How to cure adrenal fatigue.
By Mark Rosenberg, M.D.

No one knows your body better than you do. Occasionally, I will treat a patient who is experiencing a variety of symptoms without an obvious cause. Unfortunately, some doctors tell patients it is "all in their heads" when test results fail to reveal a specific problem. This is often the case in people who suffer from adrenal exhaustion. Traditional tests may not detect small changes in hormone levels, yet symptoms persist. I will explain how to recognize adrenal exhaustion and provide some solutions for living with this condition.

What Causes Adrenal Exhaustion?

The adrenals are two small glands near the kidneys. They produce a variety of hormones, like cortisol, adrenaline and DHEA, which help you cope with day-to-day events. Most of you will be familiar with adrenaline, also known as the "fight or flight" hormone. Adrenaline prepares your body to respond to stressful situations by either solving problems on the spot or quickly removing you from danger. For example, you see a small child about to step in front of a car. A rush of adrenaline gives your body the speed and agility to quickly whisk the child out of harm's way.

We all tap into our body's supply of adrenaline from time to time. Certain people, however, may be under so much stress that they burn through adrenaline faster than it can be replenished. When adrenaline levels are depleted, other hormones must adapt, and soon the whole system is topsy turvy. Stress that depletes adrenaline is often chronic, perhaps due to your job, an unmanageable schedule or constant anxiety. For many women, the hormonal changes accompanying pre-menopause can trigger adrenal exhaustion.

Symptoms of adrenal exhaustion are often confused with other conditions, such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. In fact, common symptoms include feeling tired and feeling depressed. Other symptoms reported by patients are sleep disturbances, body aches and digestive problems. If your doctor rules out other specific conditions, such as the ones mentioned above, you may be suffering from adrenal exhaustion.

How to Cope

It is possible to restore balance to your adrenal glands through natural lifestyle changes. You must address the issue from every angle.

First, you may need to make some big changes to manage stress. Most patients can pinpoint their source of stress, and this is the first step to health. Change your routine, look for a new job, practice stress-reduction techniques, or stop spending time with people who sap your positive energy. Equally important to reducing external stressors is reducing the stress you put upon yourself internally. Banishing negative thoughts and replacing them with a positive mantra is one smart strategy. Many people find that counseling helps them change their attitude and put a stop to negative self talk.

Dietary changes can make an impact on your body's hormonal balance. Strive to eat natural, unprocessed foods. Eliminate added sugar and reduce your intake of white carbohydrates as much as possible. Instead, include protein in every meal and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Caffeine can wreak havoc on your adrenal glands, so you might consider weaning yourself off of coffee and tea. Drink decaf and rely on 7 to 8 hours of sleep to keep energy levels up. Regular, moderate exercise is another proven way to maintain energy. It also improves your mood and motivates you to eat healthfully.

Vitamin supplements are important for nutritional support, as well. A multiple vitamin is good for starters. Look for high-quality brands that contain plenty of vitamin C, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. That's why I recommend taking a daily multi-vitamin to every one of my patients.

Some herbs can support healthy hormone levels, too. Licorice root extract may mimic the effects of cortisol. Start with a quarter teaspoon each day and slowly work up to three times a day. If you have high blood pressure, you should not take this herb. Siberian ginseng may contain a precursor to the hormone, DHEA. Take 100 mg twice a day before 3 P.M. so that it does not interfere with sleep.

Adrenal exhaustion can be frustrating, especially when doctors are uncertain about the proper diagnosis. See a specialist in hormone therapy or an endocrinologist. Most importantly, listen to your body. You have the power to make changes that will positively impact your health.

Mark Rosenberg, M.D
Institute For Healthy Aging

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By Nathan Schilaty

When was the last time you experienced stress? Chances are you are under stress right now. Are you worried about what time it is right now? Where are the kids? Trying to meet an upcoming deadline? Need to get dinner on the table? Our society continually feels the effects of chronic stress; it rarely slows down. Stress is present to greet one around every corner.

Stress is mandatory and inevitable; it is a great motivator to help one accomplish various tasks. Although important, stress has a profound effect upon the well-being and vitality of one’s body. In a society rampant with diseases such as obesity, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, high blood pressure, and depression, the time has arrived to examine the effects stress takes upon the body.

An immediate danger or an upcoming deadline places one’s body in the mode of fight or flight, or the stress response. Fight or flight deals with hormones being released from the adrenal glands -epinephrinenorepinephrine, and cortisol. The release of such hormones results in dilated pupils, decreased digestion, increase in heart and breathing rates, and the shunting of blood to muscles for increased activity.

If an individual experiences a continual amount of stress, their body will remain in a destructive state of fight or flight; the body never regenerates with the opposite response of resting and digestingwhich is vital for healing and repair. Similar to walking on a balance beam, it is essential that one’s body maintains a continual balance undergoing stress and then healing in preparation for the next stressor. This balance of stress levels is essential to avoid the “fall off the balance beam” of stress left unchecked.

As previously mentioned, the adrenal glands produce and release the hormones associated with the fight or flight response. The adrenal glands are one of the most important organs of the human body – if they failed to work in times of stress, an individual would actually die! The adrenal glands are factories that work around the clock; they never rest and rarely take a break. In fact, the adrenal glands are so vital to human survival that raw materials are stolen from elsewhere in the body (i.e. the thyroid, thymus, and ligaments) to support their continual function. This robbing of raw materials from other vital organs of the body results in gradual health decay and chronic disease.

Therefore, remaining in a stressful state for prolonged periods of time is highly destructive to one’s body. Long-term stress can result in changes in body temperature, weight gain, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, increased sweating, decreased ability to think and reason, hyperactivity, digestion disturbance, and decreased immunity.

Thus, by small and almost unnoticeable processes, stress has a profound effect on the health of individuals worldwide. Stress is an epidemic manifesting itself in the form of debilitating diseases such as diabetes, obesity, depression, high blood pressure, ADD, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue.

What can be done to decrease the effect stress has upon the body? What can be done to prevent debilitating, chronic diseases and treating the ones that are currently affecting you? Give yourself a much needed break!

Begin by allotting twenty to thirty minutes each day dedicated to meditation and relaxation. Enhance your nutritional content; eat fresh, raw, whole, ripe vegetables and fruits that provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals and the materials necessary to maintain a healthy body. Start walking! Bodies were made to move and also function better when allowed the opportunity to be active – motion is life! Get adequate amounts of sleep; your body needs time to repair and regenerate. Supplement your nutrition with specific products to assist the repair and proper function of the adrenal glands. These products must also be designed to decrease cortisol levels within the body.

Above all else, simplify your life; rid your lifestyle of any unnecessary stress. The worldwide epidemic of stress can be reversed by properly caring for the body and monitoring stress levels. An enhanced state of well-being and health is waiting for you and the world.

Nathan Schilaty, D.C. specializes in treating stress related disorders at his clinic located in Loveland, Colorado. Certified in Applied Kinesiology by the International College of Applied Kinesiology, he utilizes the best muscle activiation, homeopathy, nutrition, chiropractic, cold laser, and more to assist in the restoration of one’s health.

You can discover more at Centra Chiropractic

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By Alison Shapiro

Rest is highly underrated in our lives. I am not talking about just sleep, although we know we don't get nearly enough of that either, I am talking about "not-doing". I have been running like mad all of this fall, traveling here and there, giving talks, working on projects - wonderful, productive meaningful work.

Finally this week I am simply sitting and realizing how tired I am. But mostly I am realizing how narrow my perspective gets when I become busy. One of the curious gifts of being human is our ability to rationalize what we are doing. I can tell myself many, perfectly self-justified statements explaining me to myself. The busier and more stressed I get the more reasonable those statements appear to me when in fact my view is becoming narrower and I am losing perspective.

The sitting, without the running, brings me to balance. The justifications shrink to the size of peas as I sit. I am here with a pile of peas, realizing that my deepest sense of satisfaction and direction aligns when I am quiet.

It's not that I will ever give up doing. I love doing. It's a question of being skillful in the doing. The doing and the being, when balanced, make the doing effective. Today I just want to sit. Tomorrow I will do many things. Today I want quiet - to hear myself think - to feel myself feel. My voice is small in the midst of the all the noise I live in - the phone, the ding of an arriving email, the media news stories, the friend who needs my attention. My inner voice is just a whisper amid all of that racket. How can I hear it when I am going so fast? How can I listen past the seductions - the needs that I can meet and the praise that I can win?

Sometimes when I get going so fast I complain to myself that I don't know how to prioritize my time. Have you ever had that feeling? That there are so many things to do and you can't figure out which to do first? In our lives there are many choices and needs to be met. We may feel a little frantic not knowing how to take the next step. When I take the time to be quiet and simply sit, the priorities sort themselves out. Then I become efficient.

It's a paradox. I slow down so that I can go fast. But it makes sense. Of course I can't understand what decisions I need to make if I am not listening to myself. And if I don't know which thing to do first, then I waste time doing things over again and I do what I am doing without grace. I find myself getting off track and increasingly wearing myself out.

When I don't sit and listen, when I don't rest, when I run and run, the weariness keeps on increasing. There are many kinds of fatigue- physical, emotional, social, and spiritual, to name a few. Fatigue interferes with everything. I learned recently that driving when you are tired is equivalent to driving when you are drunk. We all know that driving when we are drunk increases our chances of having an accident.

The same thing applies to our lives. Living when we are fatigued increases our chances of having an accident with our judgment. I don't know about you, but I find it easy enough to make mistakes when my judgment isn't impaired. When I am fatigued and rationalizing my way through a situation, the accidents I can cause to myself get bigger. I say things I regret. I rush to do something without weighing the consequences. There's a funny thing about consequences. Whether or not I think about them, they happen. Then I am faced with dealing with them, adding to the weariness.

If I rest and find some perspective - if I am willing to sit in the quiet, take a deep breath, take a little walk, be with myself for a while, hear my inner voice, the choices I make are more liable to be skillful and the consequences more easily managed.

So today I sit - in the quiet - with myself. Today I rest. Tomorrow I will be back in the fray.

Alison Bonds Shapiro, MBA, works with stroke survivors and their families, and is the author of Healing into Possibility: the Transformational Lessons of a Stroke.

Alison's Website

Alison B. Shapiro

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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 visit - a popular website with lots of free and useful information on chronic stress on it's impact on your health.

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By Ann Musico

According to, depression is one of the most common health conditions in the world. It is also expected to be the second leading cause of disability for people of all ages by 2020. It is a medical illness involving both the soul (your mind/thoughts and emotions) and the physical body. While the severity and symptoms vary widely since each person experiences it differently, these are the most common symptoms:

Loss of interest in normal daily activities 
Feeling sad or down 
Feeling hopeless 
Crying spells for no apparent reason 
Problems sleeping 
Trouble focusing or concentrating 
Difficulty making decisions 
Unintentional weight gain or loss 
Being easily annoyed 
Feeling fatigued or weak 
Feeling worthless 
Loss of interest in sex 
Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior 
Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches

There are no known specific causes of depression. However, a variety of biochemical, genetic and environmental factors are thought to play a role. What I would like to focus on are some possible physical/nutritional causes that you can take steps to address.

Let's begin with nutritional deficiencies that may be underlying factors:

Decreased levels of minerals, particularly, magnesium, iron and zinc as well as vitamins C, B3, B6. B12 and folic acid have been found to increase risk. These nutrients are necessary in order for your body to convert amino acids in your foods into brain chemicals.

That brings us right into amino acid deficiency. Amino acids are necessary for production of brain chemicals and hormones that impact your moods and ability to effectively manage stress.

Inadequate intake of Omega 3's, common in our SAD (Standard American Diet), is associated with increased risk of depression.

Certain foods are known to cause health problems, including depression. ANY food you are allergic or sensitive to can cause your immune system to over-react, which can be a risk factor. The foods most commonly found to be the culprits include wheat, dairy, oranges, eggs, yeast-containing foods, shellfish, nuts, soy and the nightshade vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes and potatoes.

A diet high in refined carbohydrates can cause nutrient deficiencies as well as blood sugar imbalances, which in turn have been linked to lower serotonin levels (the feel good brain chemical). Heavy metal toxicity has been linked to anxiety, depression and fatigue. There are also several physical conditions that are thought to contribute to depression:

Adrenal fatigue can be a major factor in depression. The adrenal glands produce hormones including DHEA, adrenalin and noradrenalin which affect the ability to deal with stress and motivation. Stress itself is a primary cause of adrenal fatigue.

Closely linked to adrenal fatigue is hypothyroidism or under-active thyroid, which is one of the most common causes of depression. In part two I will share steps can you take to minimize your risk.

Ann Musico is a certified Biblical health coach and holistic nutritional consultant. She has developed a "3-D Living Program" as well as coaching packages, e-books and newsletters to assist her coaching clients in achieving vibrant health and wholeness. Visit her website at to learn more.

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By Madhurima Devi Sarma

Do you know body's requirement for energy will go up when the body experiences a stressful situation. Because our body releases a specific hormone called adrenaline (known as stress hormone), which kick starts a variety of physical reaction designed to help the body deal with the crisis. For example breathing becomes faster, the heart rate speeds up, digestion slows down etc. Simultaneously it needs certain nutrients in abundance. Let me give you a brief idea about some of the very important nutrients to help you cope up with stressful situation.

Vitamin B1, help us to cope with increased energy need when the body is in stress. It is found in liver, brewer's yeast etc. Vitamin B5 which is essential for adrenal function is considered the anti stress vitamin because it helps the body to cope with stress.Vitamin B5 can be derived from Avocado and Mushroom.

Vitamin A, C, and E which are also known as antioxidants are needed to fight with free radicals the natural by products of stress In addition vitamin C is a key vitamin for adrenal glands and is easily depleted when the adrenal glands are working overtime. Amla(Indian goose berry)and all citrus fruits, black currants, green pepper, mango,papaya etc. are good sources.

Mineral like potassium are also important anti stress nutrients. Body's demand for potassium will also go up with the increased energy need, because increase energy production causes increase excretion of potassium. A diet high in citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables can fulfill the demand for potassium.

Magnesium, another important mineral, needed for efficient nerve transmission, when depleted during stress. Deficiency can result in fatigue, mental confusion, irritability and insomnia. A diet high in green leafy vegetables can meet this demand.

Calcium is also required for healthy nerves and work with magnesium to reduce irritability and insomnia. Dairy products and green leafy vegetables are rich source of calcium. Finally I would like to conclude that if you are suffering with panic attack of stress then you should certainly give proper attention to diet, especially food rich in vitamin B1, B5, antioxidants like vitamin A, C, E, and food rich in calcium magnesium and potassium.

Hi, I am Madhurima Sarma and write health related articles to help people be aware about the numerous roles of diet in healthy as well as in diseased individual, with an aim to prevent the development of the disease or to stop/ slow down the further development of the ongoing disease process. I spent over 10 years as a dietitian and presently work in a multi-speciality hospital.

To contact me please email me at
My blog is http://

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By Steve A Johnson

Everyone has stress in their daily life, and everyone's body responds differently to stress. When you experience stress, the brain responds by a variety of different responses, these include releasing different chemicals to our blood stream. What this does is give us a momentary boost to do whatever needs to be done to survive. However, if left unchecked, you could have a heart attack or stroke.

Stress is one of the reasons that many people turn to drinking alcohol. The cycle begins with them getting depressed, then they may find it difficult to fall asleep, soon they may even experience chest pain. In extreme cases the body loses the ability to fight diseases. So, possibly these people could die of a disease, such as cancer, pneumonia, etc. Unfortunately stress can never be identified as the cause of the death. The way it happens is that some other disease will always takes the blame for it. Our body's ability to cope with stress is called General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS).

Doctors have stated that there are three stages to GAS. The First stage of GAS is called alarm reaction. During this stage the body produces and releases adrenaline and various other psychological mechanisms. These are chemicals intended to combat the stress and to keep you in control. This term is called fight or flight response. The reactions that occur are the muscles begin tensing up, the heart starts to beat faster, and breathing and perspiration increase, the eyes dilate, the stomach may clench. Believe it or not, this response is to protect you in case the event of an emergency. When the cause of the stress is removed, the body will return to normal. In the case of the cause for the stress is not removed, the GAS go proceed to a second stage which is called resistance or adaptation.

In stage two of GAS the body reacts to long term protection. It will start to secrete an increased amount of hormones that serve to increase blood sugar levels. Higher elevated blood sugar levels are used to sustain energy and raise blood pressure. The adrenal cortex produces hormones called corticosteroids for stage two of GAS. Constant overuse by the body's defense mechanism will eventually lead to disease because of this phase. In the case of phase two continuing for a prolonged period of time without frequent periods of relaxation and rest to counterbalance the stress response, sufferers can become prone to fatigue. Other effects include lapses in concentration; irritability and lethargy develop as the effort to sustain ones self slides into negative stress.

The third stage of GPS is called exhaustion, during this stage, the body runs out of its reserve of body energy and immunity becomes depleted. Resources such as mental, physical and emotional suffer heavily. The body begins to experience adrenal exhaustion. The blood sugar levels start to decrease as the adrenal glands become depleted. This leads to decreased stress tolerance, mental and physical exhaustion, or in the worst case scenario, illness and collapse.

The importance of maintaining low stress levels and keeping your mind active and healthy cannot be emphasized enough! By learning how to successfully combat stress you can lead a fuller richer life. One such product designed to help the battle against stress and promote focus and concentration is Focus Excel by Micronutra. It is specially formulated to contain the safest of ingredients that have been used by millions for thousands of years!

Steven Johnson is interested in maintaining a vital, active, and healthy lifestyle. For more information on products that are related to maintaining mental focus, as well as other life-enhancing nutrients, please visit his website

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By Sharon Hwang

Crazy Busy Culture

America is a Nation that is crazy busy and we deal with stress on a day to day basis. We run off of soda, coffee, and fast food. We live a life that is about having more, more material things, a bigger house, nicer car, clothes, and more things. These are the biggest cause of stress in many of our lives and is causing major havoc on our adrenal systems, causing excessive fatigue and contributing to the decline of our overall health and emotional well-being.

Food, Nutrition and Stress

In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2001, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than they do on higher education.

Recent scientific studies have shown that high-calorie foods rich in fats, refined sugar and salt could reconfigure the hormones in the body in such a way that they make you crave for such foods and always leave you asking for more. Fast food is addictive; you get hooked on to it and continue consuming it in an uncontrolled way in spite of knowing that it is unhealthy. It provides an escapism, so a person doesn't need to deal with stress. The more you consume, the more difficult it is for you to opt for healthy foods. If you have seen the movie Super Size Me, you can see that fast foods can be one of the biggest causes of stress and excessive fatigue.

Why do we live this way? Can we choose to live differently? There is no simple answer to this question.

History of the American Breakfast

In society today many of us are just trying to get by, survive and deal with stress as best we can. To survive in a Nation that is extremely masculine (driven by goals of productivity, output and efficiency). We have all been conditioned to to follow this model. To get a good job, work hard, buy our dream home, car, go out to eat, and consume products that will make our lives more efficient and easy. Lets face it we are creatures of habit. Many times our habits are created by what is available.

Let me give you an example. Breakfast. Lets look at the brief history of the typical American breakfast.

In the pioneer days, the 1700s breakfast was typically, thick slices of bacon, stewed antelope steak, corn meal or bread and coffee (if available).

In the 1800s as America became more wealthy, breakfast was some type of hot bread, with hearty meats that were served (bacon, sausages, ham, beef or fish depending on the region). Time moved much slower as the main role of the woman was the manage the household. Many times you would find the women baking sticky buns, breads and in the morning making hearty breakfasts like chicken, biscuits and gravy.

At the close of the 1800s, a combination of events were taking place. That have taken us away from the hearty American breakfast. The industrial revolution had many families moving to the cities and the United States Department of agriculture was promoting "scientific cooking" as the cleanest and the best. The biggest causes of the sped up American breakfast are; women were just starting to work outside the home. They didn't have time to prepare breakfast, and fast food is tasty, fast and cheap.

Hurry Up Trend

Suddenly there was a hurry-up trend in American Breakfasts, with more Americans on the move. In the 1960s, cereal, fast food, boxed pastries became the norm when it came to the American breakfast. As more women entered the workforce, the idea of convenience and speed were the top priorities when it came to breakfast. But little did we know that we were beginning to sacrifice the nutrition and good health of ourselves and our families. Which could lead to excessive fatigue.

We have now moved into the decade where to meet monthly expenses, families need to rely on 2 incomes. What that has meant for American families, is more time working, running errands, and less family and down time. Slowly over time, Americans have sacrificed their emotional, physical and health margins. A study released in 2005, by Families and Work Institute, Overwork in America: When the Way we Work Becomes Too Much, reports that one in three American employees are chronically overworked and experience excessive fatigue.

We live in a time where there is no time to stop, relax, and think. When we do have a moment of quiet time we automatically fill it with a task. This trend in the American lifestyle has created a culture of tired, frazzled, stressed out, depressed and anxious people. People don't have time to heal anymore, they barely have time to eat, let alone eat a healthy meal. Many of us don't know how to deal with stress. There is a instability in our day that prevents peace from coming into our lives. It is destroying our quality of life.

What can one do to combat this crazy busy culture that we live in and learn to deal with stress?

Committing to your Health and Well-Being

Make a commitment to put your health and life first. 
Re-evaluate what you are spending your time on, review your calendar for the last month and look at where you spend your time. 
Start looking at what you spend your time on, what is draining your energy? Ask yourself what can you either remove or delegate from your life. Start clearing space in your schedule for down time. time to think. One of the biggest causes of stress is that many Americans feel they don't have control over their lives. Planning more down time in your life and eliminating energy drains will prevent you from getting excessive fatigue.

Go ahead and take some time for that healthy breakfast and give yourself some breathing room to think!

Sharon Hwang M.A., is the owner of The Wellness Center, located inside Whole Foods in Colorado, She is a pioneer in the health and wellness industry and has been working in the industry for over 10 years. She has a Masters in Counseling, and has a passion for helping people live better, happier lives. She is working on her newest website a website devoted to helping people manage their stress levels. She is a professional public speaker, entrepreneur, and wellness coach. She currently lives in Denver.

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By Monique Helou

Nowadays, most of us agree that everyday stress has become part of our modern living lifestyle (job and career challenges, raising children, financial problems, physical challenges, crossing a busy intersection, death in the family, etc...). But, we have a choice on how to react to it as mentioned by Dr. Andrew Weil:"... life moves from crisis to crisis I agree, but we have a choice as to how we react to the crisis, even if we are unaware that we do. How you react to disturbing events is mostly a matter of habit and Habits can be changed."

In addition, it has been proven that prolonged stress can place a tremendous load on many organ systems in our bodies, especially the heart, blood vessels, adrenals, and immune system leading to many illnesses and chronic diseases. Therefore, teaching you how to relax your body in order to become better at handling stress when it arises is a very crucial step towards better health.

The following Techniques and Key Dietary Recommendations and Nutrients are vital components of a Stress Management Program and of a healthy lifestyle:

1. Smile and have more fun: Do things that you enjoy and help you smile since smiling makes your face muscle relax and sends immediate signals to your brain to make you happy.

2. Exercise: Exercise is a vital component of a comprehensive stress management program and of overall good health. Regular physical exercise is one of the best ways to clear your tensions and feel good, with more energy and better attitude toward life. People who exercise regularly are much less likely to suffer from fatigue and depression.

3. Meditate: When we meditate our mind becomes recharged with our own positive energy. It helps you calm down your nerves and helps you connect with your true nature. Try "Tai Chi", an ancient form of meditative exercise which is now practiced by millions of people around the world to improve and maintain good health.

4. Learn how to Breathe: One of the most powerful ways to decrease stress and increase energy in the body is by breathing with the diaphragm. This kind of breathing can activate the relaxation centers in the brain and you can feel the difference in minutes. Practice slow deep breath in a quiet place, inhale for a count of four, hold your breath for few seconds and then exhale for a count of eight. Repeat the process until you achieve a sense of deep relaxation.

5. Express your Feelings: Emotions need regular venting; unexpressed emotions are the building blocks of stress, pain and illness.

6. Practice Yoga: as mentioned by Maria Costantino: "Yoga is possibly the supreme exercise, combining and harmonizing meditation with physical fitness to ensure that the mind and body function efficiently and to their maximum potentials." Yoga enables and empowers you to control the natural and immediate reactions to a stressor.

7. Practice Progressive Relaxation: This exercise involves a deep muscle relaxation technique which helps you recognize tension and where it resides in your body. The basic procedure is to forcefully contract a muscle for one to two seconds and then give way to a feeling of relaxation. Since the procedure goes progressively through all the muscles of the body, eventually a deep state of relaxation will result.

8. Manage your Time: One of the biggest stressors for most people is time; they simply feel they do not have enough of it. Thus, set your priorities, organize your day, delegate as much authority and work as you can, handle the most important tasks first, avoid putting things off and don't be a perfectionist.

9. Key Dietary Recommendations:

- Eliminate or restrict the intake of caffeine. 
- Eliminate or restrict the intake of alcohol. 
- Eliminate refined carbohydrates from your diet (sugar and white flour) 
- Increase the potassium-to-sodium ratio in the diet in order to support your adrenal glands. This can best be done by consuming foods rich in potassium such as avocado, cooked lima beans, potato, banana, tomato and avoiding foods high in sodium such as most processed foods. 
- Eat regular planned meals in a relaxed environment. 
- Control food allergies as they can lead to chronic fatigue.

10. Key Nutrients:

- Several nutrients are very important for a healthy functioning of your adrenal glands (the control center in our body in handling stress); however, the B vitamins and vitamin C are the main constituents of many antistress formulas: 
- Vitamin C: Extra vitamin C, in the form of supplementation along with increased intake of vitamin C-rich foods, is often recommended to keep the immune system working properly during times of stress. 
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): this vitamin is also very important during times of stress since its deficiency in the body can cause fatigue, headache, nausea, sleep disturbance and abdominal discomfort. Vitamin B5 is found in whole grains, legumes, cauliflower, broccoli, salmon, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes. 
- Vitamin B6: beside wheat germ, good protein sources of b6 include fish, poultry, egg yolk, peanuts and walnuts. Vitamin B6 is used for people with stress conditions. 
- Minerals are also important, with Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium leading the antistress list. Minerals that are helpful for their immune and enzyme support include Zinc, Copper, Manganese, and Selenium.

Monique Helou, RHN
(Registered Holistic Nutritionist)

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By Paul Cresswell

Are you always tired? Do you feel irritable, light headed when standing quickly, have a low sex drive, find it really hard to concentrate, crave salt or sugar and have problems with your digestion? Perhaps you've had more coughs and colds than normal?

If these symptoms sound familiar, apart from the fact that they are all typical signs of stress, you may be suffering from a recently recognised stress disorder called Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. This new syndrome covers a large group of non specific symptoms and it's now become so commonplace that it's actually recognised now by the World Health Organisation.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndromes occurs - simply - because the adrenal glands, the ones that are located just above the kidneys, get overworked. The adrenal glands work in times of stress to help the body cope by pumping out high levels of the hormone cortisol during short term periods of high stress.

The problem these days however is that the adrenal glands 'burn out' as the body is almost always under stress, with the result that the glands tire, and the levels of cortisol in the body plummet, meaning that the sufferer can no longer respond effectively to high pressure situations.

Sufferers of this syndrome can show no signs of a physical illness; instead they live with a general sense of being ill, tired and generally not 'feeling right'. People suffering from this syndrome also find they have to use stimulants such as caffeine, coffee, and colas to keep themselves going through the day. Going to bed increasingly earlier and still having difficulty getting up in the mornings, waking up still feeling tired, is also a common symptom of the syndrome.

Many people with chronic or clinical stress disorders have problems sleeping - and lack of sleep is the main cause of adrenal syndrome - which further agitates the situation because adrenal syndrome sufferers need more sleep. This condition has been shown to affect more women than men.

Obviously, it goes without saying, if you suspect this syndrome for causing your feelings, you need to see your doctor or other medical practitioner. The term adrenal fatigue is now starting to be recognised by mainstream medical services worldwide. Medical treatments are basic in their own right, the treatments being based on stress disorders, but one of the main, major aspects of this illness seems to be mentally induced, although subconsciously.

If you are constantly putting yourself under pressure to achieve, constantly feel powerless or out of control, trying to be perfect, staying in a no-win situation too long, you subconsciously put your own body under pressure. This is the major symptom that should be treated first - take time out, completely switch off from your busy life. Learn to relax or destress - yoga, meditation and exercise are the best ways to beat this syndrome.

Accept yourself for who you are and what you stand for - not what other people, or society, say you should be. Stop trying to compete, to be someone you aren't.

Follow this up with a proper diet, eat a lot of whole grains, oily fish, plenty of fruit and reinforce this by taking magnesium, B5 and vitamins C and B12.

And, most of all, simply respect yourself for the person you really are. This step alone will help remove you from the stressful situations that force your body to defend itself. Just be yourself, and respect yourself enough to give yourself some decent time out from your stressful life. Your body will thank you for it. Accept and respect your body's early warning signs and take a step back for a richer, more rewarding life that will be full of energy.

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How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue.