December 2019 Newsletter

December 2019 Holiday HoursStress-Adrenal Burnout

“Stress is an ignorant state. 

It believes that everything is an emergency.” – Natalie Goldberg 

Do you wake up in the morning feeling tired?  Does your boost of energy dwindle as the afternoon approaches; causing you to crave something sugary or even coffee?  Just to function at work or home do you need to be constantly stimulating your body with caffeine,  sugar or food?  You may be experiencing what is known as Adrenal Fatigue.

How do we get Adrenal Fatigue?

Functional Medicine

The short answer is simply by engaging in our modern lifestyle. Our body requires a balance between activity and rest, high quality food to fuel the activity and to experience quality sleep, but not so much food the organs and nervous system are overtaxed metabolizing it.

The thyroid and liver are primary energy maintaining system regulators.  Glucose is the first level to produce energy and is regulated by the liver. The nervous system, including the brain, requires glucose to function optimally. Thyroid function is critical to maintaining good even energy, repair and overall metabolism. 

Foods like sugar and caffeinated products adversely affect the liver and thyroid. As they begin to weaken due to these adverse foods, glucose can start to  fluctuate wildly.  The adrenal gland is responsible for managing stress  including wild glucose deviations. Repeated need for the adrenals to help modulate this metabolic stress along with daily lifestyle stress results in a cycle of over stimulation from caffeine, sugar rich foods, and poor quality food, to adrenal compensation, then to cravings for more stimulating foods, and so on.

GENERAL ADAPTION SYNDROME

Since before ancient man began to walk upright or wear fig leaves or bearskins, our bodies were designed to protect us from perceived dangers from predators and other threats. Once one or more of our five senses have detected danger our nervous system and pituitary glands begin a cascade of responses. This includes stimulating the adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones that prepare the body for increased  energy output in what is called the “fight or flight response”. It takes energy to run and save yourself or stand your ground and fight. Once the threat has passed or been overcome the body is designed to return to a more low key state.

Unfortunately, in our modern world we tend to abuse the body’s systems with over committed schedules and reduced sleep, and we eat poor quality food causing the liver and thyroid to become sluggish. The adrenals are then called upon to try to provide the daily energy needs. This is not what they were designed for, and after prolonged over use and abuse causes them to fatigue, or worse, exhaust. It’s just the end of long chain of stresses and dysfunction of the liver, thyroid, digestion, nutrient deficiencies, toxicity, and on ad-nauseum.

So, it becomes obvious just treating adrenals will not have a lasting effect or benefit. It will have an initial benefit, but then the adrenals will slow down again because the underlying stressor has not been addressed.

Adrenal Burnout or Exhaustion can cause the following:

· Low energy production causing difficulty rising in the morning.

· Muscle and joint function may be compromised.  Tissue healing may be slower and can lead to chronic pain  syndromes. More prone to osteoporosis.

· Reduced immune health: more susceptible to infections and allergies.

· Hypothyroid symptoms.

· Sleep disturbances: can’t sleep at night but wants to sleep all day.

How to Help Your Adrenals

· It is important and vital to support the biochemistry of your body. (1)

· Reduce or restrict caffeine intake.

· Reduce or restrict alcohol intake.  Alcohol produces a chemical stressor in the human body.  It has the potential to elevate adrenal function which can lead to a disturbance in the sleep cycle.

· Reduce refined carbohydrates in the daily diet.  Refined carbohydrates are typically found in white flour and sugar.  If consumed in the daily diet, it may lead to issues in controlling blood sugar levels.

· Eat small, frequent meals away from the TV or office desk.

· Exercise (oddly enough) will lead to more energy and better sleep.

· Guided nutritional supplementation is important to support the adrenal gland and immune system.  Vitamin C and E, zinc, magnesium and fatty acids are supplements that support the role of the adrenal glands and help  manufacture adrenal hormone. (2)

A thorough nutritional blood test is crucial to identify your problems and from that we can recommend a customized treatment program as well as preventative measures including diet and lifestyle changes, and proper supplementation based upon your individual test results.

It is Time to Take Your Health Into Your Own Hands

Find out where your nutritional status lies by completing an SBN nutritional blood test.  Take a couple months to try a safe natural drug free approach.  Results can often be seen in just a few days or weeks.  Let us guide you down the right path with an individualized plan that is constructed specifically towards your needs and help you discover a safe and natural option to benefit your health.

References

1. Krause’s Food, Nutrition & Diet Therapy 12th Ed. 12th ed. England: W B SAUNDERS (FL/MO)-ELSEVIER Science HE, 2008. Print.

2. Wilson, James.  “What is Adrenal Fatigue?” Adrenal Fatigue. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 June 2017.


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