How to Nurture Your Adrenals to Boost Your Fertility
Your adrenals need to be in optimal condition for you to produce the right hormones to get pregnant. If you are stressed or exhausted, your adrenals will produce stress hormones. So let’s find out how to nurture adrenals and boost your fertility!
Recently, I wrote an article on how stress can really impact your fertility through your adrenal health. So today i'm going to give you some steps to support your adrenals.
You need to start resting. If you're already phrase three of adrenal fatigue, then you will think, well, that's all I can do. I can't get off my couch. I can't get out of my bed, good. What you need to be doing is sleep.
Every now and then, have a little bit of gentle exercise. Just cycling, walking, swimming. But nothing too detrimental that exhausts you even further. But just alternate it with your naps and your night sleep.
However, if you're stage one or stage two of adrenal fatigue, stage one, being the alarm phase, and stage two, being the adaption phase, then chances are that you're finding it hard to rest.
That is really important for you to know that the only way to get out of this situation is if you force rest. Because what you need to be doing is start honoring your circadian rhythm again. Your circadian rhythm is your bio clock, or your sleep wake cycle.
In the morning, cortisol will go up. That's the hormone that will get you going. It's your natural cup of coffee to get you started with the day. That hormone will go up, and then start to drop again at the end of the day. As that drops, melatonin, another hormone, will start to go up. That is the hormone that will help us fall asleep.
However, if your cortisone levels are high, that inhibits the production of melatonin. So, if you have high cortisone levels at the end of your day, you won't have enough melatonin for you to actually fall asleep.
This is why when you're stage one, or two of the adrenal fatigue situation, you will feel wired and tired. During the day, you feel restless, but exhausted. At night, you feel exhausted, but you can't sleep.
The only way for you to stop the cycle is if you forced yourself to sleep. There are a couple of things that you can do in the evening to support the production of melatonin, or at least not counteract it.
First of all, you may already know this, it's no screen time about one or two hours before you go to sleep. Yes, we've got blue light filters that you can use. But I really think the best thing you can do is not have any screen time and not trigger your brain.
The other thing that you don't want is stimulants in the evening, such as, alcohol or caffeine. Instead, it's better for you to drink some teas, like camomile, lavender, rose, anything that is calming.
Another thing you can do to support the production of melatonin is dim the lights. So, instead of having the bright lights out, you can dim those, and maybe have some candlelight. Also, when you go to bed, wear a sleep mask. Because that way, you can block out any light that might be coming from the streetlights outside. That will also help produce the melatonin a little bit better.
Initially, you may not see a difference. But if you do this diligently, after a couple of days, you will notice that you will start to get tired naturally again in the evening. It may take awhile for you to actually feel refreshed in the morning, but this is a good first step, right?
Tools to get your body to rest
Step number two is to actually get your body to rest. Because, yes, these are good things that I just mentioned. But if you're stage one and two, if you are wired and tired, you may still find it really difficult to rest, whether it's during the day, on your weekends, your days off, or in the evening.
So, there are a couple of tools that you can use to help you rest. And you know what? If you apply these tools, they are a part of a self care type of routine. Self care alone helps you to get out of your head and into your body. When you're more aware of your body, that will help you relax and fall asleep more easily.
If you have, for example, very tense and painful tummy, if you put your hand on it, you will become more aware of that area, and it starts to relax. This is why massages are also so helpful. It's not just because somebody is kneading at the knots. It's just that act of touch makes you more aware of your body.
So, the tools I'm about to mention help you to get out of that head and into your body, and then relax. So, you may have already heard of some really great calming essential oils. The calming oils that I love are lavender, bergamot, chamomille, for example, and there's also vetivert. It's also a citrus-y type of essential oil, like bergamot is.
So, you can either put them in a carrier and use them as massage oil, or to rub your feet, or something like that. Or you can put them in a bath, or you can diffuse them, or add them to your non scented body lotion. If you're going to be taking baths, then add some Epsom salt, as well. This is magnesium. Magnesium helps you calm your system, which I will mention later again and explain a bit more. But Epsom salts are fantastic. And if you don't have a bath that you can lie in, then take foot baths. They are just as efficient and effective.
When it comes to the touch approach to help you relax, you can rub your feet, as I just mentioned. You can put on body lotion, very consciously. That will be helpful. But you can also get a professional massage, maybe at the end of your day. Or have somebody else, like a loved one, massage your back or your feet or your neck, at night to help you relax as well. If you would like some support in this generally, I really recommend to see a osteopath every now and then. Because they can really work on those deep levels of relaxation, that you can't even access. I have this really weird knot on the right side. And I still don't know, to this day, how I can actually relax it without going to an osteopath.
Make sure that your environment is nice and soothing and calming. I already mentioned dimming the lights, and that you can light some candles. But think of listening to some gentle and soothing music that you love. This is what you do for our babies, as well, right? Lullabies, why shouldn't you have lullabies?
Foods to avoid to stop pestering your adrenals
I did say that you shouldn't be taking any stimulants at night. But, generally, there are a couple of things that you don't want to be putting in your body to pester you adrenals. Because stimulants go a lot further than just alcohol and caffeine. So, yes, those are two that you want to avoid, in the very least, in the evening. But maybe you generally shouldn't be taking those if you're very stressed out, and you're going down that adrenal fatigue path.
Other things that you want to avoid are sugar, because sugar is an inflammatory agent. If you have an inflammation in your body, that's stress from within. Because stress is not just emotional stress. It can also be physical stress. So, you'll want to avoid sugar.
Orange juice is another stimulant. Weirdly enough, chocolate is a stimulant. And don't forget about cigarettes and drugs, in general. I just wanted to mention as well that if you drink caffeine in the afternoon, as a pick me up but it stopped working, that should be a huge red flag to you. Because that means that you're trying to stimulate your adrenals to produce cortisol to get you going, and your adrenals aren't reacting.
So, what does that say? They are in shut down or in depletion, right? So, then is really time to cut out all of the stuff, and make some huge lifestyle changes before you are completely wiped out.
Foods & supplements for sleep & your adrenals
Now that we talked about what you shouldn't be putting into your body, let's talk what you should be putting into your body. I already mentioned magnesium, in the form of Epsom salts. But in stressful periods, I like to take, and I like to prescribe to my patients and family to take 100 milligrams four to five times a day with food.
Because the whole thing with magnesium is that during stress periods, you need more of it. Because if you're depleted in magnesium, then you will feel restless and nervous, and you may also get muscle aches. Cupping up is a really, really good idea. Take them four to five times, 100 milligrams a day. Until you get a more healthy rhythm, and you're able to fall asleep at night again. Then reduce to maybe three times a day, or use a maintenance dose of 100 milligrams a day.
If you have very painful periods, then this is really useful as well. I've mentioned that in one of my videos on painful periods. But if you have painful periods, just think about whether you might be depleted in magnesium, and whether that has to do with stress and adrenal fatigue. Because chances are, that those things are going together for you.
Now, we also would like to top up on vitamin C as a booster. Because in our bodies, the highest concentration of vitamin C is actually in our adrenals. So, that says something about what our adrenals want, right? What I know from experience with adrenal fatigue and with my patients that have adrenal fatigue, or hypothyroidism, is that they can take two grams of vitamin C, and then suddenly feel like they had a cup of coffee without the jitteriness and the nervousness. But actually have the clarity of mind, and have some energy to get going again.
So, this is what I can really recommend. You can take four to five grams a day, spread out. But just watch what happens to your bowels, as it's possible that you get loose stool, or diarrhea if you take too much of it. If that happens, then just tone it down a little bit.
Another thing that I really love is a herbal tonic combination of Glycyrrhiza, which is liquorice, and gingko, and ginseng. In the Netherlands and some Scandinavian countries, liquorice is a very common sweet. And I really noticed that a lot of people in the offices will start to binge on liquorice in the afternoon. Well, that tells you everything about their stress levels and their adrenals, doesn't it?
However, with any type of herbs, you need to make sure that it's appropriate for you to take while you're trying to conceive. Because most herbs are advised against, while you are pregnant. Therefore, also when you're trying to conceive. So make sure that when you take that, you do that together with a herbalist or a naturopath, and not just based on my advice.
You can also take supplements with these herbs if you have difficulty finding the tinctures. Although, I find the tinctures way more effective. The supplements, you should definitely give a two to three month chance to see an effect. However, sometimes it's useful to take the supplements rather than the tinctures because I feel like the tincture will give you an instant boost. But the supplements will give you an ongoing feeding of the adrenals, in a longer period of recovery time.
Now, let's talk a little bit about foods, as well. We are looking for foods that we can snack on that contain high levels of tryptophan, or melatonin itself. Now, we talked about melatonin, how that helps you sleep. But tryptophan is a precursor of melatonin.
Our bodies use tryptophan to produce melatonin, as well as, serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone that we need for clarity and alertness and for our mood. While the melatonin is the one to help us sleep. Tryptophan rich foods are usually the ones that are also protein rich. Look at poultry, so chicken or turkey. Salmon is great, eggs is greats, nuts, spinach.
What I really like is quark. This is something apparently that is very common in Scandinavian and northern European countries, but not so much in the rest of the world. But I know of patients that they have found it in the US, for example. So, have a look. If you can't find it, then think of maybe something like cafe or yogurt.
There are lots of melatonin rich foods, as well. But the most common ones are bananas, so that's a good nighttime snack. Cherries, so I love to have cherry juice sometimes at night. Although, it is quite sweet. So, maybe it's not always the best choice. But every now and then, you can have that, especially if it's pure. Also, ginger, which is very warming and anti-inflammatory. And we've got tomatoes. So, you can have a tomato salad at dinner. And you will know that you are topping up on your melatonin.
Homeopathic remedies to help with sleep & fatigue
Of course, we've got our homeopathic treatment. Now, if you are really struggling with adrenal fatigue or hypothyroidism, and this is what is missing with your stress levels and your sleep, then you really need to seek out homeopathic treatment with somebody that is trained. So, they can take your case and treat your chronic issues. Because just a remedy here or there is not going to solve the deeper rooted issues. However, there are a couple of remedies that I wanted to suggest to you that are super helpful. If you're just going through a stressful phase, or just a support, or to take while you are waiting for you first appointment.
The first is magnesiuim phosphoricum. The way that you would take this is in a 6x dosage. In some countries, that could be D6, by the way. And the way that you'd do it is you've got a couple of tablets, like four of five, and you put it in a mug or a glass, and you pour hot water over it. So, you drink it like a tea. You drink it as hot as you can possibly take it at night. You can take this whenever you feel you need it.
Another remedy is nux vomica. It's a really common remedy. It's a liver remedy, as well. So, if you particularly wake up at 3 a.m., then this could be a good remedy. And if, during the day, you feel really wired, you are living on coffee, you are being a workaholic, you might be a little bit annoyed easily, then nux vomica could be a good remedy to help you fall asleep at night. You can take it in the potency 12C. And then, put it in a glass of water, and sip from it for about half an hour. It doesn't really matter how much water it is. It's about the frequency with homeopathy. So, I would have you sip it for about 20 to 30 minutes, frequently, to help you sleep at night.
Then, the third remedy that I love to suggest is called cocculus. You can take that in a 30C. You take that in the morning. So, this is not so much to help you fall asleep, but it is a great remedy for those that has loss of sleep. So, I prescribe it to nursing mothers. I prescribe it people that are maybe taking care of somebody else during the night. But also, for people that have jet lag. And again, you can put it in a bottle of water. And then, sip it throughout the day if you've had a really bad night. Just to get you through the day.
So you might want to try these tips to increase your chances of getting pregnant. You can also check out our natural fertility supplements.