What You Need to Know About Your Adrenal Glands
Adrenal glands regulate hormones and fight inflation in the body when ill and getting a person through a stressful situation.
Are there times when you’re being overly tired? Do you still feel exhausted even after a night of rest or a week of vacation from work or get sick more often than you did a few years ago? Do you chalk these things up as apart of aging? Know more about these small glands in this article.
In this article:
- What Are Adrenal Glands?
- How Adrenal Glands Function?
- What Happens When Adrenal Glands are Under State of Stress?
- The Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Government Versus Natural Remedies
- Healthy Living Is a Lifestyle
- Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle
Everything You Need To Know About Adrenal Glands
What Are Adrenal Glands?
Everyone has adrenal glands and they sit right above the kidneys only weighing in at 5-6 grams. They are responsible for hormone production and balance in the human body. When a person is stressed, the adrenal glands produce cortisol in response.
The “fight or flight” response is the terminology used describing the response to a threatening situation where adrenalin is produced. Most often the person realizes this by the immediate physical effects with an increased heart rate, breathing and sometimes shaking depending on the severity of the perceived situation from adrenalin. Cortisol is more often a more drawn out steroid hormone from underlying stressors, such as focusing on a problem.
Every person needs adrenalin and cortisol to respond to external stimuli in a stable and effective way.
The outer section of the adrenal gland, known as the adrenal cortex, produces androgenic hormones, cortisol, and aldosterone. The inner section, called the adrenal medulla, produces adrenaline, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. (Newman, 2018).
All of these hormones are essential to living so a person can function during times of stress.
How Adrenal Glands Function?
- Regulate salt and water balance
- Blood pressure
- Maintain pregnancy
- Signals the time to begin puberty
- Controls the “flight or fight” responses
- Regulates blood sugar levels
What Happens When Adrenal Glands are Under State of Stress?
When the adrenal glands are subjected to heightened stress factors at a continual rate, the glands struggle to produce adequate amounts of cortisol to function. This not only leads to a burn out of the adrenal glands, this also results in a person feeling burned out in all facets of daily living.
Mundane tasks such as getting out of bed or running a local errand become exhausting. Life events such as going to work, raising children, driving for long periods, and handling heightened stressful situations become too much for some to manage.
Other more stressful events can also put a strain on the body, such as a death, illness or other family-related problems like divorce wreak havoc on the body. By the time a person notices the results, the adrenal glands have been suffering for some time.
This results in adrenal fatigue. In years past this has not and is still not accepted by all medical professionals and they have not accepted it as a medical diagnosis. Others may disagree citing that is real and most individuals suffer at some level.
The Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
There are some doctors who believe in natural healing and will accept the term “adrenal fatigue” or burnout. Here are some symptoms associated with it; however, one or the other may be associated with another concurrent medical condition:
- Exhaustion after a small stressful incident
- Interrupted sleep
- Problems falling asleep
- Sudden and increased sickness
- Problems getting out of bed
- Emotional distress from minor events.
- Cravings for salt or sugar
- Muscle weakness
- Sudden or increased allergies to the environment
- Changes in menstrual cycles in women
Government Versus Natural Remedies
Some doctors, depending on their belief system, will state that there is no such thing as “adrenal fatigue”. However, the term used is “adrenal insufficiency,” or Addison’s disease and some medical professionals warn that there may be other conditions causing the symptoms. They make more conflicting arguments saying if a person attempts to heal themselves based on “adrenal fatigue,” and not “adrenal insufficiency,” they may create another medical problem called “adrenal crisis.”
The problem here is that the FDA cannot regulate the supplements designed with aiding the adrenal glands, because some supplements are natural and not man-made. Anything that comes from nature, such as herbs, they can’t regulate; Therefore, they cannot impose or support any dosing information or warnings. With that said, a person should keep in mind what the FDA can’t regulate or profit from they do not support.
It is important to consult your doctor for any of the aforementioned symptoms, however, the same symptoms may be isolated or another contributing factor relating to your adrenal glands resulting in these symptoms. Lifestyle changes may bring a better state of well-being.
Healthy Living Is a Lifestyle
A lot of the recommendations that accompany healing adrenal glands or supporting them is about living a healthy lifestyle. However, there are those individuals out there who may need to seek help from a doctor because of other related health conditions.
Taking vitamins and supplements can also compliment any other positive lifestyle choices for a boost in overall quality of life. Your adrenal glands are more than an adrenalin maker, they are and will always play a role in your overall wellbeing.
Aside from any real disease or disorder of the adrenal glands, most times people don’t think about them and what they do apart from generating cortisol. The general idea is that adrenal glands just secrete adrenaline in times of stress or fear. Those little glands that sit on top of the kidneys are crucial to health and vitality.
Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle
- Get a minimum of eight hours of sleep.
- Take a regular multivitamin.
- Go to sleep at the same time and rise at the same time
- Avoid electronic devices such as phones, readers, tablets, and televisions one hour before bedtime.
- Avoid processed and fast foods.
- If you suffer from allergies, talk to your doctor about being tested.
- Seek help from a licensed therapist if you feel you are suffering from anxiety and depression.
- Talk to an acupuncturist for certain ailments that may be associated with adrenal fatigue.
- If you struggle with your sleep, take natural supplements to induce sleep.
- Sometimes sleep problems are associated with being out of alignment- A chiropractor may help if that is the case.
- Exercise regularly.
- Practice Yoga.
Are you taking care of your adrenal glands? Let us know how in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on July 27, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.