What causes adrenal exhaustion?
- Nutritional deficiencies. Deficiency in nutrients, especially vitamin C and vitamin B5 prevents the adrenal gland from recovering.
- Shortage of Happiness Hormones; chronic stress depletes the adrenal gland.
- Hormonal imbalances. Nutrient deficiencies trigger deficiencies in the hormonal system
Tricky diagnostic proposition
Adrenal problems are probably one of the conditions that is very poorly diagnosed and that no one has an answer for. It often begins after a period of stress. The stress can be mental but also metabolic. The main symptom is fatigue especially in the morning, leading people to call themselves not a morning person, or a slow starter.
What is the function of the adrenal glands? Adrenal glands produce:
- Cortisol. The adrenal glands first increase their production of cortisol on a stress response or, for example, a surgery virus or busy time in your life. Cortisol makes blood sugars rise and often blood pressure as well;
- They also regulate the immune system. As the stress lasts longer, the adrenal gland becomes depleted and produces less cortisol which makes you tired, low blood pressure, low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) poor disease reception ( immunity) and more susceptible to food allergy, environmental factors (environmental pollution), the ability to be flexible when stressed;
- DHEA. When DHEA levels are low, you feel tired. The test may actually give too high a DHEA level. Then that’s because you get DHEA stacking, it doesn’t get converted properly;
- Aldosterone. This hormone helps stabilize salt and water;
- Estrogen and testosterone. These hormones are made in adrenal glands as well as in the fallopian tubes in women and in the testis in men. It is advisable to have these hormones tested as well;
Symptoms that can let you know that your adrenals are depleted:
- You are tired before you get up and find it difficult to get up (94%)
- Nervousness and memory problems in 20-40%
- Blood sugar levels fluctuating keep your muscles tense
- You are constantly tired and when stressed all the way
- Depressed (79%)
- You love the feeling of coping with a stressful event and feel more energized just then
- If you are hungry you are irritable (feed me or I kill you) at 86%
- You quite often have short-term infections like sore throat, colds etc that don’t respond well to antibiotics. This is due to a weakened immune system (65%)
- You have allergies or intolerances, also due to a weak immune response
- You have itching and pain in your muscles
- You sometimes make a mountain out of a molehill, when faced with setbacks you immediately become particularly irritated 86%
- Sometimes feel a little dizzy especially when standing up 47% tendency to faint 42%
- Sleeping badly and lying awake 40%
- You are often cold
- After operations or flu, it takes a very long time to get back to normal
- You sometimes experience an irregular heartbeat due to a less functioning heart and pulse rate
- Sometimes there is anorexia or slow metabolism and constipation
- Upper respiratory symptoms are common; cold, cough, allergy, flu
How do we test the adrenal gland?
We test the adrenal gland with a cortisol daily curve often in combination with other hormones.
How does such a thing arise?
Adrenal and thyroid problems are very common. Many people feel helpless with the exhaustion they already experience daily, but especially when getting up. We know that adrenal exhaustion is often accompanied by low thyroid function which can cause serious and long-term consequences in functioning in daily life.
The adrenal glands are two small nut-shaped organs, one above each kidney. Those little organs keep us healthy, both physically and mentally.
As early as 1898, Emile Sergent, a French physician brilliantly described these two little organs:” if the adrenal gland were somehow allowed to become damaged, a pattern of symptoms of depression and exhausted muscles would develop.
The genesis is often due to a number of factors such as as poor development, sometimes from birth, due to exhaustion from stress, old age, chronic stress, or any other reason that affects the normal activity of the adrenal gland.
The adrenal medulla pumps adrenaline to increase your heart rate and breathing when exerted or when stressed/anxious, causing your blood pressure to rise and blood to be pumped toward your muscles instead of to the intestines to provide digestion. You are ready for action!
This is nice when you are dealing with an emergency such as running away from a fire or from someone who wants to rob you. But what if you feel threatened day in and day out without it?
So what if the stress doesn’t stop? In that case, your endocrine system responds with an anti-stress plan; Your hypothalamus pumps a hormone because the adrenal cortex tells it to release cortisol, which in turn triggers a trigger to the pancreas to release glucagon, this raises your blood sugar to give your brain and muscles more energy when stressed.
There is only one problem with this plan; your body is not made for the constant stress in this present age. Consider if Einstein were suddenly placed in this century. That man would die from the murderous pace we set!
We are built to flee from a Sabeltand tiger and then to chill out a few weeks after that attack.
So after hours, days, weeks and months of stress or exhaustion the adrenal cortex is depleted and constantly high cortisol levels (which is bad for you) go to chronically low levels in cortisol (also bad for you) Then there is adrenal exhaustion.
Your adrenal glands can no longer pump enough cortisol to raise sugar levels, so your blood sugar is often low. That low glucagon level causes your brain which needs a lot of sugar to work less well, resulting in irritability ( or being nervous or depressed).
Sugar addiction is often a reason for this adrenal exhaustion. You feel a little better for a while after some snacking, but that is only temporary. Your sugar levels spike up quickly, but also need to come back down! You want sugar or coffee again, and this becomes a roller coaster of sugar spikes. So instead of getting cranky eat something! Not sugar, but something slow acting in sugar value (Glycaemic load)
Relationships often break down on this because people argue for this reason. Give your partner or child something to eat, or better; eat something yourself if this bothers you.
These symptoms are common in many people. With secondary causes such as hormonal imbalances, these must also be addressed; these can cause you to become exhausted.
The inability to recover is often due to a malfunctioning adrenal gland caused by poor nutrition, mental and physical stress, overwork and lack of sleep.
People with strong adrenal function are mentally and physically strong, they are not afraid of anything and they engage in friendly confrontation when problems arise.
Because there is often hypotension, people also do not feel comfortable. Although this is considered healthy, it is not. Only in super athletes with huge hearts is hypotension not a problem.
Slow thyroid function
People with poor adrenal function often also suffer from a sluggish thyroid. They are stiff when they stand up, especially in the lower back which does improve with e.g. a hot shower. They also often have a sore throat in the morning, which does go away during the day. Although most people think of a thyroid problem rather than adrenal exhaustion, I recommend working on the adrenal gland first before tinkering with the thyroid.
Indeed, if you start on the thyroid, you increase the metabolism and thus the pressure on the adrenal gland. Thus, the ideal situation is to treat the adrenal gland first and then treat the thyroid if it is still necessary at that time.
There are many people who at first seem to improve on thyroid medication but then relapse for this reason.
In any case, get your thyroid tested. The TSH is not necessarily the most important test. The T3 is a better parameter. But above all, look at the clinical signs.
What is the solution?
You follow for some time with the help of your practitioner a newly prepared regimen which addresses the real cause of adrenal exhaustion a diet that normalizes your blood sugar, one of the main reasons to get this at all you add nutrients to help your adrenals get stronger and recover and mentally and emotionally you look at what you can change about the stress your body is apparently experiencing.
The adrenal strengthening diet
You start by excluding foods you should no longer eat (rash imupro) because these foods deplete your adrenal glands.
- Renounce sugar! Sugar is killing the adrenal glands, it makes you feel good for a while because of the sugar kick and then comes the man with the hammer.
The very spikes that occur in your blood sugar deplete you. Up and down, up and down, just like a roller coaster! Your adrenal gland is very busy with that to level that out a little bit. If you are very tired and want some sugar, take 1/2 teaspoon of sugar ( or 4 tic tacs) under your tongue and let it melt there. That little bit of sugar is often enough to restore your blood sugar for a while when it is low which takes away the irritability or fatigue without putting you on the roller coaster of sugar level fluctuations due to too much sugar in your diet.
Rather, take stevia or xylitol as a sugar substitute.
- Unlearn coffee drinking! Like sugar, caffeine does strange things to your adrenal glands. Limit yourself to a cup of coffee in the morning if you can’t resist. Instead of caffeine, take decaf. or green tea which contains theanine which provides calmness and concentration.
- Eat low glycaemic
- A nutrition plan helps you stabilize your blood sugar. Combine this with large amounts of greens, especially the leafy greens.
- Drink more water and eat a little more salt ( provided you don’t have high blood pressure)!Your adrenal glands are responsible for stabilizing blood sugar levels but also regulate blood volume and blood pressure, tasks that require plenty of water salt.
- Listen to your body.