Stress The Brain And Depression
When you experience ongoing stress, your stress hormones are active all day long. This is exhausting to the body and may cause the neurotransmitters in your brainlike serotonin, the “feel good” chemical that influences mood, appetite, and sleep, among other thingsto stop functioning correctly, potentially leading to depression.
In people who are not depressed, the level of cortisol in the bloodstream peaks in the morning then decreases as the day progresses. However, research reveals that, in people who live with depression, cortisol tends to peak earlier in the morning and does not level off or decrease in the afternoon or evening.
Instead, repeated surges of cortisol are experienced throughout the day. This is sometimes referred to as cortisol dysfunction. It can make you become resistant to cortisol , increase your stress-induced inflammation, and might even cause or worsen pain.
It has been found that people with elevated cortisol levels are less responsive to psychotherapy treatments, implying that techniques that may reduce cortisol levels, such as stress management, may be an important part of a depression treatment regimen for these patients.
Exercise Doesnt Help Me Lose Weight Or Even Look More Toned
Cortisol is a catabolic hormone. This means that when its released during stress it breaks down protein to use for energy. End result? Rapid and ongoing muscle wastage even though you are working out every day.
Cortisol is also released when you exercise and the higher the intensity or duration of your workout, the bigger the cortisol release.
Heres what that means:
Cortisol from your life + Cortisol from exercise = Excessively high cortisol.
Thats why you may not be looking leaner or more toned after exercised your high cortisol is actually breaking down your muscle to help give your body fuel because it thinks youre in a life or death situation 24/7.
What Are The Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue symptoms can vary from individual to individual, but there are some common symptoms experienced by almost all. These include insomnia, a feeling of being overwhelmed by stressful situations, food cravings, high levels of fatigue each day, and weak immunity.
These symptoms are mostly related to the changing hormone and neurotransmitter levels that come with Adrenal Fatigue. There are a number of other, less common, symptoms that can also appear. These might include vertical lines on the fingertips, frequent urination, and low blood pressure. Again, these are all related to the dysregulation of the HPA axis and the various hormone levels that depend on it.
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Im Always Getting Sick Or I Take A Long Time To Recover
Blame it on: High adrenalin and cortisol
Apart from stress management, the adrenals are also responsible for regulating your immune system. Remember a problematic project at work or a family crises that took time to resolve? You had sufficient energy and focus to get through the hard time . But, as soon as it was over, you fell sick. Sound familiar?
Ongoing stress can weaken the adrenals so much so that they are not able to sufficiently stimulate the immune system to keep you healthy. Im not just talking here about superficial conditions like cold and flu but more serious ones like cancer or autoimmune conditions.
Causes Signs Symptoms Treatments And Controversy
With James L. Wilson, PhD
Excess stress causes the adrenal glands to increase cortisol production.
If you’re feeling tired and fried, chances are you’ve probably heard of adrenal fatigue and wondered if it may be the source of your constant exhaustion. But what exactly is it, and how do you know if it’s what’s causing your lack of oomph? Let’s investigate.
Adrenal fatigue is an increasingly common yet sometimes controversial diagnosis used to indicate depletion of the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenals for use in the regulation of blood pressure. In response to stress, the adrenals release greater amounts of cortisol. Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenals have become overtaxed by excess cortisol release and can no longer produce levels of cortisol necessary for optimal body function.
James L. Wilson, PhD, who coined the term adrenal fatigue in his book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome, describes the adrenals as two little glands that sit over your kidneys and are about the size of two large grapes and weigh about five-to-eight grams.
According to Wilson, The adrenals put out over fifty hormones. We often only hear about DHA and cortisol, but forty percent of womens estrogen or progesterone are made in the adrenal glands and about forty percent of testosterone in males is made in the adrenal glands.
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The Adrenal Fatigue Recipe Book
- More than 50 energy-boosting recipes, including Grain-Free English Muffins, Apple Cardamom Muffins, Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders, Coconut Chicken Curry, Carob Mousse, Pear & Pine Nut Scones, and many more
- Exciting ways to prepare superfoods like organ meats, sprouts, broths and fermented foods
- All recipes are gluten-free, contain no added sugar, and are designed to give you energy throughout the day
I Feel Wired At Bedtime But Exhausted In The Mornings
Blame it on: High and low cortisol at the wrong times of day
When you suffer adrenal fatigue:
You struggle to drag yourself from bed
Your body is clever and registers that your cortisol levels have been chronically high, so it tries to put the brakes on cortisol by reducing its normal daily production. Then instead of the normal peak of cortisol you would get in the morning, you get a flat line.
The impacts can be seen in people who suffer Addisons disease, due to low cortisol and experience extreme fatigue, abdominal pain, depression, decreased appetite and salt cravings .
Interestingly, John F Kennedy suffered from Addisons disease but managed to keep it a secret throughout his presidency.
When on autopsy was conducted after his death his adrenal glands were in such a bad state, there was hardly any tissue left.
Interestingly, he also suffered colitis which may well have been involved in triggering his thyroid issues . Due to his ailments he took steroid drugs which over many years, affected his bones. The resulting chronic back pain led him to wear a back brace to support his degenerating spine.
Youre exhausted and drained, but cant sleep.
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Difficulty Getting Up Each Morning Even After A Long Sleep
As we discuss in The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, one of the major causes of Adrenal Fatigue is getting insufficient sleep. Getting more rest is, therefore, one of the best ways to recover. However, when suffering from Adrenal Fatigue many patients wake up extremely tired and foggy, even after getting a long sleep. This can be caused by one of two factors.
Adrenal Fatigue sufferers in the early stages of their condition tend to be under significant stress, and therefore their adrenaline and cortisol levels are high. This interrupts the natural 24-hour cycle of cortisol levels, leading to a state of alertness in the evening that prevents restful sleep.
Those Adrenal Fatigue sufferers who are at a later stage of the condition will have consistently lower levels of cortisol. However, their blood sugar will tend to be much lower during the early morning . Your body realizes its hungry and forces you to wake up. Many Adrenal Fatigue sufferers are chronic late-night snackers for exactly this reason. You can get a better nights sleep by improving your sleep hygiene.
This Is How To Recover From Adrenal Fatigue
Recovering from adrenal fatigue depends upon you. It means changing your lifestyle, changing your relationships with other people, and taking good care of yourself. I tell my patients to treat yourself just like you would a newborn babywith a lot of loving care and attention. When you are tired, go to sleep. When you are hungry be sure you have plenty of healthful, nourishing food. When you are stressed by someones demands, learn to say no, at least temporarily. In this way, you will slowly learn to take the stress off your adrenal glands and allow them to heal.
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Adrenal Glands And Stress
Since the adrenal glands primary responsibility in the body is to help us cope with stress, high levels of stress over a prolonged period of time can wear down their ability to produce cortisol and other essential hormones.
What stresses the adrenals?
When most of us think about stress, the first thing we think about is psychological stress like I faced. Things like loss of a job, a divorce or a sudden trauma.
But much of the stress that the body faces is physical in nature, often things we are not even aware of like lingering infections, unstable blood sugar or hidden food sensitivities to gluten and dairy. All day, our adrenals are helping us deal with these different kinds of stressors on top of the stress of our daily lives.
So, its important to broaden our understanding of stress. The more stressors we have and the longer they last, the more likely our adrenal glands will be affected, and as a result, the worse we will become at handling stress.
And as you will see, this can become a big, big problem.
How Is Adrenal Fatigue Diagnosed
There is no test which can tell whether or not you have adrenal fatigue. A 24-hour salivary adrenal test has been used to check the function of the adrenal glands. However, many doctors, including adrenal gland specialists, do not consider that this test is appropriate to measure the function of the adrenal glands.
A 24-hour salivary adrenal test involves taking saliva samples four times during 24 hours. The samples are usually taken at 8 am, 12 noon, 4 pm and midnight. The early-morning steroid level should be the highest level of the day but may be reduced if the adrenal gland is not working properly.
You may need blood tests to make sure there are no other reasons why you feel very tired, such as anaemia or an underactive thyroid gland. Further tests will also be needed if there is any concern that your adrenal glands are not working properly.
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What Supplements Help Adrenal Fatigue
There are several categories of supplements that can help to treat adrenal fatigue. They should be used in combination with lifestyle changes like avoiding stress, improving diet, and getting more sleep.
There are a few basic nutrients that are particularly important for supporting the adrenal glands and HPA axis, especially during times of stress. These include vitamins B5, B6, and B12, vitamin C, and magnesium. Omega-3 fatty acids, CoQ10, and probiotics can also be tremendously supportive during this time.
Herbal supplements can be useful for regulating cortisol levels and moderating the stress response. These include ashwagandha, licorice, Rhodiola rosea, Siberian ginseng, and maca.
For the best results, discuss your supplementation with your healthcare professional. Here is some more information on supplements for adrenal fatigue.
I Cant Think Straight Im Foggy
Blame it on: High cortisol and its effect on the hippocampus.
Ever noticed how hard it is to keep your mind operating on all four cylinders when youre having a heavy-duty day? You sit at the computer but cant focus, go to the shops but forget what you need to buy, misplace your keys or wallet or both. This mental meltdown is a direct result of adrenal fatigue.
Stress induced brain drain is caused by the hippocampus, a little seahorse shaped organ in the brain involved in our short term memory. With too much cortisol in the brain, dendrites start to shrink and dont work as properly.
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What Is Adrenal Insufficiency
Unlike adrenal fatigue, this is a recognized disease that can be diagnosed. There are two forms of this condition, and both are caused by damage or problems with your adrenal glands that result in them not making enough of the hormone cortisol.
Symptoms of both forms include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, weight loss, and stomach pain. You might also have nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, diarrhea, depression, or darkening of the skin.
Depression And Adrenal Fatigue
If you have a cognitive impairment or a neurotransmitter problem and are suffering from depression as a result of those issues then an antidepressant will be more useful. If, on the other hand, your depression is associated with a strong adrenal element, then the antidepressant likely won’t do the job and the patient might even feel worse.
When it comes down to Adrenal Fatigue one of the key indicators and symptoms, which can alert a person to the real problem, is the ineffectiveness of antidepressants. If this sounds like something you are going through, it could definitely be a signal that Adrenal Fatigue may be the primary problem at hand.
Natural alternatives to help lower inflammation and subsequently help you fight depression and Adrenal Fatigue include omega-3 fatty acids, tumeric, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.
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Is An Adrenal Fatigue Diet High Enough In Calories To Support A Healthy Pregnancy
Good question. There are several aspects to a diet for AFS are very helpful for healthy pregnancy also. Avoidance of inflammatory foods such as caffeine, alcohol, sugar, trans-fats, processed food, etc. Eating smaller meals to keep blood sugar balanced throughout the day, and should give you enough calories to support a healthy pregnancy.
Proactive Mens Medical Center: The Premier Adrenal Fatigue Treatment Center
A common condition among men, adrenal fatigue is a condition where the adrenal glands do not function properly to produce the necessary hormones for your body.
The condition can be treated and after visiting with our medical specialists, and they can prescribe a treatment plan to help you to get back to your normal healthy lifestyle.
Normally, the adrenal glands work by releasing cortisol into the bloodstream. The body uses cortisol in many ways, including brain function and blood sugar level regulation. When the adrenal glands start to malfunction, the cortisol levels in the body drop and over time, and this can cause medical issues.
Thankfully, adrenal fatigue is treatable. Once you have been diagnosed with the condition, there are several treatment options that can work, depending on the severity of your adrenal fatigue issues. At Proactive Mens Medical Center, our qualified staff will start with a diagnosis, and a licensed physician will prescribe the proper treatment for this condition.
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Avoid Caffeine Which Pushes Your Body Beyond Its Limits
If you are feeling tired in the morning and If you use coffee or diet soda to feel good, you are likely to feel bad about two hours later. This is when the caffeine crash happens. If you eat a high sugar or starch breakfast, you will also feel an energy crash about two hours later. This is because your blood sugar plummets.
Are There Any Exercises That A Person Could Do That Would Give Them A Good Idea If They Have Afs Or Not
If you don’t have advanced stages of AFS, any exercise is good for the body provided they are not extreme. Walking, biking, hiking, yoga and flexibility exercise in moderation are all safe for everyone. If you have advanced stages of AFS, make sure you follow professional guidance before embarking on exercise.
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“Dr Justin – Even though I still have a way to go, you have restored my health to a more comfortable level. Despite my autoimmune diseases, I have been able to return to work and am able to live a reasonable quality of life. You have helped me so much in understanding my health and have given me the tools to maximize my well-being. I have recommended Dr Lam’s site to many over here and will continue to send the message out there. My sincerest of ‘big thank-you’s’ to you for being such a great and caring doctor. Happy Holidays and I looked forward to an exciting year with you guys next year.To the lovely staff – I am blown away by your pleasant and extremely helpful attentiveness to my concerns and health needs. You are very special people.Thank you so much. Bless you and Happy Holidays!”
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Weight Gain Or Inability To Lose Weight
When your hormones are not optimal, digestion and assimilation of food is often hindered. If you are under constant or extreme stress or have unknown food intolerances, you may not be able to lose weight.
Weight gain or the ability to lose weight is about so much more than eating less and exercising more, especially if you have adrenal fatigue.
Weight gain is a symptom and weight loss will happen naturally as you feed your body nourishing foods and heal underlying causes.
*Tip: One of the best things to do to aid in health, healing, and weight loss is to eat the right food! Many people are eating food that is considered healthy but may not be right for their individual bodies.
To find out if the food youre eating is healing or hindering your health, consider food allergy testing along with keeping a food elimination journal.
How Does Chronic Inflammation Stress You Out
What is inflammation? You probably know the word flammable which means something can go up in flames. The word inflammation comes from the Latin, inflamare, meaning to set on fire. In the human body, the fire happens in your tissues and organs where you cannot see it. It is often silent which means you dont feel it.
In the short run, inflammation heals injury and prevents an infection. Conversely, long term inflammation is the cause of 90% of all chronic diseases.
Inflammation is the bodys way of responding to harm. In the short run, inflammation is good. If you step on a dirty object, inflammation heals the injury and prevents an infection. When it happens all the time, it is a threat to your health. Long term inflammation is involved in 90% of all chronic diseases. These include heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers disease, arthritis, and many others. Inflammation is one of the causes of adrenal fatigue.
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