Adrenaline. What would the human race be without it? Probably extinct. Our adrenal glands produce, among other hormones, this very useful substance that allows us to face down threats or run from them. Called “the stress hormone,” adrenaline allows us to cope with the stresses of our lives. When our species was evolving, those stresses included saber toothed tigers and spear toting warriors.
In our world today, the stresses of life are usually less life-threatening, and yet our bodies still readily produce adrenaline when our minds perceive the need. Your life may well be chock full of stressors – a challenging job, an unappreciative boss, children who pull on you, a husband who feels neglected or who is always traveling, too much on your to-do list, not enough support and on and on.
What happens when you feel stress is that your adrenal gland goes into hyper-drive. It pumps out so much adrenaline and cortisol (about which I’m posting a whole blog) that the adrenal gland “burns out” – kind of the way you do. The result of an over-taxed adrenal gland is general adrenal dysfunction. What that means is that you no longer respond well to stress – the very hormone that is intended to help you is no longer functioning properly. When the adrenal gland fails, then all the other hormones it is supposed to produce to keep you healthy (DHEA, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone) go askew. The general adrenal imbalance leads to other health issues.
A friend of mine learned not too long ago that “adrenal fatigue” was actually partly to blame for her abdominal weight gain. Her craving for salty foods was her body’s way of trying to regain hormonal balance, but with disastrous results, as those salty foods taxed the gland even more. When our bodies are that out of whack, our bodies’ reactions are out of whack too. In fact, too much stress in life, and thus on the adrenals, can lead to one of two opposing results. Either your adrenal glands are on hyper-drive, resulting in one set of symptoms, or they shut down altogether, with a different set of stress-induced symptoms.
Look over the symptoms I’ve listed below. They arise from an overactive adrenal system or adrenals that have effectively crashed, so that you produce too little adrenaline. Do you recognize any of them?
Sleep. Too much adrenaline: you can’t sleep or you can’t stay asleep. Too little: you can’t get out of bed and no matter how much you sleep, you don’t feel rested.
Energy. Too much: you are tired, but a bundle of exhausted energy. Too little: weary and lethargic describe you.
Hormones. Too much: your PMS is through the roof and your libido is suppressed. Too little: your libido is no better off with too little adrenaline.
Temperament. Too much: you are driven and anxious. You may be prone to panic attacks or bursts of temper. Too little: you simply can’t handle stress. You feel overwhelmed and potentially depressed.
Immune system. Too much: skin issues are common. Have you had a resurgence of acne? Too little: you may be more prone to infections, and when you get sick it takes a long time to recover.
Mental. Too much: your thoughts race and you find focusing on anything a challenge. Too little: your brain is fuzzy and your thinking foggy.
Food. Too much: you want to eat at night, and as my friend discovered, you put on weight around your middle. Too little: you crave salty or sugary foods, as well as refined carbs. You may find yourself addicted to caffeine, though it does you no good.
Other issues of health and well-being. Too much: you may find your blood pressure is elevated, that you are intolerant of cold and that you are experiencing hair loss. Too little: your blood pressure may be dangerously low, but you still do not handle the cold at all well and are losing hair.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed here, you may need to visit a nutritionist, herbalist or other practitioner who can help you with adrenal support, via diet and/or supplements. With your adrenal gland back in balance, you may find you handle stress much better, sleep well and lose that weight around your abdomen. Besides, you will be a much healthier person!
This photo depicts some of the test that non-traditional doctors will do to help you heal naturally.
Please note: Adrenal Fatigue, as a debilitating condition, is not recognized by conventional medicine and is thus missed by most conventionally trained physicians.
This is an interesting read about the process, what traditional doctors test for and how they usually prescribe anti-depressants instead of looking at what the real problem is.
And another one. Click here.
Always do your research and get your questions answered!!