By Mary-Ann Shearer
What Adrenal Glands do
Adrenal glands can get exhausted causing a state called Adrenal Fatigue.Caffeine, together with artificial sweetener puts a huge strain on the endocrine system, the very system that helps us manage stress. This could affect your thyroid, which is one of the endocrine glands (thyroid controls mental clarity, bowels, metabolism, calcium levels). Because these glands have been strained they are not working properly. The adrenals help us manage stress, control blood pressure and blood sugar and when you remove the caffeine, it is as if you have been whipping a donkey for years, but only when you stop does the donkey collapse. The aspartame sweetener is known to cause neuro-endocrine disorders or disorders of the hormonal and central nervous systems.
Medication and Hormonal Supplements suppress the Adrenal Glands
Taking hormonal supplements or medication can suppress the normal activity of the adrenal glands. These glands also produce testosterone, estrogen and progesterone and can help you as you get older as they can take over the hormone production of the ovaries and testes to a degree. It is important to do your best to handle stress efficiently so that they can do what they are designed to do.
Typical symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- extreme tiredness
- fuzzy head
- no libido
- no motivation for anything
- sleep problems, which can be , sleeping all the time to not being able to sleep (this very lack of sleep can make you feel as if you are losing your mind)
Natural Support for Adrenal Fatigue
- Lots of natural plant fats: avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil in abundance until your mind and body is right, then you can slow down your fat intake.
- Natural Vitamin C: Taking Vitamin C in supplements can just strain the body more, unless it is at levels of below 100mg daily. Eating lots of fresh fruit daily especially fresh pineapple juice, red peppers, tomatoes, berries will give you all the natural Vitamin C you need, especially if you eat at least one entire fruit (with raw nuts or seeds if possible) meal a day.
- Follow the Natural Way 5 steps will help you obtain all the Vitamin C and essential fats you need to recharge and repair your adrenal glands.
- Maca Root is an annual plant cultivated in Peruvian highlands and is an edible root, resembling a radish and a staple food of the local population. According to legend Maca root was eaten by the Incan warriors for strength and endurance. Modern studies suggests Maca helps promote libido, sexual potency and energy. Many have found it sorts out hot flashes, nights sweats, mood swings, depression and improves thyroid function, helps increase mental clarity as a result and has an anti-inflammatory effect in fibromyalgia. Together with Lycium is known to improve eye and vaginal dryness. Clearly it has a positive effect on the hormonal system, the immune system and central nervous system.
- Lycium - also known as wolf or Gogi berries or the matrimony vine due to its effect on libido and fertility. Lycium has been used in China for centuries. Lycium is excellent for eyesight as it is high in 5 carotenoids including lutein and zeaxanthan. Lycium is known to encourage the body to produce more HGH or Human Growth Hormone, the hormone that keeps us young and slim. It si an essential plant to take to help with weight regulation. Research on 20 elderly people over just a 3 week period indicated that in 67% of the people, T-Cells tripled and white blood cells doubled indicating a clear positive effect on the immune system. Depression lifted (natural antidepressant), appetite balanced and sleep improved. 35% of the people recovered full sexual function. Pretty powerful stuff! Clearly the endocrine (hormonal) system is being affected in a positive way.
- Licorice – has been used for centuries too and research indicates that licorice (raw, unprocessed and with no added sugar) will benefit people who have asthma, emphysema and tuberculosis, athlete’s food, baldness, bursitis, canker sores, chronic fatigue, depression, colds, coughs and flu (I well remember those cough and cold syrups of old that contained licorice), gingivitis, tooth decay, out, heartburn, viral and fungal infections, ulcers, liver, menopause, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, yeast infections, prostate problems & arthritis. Whew a real cure all!
- Chia - is the seed of a herb grown in North & South America as a staple food and once staple of the Aztecs. High in Omega 3 and 6 with the perfect ratio of Omega 3 to 6. Contains water soluble fibre which is ideal for constipation and diarrhea (regulates bowel function), regulates thyroid and other hormonal function, contains all 8 amino acids for complete protein, has powerful antioxidants (chlorogenic and caffeic acids and the flavenols, myrcetin, quercetin and kampferol).
- Ginseng - Panax (panacea, meaning heal all) and Siberian is a muscle relaxant, so helps with stress, it is adaptogenic in that it helps where help is needed. Ginseng is a natural aphrodisiac helping with libido and sexual function, helps regulate blood sugar especially in diabetes and insulin resistance, contains many antioxidant and anti carcinogenic properties and protects against radiation form treatment or electronic equipment, is anti inflammatory, has a positive effect on the pituitary gland (manages the entire hormonal system) improves sperm quantity and quality and is considered a revitalizing plant.
You may want to use 1 or more of these products and they can safely be used all at the same time. Forever Living produces the last 5 products and has distribution in over 145 countries. You can obtain them from us at www.naturalway.co.za.
Exercise regulates at least 18 different hormones including those secreted by the adrenal glands. Sunlight also has a positive effect , so try exercising outdoors for at least 20 minutes daily.
Here is a bit more detail on the adrenal glands so that you can see just how important it is to look after them
What are adrenal glands?
Anatomically, the adrenal glands are located atop the kidneys, one on each side. They are surrounded by an adipose (fat) capsule and renal fascia. In humans, the adrenal glands are found at the level of the 12th thoracic vertebra. Each adrenal gland is separated into two distinct structures, the adrenal cortex and medulla, both of which produce hormones. The cortex mainly produces cortisol, aldosterone, and androgens, while the medulla chiefly produces epinephrine and norepinephrine. The average combined weight of the adrenal glands in an adult is 7 to 10 grams.
The adrenal cortex is devoted to the synthesis of corticosteroid hormones from cholesterol. When they work efficiently cholesterol is converted efficiently. Corticosteroid hormones help the body regulate inflammation. With exhausted adrenals they can often not produce enough resulting in inflammatory conditions like gout, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
Some cells belong to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and are the source of cortisol and corticosterone synthesis. Under normal unstressed conditions, the human adrenal glands produce the equivalent of 35–40 mg of cortisone acetate per day. Other cortical cells produce androgens such as testosterone, while some regulate water and electrolyte concentrations by secreting aldosterone. In contrast to the direct innervation of the medulla, the cortex is regulated by neuroendocrine hormones secreted by the pituitary gland and hypothalamus, as well as by the renin-angiotensin system.
The adrenal cortex comprises three zones, or layers.
Zona glomerulosa (outer)
The outermost layer, the zona glomerulosa is the main site for production of mineralocorticoids, mainly aldosterone, which is largely responsible for the long-term regulation of blood pressure. It is easy to see why blood pressure can increase when we are stressed and in some it can decrease.
Situated between the glomerulosa and reticularis, the zona fasciculata is responsible for producing glucocorticoids, chiefly cortisol in humans. The zona fasciculata secretes a basal level of cortisol but can also produce bursts of the hormone in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary.
The inner most cortical layer, the zona reticularis produces androgens, mainly dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and DHEA sulfate (DHEA-S) in humans. In healthy person there is no need to supplement with DHEA.
Remember that Adrenal Glands can take 6-12 months to recover from this type of abuse, so be patient and allow yourself peace, rest and time to recover.
Remember we choose the lives we live, so choose Life!
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