Could my anxiety be related to adrenal fatigue?

If you haven’t been doing a lot of this lately, you might be anxious and it might be due to adrenal fatigue

What herbs (or other natural medicines) are good for anxiety related to adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a modern term for burn out.  Technically it’s not the adrenals that have the problem but the pituitary which regulates many of the key hormones in the body – blood sugar, stress, reproductive and thyroid.

Regardless, anxiety is one of the many symptoms that can be a part of the syndrome we call adrenal fatigue. 

If you think you might have it, there are several tests that can be done to find out, for example serum cortisol, salivary hormones or DHEAs but mainly your symptoms will let you know.  These symptoms may include

  • A reliance on coffee to get you going
  • Sleeplessness, 3am wake up, frequent waking
  • Cravings for salt
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty getting out of bed
  • Frequent colds or flus due to lowered immunity
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • And of course, anxiety

The cause of adrenal fatigue is simply going too hard for too long. We can’t do that without suffering the consequences.  You can’t beat the body.  You won’t win.  You have to pay attention and work with the body if you’re going to have a healthy relationship with it. 

What do we do about it?  Increased rest is required.  The body needs better nourishment.  Exercise may need to be reduced (some people are overdoing it).  Natural medicines do help. 

Some of the many herbs that can be helpful are:

  • Ashwaganda (aka Withania)
  • Siberian ginseng
  • Licorice
  • Rhodiola
  • Rehmannia
  • Schisandra
  • Gotu kola

Some foods that can be helpful:

  • Sodium and potassium rich foods such as potatoes, bananas, celery
  • Chicken noodle soup can be good esp if homemade
  • Oats to calm the nervous system
  • Green leafy vegetables for a rich source of calcium and magnesium

Some essential oils that can be beneficial

  • Lavender (if in doubt use lavender – our old favourite)
  • Roman chamomile
  • Vetiver
  • Sandalwood
  • Frankincense
  • Spruce and fir essential oils

I recommend you see a naturopath to support you through recovery.

Brenda Rogers

Naturopath based in the Hills District of Sydney.