Feeling irritable? Exhausted? Having trouble sleeping?
Your not alone, today’s fast paced living is stressing folks out, and the stress has been linked to a number of illnesses such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and increased risk for cancer according to Jason Block MD, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar at Harvard.
Adrenal Burnout goes way beyond a bad day. Chronic stress causes the adrenal glands to release wave after wave of hormones that prep the body for a do or die situation. Eventually these hormone reserves run low or come up empty.
anxiety, blood sugar issues
early morning fatigue
low sex drive
insomnia memory loss
slow recovery from illness
These are just some of the signs you can show that your adrenal glands could be in overdrive. Get a Saliva/Urine analysis to accurately measure adrenal stress (QFA Analysis).
According to Elson M. Haas MD, mild stress acts as a useful motivation for activity and productivity. But too much can generate many symptoms and diseases, medicated by changes in immune function, hormonal response, and biochemical reactions, which then impact the cardiovascular, digestive neurological or musculoskeletal systems.
The brain and pituitary gland respond to stress by releasing adrenocorticotropic hormone ACTH. This stimulates the adrenals to increase production of the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol, as well as other hormones that influence metabolism and water balance.
With extreme stress, the adrenal gland ramps up your fight or flight reaction, which sharpens the senses and raises theheart rate, while slowing digestion and more important functions then take over. But adrenaline increases blood pressure, adds stress on the heart, and raises blood sugar, increasing metabolic rate. Over time, our ability to cope with stress and to ounce back after a crisis can be compromised.
HOW DOES ONE FEED THE ADRENAL GLANDS?
If you are stressed out, your adrenal pilot light is probably burning 24/7. Experiencing body aches, digestive distress, fatigue, nervousness, and sleep issues, are all signals you need to slow down and rest and recharge your batteries. Your pilot light can blow out and your adrenals can slow down to a crawl. Noticing that you are gaining weight in the belly area that no matter how much you exercise it won’t cooperate is another way you can begin to realize your adrenals are probably on overload.
Eating a healthier whole food diet,and making your mealtime as relaxins as possible. Ditch the cell phones, turn off the television and relax while eating your meals. Cut out coffee, pop and other stimulants, they may temporarily feel like they are giving you energy, but after their affect they drop you like a hot rock. Refined carbohydrated will increase blood sugar imbalances which due to adrenal overload are already running high.
Antioxidants, A, C, E, selenium and zinc are usually depleted during stress, put them back with a high quality whole food supplement. Vitamin C offers cellular protecton and immune support, while allowing the adrenals to produce more cortisone and epinephrine. Because this antioxidant is rapidly utilized and little gets stored in the body, take 1 to 2 grams in divided doses, every day if you are feeling stressed. (that’s equivalent to 2000 mg.)
In a recent study, the B vitamin Choline which is a precursor for acetylcholine in the central nervous system was inversely associated with anxiety. Taking more than the RDA for all the asily depleted B vitamins in two divided doses during the day but not in the evening as they can prevent sleep, according to Dr. Haas.
RESTORE BALANCE WITH HERBS:
Adrenals balance neurotransmitters, relieve anxiety, and ease you into restful sleep. Adaptogens, medicinal plants that enhance your resistance to stress while increasing concentration and endurance, are pretty effective.
Rhodiola, Eleutrero (Siberian Ginseng), can be very helpful. Conventional medicine barley recognizes adrenal fatigue, so don’t expect to find numerous double-blind placebo-controlled trials on this class of herbs.
Respected herbalists, however, have long recognized their balancing benefits. When stress stops, adaptogens help the adrenal glands shut off faster. Thses herbs also support adrenal function by allowing cells in the body access to more energy and by preventing oxidative damage. For overall adrenal support Americn ginseng, ashwagandha, cordyceps, holy basil, licorice root, reishi, schisandra offer amazing adrenal support. If you are generally fatigued yet have sleep issues, reach for herbal formulas that contain American ginseng, chinese wild yam, eleuthero, kudzu, licorice root, reishi, and schisandra. Chronic stress and anxiety almost always affect the digestion process. Taking bitters for better digestion, absorption and elimination before meals.
Traditional Chinese medicine seeks to rebalance the body by supporting digestion and the liver as well as adrenals, making detoxification useful after intense stress. Other effective holistic approaches include acuppuncture and relaxation techniques. Last but not least, begin and end your day with something uplifting and spiritual that brings you outside of yourself and creates peace.
WHAT ARE ADRENAL GLAND?
They are a pair of triangular shaped organs that rest on top of the kidneys. Each gland normally weights about 5 grams and is made up of two parts: the cortex, or outer sections, which is repsonsible for the production of coretisone, and the medulla, or central section which secretes adrenaline.
The cortex helps to maintain the salt and water balance in the body. It is also involved in metabolism of carbohydrates and the regulation of lood sugar. The cortex also is responsible for prodcing a sex hormone similar to that secreted by the testes.
The medulla produces the hormone epinephrine, also called adrenaline, when the body is under stress. This hormone speeds up the rate of metabolism and produces other physiological changes designed to hep the body cope with danger.
Reduced adrenal function may be indicated by:
weakness and muscle wasting
blood sugar issues
If the cortex is seriously underactive, a rare condition called Addison’s disease may develop, Symptoms include:
loss of appetite
decrease in body hair
inability to cope with stress
discoloration and darkening of the skin, (i.e. knees, elbows, scars, skin folds and creases in the palms are more noticeable when exposed to sun
mouth and freckles may appear darker
bands of pigment running the length of the nails and darkening of the hair.
Cushing’s syndrome is a rare disorder caused by an over active adrenal cortex. Persons’ with Cushing’s syndrome take on a characteristic appearance: they generally are heavy in the abdomen and buttocks but have very thin limbs, and rounded moon faces. Muscular weakness and wasting of muscles are also characteristic. Round, red marks mimicking acne may appear on the face and eyelids may appear swollen. Increased growth of body hair is common and woman may grow mustaches and in some cases beards. Folks with Cushing’s generally are more prone to illness and take longer to heal. Thinning of the skin from Cushing’s syndrome often leads to stretch marks and bruising.
The functioning of the adrenal glands can be impaired as a result of the extensive use of cortisone therapy for non endocrine disease, like arthritis and asthma. The long term use of cortisone drugs can cause the adrenals to shrink in size. Poor nutritional habits, smoking and alcohol and drug abuse can contribute toa drenal failure.
Vitamin B complex: all B vitamins are necessary for adrenal function.
L-Tyrosine: 500 mg. daily on empty stomach, take with water or juice NOT with milk. ( Do not take L-tyrosine if you are taking an MAO inhibitor drug.)
Raw adrenal cortex glandulars:
Liquid Chlorophyll ES helps to keep the blood clean.
Coenzyme Q10 carries oxygen to all glands
Germanium Essential Oil: enhances immune function (diffuse or apply topically with carrier oil to soles of both feet)
Potassium 99mg. daily needed to balance sodium, potassium is lost with this disorder.
ADRENAL GLAND FUNCTION SELF-TEST
Normally systolic blood pressure which is the 1st number in measurement of blood pressure i.e. 120/80 is approximately 10 points higher when you are standing than when you are lying down. If the adrenal glands are not functioning properly, however, this may not be the case.
Take and compare the two blood pressure readings, one while lying downa nd one while standing. 1st, lie down and rest for 5 minutes, then take your blood pressure. Stand up and immediately take your blood pressure again. If your pressure reading is lower after you stand up, suspect reduced adrenal gland function. The degree to which the blood pressure drops upon standing is often proportionate to the degree of hypo-adrenalism.
Plenty of fresh frutis and veggies, green leafy ones. Brewer’s yeast, brown rice, legumes, nuts, olive and safflower oils, seeds, wheat germ and whole grains.
Deep water ocean fish, salmon or tune at least 3 times per week.
Garlic, onions, shiitake mushrooms, pearl barley as these foods contain germanium a powerful stimulant of the immune system.
Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco these are toxic to the adrenal and other glands.
Get regular moderate exercise because exercise stimulates the adrenal glands and helps to relieve stress.
Don’t take these symptoms for granted, whenever our body displays symptoms it is the body’s way of alerting you that there are nutritional deficiencies, so FEED the body what it needs, and allow your body to be the messenger folks.
If you’d like some personalized help with your nutritional plan, I’d be honored to work with you, go to: http://www.mkt.com/harvested-health-llc and schedule your 1 hr. consultation which can be done in person, phone or email.
All herbal and vitamin suggestions mentioned in my article can be purchased at http://www.harvestedhealth.mynsp.com you can also click on the product links for each mentioned suggestion and it will take you directly to the product if you are interested in purchasing. (Also, sharing is caring so I am always grateful for my peeps to share my article links for others who may be looking for some direction)
Jodi Barnett N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy)
Harvested Health LLC.