The Adrenals and STRESS...
Updated: May 10
There are several organs and systems in the body that produce hormones and they must function well for your body to work properly; the ddrenals, the liver, the digestive system, the thyroid, and the intestines and their microflora,
The Adrenal glands: The adrenals decide if you are going to function as designed or if any of your normal functions need to be rearranged so you can deal with stress. Think of them as having a powerful brain of their own. They can increase your appetite or shut it down. They can signal your liver to drive up your blood sugar. They can stimulate your metabolism and thyroid function or slow it down. They can convert testosterone to estrogen and blunt progesterone production to allow for the production of more cortisol, the number one hormone the adrenals like to use to help you feel energized enough to deal with stress (at least for a little while, since they are not designed to do this all the time).
A surplus of cortisol is linked to many symptoms including fatigue, blood sugar problems, weight gain, depression, mood swings, anxiety, and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and low sex drive. It is also linked to degenerative illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Excess cortisol can suppress thyroid function, put extra pressure on the liver, hinder sex hormones, and inhibit digestive and intestinal function.
There are many stress reducing strategies you can employ, but what you eat and when can make a big difference, allowing the body and the adrenals to have all the nutrients they need to function appropriately.
KEY ADRENAL FOODS:
· Sardines – excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
· Sea salt – to boost your minerals.
· Non-starchy vegetables – to decrease insulin demand, even out blood sugar leading to less stress for the adrenals.
KEY FOODS TO AVOID:
· White flour
· Processed food (anything in a box or package)
· Gluten grains
These all feed the harmful gut bacteria which contribute to inflammation.
Adrenal Adaptogen supplements help to normalize adrenal function. The benefits of adaptogens build up over months of taking them on a regular basis.
· Ashwagandha (the soothing adaptogen) – This herb has been used for over 4,000 years in India. It has been used to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, improve memory, reduce inflammation, and oxidative stress (damage from inflammation). It boosts the immune system and is helpful in the treatment of arthritis.
· L-Theanine – aids in decreasing the stress response as well as cognitive impairments in stressful situations.
· Holy Basil – This herb has been used in India for over 5,000 years. It calms the mind, improves energy and relieve fatigue. It is a known for its anti-inflammatory properties, but it also lowers blood sugar levels, triglycerides, and cholesterol. Holy basil is related to common basil, it is a different species and common basil is not a substitute.
· Reishi Mushroom – They have been used in China for centuries to nourish and support the adrenal glands. Reishi helps support the bodies detoxification process. Reishi also helps calm the nervous system to promote deep restorative sleep.