugar. Adrenal gland syndrome results when your adrenal glands can no longer meet your body’s demands for cortisol.”[1]

And, if too much cortisol is circulating in your system, the opposite can happen – you can experience anxiety, restlessness and an inability to sleep.

Many foods, substances, and other factors can exacerbate adrenal stress:

  • Refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, soda and sweet drinks
  • Pesticides, additives, and artificial sweeteners (endocrine disruptors)
  • Excessive amounts of caffeine
  • Drug abuse – both prescription drugs and street drugs
  • High glycemic dried fruits that can spike blood sugar levels
  • Carbohydrate meals without adequate protein and fat to slow sugar absorption
  • Candida overgrowth, digestive disorders, cancer and chronic illnesses
  • Over-exercising
  • Constantly on “go” without rest
  • Pregnancy and breast feeding – adrenal fatigue results if the mother does not eat enough nutrient dense foods and/or iodine rich foods
  • Thyroid disease*

*Compromised adrenals puts the body in a state of catabolism (break down). When this happens, the thyroid naturally slows metabolism, leading to hypothyroidism and/or Hashimoto’s. If the adrenals are properly supported, the thyroid naturally balances itself.  For more info on Thyroid see  Thyroid DVD.

To reclaim our energy it’s imperative to reduce stress, get adequate sleep, and support the body with wholesome foods.

When I was in my early thirties, I suffered with Adrenal Fatigue. My blood pressure was 80 over 50 (yikes!), I was exhausted, and my immune system kept crashing. At that time I was vegan; abstaining from animal protein, animal fat, and any product made from animals. My meals were ALL carbohydrate, all the time: whole grains, beans, vegetables, sea vegetables, nuts and seeds, and fruits. Which seemed pretty healthy to me, but eating that way for a long period of time led to a deficiency in my body. Once the imbalance was adjusted my body began rebuilding it’s energy reserves. It was a good lesson to learn about food the energetics of food.

Adrenal recovery can take anywhere from three months to three years depending on the severity of the condition.

Relax… as long as you are alive and breathing you can improve any condition. We need to learn how to be patient with our beautiful body. It heals at a pace that is not accepted by modern society – slowly.

Some tips to begin your healing process:

  • Eat breakfast that includes some protein and fat. Examples: oatmeal with full fat yogurt, eggs with butter and whole grain bread, or grits with greens and sausage.
  • Snack on protein & carbohydrates (trail mix, egg salad on sliced daikon radish, turkey roll ups) rather than just carbohydrates (crackers, pretzels, dried fruits, chocolate).
  • Eat vegetables and fruits (both cooked and raw) with sea salt to balance sodium/potassium levels.
  • Eat protein and fat from naturally raised animals to help support hormone and glucagon production.
  • Drink nourishing bone stocks for deep nutrition!

Lifestyle behaviors can support or drain us as well.

Stress-relieving activities like meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help.

Avoiding stress producers like unhealthy relationships, or learning how to deal with those people more effectively would be a good idea, too.

Adrenal Fatigue indicates a “deficiency.” Just like your daily diet, your body, mind and emotions may be running on empty. Where do you need to fill up?

Begin asking these questions:

  1. Is my diet working for me? Am I deficient in any nutrients?
  2. Does my daily work fill me with energy or does it deplete me?
  3. Are my relationships with other people, and with myself, in harmony?
  4. Am I enjoying life and refueling myself with things I love to do?

If you need more information and guidance opt-in HERE to receive Thyroid and Adrenal supportive information delivered directly to your inbox.



  • Love this article and resource. Great job Andrea– very much appreciated. My specialty is working with people who think they are eating healthy and are physically active but still have the brain fog; joint discomfort; tummy bloat; sleep and skin issues due to hidden food allergies and sensitivities. Warmest hugs!

    • Andrea Beaman

      Love it! Keep up the great work, Lois.

    • Susanne

      Lois Brown, where do you work from?

  • Sandra

    Andrea. How much seaweed do we need on a daily basis to be healthy???

    • How much seaweed you can eat on a daily basis depends upon your personal condition.
      Some people cannot tolerate high iodine foods (seaweed is one of those). *

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  • Watch the movie fat,sick and nearly dead. Do a juice fast like in the movie

  • I Love this article. Thank you Andrea! Jill

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  • Katie

    Andrea, I really liked this article – but I choose to not eat meat or dairy about 90% of the time. Do you think it’s possible to overcome adrenal fatigue without animal products? Also, is there a way to test for this or is it something you recognize by symptoms? Thanks for such great info! 🙂

    • Hi Katie – It all depends on your condition. If you are in a state of “deficiency” it can be hard to “build” with vegetable based foods. Everybody’s body is different. I would suggest you try and incorporate bone stocks into your diet and see how you feel. If you feel energized than keep doing it. It’ll keep your animal intake on the low end, yet still nourish your body on a deep level.

  • natanya

    Wow Andrea, thanks! Just yesterday I posted on Facebook how tired I was and struggling to maintain my energy levels. I am tired in the morning when I wake up and can’t wait to get home so I can sleep. I am however focussing on my eating and supplementing with good natural product. Hopefully its just a slum after Christmas and a hectic start to my work year! Your article has helped me a lot!

  • Thanks Andrea for posting this. I am happy to see your reply about using animal stock vs. eating it. is broth much different from stock? i buy an organic chicken broth and will cook with that.

    • Homemade stock uses the bones, where the broth you purchase in the store may only use animal parts (meat and scraps) as flavorings.
      It’s pretty easy to make a stock at home, and well worth it.

  • Pam Zicca

    Thank you for posting this Andrea. I am not eating as I should, though I’m exercising, meditating and getting outside albeit in the cold weather every day going for walks by the majestic Hudson river in montrose ny looking for bald eagles. Tetown is sponsoring eagle feast 2013 feb 9 a fabulous festival and with the cold temperatures we have been experiencing I am hopeful for a better turn out than last year.

  • Judith Viveiros

    Great advice Andrea, will keep these tips in mind.

  • Diana Smiley Bartkowiak

    Love this.. I am Vegan and suffer often from adrenal Fatigue, however I suffered it much more in the past before I was vegan. I simply Will not ever take back animal proteins for many reasons.. it goes against my convictions being the most important, and It simply tastes disgusting to me now! My main reason for Adrenal Fatigue is stress.. I really think my healing comes best when I learn to cope and deal with it better. I need to learn not to let others ‘get under my skin!’ I find that meditation breathing, meditation itself, Pilates and staying active- but resting when needed all keeps me more at peace; and of course my faith sees me through to my healing everytime. Thanks Andrea for your story once again. I love reading your writings! ~Peace & Blessings…

  • Hi – I had adrenal burnout 7 years ago – BRUTAL. I was a walking zombie! Are you familiar with adaptogens and their importance in adrenal health?

    • @facebook-704645449:disqus – please share your knowledge of adaptogens with us!

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  • Corrie Ann

    Define “excessive” caffeine (coffee). LOL Love this post Andrea.

  • Emily Gamache

    So, where do you begin if you’re eating “clean” and eating the way you should? My family is gluten and wheat-free because my 4 year old has a life-threatening allergy to both as well as celiac disease. Other than that, we eat fairly well. Organic fruits and vegetables, full-fat yogurt, organic milk, humanely raised organic grass-fed meat, sustainably harvested fish (mainly salmon, sardines and tuna), nuts and seeds. I only drink herbal teas – green tea rarely, lots of water and I use doTerra essential oils. What would you recommend?

    • @emilygamache:disqus – It depends… recommend for what? Adrenal fatigue? You could be eating well, but still need to address the emotional factors and stress. We can exhaust our adrenals if we are emotionally overwhelmed, or struggling (spiritually, financially, emotionally). There are LOTS of things that can cause us to feel pooped and wiped out.

    • Alex

      You may not be eating well, too!

      Fish (mercury/pcb)
      Don’t forget high oxalate foods!
      Starchy foods too?

      All potentially very problematic.

      Elimination diet worth a go 🙂

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