Our adrenal system is so intrinsically connected to Sympathetic mode of our nervous system that it is impossible to be under Sympathetic Dominance and not affect the adrenal glands. Whenever there is flight or in flight response, regardless of how minor it is, these glands are impacted. The adrenal glands are triangular shaped organs that sit on top of kidneys. There are 2 parts to the adrenal glands.
- The outer part of the glands that produces hormones such as cortisol which help regulate metabolism and help your body respond to stress and aldosterone that help regulate blood pressure
- The inner part of the glands that produces hormones such as adrenaline that helps your body respond to stress.
Whenever you put your body under stress (Physical, emotional, chemical etc.), adrenal glands start producing more cortisol to cope with the stress. Remember I mentioned in my previous blog posts that whenever Sympathetic mode is active, all functions of body are supressed. It is true except for Adrenal glands because they need to fire up in order to prepare you to fight or run from something dangerous. Your body goes into survival mode and cortisol levels hike up. This is ok for a short period as it is body’s natural defence mechanism. Body needs to rest and repair after the stress period. That gives adrenal glands a chance to recharge. However, prolong periods of stress leads to adrenal glands continuously being charged up to produce more cortisol than normal and eventually they tire up.
When adrenal glands are under stress for long periods of time and cortisol levels are continuously going up, we start to see the body producing less and less of other hormones. This is what is known as “Adrenal Fatigue.” There are 2 stages of adrenal fatigue.
- Stage 1 is Adrenal Fatigue: This stage occurs when the body’s in flight or fight response is new and it does exactly what it should to respond to what triggers these responses. It prepares you to defend yourself.
- Stage 2 is Adrenal exhaustion: This stage occurs when the body has been under stress for while. The body’s energy supplies are depleted and the adrenal glands have been driven to exhaustion by creating high levels of cortisol.
When cortisol levels go up it steals the resources such as DHEA and cholesterol which are required to produce other hormones. This can lead to all sorts of problems such as;
- high blood sugar levels; sugar levels need to be high for your body to use the energy in Sympathetic Dominance, should it require.
- Underactive thyroids; because there isn’t enough thyroxine to go around which is derived from cortisol.
- Digestive System is suppressed which can lead to array of problems in prolonged periods of Sympathetic Dominance (as per my post “Leaky Gut Syndrome”)
- Immune System is suppressed; Body becomes more susceptible to cold and flues, inflammation and potentially other much more harmful diseases.
It is paramount to understand any problems related to adrenal fatigues with a big picture and not treat its symptoms in isolation. It is important to be aware of how everything is connected and how suppression of one system in the body can affect other systems. We need to maintain balance in our mental and physical health and disruption to one can impact the other. And as a health Coach this is one of the first things I look at when taking my clients through my 90 Day Transformation programs.
The good news is that we can ensure our adrenal glands are not over worked and that we are not firing up increased production of cortisol all the time. With the help of a Health Coach you can learn the simple yet incredibly effective techniques (among many other) that I teach my clients to ensure their day to day lives are impacted as less as possible by stress.
Lastly all I want to do is raise awareness on adrenal fatigue issue that so often doesn’t get diagnosed properly. Underlying causes are almost never investigated which leads bigger health problems. We need to look after our adrenal glands because healthy adrenal function is vital for good health. And it starts by calming your mind and body out of Sympathetic mode.
If you want to learn more about the 90 Day Transformation protocol, get in touch with me. I can and will change your life.
Love & Light to You