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Addison’s Disease Diet: Healthy Foods to Eat and Which Ones to Avoid

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  • Following a healthy and stress-free lifestyle is crucial for anyone with Addison’s disease, and one of the biggest factors that you must consider is your diet
  • Here are some basic dietary tips you should remember if you’re dealing with Addison’s disease

Following a healthy and stress-free lifestyle is crucial for anyone with Addison’s disease, and one of the biggest factors that you must consider is your diet. It’s no secret that diet plays a significant role in your overall health, and that what you eat can affect both your well-being and susceptibility to disease. This is why consuming a nutritious, well-balanced diet should be a top priority. Here are some basic dietary tips you should remember if you’re dealing with Addison’s disease.1

As Much as Possible, Avoid Stimulants and Refined Sugar and Carbs

Fatigue is one of the common symptoms of Addison’s disease,2 but never, under any circumstance, reach for stimulants like sports or energy drinks, soda or coffee to “boost” your energy. Not only are these beverages loaded with high amounts of caffeine that can overstimulate your adrenal glands,3 but the energy drinks and soda are loaded with sugar and additives that can further damage your adrenal glands. The same goes for cigarettes and other tobacco products.4

In addition, avoid processed junk foods that are loaded with empty carbohydrates and high amounts of refined sugar. If you have diabetes along with Addison’s, these foods can cause an imbalance in your insulin levels. They also can exacerbate the symptoms of Addison’s disease, especially when your blood sugar levels drop.

Increase Your Sodium Intake

There’s been plenty of controversy surrounding salt and whether or not it’s healthy for you. The truth is that you need salt, or sodium, in your diet. In fact, this is especially important for people with Addison’s disease, as low blood pressure is one of the major symptoms of this illness.5

When it comes to this mineral, balance is key. Getting enough sodium — in balance with potassium — is a crucial factor in maintaining optimal blood pressure levels.6 However, make sure you get your sodium from a high-quality source like Himalayan salt or sea salt. Furthermore, do not ignore your salt cravings, as this may be a sign that you need to increase your intake. If you’re sweating too much, add more salt to your foods and drink more fluids, particularly water.

Make Sure You’re Getting These Vitamins From Your Foods

Excessive stress on your body can lead to free radical damage. Thus, you need to increase your intake of vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits and vegetables. This antioxidant helps boost your immune system and allows the body to better adapt to stress,7 thus preventing further damage to your adrenal glands.

Meanwhile, you need B vitamins to stimulate the production of certain hormones and neurotransmitters8 that are further depleted when you experience stress. This can exacerbate your condition. To get B vitamins, increase your intake of foods like raw cheese, pastured eggs, shellfish and fish like sardines, anchovies and wild Alaskan salmon.

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Zinc and Magnesium Are Important, Too

Not only is zinc essential for a well-functioning immune system,9 but it’s also much needed for the creation of hormones that help fight stress.10 Some of the best zinc-rich foods are seafood, seeds, nuts, beans, spinach and mushrooms.

On the other hand, you need magnesium because it not only calms the nervous system,11 but better manages the symptoms of this condition.12 Avocado, black beans, banana, yogurt, seeds, nuts and spinach are good sources of magnesium.

Get Sufficient (but Moderate) Amounts of Protein as Well

Some of the hormones in the human body are protein-based, which is why getting moderate amounts of protein in your meals is essential. However, do take note that excessive protein intake can do your body harm. Thus, you must moderate your consumption.

In addition, get your protein from easily digestible foods like grass fed chicken and turkey, nuts and seeds, peas, nutritional yeast and quinoa. Avoid processed meats as much as you can.

A Couple of Additional Tips

Ideally, people with Addison’s disease must keep their energy levels consistently stable throughout the day, to avoid stress and fatigue. Instead of consuming three large meals, try having small but frequent meals, spaced out equally throughout the day.

What’s more, make sure that the foods you consume come from wholesome, organic sources and not from pesticide or insecticide-sprayed crops. By doing this, you can avoid consuming harmful chemicals that can actually make your adrenal function much worse.


Addison's Disease: Introduction

What Is Addison's Disease?

Addison's Disease Symptoms

Addison's Disease Causes

Addison's Disease in Children

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