Your Adrenal Glands Need Help

If you’re trying your very best to keep the stress levels under control, the anxiety out of your sleep, and the pain away from your body as we enter the new year, this article is for you.

Now is the perfect time for a refresher on how to cope with the stress that negatively affects your adrenal glands, which can further worsen headaches and migraines.  Often, the excessive fatigue and bouts of severe headaches or migraines start after the glittering excitement of the season, so now is the time to watch out.

Last year, I wrote an article titled “Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, Stress, and Migraines.”  I’m going to spend this post refreshing your memory on some of the facts about the conditions and elaborating on ways to combat stress, adrenal exhaustion, and migraines.

Now is the time to take control.

Adrenal Gland Function and Stress

  • The adrenal glands help our bodies handle stress by releasing specific hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and DHEA.
  • The General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS) controls your stress response from the adrenals and leads your body through three stages:
    • Fight or flight
    • Resistance reaction
    • Exhaustion
  • Caffeine slows down adrenal hormone production
  • Chronic stress depletes adrenal gland hormones
  • Sleep loss or fragmented sleep leads to excess production of stress hormones
  • High-sugar diets lead to adrenal stress because insulin levels skyrocket and then plummet regularly

Migraines and Stress

We don’t know if excessive stress on the adrenal glands leads to migraines or vice versa because of the stress on the body, but we do know one thing: more often than not, they’re connected.  Here are some facts about the migraines and stress:

  • A 2001 study revealed that stress provoked 91% of migraine attacks (with or without aura)
  • Stress releases peptides, protein particles that inflame blood vessels, which leads to overstimulation of nerve cells
  • People with migraines have higher stress scores and altered levels of hormones than those without migraines

Tips for Managing Your Stress Levels

You have probably already heard enough about how important it is for migraineurs and chronic adrenal fatigue sufferers to keep their stress levels under control, their sleep restorative, and their food intake healthy and optimal.

However, putting it into practice is the hardest part, so here are a few tips to help you get on track with whatever stress-relieving practice works for you:

  1. Use a special Peace calendar, where you schedule your chosen stress-relieving activity goals daily, weekly, and monthly.
    1. Daily goal example: Sit for 10 mins in a dark, quiet room and just breathe
    2. Weekly goal example: 4 days of nothing but healthy, restorative foods
    3. Monthly goal example: Reduce caffeine intake by ¼ cup a day to reach 2 cups a day by the end of this month
  2. Set up written reminders around your home and office. Write down the affirmations that work for you, such as:
    1. Breathe
    2. My health is important
    3. I can do this
  3. Get a special journal, electronic or hand-written. Write in it every day, even if it’s just one sentence.  Build yourself up, take responsibility for any slips in your goals, and be gentle and forgiving to yourself.
  4. The research found on Mercola shows that a 20-second hug can:
    1. Reduce the harmful effects of stress
    2. Increase oxytocin (the love hormone), which relieves stress
    3. Lessen fatigue

It’s important to stay on top of your health plan through every season of the year, but this season more than ever.  Darker days lead to less vitamin D intake and a higher risk of depression.  Depression, as you know, leads to more stress and deteriorating health.  Let’s spend 2018 creating new ways to handle stress, migraines, and adrenal health.  So, schedule your Peace goals, create visual affirmations, journal your journey, and get some hugs.  Life is short, and there’s no reason to spend it in pain.

 

 

Sources:

Mind Body Green on Adrenal Fatigue

Migraine.com on Stress Migraine