How To Repair Your Adrenal Glands
A few weeks back I shared a piece about the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Following that, a few people emailed me asking how they should rectify the symptoms they noticed in themselves. So today I thought I’d cover what I feel are the essentials to incorporate into an adrenal replenishment programme.
As I mentioned previously, the adrenal glands respond to stressful events, perceived or real, by releasing adrenaline and cortisol, amongst other hormones. In an adrenal replenishment programme we need to make sure that our lifestyle is supporting the adrenal glands and not requiring more from them than they can cope with.
Here is what I recommend:
- Blood Sugar Balance – The primary hormones are cortisol, adrenaline and insulin. We must therefore make sure that your blood sugar (insulin) is balanced so that it doesn’t throw the other two primary hormones out of balance.
What that looks like is going to be unique to you. To determine where to start to balance your blood sugar you need to get clear on what your metabolic type is. (How?)
Your metabolic type is going to help you balance blood sugar. If you follow an approach to nutrition that you have read/heard is the best way to eat for a host of reasons (lowering body fat/saving the planet etc) it may not be helping you nourish your body.
Therefore forget what you think you know and start tuning in to your body. If you get your diet wrong it will add stress to your body and make recovery from adrenal fatigue much, much harder.
I recommend, until you are totally in tune with your dietary requirements, to keep a diary and note down your response to each meal. You’ll quickly become aware of when you get something wrong and how it affects you. It might be that you get hungry within an hour or so of your meal, you can’t concentrate, your energy is really high then falls through the floor in the afternoon, for example. Or you might feel really heavy and feel that the food is not moving.
Don’t be all “blokey” about it! The amount of times I’ve heard people say “I can eat anything, food doesn’t tend to bother me either way” is a lot! In the same breath they are happy to turn around and tell me that they have lower back pain and their neck is not feeling so great either.
What they are failing to understand is that your diet can affect you in many ways and the more obscure the symptoms, such as these, the longer the imbalance in metabolic type you have. That is, you haven’t listened for many years and so the issues are escalating.
This is not the right time to explain how your diet can affect lower back pain or neck pain but just be aware that it can. It can also cause many more issues so start to tune in.
- Cold Water Therapy – Using cold water can help you if you’re not producing enough cortisol.
This is one of the symptoms of adrenal insufficiency so it makes sense to use the simple cold water shower as a tool to assist you.
There are usually two different situations in which people will benefit.
You may be someone who “runs hot” hence the saying you feel “burnt out”. You’ve been on fire metaphorically.
Or you might be someone who feels cold, even when those around you feel fine. This is worse than burn out as you’ve possibly gone through burn out and into “brown out”, that is you’ve used all your resources and now there is nothing left.
If you run hot – cold showers are great and you can cool your “internal fire” by using the cold water. 3-5mins of a cold water shower in the morning will do wonders for that. Helping to regulate your cortisol release.
If you run cold most of the time – start with a warm shower and then switch to cold and oscillate every 30 seconds between the two for 5 mins. Finish with cold to close the pores.
Having a fully cold shower if you’re already cold will possibly make you ill as too much cold on a cold body reduces the immune systems affectiveness.
If you get it right, you’ll end up feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead, instead of groggy and in need of a coffee to get going in the morning.
So those are the first two steps to replenishing your adrenal glands.
Next week I’ll share some thoughts on Sleep and Core Values.