So you’ve probably heard of the Endocrine System. But if not, let me explain.
Your endocrine system is a collection of all the glands in your body that produce chemical messengers called hormones. These glands are in charge of regulating metabolism, development, sleep, growth, etc.
The endocrine system plays a role in almost every function of the human body.
Rush of adrenaline? Thank your adrenal glands.
Feeling sleep at bedtime? Thank the melatonin being sent from your pineal gland.
Have good levels of energy? Thank your thyroid.
Hungry or thirsty? Thank your hypothalamus.
Experiencing contractions during labor, or experiencing ovulation? Again, thank your endocrine system.
This system creates over 30 distinct hormones, which each perform important jobs around the body.
Another important function the endocrine system performs is helping with insulin production. A big sign that the endocrine system isn’t functioning properly is actually diabetes or similar disorders (even insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes).
DID YOU KNOW? Doctors use to taste the urine of their patients if they suspected diabetes was a problem. If their urine was unusually sweet, they knew they were headed in the right direction with diagnosis. Gross!
About 5 years ago, before I began my transformation, I was STRESSED. I was always a positive and happy guy, but my habits were pretty bad. I relied on caffeine to keep me awake and skimped on sleep to stay out all night with my friends.
All of this combined with a high-stress JOB caused me to hold onto 40 pounds of excess FAT.
Not to mention the toll it all took on my adrenal and hormone health. Both controlled within your Endocrine System.
I eventually got to a point where I knew I had to change. I started learning about the different systems in my body and how to take care of them.
My transformation is proof that when we love our bodies, they love us back!
What Is The Role Of Your Adrenal Glands?
The adrenals are round disc-shaped glands that sit on top of your kidneys and are part of the endocrine system. Although most people don’t know much about how they work, your adrenal glands are incredibly important for vitality and wellness!
Your adrenals are kind of like those british royal guards with the tall, black fuzzy hats that stand outside a palace. They remain alert and ready to perform 24/7 should the need arise.
Especially if something stressful or scary happens… like you have to speak in public or you’re about to run out of gas on the freeway… your adrenals jump into action and prep your body to run or fight!
Your adrenal glands are involved in all of the following:
- Stress response
- Immune system function
- Blood sugar levels
- Blood pressure
Have you heard of the hormones adrenalin? Cortisol? Estrogen? Testosterone? These and over 50 other hormones are secreted by your adrenal glands!
Hormones affect EVERY function and organ in your body.
The adrenal glands play an essential role in how your body responds to STRESS. Think of anything that has to do with stress and your adrenals are most likely involved.
Because of the hormones they regulate, your adrenal glands have the ability to increase sugar (energy) in the blood, raise blood pressure and activate the body’s fight-or-flight response.
DID YOU KNOW? Adrenaline can be an addictive hormone for some, which is why some people seek adrenaline-rushes by doing crazy things like bungee-jumping or swimming with sharks. They crave that sense-enhancing pain-numbing high their adrenals give them by shooting off large amounts of adrenaline and other hormones.
What Happens When The Adrenals Are Overtaxed?
So what has potential to damage and/or wear out the adrenal glands?
The body has an incredible ability to deal with stress and occasional fight-or-flight type situations. But when it is presenting with daily, persistent and unrelenting stress things slowly begin to break down and become overworked, ESPECIALLY the adrenal glands.
Couple chronic stress with poor nutrition and you’ll feel like you’re driving a car with kool-aid in the gas tank.
With so many people suffering from chronic stress these days, it’s no wonder that our adrenals are taking a serious toll.
DID YOU KNOW? It is estimated that up to 80% of people around the world are suffering from adrenal fatigue!
A lot of people experience the following symptoms on a daily basis with no clue that their adrenals are in trouble:
- Fatigue and apathy, need for excessive sleep
- Poor circulation
- Low blood sugar
- Low blood pressure
- Aches and pains
- Fear and low self-esteem due to low energy levels
- Trouble regulating body temperature
These are all signs that you may suffer from ADRENAL EXHAUSTION or INSUFFICIENCY, though many medical professionals may not recognize and diagnose this at first.
Many who suffer from adrenal problems are put on medications like antidepressants or other drugs that do not address the real issue at all.
Adrenal Detox Strategy
The process for cleansing the adrenal glands is fairly simple but does take a commitment to LIFESTYLE CHANGE and not just a temporary regimen.
These changes include getting more rest, reducing stress and eating a clean well-balanced diet with lots of protein and vegetables and little to no processed foods, sugars and sweeteners and caffeine.
There are a few things you can do in the short-term to boost adrenal health and get you going down the right path.
Dr. Wilson, an expert in adrenal health, recommends infrared sauna use as a central part of detoxification and adrenal healing. Infrared saunas penetrate the skin and heat from the inside as well as the outside, promoting deeper detox and healing in the body.
Studies have found that infrared light has the potential to…
Assist the body in heavy metal removal
Rejuvenate the skin
Nourish the adrenal glands
Reduce blood pressure
Provide pain relief
Near infrared saunas are relatively inexpensive compared to far infrared saunas but provide the same benefits and more. (studies listed here)
I always recommend using REAL FOOD as your medicine but in some cases a little extra supplementation may be important. There are certain supplements that have amazing healing benefits for your adrenal glands and should be part of your wellness regimen.
Ashwagandha – one of the most powerful adaptogenic herbs, meaning it is specifically designed to help bring your body from stress back to homeostasis. Many medical studies have shown that ashwagandha has an impressive ability improve cortisol, insulin and other hormones levels when taken daily. (study)
That’s just ONE of the many reasons we put this super-herb in our Organifi Green Juice!
#3 Sleep Schedule
Regulating your sleep can be challenging, especially if your bedtime and waking time tend to fluctuate. Getting to bed before 10pm and resting until between 7-9am is ideal to reset your adrenals.
Studies have found that not getting enough sleep one night results in elevated cortisol levels (stress hormone) the following night.
I know this may not be realistic for everyone – especially if you work or have young kids. The aim is 9 hours of sleep though. And if you’re wondering why bedtime before 10pm is so important – well, have you experienced that “second wind” at night?
10pm is the time that your cortisol begins to shift again and if you’re awake, moving around, stimulated by TV or other things, your cortisol gets the signal that it should KEEP YOU AWAKE.
Your sleep cycle becomes all out of whack making it hard to fall asleep! Keep in mind that waking up during certain time-frames at night also signals an imbalance.
3 Recipes To Support The Adrenal Glands And Promote Wellness
- 3 ounces tart cherry juice (boosts serotonin)
- •6 ounces water or coconut water
- •2 scoops vanilla plant protein
- •1 tbsp raw cacao nibs
- •1 tbsp ashwagandha powder
- Blend and drink
- ½ cup ashwagandha root
- •½ cup shatavari root
- •½ cup holy basil
- •¼ cup cinnamon chips
- Mix all ingredients together in a mason jar. When ready to make tea, put 2 tbsp of the mixture into a medium saucepan and boil in 1 cup hot water. Simmer for 15 minutes and then strain. Sweeten with raw honey if desired.
- 2 lemons, peeled
- •½ orange, peeled
- •1 tsp turmeric powder
- •1 tsp coconut oil
- •2 tsp protein powder (organic whey or plant based)
- •1 tsp sea salt
- •1 tsp vanilla extract
- •1 drop lemon essential oil
- Blend all ingredients together in a high power blender. Pour over ice. Drink immediately.
People with adrenal fatigue need more nutrients than they can get through a typical diet. A great way to get these nutrients is through healing juices and smoothies! Visit our website for more great recipes.
Comment below for the chance to win a free juicer!
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
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