The ADRENAL GLANDS are two little almond-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. The outer part of the adrenal gland, the adrenal cortex, secretes the “stress hormone” CORTISOL that monitors the body’s metabolism, inflammation, and blood pressure. They are a personal emergency response team that comes into play when any stress happens, enabling the “ FIGHT OR FLIGHT ” response. It’s also responsible for dampening these effects once danger is over, so as not to expose our cells from uncontrolled inflammation.
In a healthy body, when we’re exposed to chronic stressors, the adrenals secrete extra cortisol to help the body adjust to the extra stress. Eventually the cortisol naturally fades, and the body returns to normal functioning so that the adrenals can rest. When chronic stress continues to occur over a long period of time, the adrenals don’t get a chance to rest. Instead, they keep pumping out cortisol, which remains in the system over time, damaging body tissue. This constant state of ‘red alert’ also causes the adrenal glands themselves to become worn out, losing their ability to even produce cortisol and respond to stress in the first place. This is when ADRENAL FATIGUE SYNDROME can set in.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome:
● Ongoing fatigue
● Weakened immunity and headaches
● Feeling lightheaded, shaky, or irritable between meals
● Insomnia, especially between 3 and 6 a.m.
● Not feeling rested after sleep
● Dizziness moving from sitting to standing
● Afternoon “blahs”
● Sugar and caffeine cravings
● Decreased ability to handle stress
● Brain fog or decreased cognitive ability
● Low sex drive
● Increased severity of allergic responses
● Low blood pressure
● Low blood sugar
● Inability to lose weight
● Cravings for salt and sugar
● Anxiety, mental exhaustion, and/or depression
● Reduced immunity (you get every cold that goes around)
Three Ways to Combat Stress & Adrenal Fatigue Using Holistic Nutrition: DIET, SUPPLEMENTS, and LIFESTYLE
Regular, plentiful sleep:
● Go to bed by 10 p.m. every evening.
● Get 9–11 hours of sleep whenever you can.
● Avoid all digital screens for the hour before bed.
● Have a small, high-fat snack just before bed to balance blood sugar throughout the night.
● Breathe in deeply through your nose to a count of four seconds.
● Hold that breath for seven seconds.
● Exhale slowly and controlled through your mouth for eight seconds.
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● Stress-relieving blends: Stress Away, Peace & Calming, Endoflex
● Singles oils for adrenal support: NUTMEG, Sacred Frankincense, Spearmint, Idaho
● Single oils to promote relaxation: Cedarwood, Vetiver, Lavender
● Eat regular, well-balanced meals, preferably paleo, to prevent low blood sugar episodes and lower inflammation. Breakfast should be high in protein and healthy fats. Balance snacks and other meals throughout the day with plenty of healthy fats!
● Include healthy saturated fats from grass-fed butter and ghee, coconut oil, pastured egg yolks, and grass-fed meats. Include monounsaturated fats from foods like avocado and pure olive oil.
● Eat REAL salt, with good minerals—not the fake stuff. To order: http://bit.ly/Real-Salt
●Try adding a ½ teaspoon of Real Salt to a glass of warm water in the morning to help your body cope with stress.
● AVOID: stimulants (caffeine and sugar) and extreme exercise
● Magnesium! To order: http://bit.ly/Calm-Powder
● Common food sources include pumpkin seeds, quinoa and dark leafy greens.
● Most people benefit from 400-1,000 mg a day.
● Take a hot bath with Epsom salts to transdermally absorb much-needed Mg.
● Vitamin C! To order: http://bit.ly/Acerola-Powder
● The adrenal gland, actually, contains a high concentration of vitamin C, compared to all other organs.
● Dessicated Liver! To order: http://bit.ly/Dess-Liver
● Gram for gram, pasture-raised liver is the most nutrient-dense food.
● B Complex Vitamin: To order: http://bit.ly/Balanced-B
● B6 especially. It’s in many foods, but it’s heat sensitive, so a supplement may be necessary, especially if you’ve been on birth control (depletes levels).
● Quality Probiotic! To order: http://bit.ly/Kendy-Probiotic