Keep Asthma, Allergies at Bay for the Holidays
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Placebo Acupuncture Tied to Higher IVF Pregnancies
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Fish Oil's Benefits Remain Elusive
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Beware of Dog Bites
Safe Toys for Dogs
Barefoot Lifestyle Has Its Dangers
Fractures in Older Adults Up Death Risk
Heart Failure Raises Risk of Fractures
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
Adding Garlic Might Cut Cancer Risk
Poor Women Seem to Be Skipping Breast Cancer Drugs
Early Exercise Boosts Outcomes for ICU Patients
Hospital Volume Imperfect Gauge of Cancer Surgery Outcomes
Undoing the 'Big Baby' Trend
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Wrinkle Fillers Need Better Label Warnings: FDA Panel
Contact Lenses Boost Kids' Self-Image
Dental Implants Need More Work Than Root Canals
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Laser Technology Spots Cavities Before They Start
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Chamomile Tea May Ward Off Diabetes Damage
Lifestyle Factors Tied to Older Adults' Diabetes Risk
Eating your way to Good Health
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
Coffee Beans May Be Newest Stress-Buster
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Skin Woes Take Toll on U.S. Combat Troops
Freckles, Moles May Indicate Risk for Eye Cancer
Americans Losing Sight of Eye Health
Just Like Skin, Eyes Can 'Burn' in Strong Sun
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
Barefoot Best for Running?
Vigorous Exercise Can Cut Breast Cancer Risk
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Multivitamins Might Prolong Life
Biomarkers May Help Measure Rate of Decline in Dementia
New Methods Could Speed Production of Flu Vaccines
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
The Internet Is Becoming One-Stop Shopping for Health Help
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
Rheumatoid Arthritis a Threat to the Heart
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
The HPV Vaccine: Preventative Medicine or Human Sacrifice?
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
Eating Fish, Breast-Feeding Boost Infant Development
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Breast-Fed Baby May Mean Better Behaved Child
Teen Internet Addicts More Likely to Self-Harm: Study
Meaningful Conversations Boost Kids' Language Skills
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Yoga's Benefits Outweigh Risks for Pregnant Women
Calcium Supplements Cut Blood Lead Levels During Pregnancy
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Seniors Cope With Sleep Loss Better Than Young Adults
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
A Brisk Pace May Keep Stroke at Bay
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
Add your Article

Stressed and Exhausted: An Introduction to Adrenal Fatigue

Almost all of us have experienced the negative effects of stress. But when feeling stressed-out starts to affect your quality of life and wellness, it may be time to consider adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a health disorder, largely unrecognized by the conventional medical community, which results from over-stressed adrenal glands. Also termed non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms known as a “syndrome”. Beyond the hallmark symptom of fatigue, people also describe feeling tired for no reason, having trouble getting up in the morning, needing caffeine or snacks (salty or sweet) to keep going, or feeling run down. Left untreated, this syndrome can progress to frequent respiratory infections, allergies, rhinitis, asthma, frequent colds, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypoglycemia, adult onset diabetes, auto-immune disorders, and alcoholism. According to Dr. James L. Wilson, author of Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, it is estimated that up to 80% of American adults suffer some degree of adrenal fatigue in their lifetime.

The adrenal glands, also known as the suprarenal glands, are the triangular-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They are known as the “glands of stress” and enable your body to cope with stress through production of the body’s four major stress hormones. These are epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine, cortisol, and DHEA. Stress can come in a variety of physical, emotional, environmental, and /or psychological sources. When the adrenals get tired from too much stress, there is a decreased output of the adrenal hormones, especially cortisol. They will still make enough stress hormones for baseline health but cannot produce enough to meet the increased demand from a stressful situation. This leads to the various symptoms of adrenal fatigues including fatigue, lethargy, weakness, dizziness, low blood pressure, headaches, memory problems, food cravings, allergies, recurrent infections, and blood sugar imbalances. There are also changes at the biochemical and cellular levels, including transformation of your body shape. Cortisol is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and blood sugar balance. This is why cortisol is now a new target for many weight loss products.

If you suspect you might have tired adrenals, it is imperative to address it right away. In addition to a healthy stress response, the adrenal glands are extremely important to a healthy immune system and necessary for proper thyroid function. Start by modifying lifestyle factors that are within your control such as rest and sleep, food choices, use of stimulants, and the amount of nourishing and rejuvenating activities. Be mindful of the situations you put yourself in and how you view yourself. Feeling in a position of powerlessness or constantly driving yourself can also take its toll. The effects of stress are cumulative, so do not underestimate the impact of an individual source of stress. Your body will give you signals when it needs a break. Ultimately, it is up to you to listen and take action to support your adrenals, so they can continue supporting you in times of stress. Even though the specific diagnosis of adrenal fatigue is still controversial to some, most practitioners will agree that stress can have serious long-term consequences on health and wellness. The adrenal glands are certainly worthy of some care and attention.
Natural Ways to Support Your Adrenal Glands

– Take positive action to decrease stress in your life.

– Get some sleep. This means going to bed every night by 10 p.m. Make this a priority!

– Get regular, moderate exercise (30 minutes most days of the week) to stimulate the adrenals and for stress relief.

– Eat clean animal or vegetarian protein foods, fresh fruits and vegetables (green, leafy), nuts, legumes, beans and whole grains. Make sure to get your fiber.

– Reduce bad fats (saturated and trans), refined sugar, white flour, sodas and highly processed foods. Remember that garbage in equals garbage out!

– Avoid alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and other stimulants.

– Drink plenty of fresh filtered water every day.

– Holy basil is an adaptogen herb to balance the damage in every system of the body caused by stress. It improves insulin resistance by decreasing stress hormones. It reduces stress and cortisol, promotes a healthy inflammation response, and increases physical and emotional endurance.

– Other herbs to consider include astragalus, echinacea, milk thistle, Siberian ginseng, and ashwagandha. Discuss your situation with a qualified practitioner before starting any dietary supplements.

-Dr. Christine Gonzalez (Integrative PharmD, CHC)