Elisse Evans, ND
Support Your Adrenals
Updated: Mar 8, 2022
Stress, whether psychological (such as worrying about contracting an illness) or environmental (such as sprinting away from a mountain lion) triggers stress hormones that stimulate what is commonly known as your "flight or fight" response. This response causes changes within your body that are designed to help you handle the stressful situation. Your body is equipped to manage stress in short spurts, however when stress is prolonged & chronic it is extremely taxing on your organs and nutrient stores. As a result, chronic stress can severely impact your mental and physical well-being.
One of the main organs that is most affected by stress are your Adrenal Glands. They are responsible for producing the vital hormones that regulate your stress response:
Epinephrine (aka adrenaline) and Norepinephrine (aka noradrenaline) are stress hormones that work together to trigger your body's fight or flight response. They work to increase your heart rate, stimulate the release of stored glucose into the bloodstream (boosting energy availability) and divert blood flow to your vital organs & muscle tissues. These reactions enable you to quickly respond to a threatening situation.
Cortisol is involved in a variety of processes in the body including your fight or flight response, blood pressure regulation, glucose metabolism, managing inflammation and immune function. Cortisol is increased on the heels of epinephrine, and will remain elevated if a stressor remains. Cortisol has a slower and more prolonged effect, as in comparison to epinephrine which causes a more immediate reaction. When cortisol is elevated for long periods of time it can increase your risk for more serious health issues like heart disease, obesity, anxiety and depression.
Aldosterone regulates your blood pressure and electrolyte balance by managing your body's sodium and potassium levels. When aldosterone production is increased it stimulates the reabsorption of water and sodium into the bloodstream.
DHEA is a steroid hormone that your body produces and uses as a building block for other hormones like testosterone and estradiol. DHEA is involved in over 125 metabolic functions and is especially important for bone, mood and sexual health.
Due to today's fast-paced & demanding lifestyles, it is common for many of us to live in a prolonged stressed-out state where your stress hormones are elevated the majority of the time. This results in your adrenal glands working overtime as they constantly produce and regulate these hormones.
Your adrenal glands ability to function efficiently is essential to your overall health. When they become worn down and fatigued you may notice symptoms such as:
Increased pain sensitivity
Hormonal dysfunction: decreased libido, abnormal menses, infertility
By taking steps to support your adrenal glands you can help your body to more efficiently handle stress and in turn promote better overall health and wellness.
Natural Ways to Support Your Adrenal Glands
Engage in 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise, 5x per week.
Enjoy a nutrient dense, whole foods diet with plenty of organic veggies, quality complete proteins and fats.
Practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing.
Find ways to relieve stress such as yoga, beach strolls or listening to calming music.
Limit refined sugar and caffeine intake.
Sip herbal teas - chamomile, lavender and lemon balm.
Incorporate adaptogenic mushrooms and herbs into your diet: cordyceps, reishi, ashwagandha, holy basil & rhodiola.
Stop into the office for our favorite stress support Vitamin Shots:
Pick up one of our favorite adrenal support supplements:
Adrenal Px Balance
Is chronic stress taking a toll on your health? Contact us to schedule a free intro call or new patient visit with one of our doctors:
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