A is for April and Adrenals

This month we are show casing a 4-part series on adrenal fatigue and stress!

Nowadays, stressors last all day long!  We are constantly being bombarded by emails, deadlines, family and other life commitments with no reprieve.  Your body – and more importantly your brain – are experiencing constant and prolonged stressors.  These daily stressors are often more pronounced and lasting far longer than would be experienced in nature. This leads to a heavy burden on not only every bodily defense mechanism, but one very important defense, your adrenal glands.

What are your adrenals?

Your adrenal glands are small triangular-shaped glands positioned on top of your kidneys that secrete cortisol, adrenaline, testosterone, estrogen, aldosterone, and DHEA in response to stressful stimuli. These hormones help us respond to stress, maintain sex drive, and control the immune system.

When the body experiences a short-term stress trigger, the adrenals release chemicals that: energize the body, heighten memory, and increase the pain threshold. When stress lasts for days or weeks, the body is continually flooded with cortisol and adrenaline.  This results in: heightened blood-sugar levels, increased blood pressure, and decreased immunity to disease.

If stress becomes chronic, adrenal fatigue eventually sets in.  The adrenal glands are then depleted or exhausted, resulting in overall chronic low energy, achiness, and mental fogginess.

Desperate for quick pick-me-ups, many people turn to sugar, refined carbs (think cookies, crackers, pastries) and caffeine (coffee, soda and energy drinks)

The result?

Left unchecked, adrenal fatigue will not only interfere with proper energy production, but will  also increases the risks of a depressed immune system.  An insufficiently functioning immune system leads to an array of physical disabilites including autoimmune disorders, digestive problems, cardiac issues, blood-sugar dysregulation, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, depressed mood, lowered sex drive, and sluggish brain function.

Look for part two next week, where we discuss symptoms and testing.

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