25 Lifestyle Strategies to Heal Adrenal Fatigue

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25 Strategies to Heal Adrenal Fatigue

The adrenal glands help the body to adapt to stress and reproduce through the unique compounds they produce and secrete.  Over 50 essential hormones are produced within the adrenal glands.  These hormones are critical to health and vitality.  When we are overstressed, the adrenals pump out stress hormones until they fatigue and crash, which can be devastating to the body.

Although the adrenals are no bigger than the size of a walnut, they have an incredibly important role in the human life cycle.  Some of the many different hormones created by the adrenals include steroid hormones such as adrenalin, norepinephrine, cortisol, aldosterone, estrogen and testosterone (1).

Sympathetic Vs Parasympathetic Tone:

When the body is under stress, it increases sympathetic tone, which is a part of our nervous system that wires us into a “fight or flight” mode.  This is a normal and natural way our body protects itself.  The problem is when this goes on for a long-period of time and creates a state of sympathetic dominance.

On the contrary, when we are able to relax, have fun, play, laugh, spend time deep breathing and in gratitude and prayer, we stimulate parasympathetic tone.  This is the part of our nervous system that enhances healing and repair mechanisms.

We need good balance between both our sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.  We want them both to be good at responding to the environmental demands.  Most often, we want to be in a state of parasympathetic dominance so we can heal and repair effectively from the daily stressors (2).

Stress Resilience, Stress Resilience: 12 Strategies to Grow Stronger Through Stress

The Epidemic of Adrenal Fatigue:

Adrenal fatigue is a condition that most everyone experiences at some point in their lives due to the amount of chronic mental, emotional, chemical and physical stressors that come with the life we live.  These stimuli increase our state of sympathetic tone and increase the adrenal hormone output.  Naturally, we should be able to cycle in and out as we take time to support our body, rest and repair.

The major problems with adrenal fatigue and its progression into adrenal exhaustion occur when the adrenals are unable to turn-off.  This can be due to underlying infections, allergies, leaky gut syndrome, nutrient deficiencies and an overload of toxicities (3).

cortisol, 7 Ways To Balance Cortisol Levels

Major Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

These are all symptoms that are associated with a number of different disorders that are often overlooked by mainstream doctors.  Ultimately, when the body is not functioning at a high level it causes more energy output from the adrenals.  Overtime, this can lead to adrenal exhaustion, when the adrenals are no longer able to meet the demands of the environment.

Adrenal exhaustion is a very serious condition that causes accelerated aging, chronic inflammation, overwhelming fatigue and an inability to heal and repair.  The individual wants to sleep and feels the need to sleep but most commonly has trouble falling and staying asleep.

Nutrition and Adrenal Fatigue:

Our nutrition plays a large role in the development and the healing of adrenal fatigue.  Most people in our society are consuming far too many carbohydrates and not enough pure nutrients and good fats.  This causes blood sugar imbalances.  The adrenals must work extremely hard to maintain blood sugar stability and the modern diet taxes them to the limits.

The best diet for adrenal fatigue begins by working on stabilizing blood sugar with the use of protein and good fats. Having clean protein at each meal in the form of organic, pasture-raised poultry, beef and wild game is extremely key.

Protein and amino acids are necessary for the production of stress hormones, good blood sugar balance and anti-inflammatory enzyme production.  I recommend making sure you have 30-50 grams of protein in each meal.

adrenal fatigue

Blood Sugar Stabilizing Diet

You should also have 15-30 grams of healthy fats in each meal.  This includes using coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut flakes, coconut milk, avocados, olives and olive oil and grass-fed butter or ghee and pasture-raised animal products.

These fat sources should be the staple of the diet.  The cholesterol within things like grass-fed butter or ghee and quality animal products is also needed for the production of the adrenal hormone precursors pregnenolone and DHEA.  Additionally, the fats help to keep blood sugar stable and take stress off the adrenal glands.

Adding in lots of phytonutrients and trace minerals in the form of non-starchy vegetables such as dark green leafies, cucumbers, celery, radishes, cruciferous veggies, etc is very important.  Be sure to get a lot of herbs into your diet including ginger, turmeric, rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano.

Using low-glycemic fruit such as berries, lemons, limes and granny smith apples is ideal.  These are low in sugar and loaded with antioxidant compounds that help reduce stress on your body.  Here is a guide with some of the best foods to prioritize in your diet.

25 Strategies to Heal Adrenal Fatigue:

Here are the top strategies for healing adrenal fatigue naturally. You should always consult with your physician before stopping or changing medications or taking on new health strategies.

Additionally, you should be working with a functional health practitioner to help guide you through these strategies.  This is not an exhaustive list and there are other natural therapeutic strategies that I and functional health practitioners will utilize to help individuals with adrenal fatigue.

1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet:

It is important to build your diet around good fats, antioxidant phytonutrients, clean protein, healthy fibers, fermented foods and natural sweeteners in moderation.  If you suspect food sensitivities, then following an elimination diet is highly recommended.

autoimmune diet, Autoimmune Diet: Top 12 Best Foods to Reduce Inflammation

2.  Focus on Deep Breathing:

Improving your posture, seeing a high-quality chiropractor and optimizing your breathing patterns is highly recommended.  Take time every day to breath long and deep and allow the rest and peace that comes with this practice to come over you.

Follow these tips here to improve your breathing patterns.

adrenal fatigue

3.  Zinc, B Vitamins and Magnesium:  

Be sure to optimize your zinc and magnesium levels.  Both of these nutrients work to improve blood sugar signaling problems.  Pumpkin seeds are one of the richest sources of both zinc and magnesium.

Additionally, make green drinks or use super green powders and consume healthy organic meat products.   This combination of foods provides a lot of bioactive B vitamins, magnesium and zinc.

B Vitamin Deficiencies, B Vitamin Deficiencies: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions

4.  Dry Brush Your Skin:

The Ayurvedic practice of dry brushing boost circulation and therefore also boost lymph flow and detoxification.  In addition, it helps to stimulate endorphins and other feel-good neuropeptides.

It helps to reduce the stress response and is very relaxing and rejuvenating for the body.  Use a soft bristled brush and gently brush from your extremities towards your heart.  Do this daily for 5-10 minutes for the best results.

adrenal fatigue

5.  Hydrate Your Body Well:

Water is extremely critical for balancing stress hormone production.  When you are dehydrated, you will naturally stimulate stress hormone production.  Drinking 8oz of water can be one of the best ways to tone down the stress response and put you back into a state of rest and repair.

On a daily basis, I recommend starting your day with 16-32 oz of water first thing in the morning and consuming a minimum of 8oz of water every 2-3 hours throughout the day.  Your goal should be a minimum of half your body weight in ounces of water each day.

It is also great to add in fresh squeezed lemon or lime, essential oils or apple cider vinegar to add more antioxidants and enzymes.

6.  Ground Your Body:

In our society we are surrounded by toxic electromagnetic frequency’s (EMF’s).  These EMF’s increase stress within our body and alter neurotransmitter function.

By going outside daily and walking barefoot on grass, dirt or sand you absorb natural EMFs from the ground that balance your electrical rhythms.  Follow the steps in this article here.

adrenal fatigue

7.  Avoid Caffeine & Sugar:

Caffeine works by stimulating the adrenals to pump out more stress hormone.  If the body is already in a state of adrenal fatigue, then this will overtax the body and cause adrenal exhaustion and burnout.

Increasing sugar creates blood sugar imbalances, which cause the adrenals to have to work harder in an effort to maintain some level of balance of sugar in the bloodstream.  Staying off of sugar is a priority to heal fatigued adrenals.

Sugar Cravings, 7 Ways To Stop Sugar Cravings

8.  Use Essential Oils:

Essential oils are the life blood of the plant.  Some essential oils that work great for adrenal fatigue include lavender, vanilla, rose, lemon balm, chamomile, rosemary and frankincense.

You can diffuse these in your home and/or apply them with a carrier oil of coconut oil and apply them to your skin.  These are all rather mild so you can also put 2 drops in a glass of water and consume as well.  I recommend using rosemary, lemon balm, vanilla, rose and frankincense during the day and lavender and chamomile at night to help improve relation and sleep.

9.  Improve Your Sleep:  

Sleeping a high quality 8-9 hours each night is key to healing and improving your ability to adapt to stress.  I also recommend taking a daytime nap sometime between 12 – 3pm in order to reduce stress hormones and allow for a short reset before going into your afternoon activities.

Make sure to go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Avoid electronics, food, caffeine, and stress in the evening. Develop a bedtime routine that relaxes and calms you.

Try relaxing activities, such as meditation, prayer, stretching, journaling, and gratitude. Sip on a cup of herbal tea or golden milk. Create is a peaceful sanctuary in your bedroom with a comfortable bed, bedding, pillows, a salt lamp, some candles or essential oils, and your favorite spiritual books.  Be sure to Follow the steps in this article to improve your sleep.

bad sleep, Bad Sleep: Common Causes and How to Reverse It

10.  Low Intensity Movement:

A sedentary lifestyle creates more stress on the body.  Light movement is anti-inflammatory and healing for the adrenals.

Throughout the day, get a lot of low-intensity movement such as walking, light cycling, playing, etc.  Regular movement will help reduce inflammation in the body and boost your mood.

11.  See a Wellness Chiropractor:

Stress on the upper cervical spine can cause an increase in sympathetic tone and stress hormone production.  If this problem is not corrected, over time, it can lead to poor tissue healing and adrenal fatigue (4).

Seeing a wellness-based chiropractor who can accurately assess for upper cervical subluxations and give specific corrective adjustments and exercises to stabilize this region can be extremely helpful in reducing stress on the body (5).

Other subluxation problems that need to address include forward head posture, loss of cervical curve which both put a lot of pressure on the nervous system and lead to an increase in sympathetic tone.

chiropractic, 10 Researched Benefits of Chiropractic

12.  Listen to Light Inspirational Music:

Listening to light classical, meditation or worship music can be extremely healing for the body.  These forms of music are not overstimulating, but they have unique harmonies that boost up endorphins and stimulate the formation of serotonin.

In addition, listening to classical music and other music that uplifts your spirits enhances tissue healing and repair.  Be sure to avoid loud, rock, dance and hip-hop music if you have adrenal fatigue.  These melodies are far too stimulating and can further drain the adrenals.

music therapy, 3 Ways Music Therapy Improves Brain Function

13.  Positive Visualization:

Visualize yourself healthy and well – full of life, breathing deep and easy.  What you picture and hold to strong enough in your mind, you will begin to manifest in your life.  This is simple to do, empowering and FREE!!  Doing this practice will help reduce stress and improve healing and rejuvenation processes.

14.  Play More:

Humans and all mammals are biologically programmed to play.   Just watch your children, cats and dogs, they prioritize rest and play above most other things.  Engage in some restorative hobbies, play with your pets or kids and have fun!

15.  Schedule Down-Time:

Schedule time where you can relax and read an enjoyable book or watch an uplifting movie or documentary.  Be sure to avoid negative influences during this time.

Stay away from horror movies, loud music, media that challenges your value system and negative people.  Create an environment that uplifts, encourages and empowers you.

16.  Spend Less Time on a Cell Phone:

Your cell phone may be overstressing your system with negative EMF’s.  Research has shown that using your cell phone increases the stress response and inflammatory processes (6).  Use it less often and when you do, have it on the speaker phone and as far from your body as possible.

adrenal fatigue

17.  Heal Your Gut:

One of the top causes of adrenal fatigue is leaky gut syndrome and infections like H Pylori, SIBO, parasites and yeast overgrowth.   These infections cause a state of dysbiosis in the gut that creates a chronic stress response in the body.

It is important to balance your microbiome and heal your gut in order to reduce stress on the adrenals.  Follow a specific program to heal your gut while supporting your adrenals and you will see much faster results.

Dysbiosis, Dysbiosis: What is It and How to Heal Your Microbiome 

18. Eliminate Food Sensitivities:

Identify any major food sensitivities through either a lab test here or biofeedback test here and come off of these for 90 days.  I typically start my adrenal fatigued patients on an elimination diet, where we remove the most common food irritants including gluten, grains, most dairy, eggs, sugars, corn, peanuts, soy and nightshade vegetables.

After a 4–6-week elimination diet, we begin to add these foods back and see if they cause stress and inflammation.  There is a delicate walk to find the foods that are most tolerable while the body heals.  Overtime, the body becomes stronger and has less sensitivity to foods in the future.

adrenal fatigue

19.  Consume Adequate Salts and Trace Minerals:

Minerals are essential to the production and utilization of stress hormones.  Using the highest quality pink salts on your foods throughout the day is a great strategy to boost mineral content.  My favorite salt brands include the pink salts you can get with Himalayan Sea Salt and Redmond’s Real Salt.  Celtic sea salt is another great brand.

In addition to salts, consuming celery, cucumbers, fermented vegetables like pickles and sauerkraut and sea vegetables (seaweeds) on a regular basis can improve mineral levels and stress hormone production and utilization.

adrenal fatigue

20.  Laugh More:

They say that “laughter is our best medicine,” and this is true when it comes to the adrenals.  Laughing helps to stimulate endorphins and other feel-good neuropeptides that reduce the stress response and enhance the healing process.

Be careful not to over laugh!  Uncontrolled laughing can be too stimulating, so keep it under control.  General chuckles about your daily activities and light joking with friends can be very restorative.

adrenal fatigue

21.  Get High Quality Sun Exposure:

Sun exposure on our skin not only helps to boost up vitamin D levels, but it also improves the ability of our mitochondria to produce energy for healing and repair.  This helps take stress off of the adrenals and helps them to heal and regenerate faster (7).

Vitamin D is one of the best homeostatic regulators within our bodies and needed for healthy adrenal function.  But our bodies also absorb biophotons from the sun, which are light particles that create reactions in our cells promoting DNA repair and synthesis.

22.  Take Epsom Salt Baths:

Epsom salt baths are relaxing and rejuvenating.  The salts provide magnesium and sulfates to help support the health of your adrenals and liver detoxification.  I recommend doing one for 30 minutes each night with lavender and chamomile essential oils in the water and diffusing in the air.

Dim the lights and play some light worship music or classical music and focus on deep breathing.  This is an EXTREMELY restorative nightly ritual that will help you sleep deeper and feel more rejuvenated each morning when you wake.

Epsom Salt Baths, The Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths

23.  Meditate and Pray Daily:

Meditation and prayer are extraordinarily restorative to the body, mind and the spirit.  These techniques help to calm the mind and bring a state of peace and tranquility.

In 1 Peter, we’re told to cast all our anxiety on Him, and we need to do so now more than ever.  Researchers looked at individuals with engaged religious and spiritual lifestyle habits and found they have significantly better mental health and adapt more quickly to health problems (8).

Jesus says, “my yoke is easy, and burden is light,” and He desires for us to give Him our struggles.  We don’t have to take the weight of the world on our shoulders.  Take time each day to thank the Lord and give Him your struggles and I guarantee you will see an improved state of mind and an increase in the amount of peace and freedom you experience each day.

The Brain Tap System is a revolutionary system that helps to restore your brain’s natural ability to balance. It helps to soothe your brain. It promotes relaxation and revitalization. This system supports you with a range of brain waves to achieve balance.

I have found that the Brain Tap system is a quick, easy, and effective way to lower stress, feel calmer and more controlled, improve cognition, experience more energy, and positivity, and feel overall healthier. Only 10 to 20 minutes a day can make an enormous difference in your brain, mental, emotional, and physical health.

Stress Resilience, Stress Resilience: 12 Strategies to Grow Stronger Through Stress

24.  Stretch Your Body:

Doing light stretching or a yoga class can be one of the most beneficial things for individuals dealing with adrenal fatigue.  Light movements and stretches, coupled with breathing techniques help to calm the adrenals, stimulate feel good endorphins and improve parasympathetic tone in the body.

Do 15 minutes of yoga each morning or take a class at your local fitness center or on a DVD at your home.  Be sure not to engage in an intense yoga session with more demanding positions or a hot yoga class as that can be too draining on your adrenals.

adrenal fatigue

25.  Keep a Gratitude Journal:

We often spend so much time focused on what is wrong and what we are frustrated by.  Taking time each day to journal about what you are most grateful for can be one of the most powerful daily activities.

You can also incorporate this into your breathing, meditation and prayer practices where you remind yourself of what you are most grateful for.  This will relax your mind, increase endorphins, reduce stress hormone production and stimulate parasympathetic tone in the body.

adrenal fatigue

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The Inflammation Crushing Ebundle is designed to help you improve your brain, liver, immune system and discover the healing strategies, foods and recipes to burn fat, reduce inflammation and Thrive in Life!

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In our Inflammation Crushing Ebundle, I have put together my very best strategies to reduce inflammation and optimize your healing potential.  Take a look at what you will get inside these valuable guides below!

Sources For This Article Include:

1. De Silva DC, Wijesiriwardene B. The adrenal glands and their functions. Ceylon Med J. 2007 Sep;52(3):95-100. PMID: 18020028
2. Tanaka G. [The relationships between sympathetic and parasympathetic tones and cardiovascular responses during active coping]. Shinrigaku Kenkyu. 1992 Jun;63(2):92-9. Japanese. PMID: 1405061
3. Allen LV Jr. Adrenal fatigue. Int J Pharm Compd. 2013 Jan-Feb;17(1):39-44. PMID: 23627245
4. Hardy K, Pollard H. The organisation of the stress response, and its relevance to chiropractors: a commentary. Chiropractic & Osteopathy. 2006;14:25.
5. Welch A, Boone R. Sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to specific diversified adjustments to chiropractic vertebral subluxations of the cervical and thoracic spine. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2008;7(3):86-93.
6. Kesari KK, Siddiqui MH, Meena R, Verma HN, Kumar S. Cell phone radiation exposure on brain and associated biological systems. Indian J Exp Biol. 2013 Mar;51(3):187-200. PMID: 23678539
7. Mead MN. Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2008;116(4):A160-A167.
8. Koenig HG. Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications. ISRN Psychiatry. 2012;2012:278730.

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Dr. Jockers

Dr David Jockers is passionate about seeing people reach their health potential in mind, body and spirit. He is the host of the popular “Dr Jockers Functional Nutrition” podcast and the author of the best-selling books, “The Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” and “The Fasting Transformation.”


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  1. There are a large number of other complaints that are associated with Adrenal Fatigue.

    This article explains it perfectly.
    Thanks Dr.

  2. Thanks for the information and sharing with us! Especially when you are going through a fatigued time or crisis!

  3. Thank you very much for this highly informative article! I had gained 20 lbs in about a month, was super stressed, very reactive, highly anxious and sooo tired. My Dr. ran some blood tests and told me that all of my symptoms were because I was in a situation of high prolonged stress. He gave me meds for anxiety and told me to see a counselor. I knew there had to be more to the story… I am going to find a new Dr. and see if it is my adrenal glands.

    Again, thank you very much!

  4. Thank you for this article, it’s so helpful. I’ve been struggling with these symptoms for years, had the diagnosis adrenal fatigue 4 years ago. I followed a treatment plan with so many supplements, very expensive and got maybe 10% better. I moved to a new place and had too much stress and have been crashing on and off for the last 4 months with a new and serious low point now.
    So reading this article made me aware. I’m going to follow all the steps. There are no holistic doctors here, only traditional ones that make fun of you when you talk about adrenal fatigue. So i’m going to have to figure it out myself.
    A question about the Zinc, b vitamins and magnesium and others: how much should you take per day? Also are there supplements, specific herbs or …you can recommend? And do you have a recipe for a green drink or super green powders?

    Thank you!

    1. Hey Claudia, sorry to hear about this! We do offer long-distance health coaching and functional lab work interpretation so keep that in mind! For supplements it depends on the form. My recommendations are the “as labeled” doses on the following:

  5. Dr. Jockers,

    I am experiencing muscle moss in my legs known as the catabolic state. I know this is a sever form of adrenal fatigue. Is this something you are able to treat? And if so, can it be done by phone? Thank you and God bless you!


  6. Hi again Dr Jockers, I’ve been studying this wonderful treasure of a website in the hopes of learning as much as I can. You frequently mention the Organic Acid test (which I’m about to do, after learning about it from you). Are there other tests which you would suggest in the case of acute and terribly stubborn Adrenal Fatigue/HPA Axis Dysfunction? Thank you for all the work you do!

    1. What are your symptoms of H.P.A. axis dysfunction?
      How do you know you have it?
      Because I wouldn’t have known before I had the Complete Dutch Test done.

  7. Hi Dr Kickers,

    Thank you so much for your clear advice. Not too much medical jargon which is even more confusing for someone experiencing the symptoms is adrenal fatigue. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with others who cannot afford expensive private doctors outside their current health care symtoms. You dont have to do this , thanks for giving .Do you ship your products to the UK? I have mercury fillings , will they continue to affect my overall wellbeing or minimise the efficacy of the suggestive lifestyle changes to get rid of adrenal fatigue and leaky gut. Should I continue using Chorella until I have them removed which are extremely costly? Thank you .

    1. Hey Michelle! Thank you for reading, I’m glad it has been helpful for you! Yes we do ship to UK. For additional information on shipping, get in touch with sales@drjockers.com

      Mercury fillings may be causing some issues and you will likely want to have them removed at some point by a biological dentist with the proper training to do so. Chlorella should be okay, you may also want to up regulate your glutathione pathways as outlined here: https://drjockers.com/glutathione-levels/

  8. Hi Dr Jockers, I found your site after hearing you on an online summit last week. I have SIBO and Candida and have done several rounds of herbal and nonherbal antibiotics. As a next step I am supposed to begin the biphasic low histamine diet but I have tried to over and over again (for a year) and I feel terrible when I do it, the diet is so limited because of all my food sensitivities. There are just a handful of foods that are “ok” but I can’t last more than three days doing it. I feel like my brain is shutting down and buzzing and I am stuck because I just can’t do it. Which makes me give up for awhile and eat tons of carbs and start the cycle again. I am sure I have adrenal fatigue, and I know I still have candida because of symptoms. What’s the first step to getting out of this loop?

  9. This is ridiculous!
    Anyone who knows what adrenal fatigue is like would tell you the “to-do-list” to heal is totally overwhelming and not doable unless you have no job and a lot of money.
    I’ve low energy and a limited income, thus most of your suggestions are not helpful to me as my budget is stretched over my limit as it is. But thanks for sharing, anyway.

    1. Hey Robyn,

      It may seem overwhelming when you see this list but it isn’t all or none. You can begin by doing 2-3 of these and it will help move you in the right direction. Most of these things cost nothing.

      1. That’s true…some of the things cost nothing, except a huge amount of time…and a continuous reminder we have adrenal fatigue.
        No one really talks about how bad it feels…the worst thing that ever happened to me!
        I am in phase 3 and wonder if this thing is progressive.

  10. Sorry….it’s my norepinephrine that rises when I stand. My last plasma blood norephinephrine level was 1448 and the range was 0-874.

    Thanks again!

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