Do you get stressed out or run-down easily? Do you ever stop and think about how your adrenal glands might be feeling? The adrenal glands are two little endocrine glands located on the top of our kidneys. The adrenal glands regulate stress, minerals, inflammation, and produces several hormones in the body, including adrenaline. When we experience stress – whether it be a stressful situation, bad day at work, scary movie, or eating a big mac, our adrenal glands kick into fight or flight mode and releases epinephrine (adrenaline) and norephinephrine to prepare our bodies for that stressful situation. These glands are vital and we need them in perfect shape if ever we find ourselves running from a tiger! However, everyday stresses such as sitting in traffic or not having enough time to grab a quick lunch has caused our adrenals to constantly be in overdrive. When adrenaline is continually being produce it reeks havoc with our digestive system, which leads to more stress put on the body and even more work for our adrenals! When the adrenals get to the point of exhaustion they will collapse and then we have a serious problem. The good news is that if you take care of your adrenal glands now you can avoid adrenal fatigue.
Long term stress: can lead to nutrient deficiencies, lower immunity, insulin resistance, the body will resist weight loss, fat moves to the abdomen, increases inflammation, free radicals, and adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms: fatigue, insomnia, digestive difficulties, hair loss, carbohydrate and salt cravings, depression, lowered immunity, PMS/menopausal symptoms, acne, and weight gain. Often, if you have an issue with your thyroid, you’ll also have problems with your adrenal glands. These two endocrine glands work closely to each other.
Here’s what you can do.
*Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, oats), fresh vegetables and leafy greens, lots of water, chamomile tea, cold water fish, antioxidants (berries, bright vegetables, decaf green tea), fibre, good fats (olive oil, avocados, coconut oil, nuts), and lean protein. Eat smaller frequent meals that have a low glycemic index.
*Trans fats, salt, fried and processed foods, sugar, and red meat.
Vitamin B5 and vitamin C are very important in supporting the adrenal glands during periods of stress. Rest, moderate exercise, and relaxation are also essential when coping with stress.
If you think this sounds like you, contact a Holistic Nutritionist to help set up a plan for you.