Monday, June 15, 2009

Adrenal Burnout Syndrome

Inspiration: To relinquish the need to control the trajectory of my life path.

In my prior post, I had mentioned the adrenal glands. I feel this warrants a deeper explanation of the importance of these little (or big) guys. The adrenals are triangular shaped glands that sit on the top of the kidneys. They are made up of two parts:

Outer Region- Adrenal cortex. This area secretes hormones that effect the body metabolism, chemicals in the blood and some other essential body characteristics. This region is essential for life.

Inner Region- Adrenal Medulla. Not essential for life. However, this is the coping mechanism which handles our physical and emotional stress. The secretion of the hormones Epinephrine (adrenaline) occurs here. This increases our heart rate, facilitates blood flow to the brain and muscles (causing relaxation) and helps to convert glycogen to glucose in the liver. Another hormone secreted in Norepinephrine ( noradrenaline). This has little effect on the smooth muscle, metabolism or cardiac output. But it does have effects on increasing blood pressure.

Okay, enough of the science. Any kind of excessive stress can deplete our adrenal glands. Whether it be financial, family, work or relationships; the list goes on. In addition, a large majority of our diets are low in nutrients required. These include Vitamin B-complex,Vitamin A,C,E to name a few. Stimulants such as caffeine, sugar and alcohol break these glands down even more.

When we add the stress of "intense" exercise to the equation, the situation only increases in magnitude. I have done this once again. The way I have handled "STRESS" is through intense and elongated exercise. The hormones above were released, giving me a false sense of feeling good. Last week, I felt depleted, agitated and annoyed. I did not even want to turn on the TV or listen to music. Withdrawal is also a sign. I am doing my best now to nurture my body. Yoga and walking seems to be assisting me at this moment. Sitting quietly too...:)

However you tend to handle the difficulties of day to day living, please be conscious that there are long-term effects on our bodies. Adrenal burnout is not resolved overnight. It can take years. Just because you sleep for a few nights does not mean it has gone away. Be kind, loving and patient with yourselves.


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