How To Maintain Healthy Adrenals Naturally
The adrenal glands are the unsung heroes of the human body. They get a bad rap because of their association with stress, but without them, we would lack the fight-or-flight response that has kept humans alive through the ages. But what exactly are adrenal glands? And do we really have to pay that much attention to them? Your adrenals are two small, triangular-shaped glands located on top of your kidneys. They are each about 1.5 inches wide and 3 inches long. But even though they are small, they are mighty. Your adrenals are in charge of some very important functions. Ever heard of a minor internal process called metabolism? Not possible without your adrenals. And if you’ve ever gotten out of a scary situation due to heightened adrenaline giving you the kick you need, you have your adrenals to thank. So yes, your adrenals are important and deserve love and care. Otherwise, you end up with:
Adrenal FatigueAdrenal fatigue is bad news when it comes to overall health. It is exactly what it sounds like: Your adrenals become overworked and exhausted and are therefore unable to function at normal levels. And what causes this overwork? Constant stress. Our bodies were actually designed quite brilliantly to produce hormones that would kick us into high, survival-is-everything mode when stress is present. When we encounter a stressful situation, our adrenals produce cortisol to create extra energy for our fight-or-flight response. The problem? In modern life, stress is always present. And your adrenals can’t tell the difference between actual, my-life-is-in-danger stress and humdrum, first-world problem stress. The bottom line? Your adrenals end up always “on” and almost never get a moment to rest. This can lead to adrenal fatigue symptoms such as:
- Poor sleep
- Loss of energy
- Digestive problems
- And more
How To Support Your AdrenalsThe good news is that all is not lost if you suspect you have adrenal fatigue. The first thing you should do is make some lifestyle changes: Adrenal fatigue is caused by constant stress, so eliminating sources of stress and setting aside time to consciously take care of yourself should be a priority. Some suggestions for this include:
- Noticing if certain people tend to increase your stress. Limit your time with them as much as possible.
- Exercising frequently. You will feel good, and exercise counts as “me” time!
- Putting the screens down and walking away. Instead, read a book, play a game, or interact with others in some way.. Studies show that increased screen use leads to a corresponding increase in stress markers.
- Fish high in healthy fats (i.e. salmon)
- Fermented foods
- For a more complete list, go here