Adrenal Fatigue and How to Handle it



“Why am I feeling tired all the time?”

It could be because your adrenals are constantly running – not sleeping well turns into a feeling of not having enough time to do things which turns into not having enough energy to complete the never-ending list of tasks that have to be completed in the space of a day or  week or a month or a year.  There are plenty of things that tax our bodies even without stress: environmental toxins, not enough water during the day, poor nutrition, processed foods, infections and pain and then there’s that list again.  The more stress we experience, the more our adrenals function as a physiological reaction to many factors, just to get us through the day. But if you think of your regular energy as your checking account, your adrenals should really be those CDs you weren’t planning on breaking into for fear of incurring a large financial penalty.

Coffee is a big contributor to adrenal fatigue. We’re tired so we drink a cup or three to get us going.  I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with coffee, but relying on it and the incredible number of energy drinks on the market in order to get us going is not the answer. Ultimately we feel drained, irritable, and forgetful and we can’t sleep so the cycle begins again the next day at a higher intensity.  Usually this hits in the early afternoon  – say at 2pm. The cycle recreates itself each day that we don’t sleep well, and sometimes it seems that we are on a treadmill and we are never going to be able to get off.

The more exhausted you are, the more difficult it is to catch up. Treading water is no position for us to put ourselves in, and learning to really relax is an integral part of the recovery from adrenal fatigue. Not cutting corners, taking time out from the work and social frenzy, nurturing ourselves and going to bed early are essential elements in getting back on track. If you’re unlucky, you’ll get sick and have no choice but to take time off and recover.

Adrenal fatigue is something that affects 80% of people some point in there lives. The good news is that it does not have to be permanent. With careful attention, the adrenals can be weaned back to a healthy state in only a few months.

Most often people suffering from adrenal fatigue are deficient in this nutrient. When we are stressed, we often feel some anxiety. What does B5 do?

The human body requires vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, to process fats, proteins and carbohydrates, to manufacture red blood cells, and to synthesize cholesterol. Vitamin B5 is found in a wide variety of foods, from meats and dairy products to vegetables, fruits and legumes. Fresh foods contain more vitamin B5 than canned, frozen or processed foods, however, because much of the vitamin is lost during processing. The recommended daily value of vitamin B5 for adults and adolescents is 4 to 7 milligrams, according to Children require 3 to 5 milligrams daily, depending on their age.

B5 pantothenic acid: food sources.
  • Tuna
  • Cod
  • Chicken
  • Lobster
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Beef
  • Kidney
  • Tongue
  • Eggs
  • Green beans
  • Lentils
  • Split peas

Vegetables and Fruits

The best vegetable sources of vitamin B5 include corn, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. Mushrooms, turnip greens, collard greens, winter squash and Swiss chard are also good sources of pantothenic acid. Few fruits contain significant amounts of the vitamin, with the exception of avocado. A single avocado provides about 2 milligrams of vitamin B5. Strawberries, oranges and bananas also have small amounts of vitamin B5.

Other Food Sources

Yogurt, cheese, whole-grain breads and cereals, wheat germ, sunflower seeds and nuts such as pecans and hazelnuts.

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