Five Nutrients That Support Adrenal Health

September 26, 2016

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Five Nutrients That Support Adrenal Health
Your adrenal glands help your body handle stress and play an important role in your endocrine system. Some of the first signs of a stressed adrenal system include salt cravings, trouble getting out of bed in the morning, and mental fogginess. Problems with the adrenals happen when they are forced to work overtime, which is common in today’s fast-paced world. Other signs that your adrenals are running on empty include poor stress tolerance, easy fatigue, lack of fitness, low morning energy, hypoglycemia, belly fat, dizziness upon standing, allergies, sex hormone imbalances, disrupted sleep and/or an unstable mood. Plus, due to the interconnected nature of the adrenals and thyroid, if your thyroid is underperforming there is a good chance your adrenals are struggling as well.

The adrenal glands are small endocrine glands that sit atop your kidneys. They are responsible for releasing over 50 hormones. Cortisol, the hormone secreted when you are stressed, is the primary hormone secreted by your adrenals. It is naturally higher in the morning to help you get up in the morning with vigor and energy. That is why one of the biggest signs of adrenal burnout is having trouble getting going in the morning.

Factors that can lead to the adrenals being stressed include toxins or pollution, lack of sleep, acute stress like the death of a loved one, chronic emotional stress such as being in a bad relationship, physical stressors like a surgery or infection, too much caffeine, even a poor diet or sedentary lifestyle can all stress the adrenals.

The good news is that the body can recover from stress, even prolonged stress, with the help of the right nutrients. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms or risk factors of adrenal insufficiency then make sure you are getting enough of these essential adrenal support nutrients!

1. Adaptogenic HerbsAdaptogenic herbs like holy basil, rhodiola, eleuthero extract, cordyceps, and ashwagandha can substantially help improve the body’s ability to adapt to stress. When the body becomes out of balance too often from excess stress, the body loses its ability to bounce back from stress and problems with fatigue, burnout, and loss of health become the new norm. Adaptogenic herbs are some of the best tools we have to help the body return to a state of homeostasis. Whether the adrenals are running too hot and you need help relaxing or your adrenals are already burned out and you need more energy, adaptogenic herbs can help you feel better.

2. PantethinePantethine (the coenzyme form of vitamin B5) is the immediate precursor to Co-enzyme A (CoA). CoA is a pivotal nutrient in at least 70 energy-related metabolic pathways, including those that make adrenal hormones. Studies show that supplementing with pantethine increases adrenal hormone production. This makes pantethine an excellent stress-busting and energy-boosting nutrient.

3. B vitamins – B vitamins are quickly used by your body when you are under stress or exerting more energy so it is a good idea to replenish the B vitamins throughout the day when you know you are under stress. Being under stress also requires an increased need for energy. The B vitamins, particularly vitamin B6 and B12, play essential roles as cofactors for the production of energy. To feel a difference in energy, only supplement with coenzyme B vitamins which are the most usable and absorbable form for the body. Always avoid the cheap form of B12, cyanocobalamin, which produces cyanide.

4. Magnesium – Magnesium is used up quickly when under stress, plus it is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in Americans. It makes an excellent relaxing nutrient that can improve stress tolerance. For anyone who has trouble sleeping as a result of stress, magnesium is essential. It is also essential for those with chronically low energy because it is required in the final steps of cellular energy production (the formation of ATP). For anyone with poor stress tolerance, extra magnesium is a must!

5. Vitamin C – The highest concentration of vitamin C in your body is in your adrenal glands. When under stress your body uses vitamin C in order to release cortisol. Stores can be used up very quickly under stress so it is essential to replenish vitamin C throughout the day. When the adrenals are stressed, a person is also more prone to getting sick. Vitamin C provides a helpful immune boost for individuals who feel worn down.

Also ensure you get adequate sleep, eat a healthy diet and follow the Leptin Diet to avoid blood sugar irregularities, perform refreshing exercise that you enjoy, avoid negative thinking and make stress management part of every day. It can take time to heal your adrenal glands from the demands of too much stress, but the right nutrition can help speed your recovery!

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