How emotional abuse, stress and lifestyle can affect our adrenal glands. Read more below.
The adrenal glands are small glands within the body, they are located just above the kidneys and act to secrete hormones that help our body to adapt and make changes when something from the outside causes “stress” to the body either physically or mentally.
The burden can also be placed on the body’s stress-response system by various lifestyle factors such as consuming too much sugar, unhealthy dieting, excessive amounts of caffeine or alcohol, inflammation, or not getting enough sleep.
The thing that many do not realize is that mental stressors cause the body to respond just like physical stressors. This means that those who have been raised in, are living in, working in, or a part of unhealthy environments are also those who often find themselves with some level of adrenal fatigue. Toxic relationships, emotional abuse, and dealing with narcissistic behaviors pose considerable stress on the body. As you adapt to avoid conflict, live in constant turmoil, and decrease your self-care, you eventually fall into some level of fatigue and adrenal dysfunction.
Everyone’s stress threshold is different, and so are his or her reactions to it. Adrenal stress testing is a simple way to see how the stress of an unhealthy relationship may be affecting you.
To recover from adrenal dysfunction requires lifestyle changes, such as removing yourself or learning to cope in unhealthy situations.
ANYTHING WE ASK OUR BODY, EITHER PHYSICALLY OR MENTALLY, TO HANDLE IS SEEN BY THE BODY AS A STRESSOR.
A little detail about the Adrenal glands.
The Adrenal Glands are small glands that sit above the kidney; they are the stress regulating system of our body. The adrenal glands secrete hormones, including cortisol, which are released in a 24-hour cycle with the highest amount released in the morning and the lowest amount released at night. The reason for this release pattern is related to the amount of energy needed to fulfill the demands you put on your body and mind during the day. This level tapers off as evening approaches, ending in a relaxing state for sleep. Unhealthy situations such a stressful events, emotional fatigue, inflammation, skipping meals, or sleep disruptions can cause the adrenals to secrete unhealthy cortisol levels, and many times at the incorrect times, never allowing the body to relax and restore itself properly.
Symptoms of adrenal dysfunction cover a wide range of things and because of that, is frequently missed when searching for answers.
There are both physical and non-physical symptoms when it comes to adrenal fatigue and dysfunction.
Physical symptoms Include:
Depressive type symptoms
Weakened immunity/getting sick easily with long recovery
Chronic infections-especially respiratory
Inability to focus or concentrate
Sweet or Salt cravings
Thyroid like problems
Weight Gain or Loss
Always feeling cold
Blood pressure changes
Hormone imbalances and symptoms
Non Physical Symptoms Include:
Difficulty getting up in the morning
Fatigue after sleep
Increased effort to do everyday tasks
Decreased sex drive
Decreased ability to handle stress
Sensitive to light
Less enjoyment out of life
Decreased tolerance of others
An overall feeling of dread or doom
A decrease in sleep quality
Avoiding certain situations
Normal tasks seem overwhelming
Adrenal stress testing is a noninvasive way to evaluate the effects of stress on your body. The test is a saliva test done over a 24-hour period, which screens for both hormone and immune markers that may be affected by stress and other related conditions.
If you find you are overwhelmed by the tasks your life demands of you. Or, if you get caught in a spiral of self-doubt, anguish, anxiety, feelings of being out of control, when it is all you can do to get out of bed in the morning; these could be signs that you are experiencing some level of adrenal fatigue or even adrenal exhaustion.
Use of caffeine (coffee, soda, tea) or other stimulants may keep you going but will worsen the overall condition as these chemicals only increase the stress load on your adrenals.
If any of this sounds like you OR someone you know, it is not too late to take back control of your health!
Remember, Adrenal dysfunction is caused by stress in your life and healing, and recovering from adrenal dysfunction will require a change in your lifestyle.
Dr. Heidi is not only a recovered adrenal fatigue patient; she is also a specialist in testing and treating adrenal dysfunction.
If you feel that this is something that you may be experiencing, schedule an Adrenal consultation with Dr. Heidi to get on the road to a better lifestyle now.
Once the adrenal gland fails, it is a permanent condition, start making the changes you need now. Your body can not continue taking care of you if you do not take care of your body.
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