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Stress and adrenal fatigue

Anatori Sealife Comments 0 11th April 2019
Adrenal Fatigue symptoms and treatment. Infographic poster with text and character. Flat vector illustration, horizontal.

What is adrenal fatigue? Balanced nutrition is essential to maintaining overall good health, but it also can affect your capacity to cope with stress and adrenal fatigue. You may be going through a period of stress affecting the nervous system. Then, it would help if you had more nutrients, particularly the B vitamins and calcium. The latter is needed to counteract the lactic acid your tense muscles produce.

Eat various foods to ensure that you consume all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. These include vitamins, minerals, amino acids (from proteins), essential fatty acids (from vegetable oil, nuts, seeds, oily fish), and energy from carbohydrates, protein, and fat. While most foods contain more than one nutrient, no single food provides adequate amounts of all nutrients. Try to maintain a diet of primarily whole (unprocessed) foods. Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, chocolate), which causes nervousness and inhibits sleep if you ingest too much. Caffeine causes a fight-or-flight response in your body and uses up your reserves of the B vitamins, which are essential in coping with stress. Alcohol also depletes your body’s B vitamins, disrupts sleep, and impairs your judgment or clarity of thought. Avoid sugar. It provides no essential nutrients and can cause an immediate “high” followed by a prolonged “low.”



Studies of stress and adrenal fatigue

Studies have shown that the body depletes its stores of nutrients when under stress, mainly protein and the B vitamins and vitamins C and A. A deficiency of magnesium, which helps muscles relax, has been linked to “Type A” or high-stress personalities. Every muscle we hold in tension, often for years and even when we are asleep, consumes energy, B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium – to name a few. If you are under prolonged stress or are at risk for hypertension, consume foods high in potassium, such as fresh orange juice, squash, potatoes, apricots, limes, bananas, avocados, tomatoes, and peaches. It would help if you also increase your intake of calcium. It contains poppy and sesame seeds, yoghurt, cheese, tofu, almonds, and chickpeas.

Since every person is unique, nutritional needs vary to some degree. Changing your diet and establishing healthy eating habits will probably take several months. Experimenting and taking the time to reform your eating will have very positive immediate and long-term effects. Choose foods that you enjoy and try to make meals pleasurable times. Eat a relaxed meal. Continue your healthy diet and supplements even after the period of stress has passed so that your body. The goal is to maintain maximum health with good nutrition, exercise, and active stress management.

HOW DOES STRESS CONTRIBUTE TO HEALTH PROBLEMS?

The stress response triggers off high levels of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. Our body produces those regardless of the type of stress experienced. It may vary from emergencies (an impending car accident, for example) to slower-acting stresses (such as pressure at work, traffic jams, drinking coffee or alcohol).

These stress hormones use significant amounts of vitamin C, B-vitamins, magnesium and zinc. It means that, for example,

  • vitamin C and zinc are not sufficiently available for collagen production to keep skin clear and to make white blood cells to fend off infections;
  • B-vitamins are not fully accessible for energy production and mental function;
  • calcium absorption is blocked, leading to osteoporosis;
  • oestrogen dominance leads to PMS, fibroids and breast cancer.

Stress sends signals to the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline – leading to accelerated ageing. The effects of long-term stress are even more insidious. The pituitary, adrenals, pancreas and liver continually pump out hormones to control blood sugar, and levels of the anti-ageing adrenal hormone and cortisol start to fall.



Diet

A well-balanced diet is crucial in preserving health and helping to reduce stress. Certain foods and drinks act as powerful stimulants to the body and directly cause stress. Although quite pleasurable in the short term, this stimulation can be harmful in the long run.

Caffeine

Coffee, tea, chocolate, Coke and Red Bull contain it. It causes the release of adrenaline, thus increasing the level of stress. When taken in moderation, coffee can increase your alertness and muscle, nervous system and heart activity. Consuming too much caffeine has the same effect as long-term stress. Be careful in reducing coffee or caffeine consumption. Abrupt cutting caffeine off can result in your experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Reduce consumption slowly over some time.

Alcohol is a significant cause of stress.

The irony of the situation is that most people take to drinking to combat stress. But, in actuality, they make it worse by consuming alcohol. Alcohol and anxiety, in combination, are quite deadly. Alcohol stimulates the secretion of adrenaline resulting in the problems such as nervous tension, irritability and insomnia. Excess alcohol will increase fat deposits in the heart and decrease immune function. Alcohol also limits the ability of the liver to remove toxins from the body. During stress, the body produces several toxins, and without its filtering by the liver, these toxins continue to circulate through the body resulting in severe damage.

Smoking

Many people use cigarettes as a coping mechanism. In the short term, smoking seems to relieve stress, but smoking is very harmful in the long term. Its disadvantages far outweigh its short-term benefits. Cigarette smoking is responsible for various cancers, hypertension, respiratory illness and heart disease.

Sugar

Sugar has no essential nutrients. However, it provides a short-term energy boost through the body, resulting in the adrenal glands’ exhaustion. Moreover, it can result in irritability, low concentration, and depression. Moreover, high sugar consumption puts a severe load on the pancreas. There is an increasing possibility of developing diabetes. Keep your blood sugar constant. Do not use sugar as a “pick me up.”

Salt

Salt increases blood pressure, depletes adrenal glands, and causes emotional instability. Use a salt substitute that has potassium rather than sodium. Avoid junk foods high in salt, such as bacon, ham, pickles, sausage, etc.

Fats

Fat Avoid the consumption of foods rich in saturated fats. Fats cause obesity and put unnecessary stress on the cardiovascular system. Essential fatty acids found in nuts, seeds and oily fish are, however, very beneficial.

Eat a meal high in complex carbohydrates triggers the brain neurotransmitter serotonin release, which soothes you. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include brown rice, wholemeal pasta, potatoes, wholemeal bread (unless avoiding wheat), oats, rye and barley.

Eat Food High In Fibre Stress results in cramps and constipation. Eat more fibre to keep your digestive system moving. Your meal should provide at least 25 grams of fibre per day. Fruits, vegetables and grains are excellent sources of fibre.

Eat More Vegetables Your brain’s production of serotonin is sensitive to your diet. Eating more vegetables can increase your brain’s serotonin production. This increase is due to improved absorption of the amino acid L-Tryptophan. (Vegetables contain the natural, safe form of L Tryptophan.) Meats contain natural L-Tryptophan also, but when you eat meat, the L-Tryptophan has to compete with so many other amino acids for absorption that the L-Tryptophan loses out. The net result is that you get better absorption of L-Tryptophan when you eat vegetables.

Bibliography for stress and adrenal fatigue

Wilson J Adrenal Fatigue – The 21st Century Stress Syndrome Smart Publications 2001.

David S, Stewart A Nutritional Medicine Pan Books 1987.