Stressful challenges from our environment such as air, water, and chemical pollution; the eating of “junk” foods; stressed interpersonal relationships; overworking and anxiety combined with fears of the unknown; and the future for our family and friends are the signs of our times.

Coping with these physical, mental, and emotional stresses tests the limits of our health. Each and every one of these challenging factors calls upon one or more of the dozens of healthful functions provided by the adrenal glands.

The adrenals are endocrine glands the size of walnuts and are located on top of the kidneys. The outer layers are known to create more than 30 hormones or hormone–like substances, which are integrated into virtually every function of the body. The inner part of an adrenal gland is an extension of nerve tissue providing quick jolts of energy to help us handle “emergencies.” Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle seems like one emergency after another to our adrenal glands, so they end up getting exhausted, “jumpy,” and overworked. And without healthy adrenal glands we suffer.

Many of the syndromes, symptoms, and diseases of the 21st century are directly related to a lack of adrenal health. To name a few:

  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Immune Deficiency
  • Insomnia
  • Craving of Sweets and Caffeine
  • Weight Gain
  • Depression

Constant stressful stimulation of the adrenals ultimately leads to adrenal exhaustion. Think of the adrenals as if they were muscles. Muscles contract when the need arises and relax when the need passes. Try holding even a small hand weight straight out from your body—it won’t take long for your arm to fatigue and go weak. Similarly, the adrenals respond to stresses, and ultimately fatigue if not given an opportunity to “relax” and restore their strength and function. In this way, constant stress leads to the loss of healthful adrenal function.

Refined carbohydrates, junk foods, physical and mental strain, sleep deprivation, chemical and heavy metal toxins, trauma/injury, anger, fear, worry, anxiety, overworking, noise pollution, inflammation, pain, infections, indigestion, food allergies, low blood sugar—as one can see from this list of challenges, in our world the adrenals are constantly stressed.

Do you suffer from dizziness, headaches, weakness, muscular exhaustion, insomnia, decreased libido, or weight gain around your waist or face only? Do you feel “wired but tired”? If so, you are very likely suffering from stressed, unhealthy adrenals.

There are many ways to test to see if your symptoms, conditions, and health challenges are related to adrenal stress. There are many changes you can make to your lifestyle and nutritional status that can help put you back on the road to vibrant health, energy, and well being.

By Bruce LeTourneau