The adrenal glands are very important in the human body in that they secrete various hormones which can carry out varying process among themselves as well. When we think of the adrenal gland of course the first thing that comes to mind is adrenaline, hence its name. The flight or flight response as it is called is indeed controlled by our adrenal glands, but it does much more than just that.
One of the most important hormones we are concerned about when it comes to our adrenal glands is one called cortisol, also known as the stress hormones. Cortisol itself controls multiple functions throughout the body including blood sugar regulation, inflammatory responses, stress among others.
The main job of the adrenal gland is to secrete these hormones in an attempt to maintain homeostasis, or balance throughout the body. This means keeping blood pressure in check, properly building muscle mass, controlling hair growth and male sexual libido.
Adrenal insufficiency simple put is when your adrenal glands cannot keep up with your body’s demands and can no longer manage this delicate balance. This causes many problems throughout the body because as mentioned earlier, this glands main function is so facilitate these hormones throughout the body to properly communicate from tissue to tissue.
There are some tests that can be performed when trying to diagnose adrenal insufficiency as well. Certain blood tests can be conducted where they analyze your blood samples for the presence of these hormones. Before doing so however your doctor should go over your medical history concerning your stress and symptoms.
The best thing we can do when it comes to the health of our adrenal glands is to modify our diet. This will vary from individual as certain food allergies and compounds in foods may stress one individual in ways that wouldn’t affect someone else like in the case of people with celiac disease.
One thing everyone should stay away from are foods that contain high amounts of caffeine. As most of us know, caffeine is a stimulant which increasing our heart rate and gives us an energy boost. Caffeine can also disrupt our hormonal balance which can cause additional stress and anxiety. On top of that too much caffeine can lead to problems in not getting enough rest, which can further lead to more stress and complications.
Another food everyone should avoid when it comes to their adrenal health are added sugars and sweeteners. Additional sugars trigger an inflammatory response from our immune system, which attacks our gut causing problems like diarrhea.
Oils that are refined, those found in many snacks like potato chips, cookies, and other baked goods should be avoided as well. They too trigger the inflammatory response from the immune system also.
Replace those foods with ones high in omega 3 fatty acids that have been shown to reduce inflammation. Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids are fish, nuts, and seeds. Foods high in fiber like whole grain wheat, whole oats, quinoa, and brown rice can help you maintain those blood sugar levels which will help you balance your hormones.
Foods that contain probiotics are helpful as well such as yogurt, kim chi, and supplement forms can help you maintain good hormonal health as well.
When it comes to your adrenal health, it is important to know how exactly these hormones work. The endocrine system, or the system that secretes hormones throughout the body evolved to be a slow process that took shape generally over time.
This means that unfortunately when it comes to your recovery, it is going to be long term and can potentially take years to resolve depending on how severe your imbalances are. This usually means that a lot of trail and effort is going to be involved as far as reducing your symptoms are concerned.
You should take a look at your entire lifestyle from every aspect to get an idea of what is causing there problems, a good suggestion is to get the help from a doctor or some other outside party who can give you a different perspective as far as what might be causing your problem.
If worse comes to worse, you can resort to an endocrinologist who specializes in the function of the adrenal glands.