Stress has a tremendous impact on every system of your body. Stress is a natural part of life, but many people live in a continual state of heightened tension that burdens the adrenal glands and lays the groundwork for mood disorders, weight problems, and disease.
In order to get a handle on stress, improve your mental and physical health, and break free from the hold that adrenal fatigue has on your life, there are several changes that must first take place: end your dependence on stimulants, get plenty of rest, and eat mineral-rich whole foods.
Lose the Stimulants
Do you feel like you can’t make it through the morning without your latte? Does a mid-afternoon candy bar get you through to the end of the day? Reliance on these stimulants is a clear sign of adrenal fatigue.
Sugar and caffeine stimulate the adrenal medulla, the center of the adrenal gland, to produce the stress hormone adrenaline. The adrenal cortex, which is located around the perimeter of the adrenal gland, produces corticoid hormones to counteract elevated stress hormones and bring the body back into balance.
When the adrenal medulla is constantly stimulated by caffeine and sugar, the adrenal cortex becomes taxed, making it impossible to keep up and balance the stress response.
Get Some Sleep
Your body runs on a schedule, and a variety of important functions take place as you snooze. A lack of sleep weakens the immune system, leads to weight gain, and causes emotions to get out of control. Sleep deprivation causes cognitive problems, creating issues with memory and learning.
Less than eight to nine hours of sleep each night raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol. When you stay up too late, your stress hormones elevate, putting you in a state of “fight or flight”. This is what happens when you become “over-tired”. Your stress hormone levels tell your body that danger lurks, so it becomes impossible to relax.
When sleepless nights become a habit, your body constantly releases cortisol, which boosts your blood glucose levels. The fat-storing hormone insulin enters the scene to store glucose into fat cells. This leads to weight gain, insulin resistance, and severe diabetes.
Eat Your Minerals
Adrenal glands need minerals in order to function properly. Most diets are low in minerals and high in grains. Grains need metal ions in order to grow and develop, so they attach to calcium, magnesium, and iron in your body. This depletes you of these essential nutrients.
Diets that include processed foods are low in absorbable minerals. Traditional diets made up of foods like whole, unprocessed meats, fish, and eggs contain an average of four times more minerals than modern diets.
The adrenals become nutritionally deprived when they are exhausted. This paves the way for toxic metals to build up and replace essential minerals throughout the glands. Some of these toxic metals include mercury, aluminum, and lead. This causes either low or high adrenal activity, depending on how these metals affect you.
Chronic stress is often overlooked as the cause of illness and disease, even though it negatively affects every cell in your body. Certain habits and nutritional deficiencies cause adrenal fatigue, making weight loss and optimal health impossible. Make changes to relieve your stress and reduce adrenal fatigue, and enjoy the improvements in your mental and physical health.
“General Information, Articles, and Forms.” Pam Killeen. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 July 2012.