by Mary Louise;Town Jaqua, Hallelujah Acres Health Minister
The adrenal glands are small but mighty players
in the arena of optimum wellness, nevertheless
most people know nothing about their adrenals
much less how they affect their health. For many,
discovering these important glands comes as the
result of years of physical, emotional, and mental
The Adrenals: What and where are they?
The adrenals or suprarenal glands are part of a
group of ductless glands known as the Endocrine
System (endocrine from the Greek: 'endo' meaning
inside, within and 'crinis' meaning 'secrete'). These
glands secrete hormones directly into the
bloodsteam in order to regulate the body functions
such as metabolism, growth and development,
tissue function, and mood. The endocrine glands
perform their important task by a signal-like network
within the body that is similar to the nervous system.
These systems differ, however, in that the nervous
system sends information very quickly and responses
are short-lived, but endocrine signals are slow to
initiate, prolonged in response, and last hours to
weeks. The main endocrine glands include the
thyroid, pituitary, ovaries, testes, and adrenals.
The adrenal glands are about the size of walnuts
and are located on top of the kidneys. They weigh
less than a grape. In spite of their size, however,
the adrenals commandeer many important
functions throughout the body.
The adrenals affect the functioning of every tissue,
organ, and gland as well as impact the psycholog-
ical processes of the body, including how one
thinks and feels. The adrenals accomplish these
tasks by manufacturing and secreting hormones
in the form of corticosteroids that aid in the
- utilization of carbohydrates and fats
- conversion of fats and proteins into energy
- distribution of stored fats
- normal blood sugar regulation
- proper cardiovascular and gastrointestinal
- anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activity to
minimize negative and allergic reactions to
alcohol, drugs, foods, and environmental allergens
- balance sex drive
- regulate blood plasma
- supplies the thyroid with hormones so that it
can regulate metabolism, etc.
The body cannot live without an adequate supply
and balance of hormones. Hormone levels
ultimately determine one's propensity for disease
as well as response to chronic illness. Quality of
life is thus directly related to adrenal function.
The adrenal glands are chiefly responsible for
releasing hormones in response to stress.
These hormones are known as corticosteroids
and help the body cope, manage, and recover
from the affects of stress. Stress or trauma
can be physical, emotional, psychological,
infectious, environmental or a combination of
Stress: A major cause of Adrenal dysfunction
Stress occurs when life becomes unmanageable.
Studies prove that inability to properly cope and/or
resolve personal stress is one of the leading causes
of most health problems. The body responds to
every kind of stress with the same degree which
makes the affects of stress accumulative and far
reaching. Smaller stresses over a period of time
can often have more ill affects than one major
stress factor. As the stress level increases, so
does the demand on the adrenal glands increase
to produce more hormones so that the body can
survive. When the adrenals can no longer
produce and secrete enough hormones to
keep up with the body's stess level demand,
adrenal fatigue sets in. This condition signals
an alarm throughout the body that is tantamount
to a '911' emergency or an SOS call, since at
this point, the body is fighting to survive.
When the body is fighting to survive,
- the heart speeds up
- blood flow to the brain and muscles increases
up to 400 percent
- digestion stops (so it doesn't use up energy
that's needed elsewhere)
- muscle tension increases
- breathing is faster, to bring more oxygen to
The release of these stress hormones make
blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar
levels rise. Sustaining the affects of accelerated
stress levels for a short or long time period can
cause serious and lasting damage to one's health.
Sources of stress
Stress can take many forms, and its affects vary
with lifestyle. However, experts agree that even
the slightest amount of stress can trigger adrenal
fatigue. Common sources of stress include:
- Death of a spouse
- Death of a close family member
- Losing your job
- Major personal illness or injury
- Marital separation
- Spending time in jail
- Lack of or excessive exercise
- Prescription, non-prescription drugs
- Negative attitudes and beliefs
- Financial problems
In addition to the above, a major source of
stress is POOR DIET. The Standard American
Diet which consists largely of processed, cooked,
manufactured, and animal-based foods cannot
adequately nourish the body. Lack of nourishment
equals malnourishment and compromises the
body's ability to function properly and successfully
cope with life challenges. A poor diet weakens
and destroys body cells, tissues, and organs.
Breakdown of the body's internal structure
causes stress which manifests in the form
of sickness, pain, disease, and in some cases
death. Poor diet and lack of adequate exercise
inhibits brain function (thinking) and positive
emotional response. The use of alcohol and/or
nicotine to cope, correct or resolve stress only
adds stess to stress.
Signs of Adrenal Stress include:
- Not eating or eating too much (especially
- Feeling like you have no control
- Needing to have too much control
- Lack of energy
- Lack of focus
- Trouble getting things done
- Poor self-esteem
- Short temper
- Trouble sleeping
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
- General aches and pains
- Constant colds and flu-like symptoms
- High blood pressure
- Heart problems
- Low libido
- Behavioral problems
- Menstrual problems
- Acne and other skin conditions
Solving Adrenal Dysfunction
Care of the adrenal glands begins by making
better lifestyle choices, ones that are natural
and life-sustaining. Whereas these choices
may be unappealing, correcting short or long
term abuse of the body often takes drastic
measures that require time, discipline, and will.
The following protocol is presented as affective
in addressing and resolving adrenal overload.
1. Improve your diet. Start eating the right foods:
fresh, raw fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and
whole grains. Start a juicing program, incorporate
salads and green smoothies into your meals. Add
omega rich oils (unrefined hemp, flax, safflower,
sunflower) into your diet. These essential fatty
acids help stabilize emotional response and aid
all functions in the body, especially the brain.
Feeding the body properly will initiate the healing
process, correcting imbalances and repairing
damaged cells, tissues, and organs. A proper
diet strengthens the body's immune system,
clarity of mind, and emotions in order to better
cope with stress.
2. Avoid processed food, especially refined
flour products, oils, synthetic sweeteners, etc.
Eliminate animal products: meat, dairy, and
seafood. The body does not recognized these
substances and therefore cannot digest or
assimilate them. Animal products as well as
most processed foods and supplements contain
harmful chemicals and food additives (MSG,
Aspartame, etc.) that disrupt and/or destroy vital
hormone activity (soy being a leading culprit).
3. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine is a drug and there-
fore the body treats it as an enemy, causing the
adrenals to go into a crisis mode in order to fight
off the foreign invader. A 'caffeine high' is actually
an adrenal crisis in motion wherein the adrenals
are called upon to produce and secrete additional
corticosteroids to defend the body against caffeine
4. Stop drinking alcohol. One glass of an
alcoholic beverage kills over 100,000 brain cells.
Alcohol destroys the liver and can help precipitate
cancer and other serious diseases. Alcohol is
an unnatural substance and stresses body cells.
5. Stop smoking. Cigarettes contain nicotine
which is classified as a drug. Cigarette and cigar
wrappers contain high levels of processed sugar
which stresses the body. Smoking robs the body
of important nutrients (especially vitamin C and zinc)
and poisons the body with cadmium.
6. Do moderate exercise daily. Take a
twenty-minute walk or rebound (mini-trampoline).
Include simple stretching exercises that tone
and strengthen the body.
7. Avoid stress and if possible, eliminate it.
Bring about positive change in your lifestyle
by avoiding toxic influences no matter what
they may be. Resolve stessful relationships
by developing a more positive attitude. Be
flexible and forgiving with those around you.
Avoid arguing and engaging in verbal abuse.
If necessary, change jobs or relocate. Learn
how to solve small problems so that you can
cope with larger ones. Simplify your life by
knowing your limitations. Spend more quality
time with loved ones. Building relationships is
what life is all about.
8. Relax. Take time daily to consciously slow
down, relax, and do deep breathing. Though we
live in a busy, demanding world, avoid being
caught up in the conventional swirl. Learn to
unwind, calm down, and be still. Set aside a
quiet time each day to read the Bible, reflect
upon YHVH, and pray.
9. Stop worrying. Fretting over matters small
or great generates unhealthy, negative energy
in the body. It releases free radicals which
damage and destroy cells, adding more stress
to adrenal gland function. Learn to 'let go and
go with the flow,' casting all your care upon
YHVH. He alone can work out your life problems
and He does it well.
10. Supplements for adrenal support
Natural modalities exist that enhance adrenal
function. Among the most popular are DHEA
(Dehydroepiandosterone), Maca, and Licorice
root which aid the body's hormonal balance.
Maca is a native plant of Peru and is rich in calcium,
magnesium, phosphorous, iron, and contains
trace minerals, including zinc, iodine, copper,
selenium, bismuth, manganese and silica, as
well as B vitamins. Maca also contains four
alkaloids that are proven in scientific studies
to nourish the endocrine glands, including the
reproductive system of men and women.
As a veteran health minister, I find that adrenal
fatigue is a common problem and that it's link to
low thyroid function is unmistakeable. Allowing
for the high incidence of these endocrine gland
dysfunctions, it is interesting that the medical
profession often fails to detect these problems
much less solve them. Though pharmaceuticals
exist that address adrenal and thryoid dysfunction,
these drugs only treat symptoms and not the
cause of the problem. As many health experts
agree, drugs do not cure disease; they only create
problems such as dangerous side affects. Drugs
are unnatural, man-made substances which,
when taken into the natural body, have poisonous
Proper nutrition is proven to be the best approach
to resolving health issues, including adrenal fatigue.
Improving diet and lifestyle habits affords the body
the time and materials that it needs in order to
repair itself. If further supplementation is needed,
natural choices are preferable. It appears that
women more than men experience low
adrenal/thyroid function, especially during
It is interesting that the medical profession is
quick to prescribe hormone replacement therapy,
anti-depressants, steroids and/or other mood
enhancing drugs like Prozac for stress-related
problems. Chemicals, however, are no substitute
for a diet of raw, natural living foods. The secret
of life still belongs to YHVH Almighty.
He Who made us knows best how to care for us.
Nevertheless, many times we are put to the test
through what we suffer physically and emotionally
in order to find His ultimate solution. So it is that
in His wisdom, YHVH uses the hard places to teach
us His ways. Therefore let us learn our lessons well
and experience in fullness the wonders contained
in the remarkable body that is His temple.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
And he will direct your paths.
References and further reading:
Adrenal Fatigue- by James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.
Five Weeks to Healing Stress- by Valerie O'Hara, Ph.D.,
Backyard remedy for stress, wrinkles, and lungs
- from Markus Rothkranz, Raw Foodist
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