Healthy adrenal glands are critical for maintaining high energy levels, resilience to stress, and hormone balance. These small organs sit on top of our kidneys and help us make a large range of hormones such as DHEA, cortisol, and pregnenolone, all of which are critical for maintaining energy levels, mood balance, blood sugar levels, and proper stress response.
The adrenals help regulate our primary stress responses, giving us energy to complete tasks and even regulating immunity and reducing inflammation. Unfortunately, over stimulation of the adrenal glands over a long period of time can wear them down and cause dysfunction. Poor adrenal health is becoming more common in our modern world because of the way our bodies interpret stress. Our adrenals were designed to respond to high stress levels in short burst because it helped our ancestors survive. Our bodies are not good at distinguishing between life and death stress and the daily emotional grind we face today. To the adrenal glands, all stress is treated the same. Chronic long-term stress that comes with modern life can create a cycle of stress that causes the adrenals to become fatigued. When this happens, we can feel fatigue, foggy thinking, muscle weakness, depression, lowered immunity, sleep disturbances, and problems regulating our blood sugar and blood pressure.
If you suspect you might have an imbalance in your adrenals, it is important to consult with your doctor at Integrative Health. We can help evaluate your adrenal health by looking at your cortisol and DHEA levels, and over all symptoms. We will create a custom health plan based on your unique picture of health that can include herbal adaptogens, nutritional support, and lifestyle changes. Because the function of the adrenals is so diverse and critical to optimal health, it is important to get evaluated. In general, though, anyone can improve their adrenal health by keeping a regular schedule of high quality sleep, eating a diet full of lean protein, fiber, and fresh vegetables, and practicing stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, or journaling.