Getting to know the adrenal glands: Say goodbye to adrenal fatigue symptoms
As you delve deeper into discovering what is causing your collection of “mysterious symptoms,” you may stumble upon the adrenal fatigue controversy. There are several organizations that deny the condition exists, including The Hormone Health Network of The Endocrine Society. This outlook can be discouraging when you are trying to get to the root of your health problem — especially if you are brushed off by your doctor.
Broken sleep, frequent travel, over-exercise, and skipping meals can all lead to adrenal fatigue. Body Ecology’s Ancient Earth Minerals Liquid is designed to nourish the adrenal glands and the thyroid, support natural detoxification, strengthen immunity, and even reduce signs of aging in the body.
But not all medical professionals agree with the adrenal fatigue “myth.” According to Dr. Richard Shames, who has undergone extensive training with the NIH and co-authored Thyroid Power, years of research support adrenal fatigue, dating back to Dr. Fuller Albright’s work in the 1930s.1 Based on his 30 years of experience in medicine, Dr. Shames disagrees with the Endocrine Society’s rejection of adrenal fatigue.
Countless studies support the importance of the adrenal glands — to regulate circadian rhythms and coordinate the body as its “adrenal clock.”2 When the adrenals start to go haywire, every part of the body can be affected.
Before rebuilding your adrenal support system, be sure to account for and manage adrenal stressors.
Common causes of adrenal fatigue include:
- Irregular or poor sleep
- Frequent travel
- Overtraining at the gym
- Skipping meals or using stimulants (like coffee) to get through the day
- Strained relationships, caring for sick family members, or juggling career and family
- Illness, such as an ongoing Candida yeast infection
- Leaky gut or poor digestion
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They pump out regulatory hormones, helping the body to adapt to stress.
These are hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which raise blood sugar, activate the muscles of the body, and send oxygen to the brain. In a time of dire need, stress hormones activate the fight-or-flight response, keeping you on your toes and ready to move.
Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline also weaken the immune system, halt tissue regeneration, and shut down digestive function. When stress is ongoing, this can become a problem. This means that cortisol is always high. Worse, ongoing stress can eventually weaken the adrenal glands that produce stress hormones, flat-lining cortisol levels. And when the body produces too little cortisol, primary adrenal insufficiency, or Addison’s disease, may result — a condition The Endocrine Society recommends immediate treatment for when symptoms become severe.3
In some cases, over-stimulated adrenals can present as high blood pressure, occurring in one out of 50 adults.4 Adolescents and young adults who are born with an adrenal disorder may also be at higher risk for obesity and heart disease.5 While adrenal imbalance can range in complexity and severity, this much we know is true — when the adrenal glands become weak, stress or no stress, your body simply does not have the energy that it needs to respond.
9 Signs of Adrenal Fatigue
When your adrenals are tired and overworked, they lose their ability to regulate stress hormones. Unless you are born with compromised health, this type of exhaustion usually takes years — if not decades — to accumulate. For example, when you skip meals often, your body scrambles to keep blood sugar stable, and this drives up your need for stress hormones. A high-sugar diet is no better; again, we see stress hormones increase when meals are filled with sugar and processed carbohydrates.
Before the adrenal glands fall into full-time exhaustion, other signs of hormonal shifts begin to emerge.
Red flags that may indicate adrenal fatigue include:
- Weight gain, especially around the middle
- Difficulty regulating blood sugar
- Poor digestion and signs of yeast infection
- Wrinkles and signs of premature aging, such as graying hair
- Tiredness during the day, which peaks around 3-5 o’clock in the afternoon
- Changes in mood, such as depression or anxiety
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of libido
- Changes in menstrual cycle
5 Steps to Rebuild Your Adrenal Health
Adrenal exhaustion can make a person feel tired, heavy, and sick. When the adrenal glands are exhausted, they are no longer able to maintain appropriate levels of cortisol.
Fortunately, there are five ways you can fight adrenal fatigue and reclaim your health:
- Improve digestion. It’s critical to nourish the adrenal glands as poor digestion wears them out. Diet is one of the most important factors in healing the adrenals. When you nourish these precious organs with essential minerals, they can continue to create energy for your body. Remember, the adrenal glands love high-quality minerals, and Body Ecology’s Ancient Earth Minerals are the highest quality humic, fulvic, micro, and macro minerals — the perfect combination to nourish the adrenals and support your body’s digestion, detoxification, and sleep.
- Cleanse toxins. Cleansing can have a huge impact on your adrenals. An overburdened liver may make it almost impossible to bring the adrenal glands back into balance. To support the adrenals, you must also give the liver the extra detox support it needs. The Digestive Care Multi contains a powerful combination of minerals and herbs specifically designed to detoxify the body, enhancing energy and cellular repair.
- Conquer infection. Research shows that the microbes in your body pick up on stress. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can make bad bacteria and yeast like Candida even more virulent and toxic to the body. Displacing the harmful microbes with the help of good, probiotic microbes is one of the best ways to get rid of long-term infection. Super Spirulina Plus also provides the vital nutrients your body needs to help fight infection, in addition to protecting against stress and outside toxins.
- Rebuild the gut. Rebuilding your gut with friendly probiotics can not only prevent adrenal fatigue in the future, but it can improve whole-body health — by boosting immunity, controlling inflammation, supporting weight loss, clearing the skin, aiding in detoxification, and even reducing the risk of disease. A tasty and refreshing probiotic beverage like InnergyBiotic can help to maintain energy levels in place of caffeine or a sports drink. At the same time, InnergyBiotic helps to strengthen the gut and make important B vitamins that the adrenal glands need to heal.
- Replenish good bacteria. Restoring levels of friendly bacteria in the gut is the final step in adrenal recovery: A Bifidus probiotic capsule covers all the bases by helping you better digest food, assimilate nutrients, and strengthen immunity. Healthy gut bacteria help to naturally boost energy levels by aiding in digestion — when your body can easily digest and absorb, it can create energy more efficiently.
When you restore your adrenal health, you restore the systems that produce energy and manage stress. This means your digestive system, which has a close relationship with your immune system and your brain. This also means your detoxification pathways, primarily the liver and the large intestine.
Likewise, managing chronic stress in your day-to-day life can support the health of the adrenal glands (and all related body systems) too.
If you needed one good reason to relax and treat yourself well today, consider this — just 25 minutes of mindful meditation can help to reduce stress, while improving stress resilience.6 And something as simple as “stopping to smell the roses” can actually have profound effects on the body’s stress response system by altering genetic activity and blood chemistry to reduce stress levels.7
What To Remember Most About This Article:
The adrenals are small glands located on top of the kidneys. They are vital to regulate hormones and help the body respond to stress. Ongoing stress can weaken the adrenal glands and leave your body exhausted in the aftermath.
Chronic exhaustion may be a sign of adrenal fatigue, a condition that describes the long-term effects of stress on the body. Poor sleep, frequent travel, over-exercising, and skipping meals can all lead to adrenal fatigue.
Years of wear and tear on your body can cause adrenal fatigue symptoms like:
- Weight gain
- Poor digestion
- Premature aging
- Daytime tiredness
- Mood changes
- Difficulty sleeping
- Low libido
Based on Body Ecology Principles, there are five steps you can take to restore adrenal health:
- Shomon, Mary. “The Scientific Validity of Adrenal Fatigue and Mild Adrenal Insufficiency.”
- Cell Press. “How The Adrenal ‘Clock’ Keeps The Body In Synch.”
- Stefan R. Bornstein, Bruno Allolio, Wiebke Arlt, Andreas Barthel, Andrew Don-Wauchope, Gary D. Hammer, Eystein S. Husebye, Deborah P. Merke, M. Hassan Murad, Constantine A. Stratakis, David J. Torpy. Diagnosis and Treatment of Primary Adrenal Insufficiency: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2016; jc.2015-1710 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2015-1710.
- Koshiro Nishimoto, Scott A. Tomlins, Rork Kuick, Andi K. Cani, Thomas J. Giordano, Daniel H. Hovelson, Chia-Jen Liu, Aalok R. Sanjanwala, Michael A. Edwards, Celso E. Gomez-Sanchez, Kazutaka Nanba, William E. Rainey. Aldosterone-stimulating somatic gene mutations are common in normal adrenal glands. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015; 201505529 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1505529112.
- Mimi S. Kim, Anna Ryabets-Lienhard, Anh Dao-Tran, Steven D. Mittelman, Vicente Gilsanz, Sheree M. Schrager, Mitchell E. Geffner. Increased Abdominal Adiposity in Adolescents and Young Adults With Classical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia due to 21-Hydroxylase Deficiency. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2015; jc.2014-4033 DOI: 10.1210/jc.2014-4033.
- David Creswell, Laura E. Pacilio, Emily K. Lindsay, Kirk Warren Brown. Brief mindfulness meditation training alters psychological and neuroendocrine responses to social evaluative stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 2014; 44: 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.02.007.
- Nakamura et al. Stress Repression in Restrained Rats by (R)-(-)-Linalool Inhalation and Gene Expression Profiling of Their Whole Blood Cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 2009; 57 (12): 5480 DOI: 10.1021/jf900420g.