Understanding the Purpose and Benefits of Adrenal Support
These days, a lot of people complain about being stressed, restless, and depressed. Many also experience chronic body pains. These symptoms could indicate a more pressing health concern called adrenal fatigue, a stress-related condition that happens when the adrenal glands aren’t performing at their best hence the need for adrenal support.
The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys. It has two parts. One is the adrenal cortex, or the outer part, which produces essential to life such as aldosterone that aids in controlling blood pressure, and cortisol that aids in regulating metabolism and the body’s response to stress. The other is adrenal medulla, or the inner part, that produces nonessential hormones like adrenaline, which is secreted by the body during emergencies.
Taking care of these glands is basically the same as that of taking care of the body. You should eat foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. Relaxation would also help, as stress puts too much strain on them. Adequate rest and exercise are vital as well.
When the adrenal glands aren’t functioning properly, fatigue sets in.
Adrenal fatigue is often blamed for the symptoms that affect people who under long-term emotional, mental, and physical stress. They argue that this condition is more likely to happen to people who are frequently under a lot of pressure, like those who have stressful jobs, abuse drugs or alcohol. Single parents and those who are going through a very difficult time (lost a job or death in the family) are also said to be prone to adrenal fatigue.
Aside from depression and chronic fatigue, symptoms of adrenal fatigue include difficulties in sleeping at night or waking up in the morning, cravings for salty and sweet foods, anxiety, panic attacks, and low sex drive.
Doctors usually dismiss adrenal fatigue, saying it does not exist. One reason they are saying this is that the condition can’t be detected by any type of medical test. Most of the time a person who has adrenal fatigue will be told that he has a condition based on the symptoms alone.
Still, a lot of alternative medicine proponents claim that this is a mild type of adrenal insufficiency that can be attributed to chronic stress. Adrenal fatigue, they add, is a condition that can explain why there are persistent symptoms of chronic fatigue, depression, and pain that doctors can’t readily explain.
Their argument is that the adrenal glands are unable to keep in step with the demands of fight or flight arousal, preventing them from producing enough hormones that your body needs to feel good.
So how do you keep the adrenal glands working properly, to avoid adrenal fatigue? There are several ways to do so, like making lifestyle changes, improving your diet and taking adrenal support supplements.
Treatment of mild to moderate cases of adrenal insufficiency can begin with making simple lifestyle changes. A stressful life can put a great strain on the adrenal glands, compounded by being in a polluted environment, eating poor quality food, and not getting enough rest or exercise. These factors can take its toll on the adrenal glands, quickly leading to adrenal exhaustion.
Some of the simple changes that you can incorporate in your lifestyle include getting enough sleep. Try to get as much as eight hours of sleep at night to reduce the effects of stress on your body particularly on the adrenal glands. You should also attempt to take naps of no more than 30 minutes during the middle of the day. It is during sleep when our bodies heal, repair, and replenish. If you have problems sleeping, try to make changes like sleeping in a dark room and keeping away computers and cellphones.
Take time to relax and de-stress. Periods of silent solace like meditating, praying or taking part in yoga activities can reduce your risks of adrenal stress and promote adrenal gland health. Spending more time for leisurely activities like watching movies, taking a stroll in the park, and sharing a joke with friends and family members should also help your adrenal glands in the long-term.
Incorporating more time for exercise should also be part of a treatment plan against adrenal fatigue. To keep cortisol in its ideal levels, do heavy exercises like running or lifting weights in the morning or afternoon when the body is replete with the said hormone. Lighter exercises like walking and yoga stretches should be scheduled in the evening.
But if your energy levels are really low, you naturally won’t have the strength for strenuous exercises. You can opt for lighter exercise like walking, yoga and swimming. These exercises should improve circulation with putting a lot of strain on your adrenal glands.
Another way of providing support to the good function of the adrenal glands is by nourishing your body with the right nutrients.
As much as possible, eat only fresh, whole foods. Stay away from foods that have preservatives, artificial colors, dyes and chemicals. You should also incorporate more lean protein with each meal and snack so that your blood sugar levels will be stabilized, and prevent you from craving for sugar and coffee.
Eat foods that are rich in protein so that you’ll have enough energy without causing spikes in your blood sugar levels. You should eat more beef, chicken, wild fish, eggs, and other sources of protein. Keep in mind that one of the top symptoms of adrenal fatigue is chronic low energy, so maintaining a diet rich in protein should give you the energy to last through a taxing day.
Coffee, soda, and other drinks that contain caffeine aren’t friendly to the adrenal glands. The same goes for alcohol. Instead of these drinks, you should drink more vegetable juices and herbal teas such as chamomile and passionflower.
You must also time your meals well to regulate cortisol levels and its natural cycle. You would want to eat large meals in the morning and eat smaller, lighter meals at night to maintain hormonal balance.
Avoid going for long periods without foods as it would force the adrenal glands to work harder in releasing cortisol and adrenaline, two hormones that are critical to maintaining the normal functioning of the body.
Here’s how you can time your meals. Try to have a heavy breakfast within an hour after getting up to restore blood sugar levels. Then eat a healthy snack around 9 a.m., and lunch between 11 a.m. to 12 noon to prevent a dip in cortisol levels. Eat another healthy snack between 2 and 3 pm and have a light meal at dinner, between 5 and 6 pm.
Adrenal Gland Support Supplements
It would also help if you take dietary supplements that can promote the good health and function of the adrenal glands. You can start with the basics like a multivitamin complex that includes the B vitamins, vitamins C and D, magnesium, and calcium.
You’d also like to take supplements that are rich in omega 3-fatty acids which are vital to good health. Omega 3-fatty acids are found in fishes like salmon, herring, and anchovies. These amino acids are noted for treating depression and sharpening mind and memory.
Natural adrenal support supplements also have herbs as key ingredients, like astragalus root. This herb improves energy and endurance, bolsters the immune system, and promotes weight loss.
The Siberian ginseng called Eleuthero is another ingredient that you’ll find in supplements designed to prevent and treat adrenal fatigue. A gentler herb compared to the Asian ginseng, Eleuthero functions as an adaptogen that augments the body’s resstance to stress. It can also improve athletic performance, boost mental performance like memory and concentration, and enhance endurance. It also protects the cells in the brain.
Olive oil extract, gotu kola, rhodiola rosea, and licorice root are other herbs that you will find in supplements that promote the good function of the adrenal glands.
Olive oil extract is known to stabilize blood sugar and control diabetes. It contains a substance called oleuropein that has antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It is also well-regarded for boosting energy, vitality, and improving blood circulation.
Gotu kola is another herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine, containing minerals like iron, calcium, and selenium. It is also rich in vitamin C and beta carotene. It promotes stamina and boosts energy.
Living a healthier lifestyle by getting enough sleep or rest, maintaining a healthy diet, and taking dietary supplements should positively affect the good function of the adrenal glands.
Adrenal glands working at optimum levels should prevent adrenal fatigue from setting in, sparing you from the persistent symptoms of chronic fatigue, depression, dizziness, body aches, and low sex drive, among others.
If you are looking for a dietary supplement to combat adrenal fatigue, consider getting Fatigue Fighter. It consists of the herbs eleuthero, gotu kola, and olive oil extract that have been proven to be effective in raising energy levels. This all-natural herbal remedy, which sells for around $40 per bottle, can improve your stamina and endurance as well.