The 7 Causes of Adrenal Stress And How You Can End Them Today


Published:

Is it possible to heal your adrenals with simple foods? I want to talk to you about how it is possible, and how it just might be able to change your life for the better. Let’s dig into the science, and then let me show you some easy, practical and delicious ways that you can change your life today.

I want to rename adrenal fatigue1. The main thing that I do not like about the term “adrenal fatigue” is that I think it can be a bit misleading.

The term itself implies that our adrenals are somehow weaker than before, that they are fatigued and less able to perform. While there are diseases which render the gland unable to produce hormones, for most of us this is just not the way our glands work.

Your adrenal glands might be overactive or underactive, but it does not mean that they are broken – or that they are fatigued! What is actually happening is that your body is trying to control your adrenals, so that it can heal itself – which is why the term “adrenal stress” is much more appropriate. In a perfect world, I would call it hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal dysregulation, but for now we will just go with something simple and stick with the term “adrenal stress.”

What Causes Adrenal Stress?

There are so many things that cause adrenal stress, one might even say that simply living in the 21st century is enough to cause adrenal stress all on its own! That is because we lead incredibly different lifestyles than people who lived even less than one hundred years ago.

Because of this, there are many factors which would be leading to adrenal stress that are simply part of our day-to-day lives. Some of these things might include:

  • Stress
  • Toxins
  • Schedule changes
  • Artificial light
  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Sleep issues

In Conclusion: All of these factors, collectively, create what we might know as adrenal stress. The problem with them is that they are simply how we lead our lives. We don’t go to sleep by candlelight anymore, and all of these environmental changes can also lead to changes in our health – sometimes for the better, but sometimes for the worse, too.

What are the risks of adrenal stress?

There are plenty of risks associated with adrenal stress, which is both very important and very real to those who have it. It can:

  • Shorten our lifespan
  • Expand our waistlines
  • Premature fast aging of the skin and immune system
  • Hurt our brain and our mood

Adrenal stress is also a large factor in triggering thyroid disease in our bodies. So, what we want to do is make sense of it and manage it properly – for our short term and our long term health.

While we might not be able to wave a magic wand and eliminate all of those adrenal stressors which are affecting us, there are things we can do to make positive changes in our lives. So, I put a lot of thought into how we could reverse some of these things and take our lives back.

It is so important to know about the role that cortisol plays in our bodies, especially in the role of weight management. When we have too much of it, or we are making it at the wrong times, our bodies can go into a “storage mode.” When we are in this mode, our bodies start holding onto calories in the form of visceral fat. When we retain the visceral fat that our bodies could have been burning off, we instead create inflammation and harm for our bodies in the long-term.

Our bodies work in a system of checks and balances, which means that when something is “off” there is typically a reaction to fix that problem. Cortisol is one of those fixers that helps us when our blood sugar gets too low, and where we might otherwise go into a coma. I don’t want to make cortisol out to be the enemy, but I do want you to understand how “reckless cortisol” circulating through your body can cause trouble for you.

Cortisol has the unintended consequence of causing stress upon our bodies which can lead to adrenal stress and all of those unfortunate problems. When we can keep our cortisol in check, we can keep our bodies fit and away from inflammation – which can help us recover and thrive.

How can our diet “reset” our adrenals?

There’s actually a simple concept that I have come up with called “carb cycling” that can help reset your adrenals. It is based on the idea that when your blood sugar drops, and your cortisol rises, that we can use that to our advantage.

Within the diet, we have:

  • Fats – which have neither a good or bad effect on cortisol
  • Protein – which has a small effect on cortisol
  • Carbohydrates – which has the most dramatic effect on cortisol

The main function of this diet is to have your cortisol high in the morning, low in the evening and lowest throughout the evening. In order to achieve those kinds of results, I needed to come up with meals which helped support – and regulate – cortisol throughout the entire day. The typical morning started with a lower carbohydrate, good protein, and healthy fat based meal.

Why the lower carbohydrates? Well, when we enjoy carbs we are actually pushing down cortisol production in our bodies. While this might be better later in the day, in the morning it actually would make us feel less alert and less sharp. That’s something we want to avoid, so we need lower carbs in the morning.

There are some folks who might tell you that carbohydrates are better consumed in the morning because you have the entire day to burn them off. While that might make intuitive sense, it is not the way our bodies work. There is actually time between eating and burning that occurs in our bodies, unlike a car which immediately starts burning gas the moment you fill it up.

The next couple of meals is where we see the role of carbohydrates growing. During these meals, I kept proteins and fats the same, while increasing the amount of carbohydrates. This is where that idea of consuming carbohydrates to be burned is more important. When we burn carbs throughout the day, for energy, we are typically burning them from yesterday evening’s meals – not the ones first thing in the morning.

With this in mind, simply adding more and more carbs at night is not the answer – the same way that overeating foods is almost never the answer. Any time that you add something like fat, protein or carbohydrates to your diet, you can experience weight gain. Overall, though, if you are on a good balance of overall caloric consumption, more carbs at night can serve you in better ways.

One of the main pitfalls of low carbohydrate diets is what we might call a “cortisol imbalance” – where cortisol simply gets too high because we aren’t managing it with cortisol-friendly foods, the kind that helps us regulate cortisol throughout the day.

What are the results of this diet?

In my own program, I have actually seen a big shift in cortisol metabolism. This has led to people reaping the following benefits:

  • Better weight loss
  • Better visceral fat loss
  • Better depth of sleep
  • Better energy

All of these benefits make total sense when we understand how that cortisol cycle works.

What amounts should I be eating?

In terms of amounts, you want to think about the following throughout the day:

  • 1/4 cup of good carbohydrates for breakfast
  • 1/2 cup for lunch
  • 3/4 cup for dinner

Sounds simple, right? Well, it definitely is! This is all for the purpose of setting your body up to achieve good cortisol rhythms throughout the day and night.

What is a “good” carbohydrate?

I love talking about all of the good carbohydrates that we can get into our system – they can be simple to work with, easy to work into your diet and absolutely delicious, too. What are some examples of good carbohydrates? They are going to include these key characteristics:

  • They absorb slowly
  • They have lots of fiber
  • They have some resistant starch

Have you thought about meal replacement shakes? These can be a great way of getting these forms of carbohydrates, like resistant starches, into your diet quickly and easily.

Other great types of foods would be:

  • Potatoes
  • Beans and legumes (especially white beans)
  • Intact whole grains (like buckwheat)
  • Vegetable starches (like squash)

Overall, you are going to want to get good, dense carbs into your diet. A little bit for breakfast, a little more for lunch and even more for dinner. Once you follow that program, you will be on your way to resetting your cortisol rhythm and feeling better right away.

This article was republished from DrChristianson.com.

Dr. Alan Glen Christianson (Dr. C) is a Naturopathic Endocrinologist and the author of The NY Times bestselling Adrenal Reset Diet. Dr. C’s gift for figuring out what really works has helped hundreds of thousands of people reverse thyroid disease, lose weight, reverse diabetes, and regain energy. Learn more about the surprising story that started his quest at drchristianson.com.

See also:
Empower Your Adrenal Glands To Treat Pain With Traditional Indian Healing
The Ecology Of Estrogen In The Female Body

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

February 25, 2018

The stars are hyper busy. From sunrise until late tonight the celestial agenda is quite full.The waxing Moon is in Cancer. Home and family life is sure to be eventful and for the most part, satisfying. Early morning inspiration comes via a conjunction…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

February 2018

With Deborah Sisson When we are living with an attitude of beginner’s mind we are open to embracing possibility at each new moment and stage of life. We meet ourselves right where we are...

Cost: $35

Where:
YogaLife Institute of NH
6 Chestnut Street
Lower Level
Exeter, NH  03833
View map »


Sponsor: YogaLife Institute of NH
Telephone: 603-969-8968
Contact Name: Brian Serven
Website »

More information

Snow Moon - Spring Tonics I Tree saps, barks and roots - the liver tonic herbs and digestive health - herbal decoctions Please email rjrcnm@gmail.com if interested. Attendees will receive...

Cost: Drop in Fee $10 includes all materials and handouts.

Where:
Jefferson, MA


Sponsor: Hillside Herbals
Telephone: 508-847-8615
Contact Name: Rachel Ross
Website »

More information

Come by anytime during open shopping hours! Friday, February 23: 3:00 pm - 9:00 pm Saturday, February 24: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm Sunday, February 25: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm We are very...

Cost: Free to attend

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Are you curious about yoga but don't know where to begin? The Intro to Yoga Series is a great place to start your practice. This series will provide a safe, non-competitive and welcoming...

Cost: $90 for series

Where:
YogaLife Institute
6 Chestnut St, Suite A
Exeter, NH  03833
View map »


Telephone: 603-969-8968
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Stress less, sleep better, have fun! Designed to help preteens develop self-awareness, emotional resilience, healthy body image, and compassion through asana, breathing practices, meditation and...

Cost: $18

Where:
Bliss Through Yoga
484 Bedford St
East Bridgewater, MA  02333
View map »


Sponsor: Bliss Through Yoga
Telephone: 508-331-3564
Contact Name: Janice
Website »

More information

Qigong and tai chi are 2500+ year old healing arts originating in China. These moving meditations offer unique health benefits that western medicine is...

Cost: $11-$15 per class

Where:
Chelmsford Wellness Center
3 Littleton Road, 2nd Floor
Westford, MA  01886
View map »


Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
Website »

More information

A guided tour in discovering, confirming and verifying your personality, behaviors and habits. A three part series at the Waltham Public Library Monday, February 5 7:15PM Monday, February 12...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waltham Public Library
735 Main Street
Waltham, MA  02451
View map »


Sponsor: Waltham Public Library
Telephone: 781-314-3429
Contact Name: Louise Goldstein
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events
No Events

March - June 2018 Learn how to hypnotize, how to use hypnosis to help clients, and how to turn hypnosis into a profitable business. Instructor John Koenig has practiced hypnosis since 1998.

Where:
Richmond Square Technology Center
Providence, RI


Telephone: 401-374-1890
Website »

More information

Qigong and tai chi are 2500+ year old healing arts originating in China. These moving meditations offer unique health benefits that western medicine is integrating into treatment plans. By...

Cost: $12-$17 per class

Where:
Dragonfly Wellness Ceneter
176 Jackson Road
Devens, MA  01434
View map »


Sponsor: Cultivating Qi
Telephone: 978-856-8118
Contact Name: Dave Crocker
Website »

More information

Mind-Body Healing (or "Mind-Body Therapy") is based on the idea that the mind and body act as one in the healing process. It uses specific techniques to quiet the mind, release negative...

Cost: $65

Where:
Newton South High School, Wheeler, 2107
140 Brandeis Road
Newton Center, MA  02459
View map »


Sponsor: Newton Community Education
Telephone: 617-559-6999
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

“He who does not understand astrology is not a doctor but a fool.” - Hippocrates (460BC - 380 BC), father of medicine In this workshop you will learn the healing potentials of the 12...

Cost: $95

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
90 Main Street
Andover, MA  01810
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

This workshop is packed with tools and techniques to help you stay balanced and in tune with the seasons. Join John and dive deep into your body with this workshop focused on the crown-7th chakra....

Cost: $70

Where:
Balance Bethlehem
2087 Main Street
Bethlehem, NH  03574
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags