Your adrenals are small glands that sit on top of your kidneys, much like ice cream atop a sugar cone. At first glance, they might look like two old, hump-backed men, their backs to the camera, crouched over a table playing chess. Found within your endocrine system and comprised of two parts, the adrenal cortex, and inner adrenal medulla, these glands look similar to brains, which is probably the best metaphor. In this article, we talk about Adrenal Fatigue.
Your adrenals fuel and run your body’s operations by producing then releasing hormones into your bloodstream, without which, you’d soon expire. Here are your body’s essential hormones that your adrenals produce:
- Cortisol: your best buddy in times of stress, and has a host of vital functions that support your entire system.
- Adrenaline: also known as epinephrine, is both a hormone and a medication. In partnership with noradrenaline, it helps you prepare your fight or flight responses.
- Aldosterone: a steroid hormone that helps you conserve sodium in your kidney, salivary glands, sweat glands, and colon.
Without these musketeers, you’d find it difficult to think, move, or breathe. This triune of energy and life are vital to remaining alive. When our adrenal glands are out of balance, they can fall into patterns considered to be adrenal gland disorders. Our bodies find it difficult to break out of these types of patterns.
“Trying to describe a good marriage is like trying to describe your adrenal glands. You know they’re in there functioning, but you don’t really understand how they work.”
— Helen Gurley Brown
What Is Adrenal Fatigue?
When our adrenals are low or functioning poorly, our hormone levels become low, which denies our bodies the energy needed to sustain life. If we push ourselves too hard, fail to get enough sleep, and don’t give our bodies the proper nutrients, our adrenal glands tend to get grumpy. When that grump turns to anger, your adrenals might respond like a teenager, giving you the middle finger. All communication stops. They become quite petty, and for a time, hope might be lost; this is adrenal fatigue.
Even though some doctors don’t believe that adrenal fatigue exists, you’ll know you have adrenal fatigue because of these symptoms:
- Excessive, debilitating exhaustion
- Craving salt and sugar
- Loss of body hair
- Difficulty falling asleep or waking up
- Over-reliance on stimulants like caffeine
- Brain fog
- Chronic inflammation
- Mild depression
- Roller-coaster sex drive
- Excessive or spontaneous sweating
- Loss of appetite and taste for food
- Weight loss
- Muscle weakness
Although some adrenal problems are genetic, when we push ourselves too far, we might develop an adrenal gland disorder, including Hyperaldosteronism, Hypoaldosteronism, adrenal tumors, Addison’s disease, Congenital disease, adrenal hyperplasia, X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy, and Cushing’s disease. Each of these disorders is quite serious and should be evaluated by a medical doctor or a specialist like an endocrinologist.
How To Improve Your Adrenal Health
To further assess the condition of your adrenals, consider researching adrenal testing labs and the most prevalent adrenal tests. These tests might require blood, urine, or saliva:
- DHEA-Sulfate (DHEA-S) and DHEA levels
- Cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
- Catecholamines (hormones that increase heart rate and amount of energy available) and Metanephrines, molecules that break down Catecholamines
- CT or CAT scan to diagnose tumors and malignancy
These labs can help you assess your brain-adrenal function, and learn more about your hormone levels. If you choose to go this route, it’s best to find an affordable concierge-style doctor who thinks and works outside the box of traditional, often uninformed medicine.
If you believe your adrenal glands are up against a wall, fighting for their lives, the first step is to quit or significantly reduce your consumption of the following:
- Exaggerated emotions, especially anger
- Improve your diet
In addition to venturing outdoors and connecting with bare, natural elements, one of the best ways to heal your adrenals is by eating healthy food. Consider the idea that your adrenals are sponges or young children. Everything they’re exposed to can influence how and when they grow.
Here are a few foods you might consider adding to your diet:
- Organic turkey
- Wild salmon
- Kefir and other probiotics to improve energy production in your gut
- Grass-fed organ meats like liver
- Leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, asparagus
- Supergreen powders like Spirulina, Moringa, Wheatgrass, and Barley grass
Most importantly, find supplements that improve your mental clarity and energy levels. You might consider this list of power-players:
- Desiccated pig and cow adrenals
- Eleuthero ginseng
- Holy Basil
- Licorice root
- Bach Flower Remedies: Olive, Oak, Hornbeam, Rescue Remedy, Gorse, Star of Bethlehem, Elm, Impatiens, Centaury
- Magnesium Threonate
- Vitamin D
- Phosphatidylserine (avoid “phosphorylated serine”)
- Vitamin C
- Essential Oils: Lavender, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Spearmint, Rosemary, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Grapefruit, Ginger
Before you dive into any aspect of this regimen, be sure to do as much research as possible. Consider engaging a nutritionist, Chiropractor, Nurse Practitioner, or alternative M.D. to help you maneuver through the weeds of all the related medical and health information.
“True emotional healing doesn’t happen without feeling.
The only way out is through.”
— Jessica Moore
Healing Your Adrenal Glands Through Emotional Release
Earlier, I alluded to quitting exaggerated emotions. Still, there’s a caveat: if you’re willing to look at some of the emotions you are choosing to withhold continually, you might find that releasing these emotions in a peaceful environment might free your adrenals from debilitating, energetic burdens. Doing so could help you release the past, forgive others, and regain energy levels you haven’t had in 10 to 20 years. You can enact these types of releases through uncomplicated, self-powered rituals and ceremonies. Feel free to email me at [email protected], and I’ll connect you with my ritual and ceremony page.
When our adrenals struggle, it often means that when we built our “How To Live” operational plan, we failed to consider our limitations. We may have made hasty decisions at several points in our lives. We might have jeopardized our position within intimate relationships and at various junctures in our lives. It might be that we have failed adrenals because we were unable to care for ourselves properly.
In addition to diet, supplements, emotional release, forgiveness, Bach Flower Remedies, Essential Oils, and rituals, you might need three months of drastically reduced activities and dedicated rest. During this time, you might also consider meditating several times per day and doing gentle Hatha yoga before breakfast and bedtime.
With all of these modalities and ideas, proceed with research, caution, and care. I wish you a healthy, light- and energy-filled endocrine system, and a mastery of your emotions!