Addison’s disease can be a challenging, but manageable condition with the right treatment in place.
If you’re looking for a Toronto naturopathic consultation contact the Annex Naturopathic Clinic to see how we can help you optimize your health.
Let’s explore Addison’s disease, what causes it, and what naturopathic treatments are available to help you manage it.
What Is Addison’s Disease?
Your adrenal glands are part of your endocrine system, located just above your kidneys.
Addison’s disease is a hormonal health condition that occurs when your adrenal cortex is damaged and not enough cortisol or aldosterone is produced by your adrenal glands.
Cortisol regulates your body’s reaction to stress and aldosterone regulates your sodium and potassium levels.
Both are very important for your overall health.
Symptoms Of Addison’s Disease
Some common symptoms of Addison’s disease include:
• Chronic fatigue
• Muscle weakness
• Unexpected weight loss
• Darkening in skin colour
• Fainting spells
• Mouth sores
Even post diagnosis, some symptoms to watch for while living with the disease can include depression, irritability, sleep disturbances, and a lack of overall energy.
It’s important to note that if this disease goes untreated, it can result in an Addisonian crisis, which is life-threatening in that it can lead to shock and death.
Some symptoms associated with an Addisonian crisis include delirium, hallucinations, a loss of consciousness and high fever.
Please call 911 immediately if you suspect that you are experiencing an Addisonian crisis.
What Causes Addison’s Disease?
Addison’s disease is caused by damage to the adrenal glands.
The two main types of Addison’s disease are primary adrenal insufficiency and secondary adrenal insufficiency.
The cause varies depending on the type.
Primary adrenal insufficiency is often the result of the body attacking itself and is an autoimmune disease.
Secondary adrenal insufficiency is caused by a lack of the adrenocorticotropic hormone typically produced by your pituitary gland, which is the signal by which your body tells your adrenal glands how much of each hormone to make.
In this case, even though the adrenal glands are not themselves damaged, they are still not producing enough hormones.
The treatment for each type of Addison’s disease is different and your naturopathic doctor will prescribe treatment according to their diagnosis.
Naturopathic Solutions For Addison’s Disease
A naturopathic doctor can tailor your diet to help combat adrenal fatigue, which can occur as a combined result of adrenal insufficiency and chronic stress.
Read on to find out some of the naturopathic treatments that can help you manage your Addison’s disease.
1. Eat An Adrenal Friendly Diet
If you’re experiencing Addison’s disease, adrenal fatigue, or another adrenal related disorder, dietary changes can help you manage your symptoms.
An adrenal friendly diet is a diet designed to reduce stress on your adrenal glands.
This can help promote:
By increasing your energy levels naturally, your body won’t resort to burning as many stored nutrients.
This will result in an overall benefit that goes far beyond just adrenal health, improving both your physical and mental well being.
2. Avoid Adrenal Draining Foods
Eating foods that provide the nutrients you need to support your adrenals is great, but it’s also important to avoid adrenal draining foods.
This means specifically limiting foods or drinks high in refined sugars and unhealthy fats.
Some examples of foods to avoid include:
• White flour
• Fried foods
• Processed foods
• White sugars
• Artificial sweeteners
It’s also important to eat regularly throughout the day starting with breakfast because skipping meals will trigger your body to resort to burning stored nutrients, which also reduces your energy levels.
The goal is to eat regular, healthy meals in order to maintain your energy and cortisol levels throughout the day.
Eleuthero is a root used to improve mental alertness, performance, concentration, reduce stress, and maintain healthy energy levels.
With a long history in traditional Chinese medicine, it is definitely something to add to your repertoire to support adrenal health.
A 2010 review by Panossian and Wikman showed eleuthero is one of the most thoroughly studied plant substances, with over a thousand studies showing its efficacy as a treatment for a range of different health conditions, including supporting adrenal issues.
4. Holy Basil
Holy Basil, also referred to as Tulsi which means “balance” is a herb that helps your body better respond to stress.
It’s an adaptogenic herb and so supports adrenal health and contributes to a state of balance in your body, just like its namesake.
Another adaptogenic herb is Ashwagandha, which helps to restore your optimal health by supporting normal energy levels and immunity function.
It also supports the nervous and endocrine systems, while helping to maintain your natural sleep cycle.
In this way, Ashwagandha is helpful for helping your body to adapt to life’s many stresses.
Ashwagandha can also be useful in supporting low testosterone in people of all genders.
Book An Appointment With Annex Naturopathic
As you can see, there are a number of ways optimizing your diet with the help of a naturopathic doctor can help to support your body’s adrenal health.
By increasing your overall energy levels and regulating your blood pressure through healthier eating and lifestyle changes, enlisting a naturopathic doctor’s help will have positive effects on your body far beyond the goal of simply supporting adrenal health.
That’s because your body is intricately connected and so improving your lifestyle and eating habits will also have positive effects on your overall mental health.
Remember, if you’re looking for aToronto naturopathic consultation contact the Annex Naturopathic Clinic today to see how we can help you take the first step towards optimizing your health.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND