Have you had experience of feeling lightheaded? That strange feeling of trying to stand up, only to fall back down on the chair can be frightening. When you find yourself knocked back down on your butt, and are startled from the lack of control, it can cause some anxiety. This is one of the many symptoms of hypoadrenia, which is more commonly known as adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is the result of underperforming adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are actually quite small – the size of a walnut – but they can contribute to some bothersome health issues, which may affect us in our day-to-day lives.
Here’s why. When we experience chronic stress, the adrenal glands react to this stress as a perceived threat and, in essence, initiate the fight-or-flight response. The adrenals – in response to stress – cause a rise in blood pressure, increase the body’s ability to clot blood, suppress the immune system, and transfer blood to your extremities. These processes serve a vital purpose; they enhance our ability to fight or flee during a challenging situation
This fight-or-flight response is meant to be short lived, but this isn’t always the case. Why? Quite simply, the adrenal glands cannot distinguish between perceived danger and real danger, and that’s why they can become compromised when we encounter long-term stressors. When the adrenal glands are compromised over a long period of time, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Decreased Sex Drive
- Irritation and Anxiety
- Frequent influenza
- Reduced concentration
- Serious injury or illness
- Reduced memory function
- Difficulty losing weight with extensive effort
The good news is that there are ways to assist your adrenal glands in functioning more efficiently, and it’s easier than you may think. Consider changing your diet. In fact, dietary changes can go a long way toward regulating your body’s functions.
To begin with, timing your meals is the key to adrenal gland regulation. The adrenals have to work harder when you do not nourish your body on a regular basis, so it’s important to eat breakfast within an hour of rising each day. Keeping your blood sugars at a healthy level by eating frequently will also decrease the body’s stress response. Eat six small meals a day instead of three larger meals. Of course, you don’t want to dramatically increase your overall caloric intake; instead, consume a healthy number of calories and distribute them throughout the day.
Also, pay close attention to the drinks that you reach for to quench your thirst. Gatorade, alcohol, and drinks that contain caffeine will exhaust the adrenal glands. On the other hand, vegetable juices that contain salt, herbal teas, and ginseng will enhance the functioning of the adrenals. Drinking high quality water like distilled or spring water will also support adrenal health.
Avoid quick-fix fast food restaurant cravings and sugary drinks. Instead, consider juicing and adding vegetable to your meals, preferably five to six servings a day. Also, replace table salt with sea salt to enhance the functioning of the adrenals. Adding supplements to your diet can also help. Consuming 2,000-5,000 milligrams of vitamin C each day, taking a B-complex supplement, and spending some time in the sun so your body can get its daily fix of vitamin D will have positive effects.