Your ability to respond to stress effectively is directly affected by how well your adrenal glands are functioning. This important organ system directly affects your level of muscular strength, blood sugar levels, energy levels and overall sense of well being.
When we are stressed, our adrenal glands produce a stress hormone known as cortisol. With prolonged stress, the adrenal glands become overworked and can no longer respond appropriately to stress. Instead, the adrenal glands produce too much cortisol, which often induces a feeling of being both “wired and tired.” In this case you may feel tired at the end of your day, but too wired to relax or sleep. Other symptoms and health problems that indicate adrenal support may be needed are low energy, exhaustion, trauma, mood disorders, sugar imbalances, high anxiety, panic attacks, hormonal imbalances, increased menopausal discomfort (the body begins to rely on the adrenals for estrogen) and thyroid problems. The thyroid and adrenals work very closely together and should be supported at the same time.
There are many products marketed that offer to help the adrenal glands; however, it is important to note most companies derive their supplements from synthetic sources and glandular products that can be over-stimulating. I recommend well-researched, high quality natural supplements that work to support the adrenal glands and combat many related symptoms. Premier Research Labs, founded by Robert J. Marshall, Ph.D., creates its supplements from grade 10 organic whole food and herb sources, and do not use any synthetic or chemical nutrients or additives in production or in the final product. Additionally, these formulas contain plant enzymes to increase the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients. You can find Premier as well as other high quality professional health supplements you can trust at longnaturalhealth.com, a company I founded in 1997 to address these issues.
A large assortment of adrenal support supplements can be found here.
A few other important supplements to consider when supporting your adrenal glands and thyroid:
Whole Food Herbal Vitamin C such as Premier Vitamin C is a great choice. Quicksilver Liposomal liquid vitamin C is another great choice. Vitamin C is essential for adrenal health and numerous functions of the human body. It is easily depleted with stress and from toxic environmental factors. It is essential to take high quality vitamin C daily for health and immunity.
Be sure to use highly absorbable, gentle forms of magnesium, such as magnesium glycinate. Magnesium is very effective for anxiety, depression, muscle tension, heart health and calcium absorption.
In addition, one needs to eat a healthy, thyroid-adrenal supportive diet. If extra easily absorbable protein is needed (as is often the case), a high quality protein powder, such as collagen or whey is recommended. You can find protein powders I recommend at Long Natural Health.
- Avoid excess sugar, simple carbohydrates, caffeine, alcohol, MSG and all artificial sweeteners.
- Real Stevia is fine, though avoid manufactured sugars claiming to be stevia, and those containing erythritol.
- Avoid ordinary table salt, as it is just sodium chloride. However, use whole natural salt in cooking and on food, as it contains important minerals. Whole real salt is very important for your adrenal and thyroid health, digestion, and the health of your entire body. Avoid high sodium in foods, but do use whole salt in your diet. The best salt is Celtic Salt from the Grain & Salt Society. You can find it in health food stores and on the internet. Be careful with ‘sea salt,” because much of it is stripped down whole salt with just a fraction of the minerals remaining. Therefore, it is nearly like table salt, which is pure sodium minus all the minerals inherent is real whole natural salt as found in the ocean. People with weak adrenals and weak thyroids usually need a lot more real whole salt in their diet. Premier offers an excellent pink salt.
- Use more real salt when feeling stressed and fatigued from exercise, hot weather and sweating.
- Drinking adequate water is very important for adrenal health. Many people are dehydrated and could benefit from drinking more water, especially drinking water or herbal teas instead sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, concentrated fruit juices and other soft drinks. If you are drinking coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, these are dehydrating and you will need to drink more water. However, many people drink too much and follow the myth that everyone needs eight glasses a day. Our body gets liquids from many types of liquids and food, not just pure water. Your body will let you know you are thirsty and need to drink water. However, many people are very busy, or are not aware of their body signals, so another very noticeable indicator is your urine. If you don’t urinate enough or if your urine is very dark yellow, you likely need to drink more water. The exception to this is if your urine is darker due to intake of some type of vitamin or medication, or perhaps a certain food. It is wisest to follow your own individual needs, which depend on your activity, the weather, and other individual biological and dietary factors. Drinking far too little water can be a contributing factor in disease, though drinking far too much is also unhealthy, stressing the kidneys and washing away vital minerals. Most tap water contains chlorine and fluoride which are toxic. You can set up a filter system for the kitchen or for the whole house. Drink room temperature or warm water, liquids, etc. Cold water and especially ice water and ice drinks are unhealthy and cause digestive, urinary and other health problems. Do not over drink liquids at meal time.
- Ground yourself to the earth as often as possible, by getting out in nature and by walking barefoot.
- Emotions/Trauma: Nearly all people with stressed and depressed adrenals have had or suffer from a deep emotional shock or chronic emotional stress and trauma. Along with the naturopathic recommendations made here, it is highly advisable to seek some counseling and healing with a therapist who is qualified to help you clear the debilitating effects of emotional trauma and long-term stress from your nervous system. Combining therapy with adrenal-supportive supplements can give you back your life, energy, health and peace of mind.
- Adequate sleep is very important in rebuilding and maintaining healthy adrenal glands. One must have at least five hours of uninterrupted sleep. If you awaken prior to completing five hours of sleep, it is best to continue lying down (without raising head from pillow or above the body) until you reach five hours. Resolving insomnia or sleep issues is very important concerning all health issues. You can find more information about sleep and sleep supplements at Long Natural Health.
- Meditation and deep relaxation is perhaps the greatest daily thing you can do to heal your adrenals, clear stress from your body and prevent or heal disease, as well as to know true happiness. I highly encourage not only a daily meditation practice, but more importantly learning to live with your mind quiet and aware of the stillness within you. I also teach meditation and relaxation techniques as a very important part of my counseling and healing practice.
- Long Natural Health also offers a number of adrenal health testing options such as Sanesco. The Sanesco program also offers natural solutions to neurotransmitter imbalances that are often related to adrenal problems, anxiety, stress disorders, depression, mood swings, SAD, insomnia, OCD, panic attacks, eating disorders, weight issues, chronic fatigue, and other emotional issues.