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Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome

Stress is an ongoing challenge in today’s world and just when you think you’ve got it all under control, along comes another crisis that requires your immediate attention that just can’t wait.  Sound familiar?

90% of doctor’s visits today are due to stress. Stress drives a myriad of health conditions, most notably one that receives little to no attention in Western medicine but is a key cause of hormonal imbalances, thyroid dysfunction, and mood disorders. Adrenal fatigue, otherwise known as adrenal exhaustion, was named the 21st century stress syndrome by Dr. James L. Wilson in his book by the same name.

Here’s how it works.  Your adrenal glands, which are 3” wide glands that sit on top of your kidneys, produce the fight or flight hormones adrenaline and cortisol and whenever you experience stress, whether it’s an irate boss, a bouncing checkbook, or an impending deadline, your mind doesn’t realize that it’s not a true life-threatening situation.  It only knows that something is amiss and it goes into action mode, sending cortisol out in to your system and pumping blood to your extremities so you can outrun the threat and save your life.

Just sitting in traffic waiting for the light to turn red will send your whole body into overdrive!

Excessive amounts of cortisol production over prolonged periods of time will eventually exhaust your adrenal glands, throwing off your entire system which connects to your thyroid and pituitary.  Your thyroid is responsible for metabolizing proteins, carbs and fats, and your pituitary is the master gland that regulates hormones.  So you can easily see how if one is off, they’re all off!

This is why it’s imperative to maintain healthy adrenal glands which requires eliminating the source of stress all together or implementing better stress management techniques.  Try any of these exercises on for size and see if they help:

  1. Exercise 1: Five minutes to calm. A five minute relaxation and meditation session can lower blood pressure, reduce stress hormone levels, raise energy levels, and boost the mood.  Sit still in a comfortable position.  Focus on your breathing.  Visualize a place where you feel completely relaxed like a warm sunny day on the beach perhaps or walking through the woods on a crisp cool day.  Notice all the details around you. . . imagine the sun or cool air on your face . . . the sound of the waves or crunching sound of leaves under your feet. . . .focus on the calmness all around you and take this peaceful feeling with you throughout the day.
  2. Exercise 2:  Six second release. Anytime you feel stressed or anxious, inhale deeply for two seconds, then exhale for four seconds.  Say to yourself, “I’m relaxed”.  Let your body release all tension and feel the wave of relaxation flow downward.
  3. Exercise 3: Try dot therapy. Place circular stickers (found at office supply stores) wherever you might need a reminder to relax, such as in your car or on your computer at work.  Whenever you see a dot, practice the six second release exercise.

There are 7 stages to adrenal exhaustion, each one getting progressively worse the more stressed out you get over time, but reversing conditions like these are the keys to preventing long term illness and disease.

To find out how you can combat adrenal exhaustion without medication, contact me at [email protected]

4 Comments

  1. [...] over 80% of Americans in adrenal exhaustion, and 70% – mostly women – suffering from thyroid dysfunction (regardless of what those blood [...]


  2. Gen Czarny
    Jan 27, 2011

    I need help I am told by my chiropractor my adrenal glands are shot. I am exhausted all of the time, I have dizzy spells, blurred vision for 10 minute periods without warning. I am afraid to drive my car. I have kids at home still. I had a cat scan and mri at the hospital. Please tell me one thing I can do to help myself. Thank you very much


  3. Angela
    Jan 28, 2011

    Gen, it certainly sounds like you are exhausted! You have a lot on your plate. Adrenal exhaustion is a multi-faceted condition though and there is no 1 thing by itself that will resolve it. However the root cause is stress so you would need to reduce or eliminate excess sources of stress in your life.

    I specialize in helping my clients reverse this condition is my 1-on-1 coaching practice and would be happy to discuss my programs further with you if you would like to set up a time. You can reply here or e mail me direct at [email protected]. Best wishes.

  4. [...] eat carbs alone – this will put a great deal of stress on your blood sugar and even tax your adrenal glands, as if they’re not under enough stress nowadays!  But this is [...]

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