Hello August! I certainly can’t believe it’s August already! But a new month means a fresh new topic! Hope you all enjoyed last month’s topics around fertility. If you missed it, or know someone that might benefit, please SHARE them!
WHAT ARE THE ADRENALS???
I’m SO glad you asked:)
The adrenal glands are little but powerful glands that sit on top of your kidneys.
(not my image)
These glands produce hormones which are in a class called “steroid hormones”.
Steroid hormones are a family of hormones made directly from Cholesterol!
The specific steroid hormones that are produced from the adrenal glands are cortisol and aldosterone.
WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THESE HORMONES! In fact, cortisol is so important we’d die without it in a matter of three days!
These hormones govern stress handling systems, growth, mood and metabolism and impact almost every cell and every organ in the body!
But …. It all STARTS with….. CHOLESTEROL!!
This important FAT is manufactured in the liver AND intestines.
It is produced based on need.
The benefits of cholesterol have been misunderstood for so many years, but as we know now with the ketogenic craze, that fats are so amazing for us and needed for adequate hormone production.
These are all the things Cholesterol does:
- Cell membrane flexibility ( it is literally in our cell membranes, so you biochemically cannot gain weight from eating saturated fats, it’s IN YOUR CELL membranes)
- Needed for brain health
- Important for nerve conduction
- Needed for vitamin D conversion in the skin
- protects against heart disease and cancer
- supports healthy immune function
- increases cell wall permeability
- mother’s milk is high in cholesterol as babies need very high amounts (BABY FORMULA has NO CHOLESTEROL in it, it’s not a good source of nutrition)
- Maintains health of intestinal wall; helps prevent leaky gut and dysbiosis
- Component of bile which is required to process and absorb dietary fats
- contribute to longevity
- supports health emotional responses
- decreases suicide risk
- important for healthy reproduction, intelligent offspring and hormone production
-depression and suicide (its essential in the production of serotonin)
The best sources to get this in your diet are in animal tissues:
- Egg yolks
- sardines, trout, herring, salmon and cod liver oil
- grass fed meats
HERE is the ADRENAL HORMONE PATHWAY.
You see how cholesterol is at the top???
Now as we go down the chart you will see one route that leads to cortisol.
Cortisol controls our Stress Response. That is: Fight or Flight Response. This is vital so that when a threat is upon us we can react quickly! However, the problem remains when chronic stress continues.
When chronic stress (we will go over what chronic stress is caused by the rest of this month) continues, cortisol is constantly being pumped out. This causes something called the Pregnenalone Steal.
This means sex hormones won’t be made efficiently because we constantly need cortisol production for the chronic stress.
Here are the effects of chronic and prolonged stress:
- estrogen dominance
- depressed or elevated DHEA
- weakened immune system
- thyroid dysfunction
- poor sleep
- digestive disorders
- accelerated aging
- hair loss
- lowered body temperature
- weak muscle tone
- difficulty gaining weight
- inability to concentrate
- excessive hunger
- tendency towards inflammation
- poor memory/confusion
- digestion dysfunction
- feelings of frustration
- overall feeling of ill health
- auto immune diseases
- heart palpitations
- dizziness upon standing
- lowered resistance to infections
- low blood pressure
- sweet/salt cravings
What about the second hormone the adrenals produce? This is aldosterone.
Aldosterone’s main role is to regulate salt and water on the body, having a huge influence on blood pressure.
So, when the adrenal glands aren’t functioning properly blood pressure dys-regulation and electrolyte imbalance can also come into play.
I can tell you, almost every patient I see needs some form or another of adrenal support. The reason because we are being attacked literally every day from every angle. We didn’t used to have to use so many products or methods even 15-20 years ago. This being because now more toxins are everywhere, infections, EMF’s, chemical products, foods, vaccines, crazy work schedules. It’s often hard for our bodies and adrenal glands to keep up. The key is not to just continually keep supplementing the adrenal glands with specific nutritional supplements, but to find the culprits, which may be one or all combined.
Next week we will go over nervous system and brain function and it’s role in Stress out and Helping this gland.