Adrenal Support & Adrenal Fatigue Supplements
I know I go on and on about this topic…but I really am so passionate about it. I am now going into my 5th year of health study and one of the most important things I have learnt through my journey is that taking good care for your adrenal glands is key to finding optimal health, longevity, a good weight, contentment and happiness.
Jess’s motto: A rested body is a healthy body!
Quick recap…what are these adrenal things I go on about: They really may be the answer to all of your health concerns….
Adrenal glands (colloquially, kidney hats) are endocrine glands that sit at the top of the kidneys. They are chiefly responsible for releasing hormones in response to stress– core of the endocrine stress response system.
The adrenals are also involved in manufacturing numerous hormones; blood sugar regulation; the regulation of the body’s minerals; producing and maintaining the body’s energy levels in conjunction with the thyroid; and producing stress-monitoring hormones. Important roles huh?? Ill say!
Two of their most important hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are responsible for the fight-or-flight response. Adrenaline deals primarily with short-term stress while cortisol is produced as a result of both acute and long-term stress. Prolonged stress, whether as a result of emotional, environmental or physical causes, is disastrous for the adrenals. Initially, it results in chronically elevated cortisol levels, resulting in weight gain (especially around the midsection) (This was me just a few years back!), blood sugar imbalances, thinning skin, muscle wasting, memory loss, high blood pressure, dizziness, hot flashes, night sweats, excessive facial hair, and other masculizing tendencies. Overworked adrenals eventually crash, leading to adrenal exhaustion, where the body is unable to maintain adequate adrenal hormone production.
And then you can say hello to extreme fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome), irritability, inability to concentrate, frustration, insomnia, addictions to either sweet or salty foods, allergies, nervousness, depression, anxiety, PMS, sensitivity to cold, diabetes and headaches…it is not fun! I was adrenally exhausted, and you may be too! Unfortunately I find that most women these days are- we are all dominated by our sympathetic nervous system- the flight and fight. I personally believe this is one of the main causes of weight problems.
So here are my top 10 tips to nourish your adrenals! Give this a go- you may see a real difference in your body.
- Schedule and commit to regular deep breathing exercises. 10-20 diaphragm breathes morning and night.
- With the guidance from a nutritionist/doc/herbalist start to take adrenal herbs/supplements (good quality). I recommend: Adrenal formula that contains Withania/Siberian Ginseg/Rhodiola/Licorice/Dandeloin leaves ( Australia- a fab adrenal support is Adrenoplex by Bioceutical or Ad health by Biomedica). I also recommend a B complex supplement + Vitamin C. These will all give lots of love and care to your adrenals! A possible liver supplement may help too!
- Learn to love restorative exercise- such as yoga/Pilates/qi gong/tai chi 2-4x/week- daily would be optimal.
- Spend a few minutes a daily in solitude (away from the phone/emails). This is a good time to write in your gratitude journal and be grateful for 5 things- this really relieves stress for a lot of people. Try it!
- Sleep-8 hours for rest and repair (and hormonal balance).
- Eat wholesome foods, please!- Yes I do believe in supplementation but of course we can nourish ourselves very much so through food. Rid your diet of the nasty 5: caffeine, alcohol (alcohol is not bringing good into your life), salt, soda and sugar! And say hello to good sources of protein, complex starch, nuts & seeds, Low GI fruits (berries are my fav) and lots and lots of dark greens ( they contain great amounts of B vitamins).
- Cut back on coffee. (I’m sorry!) Lets just focus on coffee here for a sec- those feeling exhausted and anxious, I know you think that cup of coffee will lift you up- but please believe me it wont- your body has enough adrenaline being pumped. I believe it is fine to have a coffee 1x/day but I would love it if you could cut it out for a week or two and see how you feel….you may start to realize you are calmer, sleep better and a nice person.
- Take a daily probiotic- when your gut is healed, health will naturally improve. This is something I recommend always!
- Meditate- meditation is essentially just brining awareness to your daily life- study after study has shown that meditation can drastically reduce stress. So invest in this!
- Learn how to say NO…hmm you may be wondering where I am getting at with this one but this is a major cause of stress for people. I say ‘NO’ to social arrangements when I am feeling overwhelmed and instead I choose the time to lay low, read, walk or go for a massage. Your friends will be there for you – if you can’t go to that party then arrange to meet for a walk or some tea! Go to yoga together!
Quick note on fat burning: You may find my beliefs on this interesting: I believe, when your body is rested and calm- it feels safe to use fat as fuel. When you are stressed and tense, the body is so clever, it will hold onto the fat because it thinks it needs the fat for protection as it detects war/famine/hostile environment and fat is our number one protector. So I really believe that when we allow our body’s/nervous systems to recover and relax- we are better able to burn fat.
Now enjoy a calmer and happier life!