Beyond Fight or Flight

Maria writes, “I just feel so tired! I never feel well rested in the morning and really depend on that big mug of coffee and energy drinks. I must have coffee to start my morning or else I cannot function for the day for anything. I feel like my body is dragging itself just to get by with each passing day. Even my brain is on slow mode and I feel so stressed from work. I am not able to do all that my boss expects me to because I feel like I am on slow mode and just cannot push myself any harder, else I run myself to the ground. I feel that I am suffering from mental and emotional exhaustion, not just physical fatigue. I also feel guilt after a long day at work because I want to give more of me to my kids, husband and pets but I just do not have any energy left! I just do not know what to do. I need help!!”

Have you ever experienced what Maria experiences? Or even currently suffer as she does too? Actually, this is not a health-crisis case that is foreign to all because most of America does too. From business owners, to other working professionals, to students, to mothers taking charge of the home and family; we all do. This is a common health-crisis describing ADRENAL INSUFFICIENCY. As work output and demands of life increase, the stress also follows.  It happens for many of us and even to the best of us.  

So, when you think of the adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands), stress may come to mind. And rightly so—the adrenal glands are arguably best known for secreting the hormone adrenaline, which rapidly prepares your body to spring into action in a stressful situation. We call this “fight-or-flight” —a process initiated by the sympathetic nervous system when your body encounters a threatening (stressful) situation. However, the case of adrenal insufficiency is a topic beyond what we know as simply “fight-or-flight”. The adrenal glands greatly contribute to your overall health even at times when your body isn’t under extreme stress. In fact, they release hormones that are ESSENTIAL FOR YOU TO LIVE.

To continue understanding the health-crisis case of adrenal insufficiency and how to address it effectively with a holistic healing approach, an understanding of the following essentials are necessary before proceeding further:

Adrenal Gland Essentials

The adrenal glands are two triangular-organs that sit on top of your kidneys and are made up of two distinct parts.

  • The adrenal cortex (outer part of the gland) produces hormones that are vital to life. There are two main groups of corticosteroid hormones- mineralcorticoids and glucocorticoids
    1. The primary mineralcorticoid released is aldosterone which balance salt and water as well as control blood pressure.
    2. Glucocorticoids released by the adrenal cortex include:
      • Hydrocortisone: Commonly known as cortisol, it regulates how the body converts fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to energy. It also helps regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular function.
      • Corticosterone: This hormone works with hydrocortisone to regulate immune response and suppress inflammatory reactions.
  • The adrenal medulla (inner part of the gland) produces adrenaline and noradrenaline (which helps your body react to physical and emotional stress).  

 Are you starting to see the bigger picture concerning the health-crisis case of adrenal insufficiency? The connection can run very deep. Because the adrenals are key players in the endocrine system, they are that much of a big deal and should not be taken very lightly. Remember that our energy conversion, weight, immune health, inflammatory reactions, blood pressure, stress response, emotional health and physical health all depend on a healthy set of adrenals.

Therefore do not ignore your fatigue. Get examined and have your adrenal gland function evaluated. The top utilized holistic approaches for care to both effectively address AND prevent adrenal insufficiency cases include a regular visit for:

  • chiropractic adjustments
  • acupuncture treatments
  • supplementing of adrenal glandulars, B & C vitamins and specific tonifying Chinese herbs
  • Daily 20-30 min cardio exercises
  • Sleeping in bed before 11pm
  • Incorporating nutrition through foods rich in red, purple, black, orange, and green colors
  • Meditation and deep breathing often throughout the day

The key is that ONLY when you support and nourish back those adrenals glands will you feel the correction of this specific health-crisis. Your health will then be restored and maintained. Energy levels will improve along with better AND healthier responses to physical and emotional stress. Definitely beyond just the simple “fight-or-flight” explanation.