We live in a fast-paced, high stressed society, there is no denying that. Many of us are depleted and stressed out. Unfortunately, this has become a standard way of living.
So until you are able to take a year off and do nothing but spa treatments, swap out that evil boss of yours, sleep for 10 hours a day, meditate like a monk in the hills and just let it all go, you may want to give your adrenal glands some rest and support.
Your adrenals are small almond-like glands that rest on top of your kidneys. They secrete neurotransmitters to your brain that help you cope with stress. Adrenals also secrete the stress hormone, cortisol.
Too much cortisol wreaks havoc on the body like weight gain, cataracts, diabetes etc. Over time, if the glands are overworked, they will produce a state of exhaustion called adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue can be secondary to an underlying chronic issue of hidden inflammation.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
Excessive tiredness for no reason
Trouble waking up in the morning
Needing caffeine or energy drinks to start the day
Craving salty foods or sweets
Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
Getting sick often
Poor memory and concentration
Menstrual cycle irregularities
Slow to heal
The body is not built for chronic, prolonged stress! I cannot emphasize this enough. The body’s survival mechanism is built for quick bouts of stress and then rest. It is not built for sustained stress that never goes away.
Rebuilding your adrenals requires 2 main steps:
1) Supporting the adrenals on a physical level of proper diet, exercise and supplementation.
2) Working towards managing stressors, whether psychological, environmental or metabolic that have disturbed the inner ecology.
Simple ways to support and repair adrenals through diet and lifestyle:
1) Proper Diet – Quality protein through pastured or grass-fed meat sources and preferably organic plant sources.
2) Eliminate Sugar – Refined carbohydrates and processed sugar wreak havoc on adrenals.
3) Reduce Caffeine/Stimulants – Until the adrenals are back to normal, don’t tax them with caffeine or other stimulants.
4) Manage Stress – Meditate, listen to music, enjoy light activity, turn off and relax every day.
5) Prioritize Sleep – This is obvious, go to bed early.
6) Let It Go – It is ok to get angry and frustrated, but don’t dwell on it. Feel it, express it and then let it go. Holding onto anger is very detrimental to your health.
7) Supplements To Consider – Ashwaganda, Rhodiola, American Ginseng and Licorice Root are all herbs that support the adrenal glands.
Supporting the adrenals is one of the most important things we can do for coping with stress and improving our overall wellbeing. Once they are shot it's a long road to recovery. So take these simple steps to boost your adrenals and get help coping with this crazy world.
Let us know how you're doing. Do your adrenals need some R&R?