ADRENALS: FRIEND OR FOE?
Adrenal glands are positioned at the base of your rib cage in a small space above the kidneys. This powerful gland protects you by enabling the fight, flight or freeze response necessary for survival. During the birthing process and throughout the first part of life, a baby’s adrenals are enlarged to help its body withstand stress. These precious glands then shrink by the time a person reaches adult age. The adrenals work with your automatic brain systematically, which keeps you alive from moment to moment.
What has happened to a large portion of society over the past 50 years is that the adrenals never get to shut off and we were not made to live in constant stress. For example, “road rage” can be the result of an extremely stressed adrenal. The hormone cortisol is pumped into the bloodstream to regulate the constant tension and contraction that a body experiences day and night. Your well-being is dependent upon this gland and how effectively you deal with the stresses in your life.
There are three stages that a person will go through before the adrenal glands completely shut down. The first stage is the “stress stage,” where the adrenal is able to repair and replenish the body with good protein, B vitamins, and lots of R&R. The second stage is called “Adrenal Fatigue." At this point the glands are on overdrive, constantly dumping cortisol into the bloodstream. A person will be tired and wired at the same time and have trouble sleeping. The third stage is the onset of disease.
Society is running on a fast track and people have little time to do what really brings enjoyment to their lives. “Adrenal Fatigue” is ultimately a lack of nutrition and happiness; it is ignoring what is good for a person and tending to “all the things” people think will make them happy. Ignoring your health will take you in the wrong direction.
We live in a very demanding world, and it is your duty, first and foremost, to take care of yourself. Utilizing this fundamental foundation will increase your endurance and strength. If you experience exhaustion from a lack of care, withstanding the ups and downs of life can become extremely difficult. Putting everyone before YOU is a sure way to become stressed, which can lead to resentments and buried anger. These negative feelings produce cortisol, and the body metabolizes this hormone through fat. So the more cortisol you produce through stress the more fat the body makes.
If you are a person who is unable to say NO, you are, in effect, putting yourself at high risk for illness and disease. Your health is your wealth, and if you are not important enough to eat well, exercise and do what makes you happy, it is impossible to stay well. Your body follows your mind, and thinking that it is okay to love others and not yourself is a grave mistake. It is your choice to “think” and “be” different. If you need help, that’s okay. You can start right now by speaking out loud and giving yourself permission to change.