9. The Adrenal-Thyroid Connection

Is the health of your thyroid affected by adrenal dysfunction? Of course! The thyroid is one organ of many that is negatively impacted under conditions of chronic stress and sustained cortisol production. When you have adrenal maladaptation, your body believes that it is in a state of duress, forcing other important physiological actions like digestion, immune function, and thyroid hormone production to slow in favor of dealing with the stressor. In other words, “running from the bear,” is prioritized over digesting your meal or growing hair and nails. Adrenal dysfunction has many negative effects on thyroid health: 1. Decreased communication of the brain-endocrine axis: Remember the HPA ax

6. Adrenal Gland Boot Camp Part 1: Using Light & Dark Cues

Adrenal Gland Boot Camp Using Light & Dark Cues As we have discussed in previous parts of this series, a vital component of adrenal health lies in the proper release of two hormones: cortisol and melatonin. The interplay of these two hormones is the basis for what we call our “circadian rhythm.” First, let’s recall this graph: Here we can clearly see the proper rise and fall of cortisol and melatonin throughout the day. A person whose graph looks like this one is probably getting good, restful sleep. For someone with adrenal dysfunction and insomnia, however, this delicate hormonal dance has probably become disrupted somewhere along the way. What can be done to correct this hormonal imb

5. Resetting the Circadian Rhythm & Restoring Adrenal Health

Is it possible to correct adrenal dysfunction and reset your circadian rhythm? ABSOLUTELY. Using basic lifestyle interventions to restore health is the cornerstone of Naturopathic medicine. Recommendations I commonly make are rooted in a concept I call the “triad of health.” When it comes to resetting the circadian rhythm and healing the adrenal glands, it is essential to identify the triggers that caused dysfunction in the first place, and either remove or mitigate them. Many times, this requires taking an extensive inventory of a person’s lifestyle and habits. However, starting with diet, exercise, and sleep is always a good bet. Eating an anti-inflammatory, plant and lean meat based diet

4. What is a Circadian Rhythm?

A circadian rhythm is defined as any biological process that automatically sets itself on a 24 hour cycle. Many living things have some type of circadian rhythm, including humans, who use it to time our wake-sleep cycles. Two main hormones are involved (one of which will sound familiar): -Cortisol: A stress hormone produced by our adrenal glands, one of the main jobs of cortisol is to send a signal telling the body to release sugar (glucose) into the blood stream. THIS GIVES US ENERGY! -Melatonin: Produced by the pineal gland which is located in the brain, melatonin is produced in response to darkness and is responsible for giving us quality, restful sleep. In a normal “cortisol/

3. Common Triggers for Adrenal Dysfunction

For the majority of the existence of the human race, stressors have been short in duration, intense, and straightforward. From an evolutionary standpoint, our bodies are equipped to handle stressors like running from a predator, falling from a tree, or cutting ourselves on a rock. In our modern society, however, stress is long-term, pervasive, and often difficult to pinpoint. It manifests itself both psychologically by giving us feelings of worry, fear, foreboding, and anxiety, and physiologically, by negatively impacting our health. Sources of stress that we are aware of affect us on a day-to-day basis and are usually easy to identify. Being on time and productive in a hectic workplace, dea

2. What is adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue, burnout, exhaustion, dysfunction…all are commonly used terms to refer to “adrenal maladaptation syndrome,” a way of classifying the level of adrenal function developed by endocrinologist Dr. Hans Selye, in 1936. The overall functioning of the HPA axis can be classified into three categories: I. Alarm II. Resistance III. Exhaustion Interestingly, only the last stage is technically termed adrenal exhaustion, or fatigue. Since each category is reflective of the overall health and ability of the adrenal glands to respond to stress, it is very important to understand that each stage warrants its own unique approach in terms of support and management. During the “alarm stag

1. What is the HPA axis?

In order to truly understand chronic fatigue as it relates to adrenal dysfunction, we must first define the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal,

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