What are the adrenal glands and what do they do?
The adrenals are 2 hat shaped glands that sit on top of our kidneys. They produce and regulate the hormone cortisol, which is released under stressful situations such as during a fight-or-flight type response. Cortisol has a variety of effects on the body. It often gives a burst of energy, which when overproduced can cause us to be “wired but tired” at night when we actually need to be sleeping. It also causes increased glucose storage into our cells. This is why stress can lead to increased weight gain and abdominal fat. It is important to take care of our adrenal glands and support them naturally so they do not become fatigued and cause further health problems such as thyroid issues or hormonal imbalances.
What is adrenal fatigue?
When the adrenals are overworked, called on too often or for too long to produce cortisol, they can become fatigued. Before this happens cortisol is generally high and people may experience the above effects. When the adrenals become fatigued, often a person becomes groggy in the morning and sometime throughout the day, difficulty waking up and feeling like they could sleep for a long time. Adrenal fatigue can lead to other, more serious health concerns so it is important to support them. Sometimes testing the adrenal glands through the saliva is necessary in determining their health status and to offer individualized support.
Ways to naturally support and nourish your adrenal glands:
- Develop a good life routine so your body knows what to expect especially in regards to when you go to bed and wake up.
- Try to reduce or eliminate any stimulates in food or drink such as coffee and other sources of caffeine. Tehse only cause the adrenals to have to work harder.
- Don’t burn the candle at both ends and try to do it all. Learn when to say no to take care of your self, get plenty of sleep and practice stress-reducing techniques.
- Keep your blood sugar stable: eat protein for breakfast and throughout the day to prevent added stress of hypoglycemia.
Nutrient support for adrenal glands:
- Vitamin C supports the adrenal gland. I like to use supplements that combine Vitamin C with rosehips and bioflavonoids for increased availability.
- B vitamins are essential for overworked adrenal glands. Taking a good B-complex with breakfast can help with energy throughout the day and provide your adrenals nourishment.
There are also a variety of other herbs, supplements, dietary and lifestyle changes that your naturopathic doctor may suggest to support your adrenal glands, cortisol regulation and energy as appropriate.
The naturopathic doctors at Boulder Natural Health offer natural solutions for overworked adrenal glands and support for you overall health. Call us at 303-960-3920 to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation!