Living with an illness like Addison’s disease can significantly impact your life.
If you or a loved one is going through treatment for this disease, we understand that it can be a daunting process.
In order to combat this illness, it’s important to understand what it is, how it may affect you, and how to best take care of yourself.
Let’s take a look at what Addison’s disease is, what its symptoms are, and some naturopathic solutions for this hormonal imbalance that can help.
If you find the following information helpful, it might be time to book a Mississauga naturopathic consultation today.
What is Addison’s Disease?
Addison’s disease is when your adrenal glands produce too little of a hormone called cortisol.
Your adrenal glands are part of your endocrine system, which is made up of the various hormone producing organs and glands in your body.
Sometimes, lack of cortisol can lead to a lack of aldosterone as well, another hormone.
Since both cortisol and aldosterone perform critical functions in the body, such as regulating blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as keeping your heart healthy, a lack of these hormones can cause several issues.
Addison’s Disease Symptoms
People who have Addison’s disease may experience a wide variety of symptoms, which include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Unexpected weight loss
- Decrease in heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Low blood sugar level
- Darkening in skin colour
- Irritability and lack of energy
What Causes Addison’s Disease?
There are two types of Addison’s disease: primary adrenal insufficiency and secondary adrenal insufficiency.
Each has different causes.
With primary adrenal insufficiency, there’s damage caused to your adrenal glands.
This damage causes them to no longer be able to produce hormones.
Primary adrenal insufficiency is most often caused when your immune system attacks the adrenal glands, which is also known as an autoimmune disease.
Primary adrenal insufficiency can also be caused by:
Secondary adrenal insufficiency is related to your pituitary gland.
Your pituitary gland’s job is to tell your other endocrine organs when to secrete hormones into your bloodstream, and how much.
With secondary adrenal insufficiency, your pituitary gland can’t do that anymore.
This can be caused by traumatic brain injuries, tumours, or genetics.
Addison’s Disease Naturopathic Treatments
Fortunately, there are a number of naturopathic treatments available to help you battle Addison’s disease.
Food based approaches can help to improve stress on adrenal glands and regulate hormones.
Here are a few dietary changes you can make to help out your adrenal glands:
1. Eat An Adrenal Friendly Diet
To support your adrenal glands, it’s important to incorporate an adrenal friendly diet into your routine.
Ensuring that you’re getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals is the first step to support your body.
Consider an increased intake of vegetables as well as sources of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats that come from nutrient dense sources.
Good protein options to include in your adrenal friendly diet include:
- Lean meats
- Fish (for the omega 3 fatty acids
- Nuts and seeds
As well, the following foods can help relieve your adrenal fatigue:
- Whole grains
- Citrus fruits
Timing your meals to make sure that you are eating a regular and balanced diet can help support your adrenal glands.
2. Avoid Adrenal Draining Foods
It’s also important to be mindful of what kind of foods you can avoid in order to maintain your health.
That’s why, as much as possible, try to reduce your intake of foods such as white sugar, white flour, soda, fried and processed meals, and artificial sweeteners.
RELATED: 5 Amazingly Unhealthy Foods To Avoid
3. Holy Basil
Holy basil is a type of adaptogenic herb that can help balance and restore functions within the body.
Adaptogenic herbs like holy basil, also known as tulsi, help the body in responding to illnesses such as Addison’s disease.
Holy Basil in particular helps your body respond to stress in a healthy way, thus helping to relieve adrenal fatigue.
Another adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha, helps to support your endocrine and nervous system.
It can help nourish and restore your optimal health by helping you adapt to a natural sleep cycle.
Ashwagandha has an overall nourishing effect on your immune system and may help in supporting your body fight Addison’s disease.
Eleuthero is a type of adaptogenic herb that can be used to help maintain energy levels and stamina.
In traditional Chinese medical practice, eleuthero is used to energize and nourish the body.
Making use of eleuthero can help maintain and regulate your mental alertness, and balance vital energy in your body.
Book Your Appointment With The Mindful Healing Clinic Today
Interested in finding out more about naturopathic treatments for Addison’s disease?
We’re here to help.
Until next time,
Dr. Maria Cavallazzi is a medical doctor from Colombia where she practiced as a family physician for 8 years until she moved to Canada 16 years ago and became a naturopathic doctor in Mississauga.