The adrenal glands are a pair of walnut-shaped organs that sit atop the kidneys and are best known for secreting adrenaline and cortisol, which are associated with the body's stress response.
They are part of the endocrine system, the body's glandular system, including the hypothalamus, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, pancreas, ovaries, and testes. They make and release hormones which are chemical messengers secreted in one part of the body and carried to another. They elicit a specific response that regulates the behavior of every organ and tissue and carry out various physiological functions like respiration, metabolism, growth and development, sensory perception, sleep, and the stress response.
The term adrenal fatigue has become prevalent in today's stressful world but is not an official medical condition but is a group of symptoms that are said to occur in people with long-term mental, emotional, or physical stress.
When the adrenal glands are stressed, we can experience many symptoms like fatigue, high or low blood pressure, cravings for sugar and stimulants, weight loss or gain, lack of energy, overwhelm or anxiousness, brain fog, sleep issues, low libido, or PMS. They work overtime to make enough hormones to balance the increased adrenaline and cortisol levels in the bloodstream by ramping up the production of balancing hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and DHEA), which exerts additional strain on the adrenal glands and the other endocrine organs.
Ayurvedically when the adrenals are depleted, we add opposite actions that build, nourish, and rejuvenate with foods, lifestyle practices, and herbs. The following recommendations can be powerful allies as we attempt to reorient our systems and recover a healthier baseline. Below are some considerations:
Slow Down- our systems are accustomed to a fast-paced, high-intensity lifestyle.
Remove Known Stressors- there are always stressors, but awareness and presence can bring balance.
Spend Time in Nature- being in nature instills a natural rhythm and is an effective antidote to stress.
Prioritize Proper Sleep- is the most nourishing component of our lives.
Quiet the Mind- Initiate practices that feed your soul, balance your mind and allow you to go inwards.
Find Exercise- find an exercise program daily, even walking (5-10,000 steps).
Create Daily Routines- that brings regulation and boundaries and creates space to be healthy.
Eat Proper Foods- Eat according to your constitution, or imbalances balance with an imbalance.
Foods to Avoid- include caffeine and processed sugars and sweeteners, simple carbohydrates, and gluten, processed, microwavable, canned, frozen
foods, all hydrogenated oils
Foods to Include- include coconut, avocado, healthy fats, cruciferous vegetables, fatty fish, free-range chicken, turkey, possibly bone broth (if needed), nuts and seeds, kelp and seaweeds, Himalayan salt, and medicinal mushrooms.
Below are a couple of articles that are associated with the Adrenals: