The adrenal glands produce hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and DHEA, which help our body adapt to stress, triggering the “fight or flight” response.
The increase of adrenaline level in our bloodstream causes our body to slow down our digestion, repair and maintenance of other normal functions to channel energy into handling stress. Prolonged stress – which means a prolonged increase in adrenaline level – can lead to premature aging, digestive issues, and hormonal imbalance. Increased levels in stress hormones can also upset thyroid balance, calcium balance, and sex hormone balance.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include: chronic fatigue, insomnia, sleep disturbance, feeling overwhelmed, craving for salty and/or sweet foods, sensitivity to light, low stamina, slow recovery from illness or injuries, brain fog, poor digestion, poor concentration, low immune function, low blood pressure, menopause symptoms, sensitivity to cold, allergies, anxiety and irritability, depression, poor memory, low libido, panic attack and short temper.
The adrenal works much harder during times of stress, and prolonged stress can cause the symptoms described above. During stressful times – physical, mental or emotional, increase the intake of vitamins B3, B5, B12, and C to support adrenal health.
To support adrenal health, avoid foods that contain caffeine, theobromine, theophylline or nicotine, including tea, coffee, chocolate and cigarettes. They stimulate the release of adrenaline, which create more “work” for the adrenal gland. Also avoid sugar and any stimulant, which cause blood sugar fluctuations and trigger the release of adrenal hormones.
To maintain adrenal health, develop tools and routines to help you reduce and manage stress on a day-to-day basis. Getting enough rest and physical activities, as well as having a support system that you can turn to, can help the body deal with stressful situations.