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Feeling Burnt Out?

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The adrenal glands are so frequently overworked and undernourished. It's a common occurrence within our non-stop culture. Constant stress, long hours at work and less time to rest can leave the adrenals weak and underactive.

The adrenal glands are so frequently overworked and undernourished. It's a common occurrence within our non-stop culture.

Constant stress, long hours at work and less time to rest can leave the adrenals weak and underactive. Caffeine, nicotine and sugar all place an additional load upon them, making the body vulnerable to symptoms such as fatigue, hypoglycemia, allergies, lowered resistance to infections, poor appetite, weight loss and weight gain, insomnia and nervousness.

Hormone Support

The adrenals are part of the endocrine system, which is composed of a series of other glands including the pineal, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, pancreas and gonads (ovaries and testes). All these glands co-ordinate and direct the activity of the body's cells through the secretion of hormones. Specific vitamins and minerals are required to maintain optimal function of the endocrine glands and to provide the necessary material for hormone manufacture. To ensure a balanced daily intake, it's important to include a combined broad-spectrum formula (also known as a multi-formula), taken in divided amounts with each meal. To provide adequate support for the adrenals, a stress formula containing the B vitamins, vitamins C and A and zinc will also be beneficial.

Protein

All hormones (except the steroids) are manufactured from amino acids. To ensure the essential components are available, an adequate intake of high quality protein is required. If protein intake is too low, then hormone production will decrease. If calorie intake is too low, then hormone production will be insufficient as the body will convert protein into fuel to maintain energy for physical activity. Low protein diets, severe weight loss diets and extended fasting can be detrimental to endocrine function.

Fats

Steroid hormones (such as estrogen from sex glands and corticosteroid from adrenal glands) are made from lipids (fats) and cholesterol. Hence, an adequate daily intake of essential fatty acids (EFAs) is required. EFAs can be attained through the consumption of fresh, whole foods such as avocados, nuts, seeds, fish oils and flax seed oil, as well as EFA supplements.

Glandular Regeneration

Glandular concentrates help to restore optimal glandular function by providing raw materials in a "ready to use" form. It is better to support all organs and glands at the same time, as they all work together; a combination of glandular concentrates would provide the best results. Please note that you will not find thyroid concentrate in a formula. However, if iodine-containing sea vegetables such as kelp or dulse are added to the diet or taken as a separate supplement, they will provide the necessary support to the thyroid.

Nutritional formulas provide a synergistic combination of vitamins, minerals, glandular concentrates and amino acids to support the key glands in the endocrine system. Discuss the formulas available at your local health food store.

Natural Sunlight

Natural sunlight is an important consideration, not only in the stimulation of vitamin D, which is a precursor to calcium absorption, but also because sunlight can act as a mood enhancer by decreasing levels of melatonin, a pineal hormone that depresses mood.

Herbs

Herbs are also an option in providing support to the endocrine system. They may have either a cleansing or balancing effect on the body. Anyone in very stressful conditions could benefit from regular drinking of borage tea and taking ginseng. Licorice is also good for revitalizing the adrenals.

Lifestyle

Periods of relaxation and regular physical exercise are also essential. Fresh air and surrounding yourself in a natural environment can enhance mental clarity. These activities allow you to sustain a sense of well-being and attain a better handle on stress, thus minimizing the burden to the endocrine system.

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