How to cure adrenal fatigue.
 
By Glen Winkel, Ph.D.


We hear a lot in the news about stress and how it affects our health. It is a well-accepted fact that chronic stress leads to disease. Setting aside the psychological aspect of stress, stress also affects the nutritional status of the body, such that we fall prey to various stress-related illnesses. Supplementing our diet with those nutrients depleted due to stress will not only reduce the risk of stress-related illnesses, but also give us more energy and vitality, such that we are able to cope more effectively with stress.

Stress affects our nutritional status in two specific ways:

First, it affects the way our physiology, increasing our nutritional needs.

Second, it affects our eating habits which alters our nutrient intake.

When we are under stress, our body mobilizes its resources to defend itself (fight or flight). It increases heart rate, raises blood pressure, and redistributes blood from the internal organs (stomach) to the muscles in preparation for physical activity. There are increases in blood fats and sugars (for muscle fuel) and increases in specific brain neurotransmitters to sharpen our reflexes.

Meanwhile, other bodily functions are put on hold: Tissue repair is postponed, digestion is slowed and the immune system delays its activities as well. While this is an appropriate short-term response, chronic stress eventually leads to exhaustion. This is like leaving your car parked in neutral with the engine racing. Chances are your car engine won't last very long if you run it this way, and likewise your body won't last very long if you don't supply it with high-grade "racing fuel" As I'll explain below, this heightened state of arousal causes certain nutrients to be depleted while increasing the need for other specificnutrients.

However, as if to compound the problem, a stressed person often changes their eating habits that further exacerbate their nutrient status. We tend to skip meals, and eat "fast food", which is high in fat, sugar and salt. Stress causes us to exercise less (lack of time) and consume more stimulants like coffee, alcohol and tobacco. These habits further deplete vital nutrients.

HOW can we enhance our nutrient intake?

1. Stress raises our metabolism and decreases our nutritional status, depleting our body of water- soluble vitamins and minerals. Therefore we must increase intake of the water-soluble vitamins, B and C. A deficiency of B vitamins leaves you feeling tired and lethargic, yet more reactive to stress. Minerals, particularly potassium, magnesium and zinc are also depleted during stress. A basic multi-vitamin supplementation program is essential. There are many "stress" formulations available on the market. The best formulas are made from whole-foods not synthetic pharmaceutical blends. Choose wisely.

2. Stress causes an elevation in free radicals, thus anti-oxidants become extremely important in reducing oxidative damage throughout the body and particularly in the brain where stress contributes to brain damage and premature aging. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain the super anti-oxidant factors known as carotenoids and flavonoids. We need to eat the recommended 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables every day to keep ourselves supplied with these powerful antioxidants.

3. Stress activates the adrenal glands and over time will lead to adrenal exhaustion. The essential fatty acids, present in whole grains, will provide the raw materials to make the hormones necessary to keep the adrenal glands operating at maximum efficiency. Adrenal exhaustion may also contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome.

4. Since the immune system is depressed while under stress, various factors will boost immune system function. These include the essential fatty acids and especially the omega-3 essential fatty acids. Carotenoids and flavonoids have also been shown to dramatically enhance immune system function.

5. Poor dietary habits, consuming foods high in fat and sugar, and increased caffeine and alcohol intake, will cause marked changes in blood sugar, with associated changes in mood, behavior and energy levels. A protein supplement which is easily digested will aid in stabilizing blood sugar and provide the amino acids necessary to repair and replace cells damaged from stress.

6. Finally, stress affects digestion of our food, decreasing our ability to extract the essential nutrients from the food we do eat. We may need to add digestive supplements to enhance digestion for more complete absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients.

The above supplemental strategies will provide our bodies with specific nutrients depleted when stressed. This will make a person less reactive to stress and also reduce the risk of illness and other stress-related diseases.

If you need assistance in selecting a high-quality whole-food sourced nutritional supplement, I have worked with many nutritional companies and have chosen those supplements that I believe to be the most effective supplements to enable us to better cope with the stress of our modern western lifestyle.


http://www.GlenWinkel.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Glen_Winkel,_Ph.D.

 
 
By Cori Chong


Lots of people have stress living in today's world. What many people don't realize is their own symptoms of chronic stress and the effect that chronic stress has on their endocrine system. And it's effect on their overall health as well.

When living a stressful life becomes a chronic condition and you can never recover from one stressful event before another one comes along, your adrenal glands can become very tired. The adrenal glands provide us with the resiliency, energy, and endurance necessary to live a productive life. But whenever we become overwhelmed by chronic stress even the most simple situations can seem very stressful and our bodies are not able to recover from these events. Our ability to manage stress in our lives becomes very much compromised. Throw in a divorce, death of a loved one, or an excessively competitive workplace and you have a recipe for disaster.

Then begins a vicious circle, stress...exhaustion...more stress. After years (or sometimes even a few months) of this behavior our adrenal glands are producing so much cortisol (the hormone secreted by the adrenal glands) on such a regular basis that they start to get tired and worn out. And without attention to this condition your adrenal glands start producing less and less cortisol and you become more and more exhausted.

At this point you are weak and tired all of the time. Your immune system starts to malfunction and you get sick at the drop of a hat. Your brain becomes very foggy and you can barely remember your own name much less which client gets what contract. Or which jumper belongs to which child. Or have you ever been driving in your car and began to wonder after only a few minutes of travel...where am I going? You begin to feel like the walking dead.

Cortisol is a hormone. When cortisol levels become low, other hormones can react and pretty soon your body is malfunctioning! The adrenal gland secretes hormones that affect all of the primary physiological processes in your body.

Untreated this condition can lead to chronic illness which once again affects the adrenal glands. And the more chronic the illness the more critical the adrenal response becomes. That's why so many serious illnesses are treated by giving patients Hydrocortisone or Prednisone to help the adrenal glands function better, which in turn reduces negative symptoms that the patient is experiencing.

Your adrenal glands need lots of care and attention. Many times a lifestyle change is required for patients to ever fully recover. Removing stressful activities, getting lots of sleep, and eating a healthful diet free of chemicals and sugar are important but beginning steps in treating this condition.


To learn more about the symptoms of chronic stress and your adrenal glands visithttp://www.prescriptionsforstress.com - a popular website with lots of free and useful information on chronic stress on it's impact on your health.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cori_Chong

 

How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue.