1. Excessive fatigue and exhaustion, chronic fatigue
2. Non-refreshing sleep
3. Sleep disturbance, insomnia
4. Feeling overwhelmed or unable to cope
5. Craving salty and/or sweet foods
6. Sensitivity to light
7. Low stamina and slow to recover from exercise
8. Slow to recover from injury or illness
9. Difficulty concentrating, brain fog
10. Poor digestion
11. Irritable bowel syndrome, IBS
12. Low immune function
13. Premenstrual syndrome
14. Menopause symptoms
15. Low blood pressure
16. Sensitivity to cold
19. Frequent influenza
24. Reduced memory
25. Low libido, sexual drive or interest
26. Lack of lust for life and/or food
27. Excess hunger
28. Low appetite
29. Panic/anxiety attacks
30. Irritability, impatience, quick to anger. If quick to anger, the person will often tend to back down quickly if confronted.
Do any of these symptoms pertain to you? I am sure in this day in age of rushing racing all in the name of getting things done you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms. Job, kids, deadlines, bills….all take their toll on our minds and bodies, little do you know that two little walnut sized glands on top of your kidneys are burned out and stressed because of your lifestyle. Fortunately there are changes you can make to change this condition. Before I get to that, let’s review the adrenals and their function in the body.
HORMONE RELEASE AND BALANCE
The Adrenal glands are two walnut sized glands that are set on top of the kidneys. They secrete hormones like adrenaline, cortisol, and hydrocortisone. The also produce precursors of sex hormones including, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. The also regulate blood sugar. These hormones require a delicate balance in the body to function properly and maintain optimum health.
A diet high in processed, nutrient deficient foods, sugar, and stress can burn out and exhausted these glands and disrupt the delicate balance. This can cause the previous symptoms and if not addressed will lead to disease and even make you store fat.
SUPPORT YOUR ADRENALS
Salt cravings are a major indicator of adrenal exhaustion if you are excessively craving salt this could mean your adrenals are suffering. Use of chemical products that aren’t natural, such as cleaning products and cosmetics can send your tired adrenals into full blown exhaustion, so limit your exposures to these toxic chemicals. Eat a diet rich in green vegetables and high quality protein and break up those meals into six small meals to avoid the unnecessary release of cortisol by the adrenals.
Vitamin C, B-complex and Magnesium assist sluggish adrenals to balance out naturally; if you are really toxic you can supplement DHEA and progesterone cream but seek the advice of a qualified medical doctor to ensure proper dosing.
Caffeine also stresses the adrenals. People who drink coffee and other caffeinated beverages for the benefit of energy are setting themselves up for long term health problems. Start today cutting caffeine intake and replacing those beverages with alkalizing and calming things such as valerian and ginseng as well as lemon water which will help detoxify the liver and help excrete the hormones already ravaging your body due to stress.
DO NOT COMPOUND THE PROBLEM
Most doctors do not acknowledge adrenal exhaustion as a cause for illness and anxiety. In my opinion, they would rather prescribe a high priced highly addictive drug like xanax, which not only masks the issue but cause major issues in a person’s life. Panic attacks and anxiety attacks are becoming a problem and a deficiency of B complex is probably the main causation of this trend. Stress management is a multi faceted approach and should be implemented before a dangerous drug is taken.
Many people tell me they aren’t hungry in the morning. This could be because CRH (a cortisol type hormone) is released in the body when adrenals are exhausted. This hormone dulls appetite. Eat within one hour of waking.
As mentioned earlier, sugar and refined carbohydrates are one of the main implications of adrenal exhaustion.
Sugar includes refined carbohydrates are grains that have been ground up or have had the outer hulls removed which is pretty much anything that comes in a package with a long shelf life. Refined grains and sugar digest more quickly causing major insulin spikes. They release their sugars quickly into the blood stream causing blood sugar to go up too high too fast.
The body responds to high blood sugar by releasing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that causes sugar to move into the liver, muscles and fat tissues. The problem is that the body evolutionarily isn’t designed to deal with the large amounts of sugar in the blood that are caused by sugar and refined foods, and once glycogen stores are full it stores as fat. This article is about the adrenals, but high blood sugar but my friends it’s all relative, high levels of insulin and constant exposure to stress hormones cause their own problems. The release of too much insulin causes the blood sugar to go down too far. Most everyone has experienced getting sleepy after a large meal of pasta, rice or some other carbohydrate. That’s what happens after the large release of insulin. The blood sugar goes down too far. Now imagine how our children our functioning by eating these cereals that I like to call KID KILLERS.
The Adrenals release stress hormones. They release is cortisol and adrenaline. In ancient times stress meant that we had to fight or run away, the fight/flight response. The muscles that move quickly use sugar, and cortisol causes blood sugar to increase. There is also a cortisol release anytime there is low blood sugar. You know how you can be really hungry, then after awhile you aren’t so hungry anymore? That’s cortisol doing its job. The same thing happens when low blood sugar happens because of an over-release of insulin. However excessive cortisol release will cause fat storage and overall feeling of sluggishness.
The adrenals are constantly being assailed by the above reactions. Insulin causes that extra sugar to be stored as fat for the lean times of winter. For us today there are no lean times we eat and eat foods that turn into sugar. The adrenals are constantly being called on to produce more and more cortisol in response to the stress caused by sugar and processed food. Eventually they become exhausted.
Gets your body moving. Exercise inhibits the release of cortisol by causing the release of endorphins and other feel good hormones. The problem is taking the first step. If you begin to realize that your lack of motivation is likely a hormonal issue your may be more inclined to push yourself a little harder.
The human body has the innate ability to heal itself even in the midst of devastating illness. The key however is making sure you arm your body with the necessary arsenal to fight the enemy and keep you healthy well into your 90’s.