Loving Your Adrenals
Have you been told your adrenals are shot, severely fatigued or in need of some TLC? In this blog, I will give you 8 quick facts about the adrenal glands and then offer 8 ideas on how you can love them both at a surface and a deep level.
8 QUICK FACTS ABOUT YOUR ADRENALS
1. We each have two adrenal glands and they are yellowish in colour
2. Our adrenal glands are approximately 2.5 inches long and 1 inch wide
3. Each adrenal gland weighs 4-5 g in an adult.
4. Our adrenal glands sit just above our kidneys
5. The word ‘adrenal’ actually comes from the Latin ‘ad renes’, meaning near the kidney.
6. One adrenal gland is triangular shaped, and the other adrenal gland is shaped like a half-moon.
7. Adrenals are first detected at 6 weeks’ gestation
8. Some of the jobs our adrenals do include producing the hormones that we need during times of stress and helping the body to control blood sugar levels.
8 IDEAS TO LOVE YOUR ADRENALS (CLICK TO OPEN TABS BELOW FOR MORE DETAIL)
1. Tune into your internal rhythm
In this modern age we are bombarded with artificial light, not just from lightbulbs in our homes and offices but also from the computer/TV screens, mobile phones and tablets so many of us stare at for hours on end and this can confuse our circadian rhythms which are tied to light and darkness. Our circadian rhythm is very much in tune with the hormones our adrenal glands release so if you are experiencing adrenal fatigue it is crucial to make good quality sleep a priority, making sure you encourage yourself to become sleepy when it is dark and to naturally wake up when it becomes light.
2. Use supplements/herbs as a support
There is literally a shopping list of supplements and herbs that I could recommend to help support people who want to care for their adrenal glands, such as Spirulina, Siberian Ginseng and Vitamin.C. However from my experience it is always a good idea to get these supplements muscle tested for your own unique requirements and to get them retested regularly. I often suggest that people use supplements and herbs to support their adrenals but I am also very mindful to make sure those individuals understand that taking tablets is very rarely a smart long-term solution, more often than not the root of adrenal stress is deeply embedded in the subconscious.
3. Address the underlying causes of stress
Our adrenal glands play a hugely important role in producing the hormones that we need, particularly during times of stress so it is crucial to work out why you are experiencing stress. When we are asking this question it is important to remember that the problem is never usually the problem, the problem is usually your response to the problem and our responses are typically programmed into our subconscious in early childhood. We function from the subconscious 95-97% so it makes sense to explore this area further with regards to adrenal fatigue doesn’t it. There are lots of new-thinking and very gentle ways to do this now with therapies such as Kinesiology and Meridian Tapping (also known as EFT) and crucially a willingness from the individual to ‘go inside’ and start the inner journey.
4. Take charge
Researchers have found that rendering an animal helpless is one of the most rapid ways to deplete its adrenals. Taking charge of your life is a wonderful way to support your adrenal glands but remember that taking charges doesn’t mean becoming a martyr and doing everything yourself. Taking charge means becoming emotionally developed and understanding the difference between things that are important and things that aren’t – and actioning the things that are.
5. Don't take life too seriously
Two prime ministers are sitting in a room discussing affairs of state. Suddenly a man bursts in, apoplectic with fury, shouting and stamping and banging his fists on the desk. The resident prime minister admonishes him: ‘Peter,’ he says, ‘kindly remember Rule Number 6,’ whereupon Peter is instantly restored to complete calm, apologizes and withdraws. The politicians return to their conversation, only to be interrupted yet again twenty minutes later by an hysterical woman gesticulating wildly, her hair flying. Again the intruder is greeted with the words: ‘Marie, please remember Rule Number 6.’ Complete calm descends one more, and she too withdraws with a bow and an apology. When the scene is repeated for a third time, the visiting prime minister addresses his colleague: ‘My dearest friend, I’ve seen many things in my life, but never anything as remarkable as this. Would you be willing to share with me the secret of Rule Number 6?’ ‘Very simple,’ replies the resident prime minister. ‘Rule Number 6 is ‘Don’t take yourself so damn seriously,’ ‘Ah,’ says the visitor, ‘that is a fine rule.’ After a moment of pondering, he inquires, ‘And what, may I ask, are the other rules.’ ‘There aren’t any.
Adrenal glands love rest however it is important to recognise what rest actually is. Sitting in front of the TV being stimulated by soap operas and chatting with friends over a glass of wine isn’t going to aid relaxation in the same way that meditation or even a short silent cat nap will. The idea is to disconnect from all external (and ideally internal) noise, because when the body is relatively free of stress, even during very brief moments, the adrenals are much freer to rebuild and recover.
7. Eat protein for breakfast (and be aware of caffeine)
Good, high-quality protein first thing in the morning(such as eggs, sardines on toast, porridge made with about 2 tbl of Chia seeds, raw nut and date bars or quick option of nut butters on sourdough/rye bread) allows the body to keep its precious early morning surge of cortisol (which is produced by the adrenal glands) Drinking tea and coffee consciously not just at breakfast but all through the day is important too because caffeine can have a detrimental effect on our adrenals.
8. Enjoy gentle exercise
We know that there is a direct link between stress and the adrenal glands, and although we have been told that exercise is good for us, it is worth bearing in mind that the physical stress of over-exercising may deplete the adrenal glands of vital hormones. Walking, yoga and swimming are all great choices for individuals with adrenal fatigue.