The stress of everyday life is enough to wear down even the healthiest person. Some pressure is good and our body knows how to handle it. However, prolonged and daily stress can zap our energy level and tire us out, specifically our adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys and are mostly responsible for our energy level. They help maintain blood pressure, blood sugar levels and regulate our stress response by recreating the hormone cortisol.
Cortisol, your body’s primary stress hormone, is secreted by your adrenal glands. Normal functioning cortisol is high in the morning and tapers off throughout the day. When cortisol lowers, melatonin increases and prepares you to go to bed. When this system works appropriately, you awake with energy and you sleep with ease.
However, in some of us, stress takes over and the system doesn’t function as it is supposed to. The adrenal glands can stop working due to a combination of lifestyle, diet and stressors which can be physical, chemical or emotional. This can cause problems when cortisol secretion reaches a state of imbalance.
Signs and symptoms of adrenal glands not operating at their best:
- Low libido
- Trouble staying asleep
- Afternoon fatigue
- Cravings for salty or sugary foods
- Getting a “second wind” late in the evening resulting in being “tired, but wired.”
- Difficulty losing weight
- Chronic inflammation
- Thinner and weaker nails
- Dizziness with standing up too quickly
- Afternoon headaches
- Blood sugar issues
Incorporate these 10 tips to help give your adrenals some TLC. Remember don’t stress about how many you can do because something is better than nothing.
- Consume nutrient-dense protein (seafood, lean meats)
- Eat your greens
- Eat healthy fats (avocado, nuts, cheese, dark chocolate)
- Drink herbal teas (chamomile and Rooibos)
- Eat curcumin rich foods to help decrease inflammation in the body (turmeric root is a great source or take a supplement)
- Improve sleep habits; aim for seven to nine hours each night
- Use stress management techniques (walking, yoga, meditation)
- Make sure your vitamin D level is in a healthy range
- Learn to say “no,” and make rest and relaxation a priority
- Consume magnesium rich foods (banana, whole grains, tofu)
Have additional questions? Talk with your doctor.