ADRENALS - the Source of Energy and Ability to Endure
Two tiny glands, no bigger than the size of a grape are responsible for our energy, endurance, and vitality levels. We can't live without our adrenal hormones, and how well we live depends on how these glands function.
And everyday stress doesn't help these glands at all. Stress is hard on health in general, but it especially affects the adrenal glands. If your adrenals are tired or worn out, you're likely dealing with some of these symptoms:
Dark circles under the eyes
Lower back pain and/or knee weakness or pain, especially on the side
Excessive sweating or perspiration with little activity
Low blood sugar
A major craving for salt or salty foods
Low stamina for stress - in other words, easily irritated
Sensitivity to light, difficulty seeing at night
Chronic infections (bacterial, viral, yeast, and fungal)
Low blood pressure
Tired but wired-feeling, poor sleep
Lightheadedness when standing
Cravings for sweets and carbs
Lack of libido
Dry, unhealthy skin with excess pigmentation
The research I read on this all said the same thing: "If you suspect you might have tired adrenals, see your healthcare provider immediately." These glands are crucial to our immune function (a BIG deal to diabetics) and the thyroid doesn't function properly if these glands aren't working well.
So besides going to the doctor, what's a body to do?
First, rest up; that's the very best way to revive them. This means going to bed every night at a reasonable hour - making that goal a routine and sticking with it. And here are 6 more TO DOs:
1. Eliminate sugar and processed carbohydrates. Are you getting sick of this advice? Yet do you notice this counsel is given for almost every health ailment today? There are good reasons for this, and if you've forgotten them, go back to the "Sugar Ain't So Sweet" article in your July 20, 2012 Cook'n Club Newsletter and refresh your memory. I'll keep beating this drum 'til we get it!
2. Eat organic, grass-fed, range-free, non-GMO foods as much as you possibly can.
3. Avoid too much coffee and drink plenty of fresh filtered, mineralized water every day.
4. Eat your protein and healthy fats within one hour of waking, without fail, whether you're hungry or not.
5. This is a tough one, but crucial: Eliminate or minimize the energy drains in your life. This can be much more than food; consider people or activities that don't ultimately contribute to the way you really want to live.
6. Be sure all meals and snacks are made up of a quality protein (hot dogs don't count!), healthy fat, and a complex carbohydrate.
Need some healthy snack ideas? Consider whole grain crackers, nut butters, fresh apples, raw nuts and seeds, avocado slices, roasted turkey slices (nitrate-free).
Let's take these steps, develop good habits, and be conscientious about our adrenal glands - it's not like we can pick up another set at the mall - and life's no fun without the energy to match it.