If you’ve ever read the symptoms of adrenal fatigue you probably realised it described all your symptoms, you and 80% of the first world. The result of living a stressful lifestyle in a toxic environment.
If you have not, they are;
- You feel tired for no reason
- You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour
- You feel rundown or overwhelmed
- You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness
- You crave salty or sweet snacks
- You feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6pm than you do all day
Sound familiar? Luckily there are a few things you can do to assist your body.
( I know this article may seem long, I promise I have kept it down to the basics, but even scanning it will yield useful, practical advice)
My husband found out he had it, quite severely, where he couldn’t remain awake for more than 4 hours before needing a nap, even falling asleep at guests dinner tables. Upon further research, it turns out adrenal fatigue often goes hand in hand with heavy metal poisoning. We found an amazing doctor in Fourways (Dr Nicole Dawson 011 4677 454) who specialises in this. She offers HTMA tests with involves cutting some hair from the back of your head and having it tested in a lab in America. The result is a comprehensive list of what all is in your body and in what amounts. The test is not cheap (around R1300 if I remember correctly) but the most valuable test we’ve ever had. In 20 years of doing this she had never encountered cadmium (a heavy metal) levels as high as in my husband. Three times off the chart. 150 times toxicity level. While I don’t mean to bore you with his medical history I want you to know that the advice I’m giving comes from extensive, expensive research and trial and error we’ve gone through. Plus the invaluable advice from a friend that dabbles in biochemistry who’s wife has been bedridden for 3 years with mercury poisoning.
So work and kids and daily life stress your adrenals, then you drink caffeine, alcohol and maybe take recreational drugs to unwind, but it works your adrenals harder, unavoidable environmental toxins stress it more, making it unable to handle your usual load, and therefore less effective at getting rid of the toxins, Monday comes and the cycle repeats and becomes more severe. So how can you break the cycle?
Here are a few things. Something important to know about detoxing is that it’s not simply about ingesting something that mops up toxins, or something that loosens it from wherever it is lodged. It is a three step process. You need to dislodge it from where it is (bones, organs…), then take something that it will bind to (or it will move around and sit somewhere else) and then something to help pass it out your system.
In the case of cadmium your body mistakes it for zinc, so to dislodge it you should increase your zinc intake and increase doing things that uses zinc. (In the case of lead poisoning it mistakes it calcium)
Then, fat absorbs toxins. This however makes it essential that you eat grass-fed beef, and other organic free range meats. If not, you are also absorbing all the toxins that animal was exposed to. It tastes significantly better and is really not that much more expensive. Available from Braeside Butchery, Mooberry Farms, Fourways Farmers Market and Jacksons Real Food Market. Or ghee, which is easy to make at home and sinfully delicious. Or coconut oil (not the odourless one as it has gone through an intensive chemical process to remove the scent). Chlorophyll is also great for mopping up the metals, like spirulina (make sure it’s not from a mercury rich environment) and coriander in particular. So you could make a coriander tincture (or buy it) and take it daily, and specifically take it or the fresh leaves when you eat something that may be contaminated (like fish).
All these toxins will inevitably strain your liver and kidneys so it is useful to support them. Many sing the praise of milk thistle, which certainly is good, but dandelion is shown to be much more potent, especially the root. This is available in teas, capsules, tinctures or easily grown at home (make sure it is taraxacum officionale, not false dandelion) and added to salads or juices. Also remember dairy and meat are more taxing on your kidneys, so do limit your amounts, even though the grass fed meat is good for you. Moderation is key.
The next one you will hate me for, but caffeine is terrible for adrenal fatigue. I know you probably feel you can’t get by without it, but that’s because your adrenals are depleted. As you minimise over-exerting them they will no longer need it and you should wean yourself off. Although coffee does also have amazing neurochemical benefits, but don’t over do it, and never rely on it to function.
Also, you want to lessen you exposure to toxins in the first place. So eat organic wherever possible. This is not always possible in which case you can remove most toxins and wax from fruit and vegetables by adding a quarter cup of vinegar to a basin full of water, let it soak for 10 mins, drain and rinse. In the pictures are a list of the dirty dozen (these should only be eaten organic or grown by yourself, as the toxins are absorbed throughout the fruit) and a clean 15 list (these are likely to be organic or only have trace amounts of toxins, regardless of certification).
Also 80% of the toxins we are exposed to are from our own homes. So switching to green cleaners is essential. It’s no use bemoaning big pharma if we all, daily, in small ways pollute ourselves and environment. I’ve found an awesome range of probiotic cleaners (http://amacleanclean.weebly.com/) that basically are good bacteria that feed on the fat of the bad bacteria, thus killing them. And when what they feed on dies, they die too. Plants that have been watered with the waste water from these cleaners have still received organic certification. They are also cheaper that store bought cleaners. The only draw back is lack of convenience in purchasing them.
Also, remove your amalgam fillings if you have any. Only one dentist in the country is trained to do so and she is absolutely incredible (Dr Rolanda Prinsloo 012 3611 808)
You’d never think a dentist experience could be painless, comfortable and actually pleasurable. It can be done.
We’ve also found a product, a medical meal. Basically its all the nutrients your brain and body need, without the wheat, gluten, soy, sugar and all those, while being very palatable. It is indispensable in our household. If you are very stressed (and can afford it) you may take it daily. I only take it when I’m particularly stressed and the change in my my mind and body is obvious within 15 minutes. It’s called Ultra Clear. Available from Dis-chem, some health shops and Weleda.
Have you ever heard of Pregnenolone? Until recently I hadn’t. It is know as the Mother Hormone. Basically it is the hormone from which your body makes all it’s other hormones, be it adrenaline, cortisol, DHEA, testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone and steroids. So it makes sense to feed and support your pregnenolone and let you body decide how much of each hormone it needs to make from there according to your needs. I have a recipe for a delicious smoothie (courtesy of Jane McKenzie, who can be found at Weleda in Bryanston and is very knowledgable on this topic and many others http://green-consultant.co.za/ ) to do just that. You can read the full article here. I believe I’ve given you a lot to work with and after this marathon mail I need to entice you to read more of my writings.
Additionally you could put an air purifier in your home or office, or even plants that have the same function (here).
Adding 2 drops of black pepper essential oil to a litre (or even a glass) of water helps to oxygenate your system and remove aluminium from the brain. It also gives the water a delicious earthy flavour, without the burn.
Zeolite is a molecular sieve that traps toxins, and tastes quite nice (if you like the taste of clay) and can be taken daily with water, up to 1 Tbsp. The same it true for bentonite clay (although much thicker, I prefer to reserve this for baths) and diatomaceous earth. Activated charcoal is also good. Don’t take this with vitamins and such though, as they may absorb the good things too.
Now, I shall let you rest. There is more to add, but I will restrain myself. Well done for making it this far and I hope that was useful. Feel free to give me feedback and let me know if there’s a specific topic you’d like me to address in later mails.
Please note I’m not a doctor, just a health enthusiasm with first (or second) hand experience and you should listen to the advice of a trusted professional should they advise you otherwise.
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Wishing you health and happiness