This past month was draining for me. I felt tired in the afternoons, like I couldn’t catch a break. I was starting to crave foods that I hadn’t wanted in years, like potato chips, really?! I hadn’t felt this way since my early 30s’ right before my cancer diagnosis, living in NYC, keeping up with the rat race and burning the candle at both ends. How did I get to feeling this way so quickly?
I realized, adrenal fatigue had started to set in. Dealing with stress, or better yet, not dealing with major stress in my life had me feeling down. I HAD to put a stop to it. I took my afternoon naps back when I needed them. I discovered a new adrenal tonic, which I committed myself to drink a few times a week, I kept up my yoga classes, and I reached out to friends for healthy/venting release (thanks ladies!). After all, I am convinced that my adrenal exhaustion over 20 years ago opened up the door to my cancer diagnosis and I will not let that happen again!
Avoiding adrenal fatigue and keeping our immune system strong is one of the SIMPLEST things we can do for overall health. When we’re going about our lives, our bodies are busy producing millions of cancer cells, the majority of the time, our healthy immune systems successfully identify, attack and destroy the cells. This cycle is never-ending, and our immune system is always our direct line of defense, but what backs our immune system?
Our adrenal function.
Our adrenal function has a major supportive role to our immune system and cancer prevention. Our adrenals are all about handling stress and release our needed stress related hormones to assist our bodies in handling both day-to-day stressors and major traumatic stress events. Our adrenals do a pretty amazing job, but we have to help them out!
It’s only so long that our body can sustain under this chronic stress, before we suffer from adrenal “burnout”. Our adrenal glands will begin to produce higher than normal levels of cortisol and DHEA. Our adrenals become fatigued when we have no stress relief, daily stress builds up, or we have traumatic stress events in our life that have never been dealt with. Stressful work, stress in family, even health stresses open the door to adrenal fatigue, and that’s exactly how cancer may make its way in.
Stress hormones contribute to our weakened immune system in several ways:
- Stress hormones increase production of free radicals resulting in DNA damage and impaired immune function
- Stress hormones interfere with the “cell death” process, interfering with our bodies self regulation and DNA repair
- Stress hormones produce inflammatory proteins, increasing bodily inflammation causing disease and cancer
- Stress hormones stimulate growth factors that may promote tumor cell growth
I haven’t officially heard the word from the medical community that stress causes cancer, but it goes against reasoning and common sense that chronic stress would amplify practically every other disease known to man, and not have the same effect on cancer
When you have reached adrenal burnout:
- You feel chronically tired, for no reason, and even after getting restful sleep
- You may find yourself dealing with insatiable cravings for sweets or salty foods
- You have begun to feel or accepted that a depressed mood has become the norm for you
- You are physically feeling the effects of stress, and find it more difficult to release stress than normal
- You often feel overwhelmed, over stimulated, have a hard time concentrating
- Your sex drive has dropped
- You can’t remember the last time something wasn’t wrong with you. Maybe it started with a cold that turned into the flu, and now you’re battling with a cold again.
- You just don’t feel right, and you’ve forgotten how to “feel normal” anymore
Any of these describe you or someone you know? This needs to be a BIG wake up call.
Your body can totally prevent cancers from forming when your adrenals are functioning properly. You can turn around an impaired immune system. You can decrease inflammation, reverse insulin resistance, and discourage tumor growth! Best of all, you can overcome adrenal exhaustion and get your healthy immune system back.
You can, with effort, treat the top 2 causes of cortisol imbalances, fatigued adrenals aka immune weakening process with nutrition & stress management
If you’re ready to restore adrenal fatigue and immune function, here are my top 5 ways:
- Get yourself on a nutritional plan that you can commit to. My 21 day online cleanse is designed to restore proper adrenal function and incorporates daily lifestyle, not just diet, changes
- Making sleep and restoring adrenals a priority. These are some of the best things you can do to restore adrenal function, preferably sleeping during high melatonin production of 10pm-2am, always getting your 8 hours and take a 10-20 minute nap mid afternoon to recharge and reset. An incredible intergrative physician told me once, to lay on the floor, flat on my back, and elevate my feet at a height higher than my head for a few minutes (resting against the wall or on a chair). This is a simple, adrenal reset exercise, and I try to do it as much as I can!
- Don’t discount the power of therapy/counseling/self-evaluation/meditation/mindfulness. You can be amazed at the amount of stress which can be released by facing common life fears, and evaluation. The process truly is therapeutic and good for your health!
- When you’re in the throws of adrenal exhaustion, there are supplements to support you. Herbal supplements like Innate Adrenal Response or Metagenics Adreset (my favorites) will support you daily!
- Daily adrenal support in form of herbs….I’ve been working on a tonic that contains an amazing blend of herbs to support your adrenal function, I will be sharing this on my blog this week! Also, I’m sharing an adrenal juices that I recommend trying as well!