Have you ever considered that Adrenal Fatigue could be a root cause for illnesses, tiredness and excess fat?
What are the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and produce a number of hormones such as adrenalin, cortisol, DHEA and testosterone. These are the feel good hormones. They enable us to enjoy our life experiences and help deal with any stress we have to face. Due to our busy lifestyle, we put the body’s adrenal glands under a lot of stress.
When the body is put under stress, it releases adrenalin and cortisol to deal with the physical danger. A common term for this is called the ‘fight or flight’ response. Once the danger is over, the body will naturally go back into a relaxed state and the adrenal glands bring their hormone levels back to a normal state.
Unfortunately in our current lifestyles, we are often experiencing all sorts of stress for extended periods of time. If our bodies experience too much stress, it may cause the adrenal glands to continuously pump out stress hormones, causing adrenal fatigue. During the beginning stages the adrenal glands will often produce a high but abnormal amount of adrenaline, cortisol, DHEA and sometimes other hormones such as noradrenaline. Causing Adrenal exhaustion or fatigue.
From this the exhaustion stage, the adrenals will produce abnormally low levels of stress hormones. This will cause the body to fail to adapt to a particular stress and therefore we become exhausted, anxious, and ill. It can also cause weight gain in some cases!
Constant stress and inadequate diet can easily weaken the adrenal glands. If stress continues over prolonged time periods, the adrenal glands can deplete the body’s hormone and energy reserves, and the glands may either reduce in size or hypertrophy (expand). The overproduction of adrenal hormones induced by chronic stress can weaken the immune system and hinder the production of white blood cells that safeguard the body from foreign invaders (particularly lymphocytes and lymph node function). Adrenal disorder can interfere with the body’s blood sugar metabolism, creating weakness, exhaustion, and a sense of feeling run down. It can also disrupt regular sleep rhythms and create a wakeful, unrelaxing state, causing an individual to feel worn out even after a solid night’s rest.
The Adrenals and Blood Sugar:
The adrenal glands and your blood sugar levels have an important relationship. The body must maintain a stable level of blood sugar. When we become stressed, our adrenalin causes stored glucose in our liver and muscles (glycogen) to be released, raising blood sugar levels, in order to feed cells, so they can act with either the fight or flight response. If the glucose is not used up by cells, the body will have to release insulin to reduce the blood sugar level again which could then result in the blood sugar level dropping to low.
It does seem quite common for a number of people however usually when the body’s blood sugar level is low it will stress the adrenal glands again, forcing them to release adrenalin which will raise the blood sugar level back to a normal state.
Some common symptoms from having a Low Cortisol level:
Low blood pressure.
Blood sugar imbalances.
Mental and physical fatigue
Sleep problems and insomnia.
Hormonal problems such as PMS, prostate problems or a lack of sex drive.
Poor immune system (frequent infections and inflammatory symptoms).
Some common symptoms from having a DHEA deficiency:
Loss of libido.
Dry skin and hair.
Loss of head hair, armpit hair and pubic hair.
So what foods should you stay away from?
Sugar and refines carbohydrates, they create blood sugar imbalances which as explained above contribute to adrenal stress.
Processed foods will contain chemicals or unnatural structures in the food DNA which will deplete the body of nutrients and therefore your body is left without its essential nutrients in order to sustain a normal health and wellbeing.
Alcohol, if you consume alcohol in general it will cause stimulation on the adrenals and therefore stress will be put on them. This has also been shown from people that consume a lot of caffeine.
What foods you should eat more of:
Focus on consuming fresh vegetables and vegetable juices, beans and seeds as they contain fibre. They are full of nutrients and they are great for balancing your blood sugar level.
Protein sources from quinoa (grain), raw nuts and seeds. Lean poultry and fish are also good options.
Don’t forget those essential fats! They will help support your blood sugar level and are anti-inflammatory. Food sources such as oily fish like salmon, walnuts, brazil nuts, linseeds, chia seeds, eggs, olive oil, kale and seaweed will be good sources of essential fats.
Fill your grocery basket with plenty of fruits and vegetables. As well as being great for the immune system they are anti-inflammatory and contain bioflavonoids. These will all aid the body into becoming stressed. Foods that contain natural vitamin C will also be vital for supporting adrenal fatigue and health.
Adapt these into your lifestyle:
Make the most of life and always try to find the positives. If you are happy then your body will become happy and heal itself faster.
Listen to your body, take time to rest. You should be aiming for 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night as your body goes though different stages of relaxation and healing. Use any spare time to relax with the things you enjoy doing, or explore new things.
Take your time when eating food. Not only by slowing down and enjoying your meal will help to relax your body It has shown to help people who over eat especially if you tend to consume large portions.
Do things that promote relaxation like yoga, meditation, tai chi, listening to music, reading a book or just simply outside walking. Pamper yourself with a massage once a month.
No matter how stressful a situation becomes, learn to deal with it to the very best you can. Finding ways to work around it or to simply make matters easier for you, do the best you can. We all enjoy a stress free lifestyle.