Primary and secondary adrenal insufficiency affects 250-450 people per million. Are you one of those?
Our adrenal glands are absolutely necessary for vitality and optimal health. What role do adrenal glands play in the human body and how can you keep them healthy?
Keep reading to find out the answer to that and more!
What Are Adrenal Glands?
Your adrenal glands handle the secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine, cortisol, and aldosterone. To a lesser extent, they also produce sex hormones.
In part, the adrenals control our fight-or-flight response because of the adrenaline that is produced in them.
Arguably, the adrenal cortex may be the most important part, since it produces cortisol. Too much cortisol is no good for us, since it’s a hormone that manipulates our metabolism. Most notably, it’s what causes “spare tire” fat growth.
It’s also no good if we have too little. Hormone levels from the adrenal glands that are too low cause weakness, fatigue, and low blood pressure — all of which can be life-threatening.
This is called adrenal insufficiency. Low levels of cortisol are also called Addison’s disease and is due to damaged adrenal glands for various reasons.
There are many symptoms of adrenal fatigue and adrenal insufficiency. They include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Stomach pains and digestive issues
- Hair loss
- Muscle weakness
- Unexplained weight loss
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Unexplained body aches
It’s a laundry list of issues that seem common and unrelated. Many of these can be explained by one or two other issues in the body acting together as well.
However, many people, especially with the global COVID-19 pandemic, may experience prolonged stress. This chronic stress and depression can over-stress the adrenals, leading to constant fight-or-flight induction. That in turn leads to excess cortisol.
But adrenal glands can’t keep that up forever. That’s why chronic stress eventually leads to adrenal gland insufficiency.
Adrenal glands are supposed to release about 15-20mg of cortisol. Also 75-125 micrograms of aldosterone and 30mg of androgens. If it isn’t working correctly one or all three of these hormones may not exist in the right ratio.
How to Keep Adrenal Glands Balanced
The best way to keep your adrenal medulla and adrenal cortex pumping out those adrenal gland hormones regularly are to eat a diet with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. On the other hand, avoiding simple carbohydrates like processed sugar and unhealthy fats goes a long way too.
In the end, it must also be a diet full of vitamins and minerals that the adrenal glands love. Not all foods are rich in these, even if you do eat a lot of natural food. For that, we also can utilize supplements.
Supplements with high levels of vitamins B5 and B6, vitamin C, and magnesium are especially helpful. To help digest food properly, you may also need a supplement with betaine hydrochloride. It is often used to regulate stomach acids in an effort to solve digestion and other issues.
Adrenal Glands: Keeping You Balanced
Now that you know that adrenal glands keep your blood pressure, metabolism, blood sugar, stress response, and other functions in balance, you know why they’re so important. Keeping them in balance could be the difference between bliss and misery.
Want to know more about how to keep your body in optimal health? Keep browsing our articles for the latest in health news and advice!