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Stress is a part of our daily lives. While not all stress is bad, too much of it can have serious consequences for our health. One major consequence of being overloaded by stress is adrenal fatigue, which can cause many problems for our health: both physically and mentally.
What are the adrenal glands? The adrenal glands are two small glands that sit right above the kidneys. Although they are two separate glands, they work together to produce and disperse hormones. When the adrenal glands do not function properly we end up with a hormonal imbalance, which means a lack of homeostasis within the body. Lack of homeostasis in the body is how all disease starts. Since hormonal balance is a key component of our health and wellness, we need to be able to catch issues with our adrenal glands as quickly as possible. The quicker we can catch the issues, the fewer health challenges we’re likely to influence. Let’s take a look at some of the hormones that play a part in adrenal health.
The main hormones that the adrenals work with are epinephrine, cortisol, aldosterone, and sex hormones including DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone. Epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is responsible for the fight or flight effect we experience in times of stress. Cortisol works to balance blood sugar levels, decrease inflammation, tones the heart and circulatory vessels, helps to normalize our body’s stress reaction, and stimulates our central nervous system. Aldosterone regulates the fluid volume in our body while also regulating our sodium and potassium, which are key factors in heart health. Finally, the sex hormones listed also work as antioxidants, have anti-aging properties, balance cortisol levels, and play a role in tissue repair.
Being under severe, prolonged stress can lead us into a condition called adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a stress condition where the adrenal glands become chronically fatigued and become either dysfunctional or start functioning a low level. When the demands of stress in our lives is higher than the ability of the adrenal glands to recover from the stressors, fatigue happens. Since the adrenal glands are what produces most of our body’s energy, fatigued glands can lead to issues with our ability to be alert, our adaptability to stress, our sex drive, sleep cycle, mood, and a reduction of our immune system’s ability to function properly.
Adrenal fatigue is very common today, affecting millions of people throughout the United States. Stress is common in today’s day and age. Estimates in the healthcare industry state that between 75 and 90% of doctor’s visits today are due to stress-related conditions. So, who’s at risk for adrenal fatigue? Let’s ask ourselves some questions.
1. Not getting sufficient sleep
2. making poor nutrition choices
3. reoccurring respiratory infections
4. using stimulant foods or beverages
5. pushing yourself to work no matter how tired you are
6. feeling powerless in stressful situations
7. pushing yourself to perform
9. staying in a toxic relationship or job
10. not enough relaxation/recreation in your life
11. sudden life changes
12. severe emotional or physical trauma
13. death of a loved one
14. financial challenges
15. stagnant lifestyle
16. extended bouts of stress, anxiety, depression, or fear
If you’ve answered yes to any of the above scenarios, you are at risk for adrenal fatigue.
How do you know if you have adrenal fatigue?
4. unstable blood sugars
5. panic attacks
6. poor memory
7. muscular pain
9. reproductive system challenges
10. digestive concerns
12. food addiction
13. cold sensitivity
It’s important when choosing the essential oil(s) that you’re going to use that you remember that there is no one correct oil that is going to be right for every person. Try a few different ones out, see how they make you feel, both physically and emotionally, and don’t be afraid to switch things up. Start with small doses of essential oils, you can always increase dosage if you feel you need more.
5 drops Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica)
5 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
5 drops Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Place all drops of oil on the cotton wick of the inhaler, close inhaler tube, and label. Open the inhaler
and take a whiff several times per day during times of stress, or at least morning and night for
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