Endurance Wellness Coaching

Your adrenals are little glands that rest on top of your kidneys and pump these hormones into your body:

Cortisol: the stress hormone that is released when your blood sugar gets low
Adrenaline: another stress hormone that boosts your circulation, respiration, and sugar metabolism to prepare you to move quick;y
DHEA: a hormone that helps make estrogen and testosterone. People with low DHEA may experience depression, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, immune disorders, and heart disease 

The adrenal gland secretes these hormones to help you deal with short term stress. Unfortunately, when you're under chronic stress, like we tend to be, your adrenal gland gets tired, leading to adrenal fatigue. You might be experiencing adrenal fatigue if you:

  • Are ALWAYS tired, regardless of how much sleep you're getting
  • Struggle to handle stress effectively and feel overwhelmed
  • Crave sugar and salt
  • Have digestive problems
  • Can't keep focus as well as normal or are forgetful
  • Feel very low between 3 and 4 pm
  • Get a second wind in the evening, causing you to stay up late
  • Notice extreme susceptibility to low blood sugar if meals are skipped 

Does that sound like you? Adrenal fatigue often goes hand-in-hand with thyroid problems. 

Since so many people are under chronic stress, we can assume that the adrenals are not the happiest little glands. What can you do about it?

  • Get to bed early
  • Find ways to manage stress
  • Supplement with magnesium
  • Eat mindfully
  • Salt your foods
  • Don't skip meals
  • Watch your diet. Junk food will make you feel worse!
  • Journal both food and feelings
  • Find things you enjoy
  • Laugh every day!
  • Believe in yourself and your ability to beat this

Chronic stress can be difficult to overcome, but you can do it!

Are you tired? Do you have cravings for salt? Often experience blood sugar drops? Nauseated more often than not? Feeling weak? Seeing changes in your skin and hair? Don't tolerate stress well? Your adrenal glands might not be working how they should.

You adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and produce hormones. Hypoadrenalism occurs when the adrenal glands aren't making enough glucocorticoids or mineralocorticoids, hormones that decrease inflammation and balance water with electrolytes. Although severe hypoadrenalism, like Addison’s disease, is rare, mild hypoadrenalism may be much more common.

An ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) stimulation test is used to diagnose hypoadrenalism by showing a decrease in the adrenal reserve. This is the most specific test for hypoadrenalism, but an insulin induced hypoglycemia test may also be used, as many patients with hypoadrenalism have reactive hypoglycemia.

Several nutritional factors are involved in decreased adrenal function, which may be why it's so common.

Hypoadrenal patients tend to be low in vitamin C, as the adrenal glands contain the most vitamin C in the body. Vitamin C supplementation may improve mineral metabolism, reduce hyperpigmentation, and increase adrenal response. 
Deficiency of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) inhibits the secretion and action of adrenal hormones. 
Magnesium deficiency may result in decreased plasma glucocorticoid levels and adrenal hypertrophy.
Small, frequent meals can help avoid low blood sugar.
Avoiding caffeine, sugars, and alcohol keeps blood sugar stable.
Licorice root can help keep adrenal hormones from being degraded.

Gaby, A. (2011). Nutritional medicine (pp. 1118-20). Concord, N.H: Fritz Perlberg Publishing.

Are your adrenals overworked and underdelivering?