Guest Expert Training #1

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Adrenal health

Today our focus is on adrenal health. You have likely heard lots about the mystifying "adrenal fatigue", this is actually less about your adrenals and more about the impact of stress, illness, lack of self care and its' impact on our HPA (hypothalamus pituitary axis).

HPA axis dysregulation (HPA-D) is the scientific term for the popular syndrome known as “adrenal fatigue.” And it really impacts our brain, our central nervous system and all our endocrine glands. It refers to a constellation of signs and symptoms including

  • Fatigue

  • sleep disruption

  • poor exercise tolerance and recovery

  • low libido

  • brain fog

  • weakened immune function

  • reduced stress tolerance

HPA-D is caused by many different aspects of the modern lifestyle, including poor diet, sleep deprivation, chronic stress, lack of (or too much) exercise, and inflammation. It also affects nearly every cell and tissue in the body. For this reason, it must be addressed in virtually all cases of chronic illness in order for healing to occur.

There are four primary triggers of HPA axis dysregulation:

  • Stress

  • Sleep deprivation, artificial light exposure, jet-lag, etc

  • sugar dysregulation: this embodies hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), insulin resistance and even frank diabetes

  • Inflammation

Most women are vulnerable to all four...and as we age and begin perimenopause, our bodies are less able to adjust to stress and we are more prone to blood sugar dysregulation, in particular. 

However, I see "stressed" adrenals in women of all ages.

Your adrenals can become stressed for many reasons, including: 

  • Excessive exerise (stresses our adrenals because of its impact on cortisol)

  • Gut issues/aka-leaky gut

  • Food sensitivities or intolerances

  • Chronic infections=inflammation

  • Toxins (personal care products, environment and food)

  • hypothyroidism (raises cortisol levels)

  • drugs like caffeine, steroids, etc

The optimistic message is that simple changes can have HUGE benefits in helping to support your hormones, including cortisol, which is produced in your adrenal glands.

What can you do?

Stay tuned for a great handout on ways you can help support your adrenals safely and easily!