July 31, 2014
Is it “adrenal gland stress syndrome” that needs your attention or the stresses that are causing the adrenals to wear out and dysfunction in the first place? The adrenals (or “stress glands”) are a small pair of glands that sit atop the kidneys. Most notably they produce the “stress” hormone cortisol, and the neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline which are involved in the body’s “fight-or-flight” response. Among their many other important functions, the adrenals are responsible for respondingto stress.
To get a better understanding of this "syndrome" lets take a look at the roots of this imbalance. Because adrenal fatigue and adrenal stress syndrome are simply the results of the adrenal glands responding to constant stress. So what are these stressors we need to deal with?
There can be many, and the profile is unique to each individual. Stressors can be anything including food sensitivities and/or poor dietary habits, impaired liver detoxification, gastrointestinal disturbances, infections, anemia, blood sugar imbalances, chronic inflammation, excessive caffeine consumption, smoking, over-exercising, psychological stress including a dead-end or highly stressful job orrelationship, etc. As you can see stress is complex comprising multiple factors and sometimes these factors play on each other.
Here are a few simple suggestions to reduce your overall stress level:
- incorporate protein at each meal
- avoid fast foods, sugar and refined grains
- limit or eliminate caffeine
- increase your intake of fresh, organic vegetables
- get an adequate amount sleep (7-8 hours/night)
- exercise regularly (but not excessively)
- practice deep breathing
Combining lifestyle changes with the use of the Ayurvedic herb Holy Basil which has been traditionally recognized as having a positive effect upon the mind, body, and spirit can result in dramatic improvements to adrenal health. The Holy Basil plant from Indian has been used for thousands of years. It is known to be calming, uplifting, and beneficial for reducing cortisol levels in the bloodstream. Cortisol is one of the main stress hormones and reduced levels of this hormone can mean reduced inflammation, better sleep, blood sugar balance and a general sense of ease and well being.