How to Manage Trace Minerals for Adrenal Fatigue Treatment - dummies

How to Manage Trace Minerals for Adrenal Fatigue Treatment

By Richard Snyder, Wendy Jo Peterson

Three trace minerals (zinc, chromium, and selenium) sometimes need replacement if testing shows you have low levels. When supplementing with micronutrients (in this case, microminerals), correct dosing is very important. With micronutrients, too little of a nutrient can be just as bad as too much of one.

For example, low zinc levels can cause diarrhea, decrease your appetite, and impair your immune system. Taking too much zinc can cause similar symptoms, including nausea and diarrhea.


Major zinc deficiencies are associated with at least 8 chronic diseases, and minor deficiencies are associated with at least 11 conditions. One of the best forms of zinc supplement is a chelated colloidal form, because it tends to be better absorbed. It’s taken orally once a day.

Know that taking too much zinc can affect your body’s ability to absorb copper (but don’t stress about it, because stress contributes to adrenal fatigue). Also be aware that taking prescription medications, such as the following, may affect the ability of your intestine to absorb zinc:

  • Doxycycline, a commonly prescribed antibiotic

  • Fluoroquinolones, including levofloxacin and ciprofloxacin


Insufficient dietary intake of chromium may impair glucose tolerance. The supplement chromium picolinate can help normalize blood sugars in the setting of adrenal fatigue.

If you’re finding that your blood glucose levels are higher than normal (which can occur in the early phases of adrenal fatigue) or are experiencing problems with hypoglycemia (which can occur in the later stages of adrenal fatigue), consider speaking with your healthcare provider about adding chromium to your treatment regimen. People with diabetes should use this supplement, too.

This supplement is usually taken once a day. It may be a good idea to begin with a lower dose (100 to 200 micrograms) of chromium daily and slowly increase to a maximum dose of 400 micrograms. For someone in the early phase of adrenal fatigue, they may start at the lower dose of 100 micrograms daily and follow blood glucose levels closely.

Should you have diabetes, you need to watch your blood sugar levels carefully whenever you add a new therapy or change dosage.


Selenium is important for many processes in the cell, especially for maintaining thyroid function. In general, selenium supplementation shouldn’t exceed 200 micrograms a day. Too much selenium can cause nausea, diarrhea, and hair loss, among other conditions. It can be taken once daily, usually in capsule form.