How Modern Life Contributes to Adrenal Malfunction
Unlike our ancestors, we live in a state of constant stress. Instead of sporadic, immediate demands followed by rest, we live in a world of constant communication, fast food, environmental toxins, and worry. It’s no wonder that many adults suffer from adrenal malfunction. That’s why it’s important to keep on the watch for these 7 common signs and symptoms of abnormal adrenal function.
9 Most Common Signs and Symptoms of Abnormal Adrenal Function
1. Low energy. Abnormal adrenal function can alter the cells ability to produce the correct amount of energy for the day’s activities. People who struggle to wake up and keep themselves going through the day often have abnormal adrenal rhythms and poor blood sugar regulation. Additionally, cortisol levels control thyroid hormone production. Fatigue and low body temperature, symptoms of hypothyroidism, can be attributed to adrenal malfunction.
2. Behavior, mood, and memory problems. Cortisol regulates the electrical activity of neurons in the brain, greatly influencing behavior, mood, and memory. Symptoms include depression, decreased tolerance, clarity of thought, memory, and memory retrieval.
3. Muscle and joint pain. Abnormal adrenal function can compromise tissue healing, often leading to breakdowns and chronic pain.
4. Weak bones. The adrenal rhythm determines bone health. If our cortisol levels are too high, our bones will not rebuild well and will become more susceptible to osteoporosis.
5. Poor Immune System Health. The immune system’s white blood cells follows the cortisol cycle. If the cycle is disrupted, the immune system cells will not receive the conditioning, nourishment, and instructions necessary to protect the body. These immune system failures can be seen in the lungs, throat, urinary and intestinal tract, leading to increasing susceptibility to infection and allergy onset.
6. Asthma, bronchitis, or chronic cough. The lungs react poorly to stress. Asthma is often considered an emotional disorder because stress can trigger attacks.
7. Un-restful Sleep. When cortisol values are high at night, REM sleep cycles are more difficult to achieve. Chronic lack of restful sleep reduces mental vitality, bodily strength, and can induce depression.
8. Skin problems. Human skin regenerates when we rest at night. High cortisol values during the evening reduce skin regeneration.
9. Food allergies, specifically to gluten. Genetic intolerances to grain can inflame the gut and spur an adrenal stress response. Since almost ¼ people living in the U.S. suffer from gluten intolerances, this is a common cause of adrenal malfunction.
What to Do if You have Abnormal Adrenal Function
If you or a loved one experience any of the above symptoms, it is crucial to visit a health practitioner. Here are some suggested supplements that can help with adrenal fatigue:
1. Ashwaganda is part of a class of adaptogenic herbs, known for their ability to generally strengthen the body and protect against daily stress. Ashwaganda is often referred to as the Indian ginseng. Prevalent in Ayurvedic medicine, it minimizes anxiety by lowering cortisol levels and boosts the immune system. It also helps combat stress-induced sleeping problems. Ashwaganda is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms.
2. Eleuthero Root. Also known as “Siberian ginseng,” this adaptogenic herb reduces stress hormones, improves athletic performance, speeds up recovery time post-illness, sharpens memory, minimizes fatigue, and generally enhances feelings of well-being.
3. Vitamin B5 or Penicilic Acid. All 8 of the B vitamins help the body convert food into fuel so we are energized to go about our days. They also keep our skin, hair, eyes and liver healthy, and make sure our nervous system functions properly. In addition to the work listed above, B5 plays a critical role in regulating the production of stress hormones. A deficiency in B5 could lead to fatigue, insomnia, depression, and irritability, among many other symptoms.
4. Vitamin C is used at higher rates during times of stress, so getting enough is crucial for keeping the body healthy in the face of life’s challenges. Since the body does not produce vitamin C itself, our body depends on our diet and supplements to provide this crucial support. The typical dosage for vitamin C is between 2,000 and 4,000 mg per day, though it does vary.