Adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones including cortisol. Stress activates the cortisol hormone, signaling the body to enter a heightened state of emergency. The Adrenal glands can’t distinguish between true emergency situations and common stresses, allowing cortisol production to stay in full swing when it should only be short term. This class of chronic stress contributes to mood swings, exhaustion, hormonal imbalance and much more. After persistent compromise of our adrenal glands they lose their ability to produce cortisol and start to produce extra adrenaline which can cause people to feel anxiety, lightheadedness, irritation or even shaky. Adrenal fatigue can cause low blood pressure, allergies and even exhaustion but there are steps we can take to support our adrenal glands and start feeling great again.
When we go for long periods without food, our adrenal glands work hard to release more cortisol and adrenaline, to try to maintain the body’s normal functioning. When our blood sugar dips for extended periods, this creates a stress reaction, taxing the adrenals. It’s important to know that our body always needs energy, even when we are sleeping. Cortisol works to moderate blood sugar in between meals and at night, so regulating our cortisol levels by eating timely, healthy meals and snacks is key.
Cortisol levels follow our natural circadian rhythm. It begins to rise around 6 am, peaks around 8 am, and then throughout the day naturally rises and falls as needed. It tapers off at night, and reaches its lowest levels while we are sleeping.
Timing our meals, and how much we eat, can help regulate cortisol and its natural cycle. Eating larger meals earlier in the day naturally helps support cortisol levels, while eating smaller, lighter meals at the end of the day helps maintain hormonal balance.
Most people need adrenal support to either prevent inflammation from worsening and going toward a disease state or to help your body appropriately handle stress for other reasons. Learn more about Adrenal Fatigue and schedule a Free Consultation with Dr. Della Parker by calling 503.908-0881 now.