Small But Mighty, Your Adrenal Glands

Nov 15, 2022

Our bodies are amazing machines. They put up with a lot. I know mine sure has. Over the course of my life, my body has been mistreated, neglected, and put through the paces more times than I care to admit, but still, it continued to show up for me day in and day out. Self-advocacy & self awareness were two skills that I desperately needed to develop. Thankfully, I’ve learned to listen to the messages my body sends so that I don’t push it past its’ limits because there is a point when the body says, “enough is enough.”


Fatigue, sleep disruptions, weight changes, salt and/or sugar cravings, allergies, anxiousness, nervousness, low blood pressure, brain fog, lack of resilience….all of these are direct messages from your body to you that balance has been disrupted and attention is needed.



In this fast-paced, overstressed, social media driven, cortisol-spiking world in which we live, I think it’s safe to say that our bodies & minds are overburdened, and many of us are likely suffering from some degree of adrenal dysfunction. Have you heard of this condition?



Let’s take a quick side bar to explore the adrenal glands for a moment. Anatomically, the adrenal glands sit like a little cap atop your kidneys.  Small, but mighty, these glands work to deal with ALL of the stress that we place on them, including our emotions, food choices, and toxins (both environmental & internal).



The adrenals are part of the endocrine system, and are tasked with releasing key hormones, like cortisol, that are responsible for your energy levels, your vigor, your zest for life, your sleep, your moods, your hunger or satiety, and much more. So important is the proper function of these glands that when they become dysfunctional, they are like the first domino in the hormonal cascade….throwing other key hormones out of balance and creating widespread disturbance throughout the entire body.



How do the adrenals become overburdened? There are a number of ways, like:

  • persistent or repeated disease and illness

  • physical stress due to injury, poor diet, surgery, addiction

  • emotional stress from a challenging marriage, divorce, death of a loved one, strained work environment, a new baby, finances, or other hardships

  • environmental stress-chemical pollution of air, water, food, drugs

  • chronic nutrient deficiencies

  • and more….



It’s hard to escape from situations and circumstances that can drive adrenal fatigue/dysfunction. However, through nutritional and lifestyle practices, we can build resilience in the body. We can learn to rebound from stressors faster so that those confusing, seemingly endless symptoms do not manifest.



Are you connecting some dots here? Do you think that your adrenals might be in need of some TLC? Adrenal fatigue/burnout/dysfunction plays out in 3 stages. While each stage requires slightly different treatment, there are universal ways that you can begin, right now, to restore your adrenal glands to health. Let’s take a look:



  • Where nutrition is concerned, let your diet be as vast as you can handle, with no skipped meals and ample nutrients.


  • Remove ALL known food allergies or sensitivities (This is the work I help patients with as the Functional Nutrition Counselor for “The Allergy Center of Franklin”).


  • Consume low glycemic foods.


  • Keep blood sugar balanced….this is absolutely crucial for proper adrenal function.


  • Do not consume oxidized oils or trans fats, as these further stress your cells.


  • Consume little to no caffeine, and no coffee is you truly want to support your adrenals.


  • Do not fast! This is not the time to try an Intermittent Fasting program. Adrenal dysfunction requires a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals, delivered to the body in 3-5 hour increments.


  • Eat something small with some good protein and fat before bed, if nighttime waking is a concern.



 Adrenal dysfunction is a big topic with far reaching impact, so we will certainly talk more about it. For now, give these tips a try and see if you notice some positive changes in the weeks to come.

Drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing!


In Good Health,

Lori Z.