Our salt-phobic society has deprived millions of people struggling with adrenal fatigue of something that would decrease their symptoms and speed their recovery. They have taught their bodies to ignore the urge for salt because it is politically incorrect to salt food. ~ James Wilson (Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome)
I've been struggling with pain and fatigue since my last post. Being that I've obviously had stressed and fatigued adrenals for some time, I need to expect this. Even on my road to recovery I must expect the ups and downs.
I also know that I had not been doing so well with staying hydrated or other health habits I was trying to do better with so that is probably also playing into the sleep cycle problems and fatigue and pain as well. Of course, we're not ruling out there could be other factors to play. I know my thyroid is sluggish as well and we are looking into other testing to see if anything else is physically stressing the adrenals and playing into these symptoms - like the MTHFR mutation which I found out I have two of and other things we are waiting on.
In the meantime, I know I need to heal my gut health which has always been an issue, especially after losing my gall bladder almost 24 years ago (NOT a surgery I would recommend to ANYONE), and detox which is really really important to anyone with an MTHFR mutation, and learn to love and care for my adrenals!
One thing that most experts that write about Adrenal Fatigue agree on is that as much as 60-80 percent of the population probably have at least some level of adrenal fatigue. Some of us are just a whole lot more fatigued than others. And, most also agree, a common symptom of adrenal fatigue is salt cravings, and there is actually a strong physiological reason for this craving.
I wrote on my opinion of salt back in 2015. When we started revamping our food intake when
we were trying to approach ADHD with natural methods and inadvertently discovered the cause to other mental health issues in our family (see Our Food Story), I spent hours and hours of research into foods, artificial ingredients, neurotoxins, and ended up diving into reading about many many many concepts that I had learned in health books in high school only to find out that the majority of that information was actually incorrect, including the myth that salt was bad for us. It turns out that it's only the refined table salt with added iodine that's bad- and the reason it's bad is due to the over processing.
Even so, while I don't fear salt, it was never my habit to over salt things. I kept Real Salt in the cupboard and Himalayan salt or Celtic salt here and there and would always add when the recipe called for it and would dash it here or there on eggs or vegetables, but had grown up in a house where from junior high on everyone was afraid of salt and so it just doesn't cross my mind to use it.
So now that I'm struck with fatigue (of the adrenal variety), and I'm reading, once again I find that salt is NOT the enemy- not the real kind anyway. It's actually important, according to the experts in Adrenal Fatigue (James Wilson is one), to allow your body to dictate the salt in your diet.
When your adrenal glands are fatigued, they do not produce the right amounts of particular hormones, including aldosterone. A low amount of aldosterone can disrupt the sodium balance at a cellular level, increasing a person's needs for natural sodium (sea salt). So when a person has adrenal fatigue, they can often benefit from taking an additional 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt in a glass of water in the morning. Some sources recommend the one glass, while others say to do one in the afternoon as well while still others say to add salt to every glass you drink throughout the day.
I add it to 2-3 glasses of my 5 (16 ounce) glasses of water each day. And I try to remember to add a little more sea salt ( I actually use Real Salt, Celtic Sea Salt and Pink Himalayan through the day for variety) to my foods than I use to, as well as kelp granules (for the extra iodine). Most people with adrenal fatigue do not mind the taste of the salt-water mixture (some even put it straight on their tongues- something Dr. Wilson suggested for at night to help with sleeping ). As your adrenal health improves, you may find that you do start to not like the taste or find it less appealing- it could even make you nauseous. This is a good sign that you need to cut back on your intake. Our bodies are smarter than we give them credit for! Right now, I'm not minding the taste at all in my warm water (see my last post on Adrenals & Water), so I'm sticking with it as I continue on my journey to rectify my adrenal health and other related issues.
Naturally, I'm doing a lot more than just increasing my water and salt intake on this journey. But there's only so much room in one blog post and only so much I can write about with the fatigue and struggling to juggle all the priorities in life according to my level of functioning on any given day. But I promise to keep the posts coming! In the meantime, if you are struggling with adrdenal fatigue, or think you might be, check out Dr. Wilson's book (see link below). I just got another book in the mail but haven't started it yet-- The Adrenal Thyroid Revolution.