Suffering from mental, emotional or physical stress? In this episode we'll talk about Adrenal Fatigue which is a decrease in the adrenal glands function to produce natural hormones like cortisol which helps you respond to stress.
In this episode, we'll talk about Adrenal Fatigue which is a decrease in the adrenal glands function to produce natural hormones like cortisol which helps you respond to stress.
Adrenal Formulas and Tea
Suffering from mental, emotional or physical stress?
In this episode we'll talk about Adrenal Fatigue which is a decrease in the adrenal glands function to produce natural hormones like cortisol which helps you respond to stress. In this episode we will be taking calls from Johanna in Los Angeles, who suffers from depression caused by stress from her high pressure job, we'll also hear from Cat in Austin who's a nurse that has mental and physical fatigue from long hours at work and is looking for a natural solution. Last we will hear from Ryan who had low energy and low sex drive even after getting 8-9 hrs of sleep per night.
Is it a medical term? No
Is it worth talking about? Definitely
Keep in mind that when someone says "Adrenal Fatigue", it's not a real medical term. It's more the result of the fact that we are struggling with stress as a society. Dealing with constant stress is basically accepted as a normal part of life. Things have gotten so stressful, that that we are beginning to experience physical and emotional problems that we simply wouldn't feel under less stressful conditions. We all know that life is a lot easier to deal with when stress is somewhat under control. Today, terms like "Adrenal Fatigue” are in vogue because people are interested in finding anything that will help them cope with the only thing that’s constant in their life, Stress! Remember, it’s not our intention to give out medical advice, save that for your primary care, wellness or nature path doctor. In this episode we are having an open discussion about common health topics and herbs that might be of value. We appreciate any questions or insight you have and would like to share pertaining to general wellness or herbal nutrition.
Overview of the Adrenal Glands
Adrenal Gland Essentials
What are the Adrenal Glands?
Anatomy of the Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands are two, triangular-shaped organs that measure about 1.5 inches in height and 3 inches in length. They are located on top of each kidney, and the name "Adrenal" relates to the location of these glands ("ad" meaning near and "renal" referring to the kidney). Each adrenal gland is comprised of two distinct structures. The outer part of the adrenal glands is called the adrenal cortex. The inner region is known as the adrenal medulla.
The adrenal cortex - the outer part of the gland produces hormones that are vital to life, such as cortisol (which helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress) and aldosterone (which helps regulate balance minerals and control blood pressure).
The adrenal medulla - the inner part of the gland that produces nonessential hormones, such as adrenaline (which helps your body react to stress).
What is the HPA Axis and how does it relate to Adrenal Fatigue?
The hypothalamic, pituitary, adrenal (HPA) axis is our bodies internal stress response system. The HPA axis integrates the endocrine system with the central nervous system and regulates the flow of hormones through a negative feedback system. The Pituitary, Hypothalamus, and Adrenal Glands are all part of the Endocrine Systems. It's critical to maintain the health of these vital endocrine glands knowing that hormonal balance is crucial to our overall health and can dictate the way we feel. Unfortunately, as we are constantly under stress in the modern world, the negative feedback system becomes less sensitive due to it's constant exposure to stressors. Over time, this can result in decreased levels of key hormones, hormones that impact our energy levels, response to stress, and our emotional wellbeing. This phenomenon is synonymous with what a lot of people are calling "Adrenal Fatigue".
What are the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?
Obviously, fatigue is one of the most common Adrenal Fatigue symptoms, but it's not the only thing noted. Adrenal Fatigue may lead to hormone inadequacies, and those hormones impact our health and the way we feel in a number of ways. That's also why there are many common signs of Adrenal Fatigue, although not everyone experiences the same thing. Here's some of the most common problems talked about.
The most common symptoms:
Difficulty getting up each morning, even after 8 hrs. of rest
High levels of fatigue each day
Inability to handle stress
Cravings for salty foods
Higher energy levels in the evenings
Weakened immune system
Weight gain and belly fat
Extreme fatigue after exercise
Dark circles under the eyes
Lower back pain
Loss of muscle tone
Power Plants that Support Adrenal Health:
Ashwagandha - The flagship herb of Ayurveda supports healthy adrenal function, energy, and mental focus. Ashwagandha (KSM-66) has been clinically researched and is backed by several randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled human clinical trials to support a multitude of body function. Ashwagandha is one of the most versatile plants in existence and is a key herbal component in countless herbal stress formulas.
Rhodiola Rosea -A favorite among athletes and herbal practitioners, Rhodiola has a reputation as one of the world’s greatest mood and energy tonics. It's unique array of phytochemicals have been researched for their ability to regulate critical neurotransmitters like serotonin. Rhodiala Rosea may help you manage stress, but it won't be sedating.
Ginseng (Chinese, Korean, and American) - There are 3 popular types of Ginseng used around the world; Chinese, Korean, and American. Chinese Ginseng (Ren Shen) is considered the "king of herbs" in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and is celebrated as its' premier tonic herb. It's active compounds, referred to as ginsenosides, are known to restore qi (pronounced "chi") or energy levels and to support a calm, alert mind. Korean Ginseng has similar properties. American Ginseng, known as the ‘Yin Ginseng’, has similar ginsenosides to its Chinese counterpart, although is traditionally viewed as a gentler tonic better suited to people with excess metabolic heat. It can also help promote a relaxed, calm attitude among those prone to stress and overwork.
Tongkat Ali - Decoctions of tongkat ali roots have been utilized for centuries in Malaysia and Southeast Asia to support energy levels and mood. Although commonly taken by men, tongkat ali can also support women’s libido, mood, and energy.
Holy Basil - one of the most celebrated plants in India, Holy Basil has been valued for centuries for benefiting the mind, body, and spirit. This great tasting Ayurvedic has been researched for its potential in the areas of stress relief and relaxation in recent times. It's the perfect herb to help stay calm and cool in the fast-paced, modern era.
Eleuthero - Once thought to be a member of the Ginseng family and referred to as Siberian Ginseng, Eleuthero, is well known as one of the best adaptogenic agents ever used by man. The epitome of an adaptogen, it supports decreased stress and fatigue while boosting energy and endurance. Eleuthero is also used in formulas to support memory and concentration.
St. John's Wort- revered in Europe for its ability to help cope with stress and support a positive outlook. St. Johs's Wort is believed to promote serotonin, a key neurotransmitter thought to play a major role in the central nervous system and in maintaining mood balance.
Shilajiit (also called Moomiyo) - Rather than a plant extract per se, Moomiyo is a blend of mineral-containing compounds made by soil-based microorganisms and contains an abundance of humic and fulvic acids. This adaptogenic compound is believed to promote vigor and endurance and to enhance athletic performance and sports recovery.
Calming herbs to unwind with
Lemon Balm - a member of the mint family, this calming herb has been used in Europe, the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, and India for thousands of years because of its myriad benefits. The rosemarinic acids present in Lemon Balm are believed to boost levels of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter, in the brain. Elevated GABA levels are thought to reduce the level of anxiety.
Lavender -one of the most common herbs or oils used for stress relief, Lavender has been used for centuries for restlessness, sleep problems, nervousness, and mood balancing. It has a fabulous aroma, tastes great, and blends well with other herbs like Lemon Balm and Chamomile.
Wild Milky Oats -rich in B vitamins, potassium, and magnesium Wild Milky Oats are thought to be soothing to the brain and nervous system, while at the same time being restorative to the adrenal glands and nerves. It's the perfect herb to use to relax and calm the nerves and to tonify the endocrine system.
Skullcap Herb - an herb found in countless sleep and stress formulas, Skullcap Herb is believed to help combat mental chatter and relax the mind and calm the nerves to provide a calm focus. Some people use it before bedtime to mitigate feelings of agitation and nervous tension.
Chamomile - documentation of the herb for its therapeutic benefits goes back over 5000 years, and today it is still one of the most commonly consumed herbs on the planet. Chamomile tea and extracts of Chamomile are frequently used as a mild sedative to calm nerves and reduce anxiety, to help with nightmares and other sleep problems.
Peppermint - A common herb that you may even have in your garden, Peppermint has been steeped for hundreds of years to cool the body, calm the nerves, and help the body relax. Peppermint is the perfect herb to relax with during those hot summer evenings.
Magnolia -used in Chinese medicine for hundreds of years, Magnolia is believed to help manage stress by keeping the stress hormone, cortisol, in check. It has also been shown to increase levels of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter, in mice. It is commonly found in herbal sleep and stress formulas.
Passion Flower - Native to southeastern parts of the Americas, Passion flower is now grown throughout Europe and in the United States. It has been used historically as a calming herb for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria and is still used today to alleviate anxiety and insomnia. Scientists believe Passionflower works by increasing levels of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter, in the brain.