The following is the Dr Lam adrenal fatigue diet. It’s his personal dietary protocol for optimal health, in his own words:
I drink a nutritious smoothie. It's fast, easy, and filling. It energizes me through lunch time. Key ingredients are almonds, walnuts, flax seed, avocado, berries, raw milk, filtered water, coconut flakes, and a whole fruit. This smoothie is suitable for all age groups, but if you are following the Blood Type Diet, you need to avoid or substitute the food that is not allowed for your Blood Type. Click here for the complete recipe.
Lunch is light and simple. It usually consists of a salad with some protein. The source of protein could be nuts, fish, chicken, or beef. Dinner is about the same as lunch, though I tend to take more soup and less protein, so it's lighter than lunch.
I use a 3-step approach in deciding what, and how much to take.
The body’s neuroendocrine system is what handles most of the stress response, particularly through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hormonal axis. The adrenal glands produce cortisol, the most important hormone for dealing with stress, along with over 50 other hormones that also deal with stress.
When stress or illness ensues, the body has to handle stress through the adrenal glands secreting cortisol, as well as other systems and circuits of the NEM stress response, including the hormonal, metabolic, neuro-affective, cardionomic, inflammatory and detoxification responses.
This is a natural and normal response to stress. Problems arise, however, when stress becomes chronic. When stress – whether physical, mental or emotions - becomes taxing, the NEM’s systems and circuits gradually become dysregulated, causing a host of symptoms and problems.
For example, when the adrenal glands are overburdened, this can lead to adrenal fatigue syndrome (AFS) and cause tiredness, weight gain, brain fog, sleep issues, mood problems, craving salty foods, fertility issues, and more. At first, in the initial stages of AFS, the adrenal glands secrete more and more cortisol to deal with stress. But at later stages, they are exhausted and their output is compromised, leaving stress to wreck havoc on the body.
The metabolic system is involved in the overall stress response, but unlike the HPA axis, its clinical expression is not as clear and the symptoms are usually undetectable at first. Sugar cravings, central obesity and food sensitivities – which can all be warning signs - are rarely linked to metabolic derangement, and instead are attributed to other causes.
But dietary choices, cravings and sensitivities are not only symptoms of NEM stress response dysregulation, they can also be a trigger for the dysregulation.
If we look at the body’s stress response from a functional medicine perspective, we have to look at some of the underlying causes, and we have to look at the stress response through a system-oriented approach rather than an organ-oriented one.
Imbalances of the system can arise from unhealthy diet and nutrition, lack of exercise and the ingestion of toxins (food you are allergic or intolerant to is seen as a toxin by the body, causing an immune response and inflammation).
Not only that, but these inputs are filtered through your genetic dispositions and overall lifestyle habits.
Either way, diet plays a key role in the recovery from such imbalances, and because it is important to get the right kind of nutrition and supplementation for your condition – whether early or advanced stages of AFS and NEM stress response dysregulation – it is highly advised you seek the right nutritional coaching and medical supervision. The Dr Lam Adrenal Fatigue Diet should be a consideration.
When you have AFS, you want to balance the blood sugar as evenly as possible, eating fruits first thing in the morning may spike up the blood sugar unnecessarily.