Dr. Anne Hussain, ND & Birth Doula 

The adrenals are two small glands that sit atop the kidneys and are responsible for producing our sex hormones, adrenaline, and stress hormone (cortisol). As such, these glands play a critical role in our metabolism, mood, immune system, stress response, reproductive cycles, sleep, and more. 

When the adrenal glands are overworked, the resulting symptoms can look like:

– fatigue and lethargy – food cravings – sleep disturbances – mood swings – menstrual changes and fertility issues – weight change – poor immunity – hair loss – loss of libido – skin changes

This usually happens when we go through some kind of extreme or prolonged stress – the mental/emotional kind, the post-infection physiological kind, the physically-overexerting-yourself kind, the drinking-too-much-coffee and overdoing it kind, and/or more. As a result, our bodies become less capable of handling our normal day-to-day functions properly and our adrenal glands start struggling a bit to meet the demands of our bodies.

There are some simple ways to help support the adrenal glands: 

1. Rest

This means getting adequate sleep, not overdoing it, asking for help, doing something that you like, laughing, relaxing, turning the volume down on long/intense workouts and opting for walking (in nature), gentle yoga, stretching, short workouts, swimming etc.

2. Get your minerals

The adrenal glands need minerals like zinc and magnesium, so make sure you’re getting those into your system.

3. Take your vitamins

The B vitamins and vitamin C get used up very readily by the body when it’s under stress, so getting a good B complex and lots of vitamin C is important. Also, make sure your iron, B12, vitamin D, and thyroid hormone levels are adequate.

4. Avoid or cut down on the caffeine

When running on empty, try not to overstimulate your adrenals and nervous system with caffeine.

5. Use adaptogenic herbs

Adaptogens are a group of herbs that help regulate the body’s response to stress. These can include licorice, holy basil, reishi, ashwagandha, Siberian ginseng, rhodiola, and more. Finding the proper fit for your symptoms and body is important, so consult with someone who knows what they’re talking about!

Dr. Anne is passionate about helping people live healthier and fuller lives. She loves helping women feel strong and vibrant about their bodies inside and out by teaching them about natural skin care, helping them balance their hormones and managing their weight, supporting their birth journeys, and aiding them with any other health concerns they might have.

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