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Sunday
Dec142014

Are your adrenals tired out?

The adrenal glands are two walnut sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys and one of their main functions is to regulate the body’s response to stress.

Every day we experience both physical and mental stress from things such as a demanding job, hectic family life, bereavement, illness, relationship difficulties, financial pressures or even intensive exercise.

During the stress response, the adrenal glands secrete “fight or flight “ hormones, which are very useful when faced with real danger but when constantly released over a long period adrenal fatigue can slowly develop,  impacting on overall health and well-being.


There are three stages in the stress response:


1) The alarm stage
This is the initial stage of stress, which involves the release of adrenaline, cortisol and DHEA. Energy is diverted from the brain to the muscles to the ready for “fight or flight”.


2) The resistance stage
As stress continues the body tries to adapt, continuously producing hormones, and the adrenals become increasingly over worked. Stress hormone levels initially rise but will gradually begin to drop, and the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue may start to occur. This can take several months or years.


3) The exhaustion stage
At this stage the adrenals are so overworked that they can no longer function efficiently and stress hormones become depleted. This can leave you feeling exhausted, depressed and unable to cope. This burn out can also impact on immune function, thyroid function and other body systems.

Signs and symptoms of an adrenal dysfunction may include:


•    Fatigue & lethargy
•    Lack of concentration
•    Poor memory
•    Salt cravings
•    Low blood pressure
•    Low libido
•    Need for stimulants to get you through the day
•    Dizziness on standing
•    Feeling hyper
•    Weight gain or loss
•    Digestive issues
•    Anxiety
•    Poor appetite
•    PMS
•    Aching muscles & joints
•    Exhaustion after light exercise

If you think your adrenals may be in need of some support then a simple saliva test can help to assess stress hormone levels and a targeted nutrition programme can be put in place.
For more information, please get in touch - info@livewellnutrition.co.uk