Adrenal Fatigue? 7 Tips to Fight Back Naturally

adrenal fatigue

Everyone has felt stress at some point in their lives.  That feeling of being so overwhelmed and overworked that you can’t eat or sleep.  Unfortunately, stress has become ingrained in our culture.  We associate it with hard work and success, assuming that we can’t have one without the other.   Though some stress is necessary, we often bite off more than we can chew.  We fail to realize that the more stressed we are, the less efficient we are.  We ignore the negative effects stress has on our bodies but unnecessary stress can lead to a multitude of symptoms including:

  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Exhaustion
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances

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adrenal glands

What Are Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do?

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys.  The adrenal glands are hormone producing glands similar to ovaries, testicles and the thyroid.  They are the regulators of your body as they’re responsible for regulating stress responses and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Adrenal glands are key contributors to:
  • Proper thyroid function
  • Balance of hormones
  • Maintaining one’s ideal weight
  • Stabilizing emotions
  • Controlling cravings

Multiple studies have proven that the health of the adrenal glands will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illnesses.  Since chronic stress is the main cause of overactive adrenals, it’s important that we find a way to control and eliminate stress.

Click here to read, “CFS – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms & Natural Solutions”.

Moreover, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise is also very important. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of people suffer from adrenal fatigue due to lifestyle factors that are often overlooked.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a common side effect of stress and has three phases:
  1. The Alarm Phase – when the body is acknowledging stress
  2. The Resistance Phase – when the body is trying to fight stress
  3. The Exhaustion Phase – when the adrenals become tapped out.

Depending the phase a person is in, the levels of cortisol (produced by the adrenals) will range from high or low at different points in the day.  Cortisol levels should be at their peak in the morning.  So, when we wake up we feel refreshed and ready to go.  Alternatively, they should be at their lowest at night when it’s time to go to bed.  Any variation of these levels will affect a person’s well-being.  Especially if stress is experienced for long periods of time.  Hence the last phase being exhaustion.

Click here to read, “Bedtime Woe’s? – 5 Simple Tips For Blissful Zzzz’s”.

Other than exhaustion, additional symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Cravings for salt
  • Chronic infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Muscle twitches
  • Lack of libido
  • Light headed
  • Poor concentration
  • Sleep disturbance (typically waking up between 2-4 am)

So what can you do?  There are numerous natural ways to support the adrenals.

adrenal fatigue

Are Your Adrenals Fatigued?

I see the following scenario regularly in my practice.  A busy mom with a demanding career comes in complaining of;

  • Hot flashes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of libido
  • Inability to lose weight
  • Feeling low

For the last 15 years she has been dealing with;

  • Work deadlines
  • Kid’s sports
  • Homework
  • Cooking
  • Cleaning

She goes from morning to night with little sleep.  Her adrenals are tired but she pushes through the chronic fatigue and insomnia.  She notices other symptoms such as headaches, inability to lose weight, and mood swings.  This common scenario is what many natural health professionals refer to as, “adrenal steal”.

Unable to function properly due to years of stress, the adrenals are forced to steal key hormonal building blocks from other hormones like:

  • Progesterone
  • DHEA
  • Estrogen
  • Testosterone

Hence contributing to hormonal imbalances and a slew of side effects that come with them.  Keeping the adrenal glands in check is the best way for women to avoid fatigue and keep their hormones happy.

How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue

chiropractor

See a Chiropractor – Chiropractic care plays a crucial role in adrenal health.  Physical, chemical or emotional stressors can cause stress on the spine and nervous system.  The goal of chiropractic care is to balance and optimize the entire nervous system contributing to healthy adrenal function in addition to a multitude of other health benefits.

early to bed

Go to Bed Early – You should be sleeping 7 to 8 hours and preferably going to bed before midnight.  Make sure you allow some time to wind down and relax to help your cortisol level lower before bed.

clean eating

Eat Clean – Avoid processed foods and sugar.  Focus on good fats, moderate protein, and tons of veggies that are phytonutrient rich.  You are what you eat, so feed your body the right fuel.

vitamins

Take an Adrenal Support Supplement – Consuming whole, organic foods rich in phytonutrients is great for adrenal support.  However, supplementation is sometime needed to support proper adrenal function.

Beneficial supplements Include:
  • B complex
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Omega 3 fatty acids

Also beneficial are botanical adaptogens.  They can be taken to help support the adrenal glands throughout the stress response process.

Examples of botanical adaptogens include:

  • Ashwagandha root
  • Rhodiola rosea extract
  • Suma
  • Schisandra chinensis berry extract
yoga, meditation

Exercise – Regular exercise is known to combat stress, which helps to improve adrenal function.  But be aware that if your adrenals are exhausted, intense exercise may be more detrimental than beneficial.  Try yoga or meditation.

Click here to read, “Put A Little Namaste In Your Life”.

cortisol saliva test

Get Tested! – Measuring cortisol levels can help determine adrenal health.  The Cortisol Saliva Test also know as the Adrenal Stress Test, has become the preferred way of evaluating cortisol levels.

A newer test, the DUTCH test, is another method one can use.  The test involves a urine steroid hormone profile.  This measures hormones and hormone metabolites (called conjugates) in a dried sample.

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) technology used by chiropractors, is another way to evaluate stress.  It measures and tracks a patient’s autonomic nervous system state.

Think your adrenals are suffering from adrenal fatigue?  Start by taking an inventory of your life stressors and see which ones you can kick to the curb following the 7 tips above.

Scientific Key To Anti-Aging

supplement

Years ago, I found myself in the company of intellectuals having breakfast on the outskirts of New York.  During our meal, I noticed one of my colleagues pleading with a friend to take this ‘special supplement’ to help with his health.  This is a very familiar scenario for many health professionals.  Dealing with the outrageous claims made by some supplement companies is, dare I say, a problem.  Firstly, you don’t want to give people false hope when they are in crisis mode requiring medical attention.  Secondly, some claims are just outright false or at the very least misleading.  However, this was a person with a PhD from a very prominent university in America, so I continued to listen.

The term “cellular repair” kept coming up.  After realizing she had been using the supplement herself, I couldn’t help but think that anti-aging could be affiliated as one of the effects of this supplement.  From all the years I’ve known her, I would definitely describe her appearance as a person who hadn’t aged in decades.

I was interested in learning more about this wonder supplement.  Therefore, I began to look into the contents and research behind its claims.  In short, what I came across was intriguing.

The Role Of NAD+ And Sirtuins

Researchers have demonstrated that cellular health is dependent on two things: A coenzyme called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+).  And proteins called sirtuins that are dependent on NAD+.

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is a vital coenzyme that exists in all of your cells.  It ensure that your cells function properly.  A coenzyme is like a “helper” molecule.  It binds to other enzymes to help cause reactions at the molecular level (3).  The supply of NAD+ in the body is critical in supporting our health.  Also, it plays an important role in processes like DNA repair.  NAD+ is also used for the following processes and mechanisms:

– Energy production (ATP)
– Chromosome Stability
– Immune Cell Signaling
– Energy Enzyme Activity
– Brain Health
– Longevity

During the aging process, NAD+ levels drop dramatically.  Sirtuins are proteins that depend on NAD+ levels to function.  Sirtuins have been implicated in influencing a wide range of cellular processes.  Examples include anti aging, inflammation, stress resistance, energy efficiency and alertness.  Furthermore, it can also control or influence circadian rhythms and mitochondria (1).  Too sciency right?  Let’s just say, sirtuins are very important proteins.  Regardless if you have a scientific background or not, it’s important that we all try to understand a little more about the chemicals that we put on and in our bodies.  So many of use potentially harmful chemicals without giving it a second thought especially when it comes to the fight against aging.  Click here to learn more about what chemicals are you putting on your face.

Important Discoveries

During an e-mail exchange with the company that produces the supplement, they revealed to me that “there are two notable discoveries worth mentioning.  During the year 2000, it was demonstrated that many critical cellular metabolic processes are NAD+-dependent.  However, in 2013, it was demonstrated that declining NAD+ levels, leading to poor mitochondrial and cellular health, could be reversed.”

Wait what?  The reason we age and eventually die is because mitochondria fail to repair, and our cells die (4).  If research has demonstrated that this process can be reversed, could we theoretically live forever or at least longer?

“Based on these findings, researchers were able to pinpoint natural compounds that help our cells to produce NAD+ and stimulate sirtuin activity at a level we once had.  This supplement is targeting your cellular health to ensure they have what they need to continue to function at an optimal level of health.”

Well that seems promising doesn’t it?  In reality that’s what all this really is, a start with promising test results.  Clinical trials are mostly conducted by the company’s own research scientists own bias may be a factor when interpreting these results.

Clinical Trial Results

The company directed me to their website to read about the results.  Their first full-scale double blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial (the gold standard of drug testing).  Conducted throughout 2016, the results of the study showed that in participants taking the recommended dose of this supplement, NAD+ levels increased from baseline in whole blood by an average of 40%.  This at four weeks and maintained that increase for the duration of the trial.  Forty percent is a significant increase and deserves further investigation.

It’s important to note that a majority of the studies on NAD+ demonstrating positive outcomes like improved muscle function, DNA damage repair, and cognitive function were tested on mice and worms.  They have yet to look at similar effects in humans.  So at best, the results show the potential for significant benefits in humans.

Another thing to note is that you may not necessarily feel the benefits of adequate NAD+ levels in the body.  This because it is hard to feel your cells repairing accumulated damage. However, if what this supplement claims to do is true, it is equally important to recognize the benefits derived at a cellular level.  Even if they don’t manifest themselves in a way that we can feel and see.  For further information about Myths vs Reality when it comes to anti-aging supplements click here Click here for further information about Myths vs Reality when it comes to anti-aging supplements.

Sources:

1. HTTPS://EN.WIKIPEDIA.ORG/WIKI/SIRTUIN
2. PREYAT N, LEO O (MAY 2013). “SIRTUIN DEACYLASES: A MOLECULAR LINK BETWEEN METABOLISM AND IMMUNITY”. JOURNAL OF LEUKOCYTE BIOLOGY. 93 (5): 669–80.
3. HTTPS://WWW.ELYSIUMHEALTH.COM/EN-US/KNOWLEDGE/SCIENCE-101/EVERYTHING-YOU-NEED-TO-KNOW-ABOUT-NICOTINAMIDE-ADENINE-DINUCLEOTIDE-NAD
4. J CLIN INVEST. 2013 MAR 1; 123(3): 951–957. PUBLISHED ONLINE 2013 MAR 1. DOI: 10.1172/JCI64125

Could Your Boy Belly Cause a Heart Attack?

Could Your Boy Belly Cause a Heart Attack?

Do you carry extra weight around your abdominal area? Research is telling us that people of normal weight who have extra central body fat are at an elevated risk of dying of heart disease.

Central obesity it extra fat around your midsection, and there is an easy way to calculate if you may fall into this category.

1. Measure your waist at your belly button.
2. Measure your hips at the widest part of your buttocks.
3. Divide the first number by the second number.

For men, your waist-to-hip ratio should be no greater than 1.0 and for women it should be no greater than 0.9.

If your numbers are higher than the suggested ratio, there are simple changes that you can implement to reduce your ratio and improve your health.

The first thing that you need to do is to add more fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet. It’s very difficult to make a massive diet and lifestyle change all at once and be able to sustain it long term. So the most important thing you can do is eat more fruit and veggies and these foods will begin to crowd out the bad foods.

I also want you to moderate your meat intake. A serving of meat is the size of a card deck. Which does not mean 8 decks stacked on top of each other!! When was the last time you ate a steak that fit in your hand? I bet it’s been awhile.

Over the years, our portion sizes have grown and grown into rather ridiculous quantities of food. Our bodies don’t need that much food and literally can not digest that much protein in one sitting. This extra protein ends up being stored as fat and can contribute to central obesity, putting you at risk for heart disease.

Avoid fast food, processed food and packaged food.

Eat real food!! Learn to make a few delicious recipes that you enjoy. Check out our blog of recipe ideas here.

And of course, move your body more often. Add some gentle cardio to your routine, go for a power walk at lunch, hit the gym and sweat it out.

The very first sign of heart disease is erectile dysfunction. Your arteries and capillaries are very active and sensitive in that area, and can be the first to indicate that there is hardening of the arteries or plaque building up in your blood vessels.

Obviously not a topic that you want on your radar, but heading to the doctor for a prescription to help in this area is one of the worst things you can do. It puts added stress on your cardiovascular system and masks an important symptom that is telling you that your body is in distress.

This is the time to make healthy diet and lifestyle changes to let your body naturally heal and return to abundant health.

With Sources from:
http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/research-were-watching-belly-fat-boosts-risk-of-dying-of-heart-disease