Beat Fatigue and Strengthen Immunity with Healthy Adrenals

I’ve just finished a morning session of Qi Gong by the river after a good night’s sleep, and now I’m sipping my nutrient-packed green smoothie, already feeling super-energized for the day. Rest, relaxation, good food and exercise are absolutely essential to the health my adrenal system.

Sitting just above our kidneys, our little powerhouse adrenal glands release the important hormones that our bodies need to sail through daily stresses and cope with more serious stresses or traumas. These hormones – including cortisol, DHEA, adrenalin, testosterone and estrogen – help us manage the stresses of difficult situations, deadlines, exercising that little bit harder, responding to emergencies, or getting the kids to school on time. Our body also needs these hormones to repair damaged tissues; control inflammation; regulate blood sugar, sodium and potassium and body fluids; keep our heart and blood vessels well-toned, and to rejuvenate our cells to keep us youthful.
 
Yet most of us give no thought at all to our hard-working adrenals until they become over-stressed and exhausted, resulting in a condition called Adrenal Fatigue (sometimes called Adrenal Exhaustion). Because our hormones play a vital role in so many body processes, adrenal fatigue can create a wide range of health problems. These include:
 
nervous disorders and depression
– low immunity and increased susceptibility to colds and flu
– hypoglycemia  and sugar cravings
– weight gain
– decreased sex drive
– increased PMS or menopausal problems
– light-headedness or dizziness
– allergies
– extreme fatigue and tiredness even after adequate sleep.
 
While Adrenal Fatigue has been recognised and treated for years, many doctors still know very little about it. Some of my patients came to me after doctors had dismissed their strange collection of symptoms as “all in the head”, and a few had even been prescribed anti-depressants or sedatives to help them cope with their ‘psychological’ problems. But if your adrenals are exhausted, the constant feeling of unwellness, fatigue, physical weakness, which are often accompanied by pain in your joints and muscles, are very real and can make every day an ordeal.
 
Yet adrenal fatigue is no mystery. It’s simply a result of stress overload. Your adrenal glands can become over-stressed and exhausted from things like stimulants in coffee, many soft drinks and energy drinks; toxins including heavy metals and excess copper; working too hard without getting enough rest; not enough sleep; poor diet; alcohol and drugs; emotional or psychological stresses in our personal or work life; fear and anxiety; physical stress, or physiological stress from illness, parasites or infection (especially Candida).
 
So you see, it’s not so hard to keep your adrenals healthy. It’s just a matter of adopting a more balanced, healthier lifestyle; eating well and reducing the stress in your life (not always so easy).
 
 
 
Here’s what I do to keep my adrenal system healthy
 
Even if you adopt just a few of these practices, you will help to keep your adrenals functioning well, giving you more energy, better immune resistance, increased youthfulness and vitality, and greater enjoyment of life.
 
Eat lots of raw vegetables, nuts, fish, tofu, and more low GI carbs, and avoid processed or junk foods
 
Eat small frequent meals (3 meals a day plus healthy snacks such as a handful of nuts and raisins, fresh fruit with yogurt, a smoothie, hummus on rice crackers etc)
 
Get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, or 9 if I need more (Many people do)
 
Take Asian ginseng to improve adrenal function and aid with stress management
 
Practice meditation, deep relaxation, Tai Chi or Qi Gong daily to energize the body, balance my energies, and release accumulated stress
 
Take daily supplements to maintain optimal levels of adrenal-supporting nutrients.  Most people do not get enough Vitamin C, and many are low in B vitamins such as Vitamin B5 and B6, which play a major role in the production of adrenal hormones. (We can help you determine just what supplements you need)
 
Boost my energy levels after a particularly hard or trying day with a half-hour session of Mind-Body Balance Therapy at my clinic (Renew You Centre for Wellbeing and Longevity). So refreshing!

 



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