So you've already gone gluten-free. You may have been gluten-free for a month, 6 months, a year or more, but fatigue is still an issue for you. Some people, and probably most people, experience tons of relief after going gluten-free. Your immune system begins to restore, your energy gets better, you don't have as much GI problems. But other people, like myself, still deal with tons of symptoms daily that don't seem to go away! This can include fatigue, brain fog, digestion problems, trouble concentrating, and the list goes on. So you're probably asking yourself, "why do I still have all these symptoms if going gluten-free is supposed to make it better?" The biggest reason that most people don't consider is adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the body goes under tons of stress. So you can imagine, having gluten after all those years you should be avoiding it causes a major stress on the body that takes more than just a gluten-free diet to recover.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
Stress / Physical - This can include prolonged injury, sickness, the flu, overexerting yourself in exercise, or usually some type of stress that is continuous over time.
Stress / Mental - Any type of emotional stress like a family member dying, a scary life event, or a stressful job can possibly cause adrenal fatigue.
Malnutrition - This would be considered a physical stress on the body and can be directly linked to celiac disease if the body does not get nutrients for a long amount of time.
Celiac Disease / Getting Glutened - Going undiagnosed with celiac disease for many years causes a huge stress on your body that takes a long time to repair. Also, getting glutened can cause a stress on your body as well since your body is working hard to fight off something that should not be in it.
How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue?
Obviously, fatigue is the biggest symptom of adrenal fatigue since as it is in the name. It's by far the most common symptom that goes along with it but there are many other signs / symptoms that could let you know:
- Tiredness and a sense of sleepiness during the day.
- Salty and sweet cravings.
- Needing stimulants or high doses of caffeine in coffee or colas.
- Low blood pressure.
- Loss of body hair.
- Having difficulties in recuperating from illnesses.
- General body aches.
- Feeling with more energy late in the afternoons than early in the day.
- Difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. Even with a good night´s sleep.
- Abrupt weight loss
Best tips to help recover from adrenal fatigue, naturally:
These are all tips that are generally recommended by doctors, but also tips I have found to work for myself. They won't work for everyone but they are all safe and always worth a shot.
- Eating natural foods as much as possible
- Avoiding sugary foods in the mornings
- Avoiding large amounts of alcohol
- Avoiding caffeinated drinks
- Drinking lots of water
- Doing mild exercises 3 times a week or more (not straneous)
- Taking time for yourself to relax or do something you enjoy
- Doing yoga which is amazing for recovering both mentally and physically
- Chewing your food properly and pacing yourself when you eat
- Getting the vitamins you need (Vitamin D, B12, C, and Zinc are most important)
- Taking natural adrenal supplements like ginger root
- Seeing an endocrinologist if your symptoms do not let up
How long will it take to recover?
Adrenal fatigue is always reoccurring and shows up multiple times in people's lives. Even perfectly healthy people experience adrenal fatigue so you can imagine having celiac disease can make it occur much more often. It generally takes 6 - 12 months to completely recover from adrenal fatigue which will relieve a lot of your symptoms. But you may notice your symptoms starting to improve within a few weeks of the lifestyle changes listed above.
My biggest tip is to not over exert yourself, both physically or mentally, if you realize you are having adrenal fatigue. This can cause your symptoms to get so much worse. My best recommendation is to just relax and do something that makes you happy every now and then. Take time to yourself and don't add anymore stress to your body than it's already going through. You don't need tons of medicine or pills to make yourself feel better. I know from experience that sometimes the best medicine all starts with yourself and the lifestyle you choose to live.
Do you think you are experiencing adrenal fatigue or you have before? Comment below!