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The Healthiest Detoxes For Adrenal Fatigue Patients

Certain detox methods can increase rather than decrease stress on the body, especially for Adrenal Fatigue patients. Here are some that work!


Dr. Andrew Neville


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Detox and Cleansing Seem to Be Everywhere

If you’ve been sick with chronic illness for some time, you’ve probably already ventured into the world of online holistic health for answers, especially if you’ve seen doctor after doctor with no relief. You’ve also likely run into a lot of info on detox and cleansing.

Detox has been a hot topic these past few years and on and off for decades. Influencers, health personalities, and even internet “doctors” push fasting or special-ingredient mixes, and they hawk powders and concentrates for the perfect cleanse. The supposed claim is that we can restore our health by unburdening our bodies.

Detox for Adrenal Patients Isn’t So Straightforward

Before finding me, most of my patients experimented with different medications, diets, and supplements. Often, their trials led them to detoxing. Advice about detoxing can be found everywhere, from your sister-in-law to social media to the health food store.

Unfortunately, detox and cleansing can set Adrenal Fatigue patients back when it comes to healing. We want to take any additional stressors off of our bodies, and most popular detox methods can increase rather than decrease stress on the body.

Upgrading household cleaners to simple homemade products is a great way to “detox” your home environment. Essential oils, Borax, distilled vinegar, and baking soda are effective ingredients!

4 Reasons My Patients Should Avoid Classic Detoxes

Detoxes can trigger reactive hypoglycemia

Most Adrenal Fatigue patients suffer from reactive hypoglycemia.

As part of a multifaceted treatment protocol, we must take the additional burden off of the adrenals and assist them in keeping blood sugars stable.

Juice fasting and water fasting, two standard detox methods, do not support the adrenals in keeping blood sugar balanced. Some patients can tolerate these methods initially but often pay the price later. That results in what I call “an adrenal crash.”

Detox pathways need to be open (and aren’t during Adrenal Fatigue)

Our organ function is purposefully suppressed when our bodies become “stuck” in stress physiology for too long.

The body’s detox pathways need to be open to carry out toxins released from detox methods. If the body cannot excrete the toxins properly, the toxic burden set free will cause additional stress on the body.

A dysregulated nervous system can’t handle the extra stress

I’m a big fan of infrared saunas and even cold plunges, but for patients suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, extreme fluctuations in temperature and efforts for temperature regulation cause extra stress on the body.

We first must address the dysautonomia and regulate the nervous system before adding additional burdens that hinder the body from healing.

Sensitivities stirred up by supplements

My patient population is susceptible by nature, so any new supplements contained in cleanses or detoxes should be used cautiously.

Many commonly used supplements are too stimulating for Adrenal Fatigue sufferers. They can lead to increased anxiety, discomfort, and problematic sleep.

Why intermittent fasting can be problematic for an Adrenal Fatigue patient.

A Different Way to Think About Detoxing

Patients are consistently looking for proactive ways to speed up healing. While healing happens at its own pace, removing obstacles to recovery will help to move the process along. 

These are the detoxes I recommend for Adrenal Fatigue patients.

Refrigerator and pantry detox

A food overhaul doesn’t need to be done all at the same time. What my coaches and I recommend is to shift into healthier buying habits.

A simple trick is to avoid overly processed foods with an excess of ingredients on the label that are difficult to pronounce or unfamiliar. If buying processed foods, ingredients should be minimal. You should know what each one is.

As overly processed and chemically laden foods start to run out, start replacing them with foods you can find growing or grazing. You can find a shopping list and delicious recipes in my Stress-Less Cookbook designed specifically for Adrenal Fatigue patients.

Upgrade your cleaning supplies

Most household cleaners are incredibly toxic. White distilled vinegar and baking soda are both excellent cleaning alternatives. There are also a lot of recipes to make your own household cleaners using essential oils that can be found online.

Washing nuts are a fantastic alternative to toxic laundry detergents, and Borax also makes for an effective detergent. It’s unnecessary to throw out old cleaners immediately, but being more mindful about household products is a great way to take the extra toxic burden off our system. It’s also healthier for the whole family, including pets.

Detox your task list

So many of us are in the habit of feeling like we have to be constantly productive, Adrenal Fatigue patients especially. I always say that lazy people don’t get Adrenal Fatigue.

Doing less and allowing your body to rest will be the most productive thing you can do for yourself. If your life is outpacing your ability to live it, it is helpful to reassess priorities and put your health and healing at the top.

Detox negativity from your life

We’re constantly getting bombarded by the world’s woes through the news, social media, and sometimes even the people in our lives. It helps to avoid the news, step away from social media, and limit time doing anything that causes emotional stress.

I also recommend implementing a gratitude practice to help support the limbic system. Practicing gratitude rewires the nervous system and helps with calming. 

Feel-Good Everyday Detoxing

There is no end to the toxins we encounter in our everyday lives. It would be impossible to live in an entirely toxin-free environment.

But being more mindful about household products, how we spend our time, and our buying habits all contribute to taking extra stressors out of our stress bucket.

Stress reduction from emotional, chemical, and physical stressors is crucial to shifting out of stress physiology and supporting our bodies in healing. Little changes lead to big improvements over time. Changes like these are part of understanding the lifetsyle portion of your healing plan in my Trilateral Approach. All of this contributes to the stress response settling down, thus allowing healing to occur.


Dr. Andrew Neville


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