5 Signs Your Adrenal Glands Are Crying For Help
Your adrenal glands are small glands that sit on top of your kidneys and where they get their name from.
They are responsible, amongst other things, for pumping out adrenaline – one of your primary hormones. Primary, as without the correct levels you would not be able to function. True adrenal dysfunction is called Addison’s Disease and can be fatal.
Therefore it’s important that the adrenal glands are healthy and able to pump the correct levels of the hormones they are supposed to.
If you have trouble getting deep restful sleep, hormonal issues and nagging aches and pains that won’t clear up, the adrenals are a good place to look for any signs of imbalance.
Today we’ll look at five common signs the glands are not performing as optimally as they should be.
- When standing up from laying or bending over you feel lightheaded and see stars
This is possibly the most common and is called postural hypo-tension. Meaning the blood vessels are lacking tension as you change your body position, in essence.
Without the correct levels of adrenaline you are not able to pump blood up to the brain fast enough and you get momentarily dizzy.
- When you wake up in the morning you feel exhausted/unrefreshed
Waking unrefreshed is also very common and can be a sign that your adrenal glands are not standing up to the rigours of your lifestyle.
If you’re waking unrefreshed it will likely be because melatonin, the sleep hormone, is still higher than it should be for the morning time when it should be less active.
If you’ve not had enough quality rest your body wants to catch up on the rest by keeping you drowsy, and hopefully asleep, to repay any sleep debt that has been accumulated.
However if you’re running on adrenaline all day and not resting and unwinding properly before bed, adrenaline will be too high too late in the day, supressing melatonin activity there it gets shunted along on the 24 hour cycle.
This is likely to lead to a cascade of other hormonal issues too, not just the imbalance between adrenaline and melatonin.
- After exercising you feel drained not energised
This is especially true if you’re waking the following day and feeling tired.
Exercise is a stress and when used well, to balance your body you should feel energised after a training session not drained.
Feeling drained is a sign that you have overtrained and you are only as fit as what you can recover from.
Your body’s ability to adapt to this therapeutic stress is a great sign whether you are: a) already in a balanced state; b) not using the correct type or level of exercise for your current health status.
- Dark circles under your eyes
Immediately under your eyes (lower lid) tells you how well your kidney system (including the adrenals) is functioning. If you have dark circles under your eyes here your adrenal glands are showing signs of imbalance.
If the circles are slightly lower than that ie, just above your cheek bones then this slightly different. This is more likely to be a liver toxicity so it’s important to differentiate between the two.
- Fat accumulation under the belly button
When you start to accumulate body fat around your belly button, your blood sugar management is off.
A bigger factor and getting “hungry” needing to snack between meals and accumulating belly fat is adrenaline.
If your hormonal system is releasing adrenaline into the system, you get a simultaneous release of blood sugar from stored sugar in the liver and muscles. This is simple to understand, your body is perceiving that energy is needed so it needs fuel to do so.
Sugar is the quickest and easiest (in the short term) route to achieve that.
However if you are not really in need of the energy, perhaps because you’re sat at your desk not physically moving very much, you are not really in need of all this extra energy.
Once the blood sugar has been raised and not used you get insulin released to store it again and this rapid increase and subsequent decrease can lead you to then experience sugar lows, at which point you feel hungry and go for a snack, probably something sweet (fruit would be included even though it scores well on the moral front here) which causes another jump in blood sugar and off we go on the rollercoaster again.
If any of these points ring true for you that’s great.
You can choose to see this as a great bit of feedback from your body and make a plan to upgrade your current lifestyle, to improve your adrenal health and support longevity and general health too.