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Adrenal Fatigue Support

Adrenal fatigue is a largely unrecognised cause of many chronic and auto-immune disorders. Although some allopathic doctors may not yet acknowledge adrenal fatigue as a health condition, many natural health practitioners have well researched treatment protocols for assessing and restoring adrenal function.

See also our popular blog article on Adrenal Fatigue

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Adrenal Fatigue Info

Adrenal fatigue is a largely unrecognised cause of many chronic and auto-immune disorders. Although some allopathic doctors may not yet acknowledge adrenal fatigue as a health condition, many natural health practitioners have well researched treatment protocols for assessing and restoring adrenal function.

Adrenal fatigue is the long term result of overworked adrenal glands, and this is such a common phenomenon in the modern world it is fast becoming the norm. The adrenal glands are a pair of small glands sitting on top of the kidneys, and these are our ‘stress glands’.

Every type of stress we encounter, be it physical, emotional, psychological, financial, traumatic or positively stimulating, elicits a response from the adrenals. They are designed to respond quickly with an injection of various hormones into the bloodstream, then rest once the stressful event is over. Our experience of stress in today’s world tends to be ongoing rather than in short term bursts, so our adrenals never get to rest. They release adrenalin in emergencies and cortisol (our body’s number one anti-inflammatory) to help our bodies cope with unrelenting stress.

Eventually after years of overwork the adrenals become so fatigued they can no longer function well, and produce less and less of the needed hormones. We have less energy, more inflammation and associated pain, our memory, concentration and general cognitive ability suffers and its harder to deal with stress. The symptoms attributed to adrenal fatigue, and to many other chronic disorders, arise from multifactorial pathological processes closely related to stress and fatigue. The condition Addison’s disease is sometimes referred to as "adrenal insufficiency," and is a medical condition that can be life threatening. Addison’s disease is the result of an autoimmune disorder. The symptoms of Addison’s disease are more acute (and severe) than those induced by stress and the condition should be closely monitored by a healthcare professional. So what is adrenal fatigue?

Essentially, it’s the loss of function in your adrenal glands, this loss of function affects our ability to regulate stress processes, leaving the body in an chronically inflammatory state. It also inhibits our ability to metabolise fats effectively. All of the stress processes are managed by cortisol which is what our adrenal glands produce. Cortisol is an essential hormone that helps us deal with stressful moments. But when our bodies are exposed to too much stress, or have other health related crises occurring, then the adrenal glands start to lose function.

Events that can precipitate the loss of adrenal function are on-going stress or psychological worry, long periods of sub-optimal sleep, chronic infection or excessive exercise and nutrient depletion. As the adrenal glands lose function we start to feel less great, as we feel less great we do things like take stimulants and eat high energy foods to try and rebalance the exhaustion. Our sleep cycles also suffer as a result of this. All of this puts further pressure on our adrenals which puts us in a vicious cycle that seems impossible to escape. Read more here in our comprehensive blog article on adrenal fatigue.

There are natural health remedies aimed at restoring appropriate nutrient balance in your adrenals. Deficiencies, toxicities and life style habits impact the adrenal gland. A deficiency in vitamin C and vitamin B5 (essential co-factors in cortisol production and adrenal health,) is an example. Copper is a mineral that is essential in some bodily enzymatic reactions, but may disrupt adrenal function if levels are too high. Even relative imbalances between minerals can affect cortisol levels. It has been documented that abnormal ratios of copper to zinc cause adrenal cortex disruption. A well balanced multivitamin can complement a healthy diet to help ensure that vitamin and mineral intake is sufficient to support optimal adrenal function.

The fatty acid content of the diet also contributes considerably to stress response physiology. Relative imbalances of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids create conditions that favour heightened inflammation and impaired stress response. In a clinical trial, the group who received fish oil exhibited a much less severe stress response than the on who didn't. It is believed that a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids may attenuate the effects of chronic stress by limiting the influence of inflammation on the impacts of stress on the body.

Since cholesterol is a building block of the cortisol hormone, ingestion in the diet of some saturated fat is important. However, the liver will synthesize cholesterol, if poor dietary ingestion occurs, from acetate. Of course, too much cholesterol has its drawbacks too, so a happy medium must be reached. Both extremes of dietary fat ingestion have ill effects on the human body.

Additionally, here are 4 important protocols for treating adrenal fatigue:

1. Adrenal glandular

2. Herbs that support adrenal function: borage, liquorice, Siberian ginseng, Korean ginseng, Withania, ginger, maca root, gingko biloba,

3. Mineral and vitamin complex to support adrenal function

4. Vitamin C & bioflavonoids in 2:1 ratio (ratio is important here)

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