Adrenal Fatigue 21st Century disease
by Holly E. Mullin
The adrenal glands are 2 round glands which sit above the kidneys, located just under the bottom of the ribs, about 3-4 inches apart.
These small but perfectly formed glands play the most important role in our relationship to, our experience of and our coping mechanisms when it comes to stress.
They produce a number of hormones essential to life, the central nervous system and particular the fight/flight/freeze response.
The hormones produced by the adrenals include: adrenaline, nor-adrenaline, cortisol, estrogens, testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA.
These hormones regulate many of the bodies many activities, in particular, and relevant here, adrenaline and cortisol which, as a branch of the sympathetic autonomic nervous system, which activates in our response to a threat: stress.
Physiologically what occurs during this activation to stressful stimuli is an increased production of glucose or sugar in the blood which raises the blood pressure and produces an increase of energy to the extremities of the body, the muscles, which primes the system ready to run away or fight back.
Symptoms of Low Adrenals are:
- Extreme Tiredness/Exhaustion
- Difficulty sleeping or sleep too much
- Poor circulation
- Poor digestion
- Low blood pressure
- Low blood sugar levels (hypoglycaemic)
- Low self esteem
- Low stamina
- Low sex drive
- Muscle weakness
- Joint aches & pains
- Tendency to constipation
- Low immune response to fight infection
- Extreme thirst and/or urination
- And more.
The main causes for adrenal fatigue can be:
Excessive Stress: High levels of any number of recurring stressors can have a depleting effect on our adrenal glands. Physical stress from chemical toxicity and pollutants especially when coupled with poor nutrition has a physically depleting effect on the adrenals. As well as mental, emotional or spiritual stress which may come from family, relationships or work related issues. Excessive stimulation, especially for children, working too hard and fast-paced, fear-based, high-stress lifestyles are common causes. Other stressors, especially living in cities can be noise, mobile phones, electromagnetic pollution, microwaves, televisions, and computers which all give off strong electrical fields and disrupt our own natural electromagnetic fields.
Nutritional Deficiencies: Another common cause is poor nutrition. The body requires far greater levels of adequate nutrition when under high levels of stress. A diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein can have a very depleting effect on already over worked adrenal glands. Most diet are deficient in foods which nourish the adrenals. These include B-complex vitamins, vitamin A, C & E, manganese, zinc, chromium, selenium and other trace minerals. The growing of foods, preparation and transportation all add to the level of
nutrition our foods hold. Most soil is depleted of essential trace minerals and further processing and refinement of foods leaves our food at an all time low nutritionally.
Stimulants: Stimulants are sited as one of the main causes to damage adrenal activity. Coffee, sugar and alcohol are among the most common stimulants which literally "whip" the adrenals of their vital hormonal activity. Legal and recreational drugs or stimulants also play a part in forcing our adrenals to over-perform at inappropriate times day and night. Other over-stimulating behaviours such as anger, rage, arguing, worrying, loud music, and even movies with high levels of suspense or fear can affect over-worked adrenals negatively. In fact, any "thrilling" activity from over exerting exercise to sex addiction, which produces a temporary "high", can force the adrenals to over-produce and secret hormones when they should be resting. Over time this weakens the adrenal glands and leads to fatigue and eventually burnout.
Stimulant use can also be as a result of adrenal burn-out: Stimulants often look very appealing to those who are in a state of adrenal burnout already. These stimulants act to lift a person in a state of burnout for a short amount of time, allowing them to feel better temporarily. This is what adds to addictive behaviours and why often it can be so difficult to break these habits. It is safe to say that most people with an addiction to anything including cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, sex, anger or legal or recreational drugs has some level of adrenal insufficiency.
Other causes can be:
- Toxic or Chemical Overload
- Chronic Infections
- An unhealthy response to stress
If you think you are suffering from any or all of the above, then you might like to know what you can do to improve on this depleted state.
1) The first and best step in to start with a detoxification process.
2) A simple yang based diet (70-80% cooked veg, 15% protein, 7-8% complex carbs, 5% good fats. 0% simple carbs - fruits, fruit juices, sugar, 0% wheat products, 0% refined/fast food)
3) 6 or 7 mineral supplements. You may consider hair mineral analysis.
4) Lots of rest
5) Regular relaxation and meditation daily.
6) Shifts in your mental attitude: forgiveness, letting go, positive attitude, gratitude, spirituality and prayer all speed up the healing greatly.
Here at Breathe Detox Retreats UK, we can help. It is important to detox and let go of old patterns and habitual behaviours. We encourage you to add a regular relaxation and meditation technique to your daily practice as well as having more detailed information about lifestyle do's and don'ts.