Want Natural Help for Adrenal Fatigue?
In the video below, Dr. Osborne discusses what you need to understand to naturally improve adrenal function. The full transcript is available below if you prefer reading. A short summary of both are found below.
Access the video transcript here.
What are the adrenal glands?
They are two little walnut shaped organs on the top of either kidney.
They have a couple of main functions. Part of your adrenal gland (the cortex) produces cortisol. Cortisol helps to mobilize and generate energy from fats, sugars, and protein. Cortisol also helps battle inflammation and acts as an immune suppressant. Cortisol is also the hormone that wakes your brain up from sleep every morning. That’s why low morning cortisol levels makes a person feel completely exhausted – even after a full night of sleep.
The adrenal glands also produce the mineralocorticoid aldosterone. This hormone helps regulate blood pressure by helping the kidneys retain water and sodium.
Both cortisol and aldosterone are collectively referred to as corticosteroids. Both of them are made from the precursor cholesterol.
Other vital hormones produced by the adrenal glands are the catecholamines. You’ve probably heard of adrenaline and noradrenaline. Also referred to as epinephrine or norepinephrine. These hormones are responsible for the fight of flight response. This is also sometimes referred to as the acute stress response. When this system is activated, blood and energy are driven to the muscles and brain to prepare for immediate action. Blood is shunted away from the GI tract, as digestion is not a bodily priority during periods of acute stress.
Many people are in a chronic state of acute stress. This can lead to poor digestion, nervous energy, anxiety, shaky hands, lowered libido, and brain fog. The modern lifestyle is conducive to creating the chronic stress response, along with these symptoms. Most modern stresses come from a combination of the following: chemical exposure in the environment or foods, food allergies, overeating, chronic drug use (caffeine is a drug, but also including prescription medications), emotional, job, and relationship stress, lack of rest, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, and lack of regular sunshine.
What exactly does adrenal burnout mean?
Adrenal burnout and adrenal fatigue are terms used to describe a fundamental reduction in the adrenal glands ability to meet the needs of the body. All organs in our body have a reserve or a gas tank. They can only do so much. If we abuse them, they will last and adapt only to help us to the extent of that abuse. Adrenal fatigue sets in when chronically acute episodes of stress are persistent to the point that the glands can no longer keep up with the demand.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
The following list is not comprehensive, but it is a where you should start. Natural help for adrenal fatigue starts with simple changes and common sense. Many of these factors are simple to identify and change. In the case of adrenal fatigue, small changes can yield big results.
- Chronic Inflammation
- Chronic Pain
- Chronic Infection
- Chronic Mental/Emotional Stress
- Chronic Steroid Use
- Chronic Caffeine Use
- Chronic Prescription Stimulants (ADD)
- Lack of Sleep
- Lack of Sunshine
- Fast Paced Lifestyle
Natural Help For Adrenal Fatigue – Simple Tips For Overcoming This Health Issue
- Get enough sleep. Bed time should be as close to sunset as possible. Allow yourself to wake up at sunrise without the help of an alarm clock. Be asleep between 10 PM and 2 AM.
- Maintain normal blood sugar levels. Don’t eat foods that will spike your blood sugar.
- Exercise to tolerance. Do not overdo it.
- Evaluate your relationships and spend time with people who can provide positive support, encouragement and love.
- Evaluate your nutritional status with the appropriate blood and lab tests.
- Monitor your adrenal output with an experienced functional medicine doctor.
- Eat a grain free, anti-inflammatory diet. (Chapters 7 & 8 of No Grain No Pain)
- Utilize natural supplements to support adrenal health.
Nutrients and Natural Agents to Support Adrenal Health
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Potassium – naturally boosts cortisol to help fight inflammation.
- Adrenal Glandular Support
- Organ Meats
- Botanicals: The following herbs are often times referred to as adaptogens. They aid the body and support or help it “adapt” to stress.
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