The Battle of Systems: Stress, Weight, and Your Adrenal Glands

The body is all connected. In this post, I’ll address three major glands that contribute to migraines and adrenal fatigue, especially in terms of stress and weight. 

The Triple Threat

Things are boiling now. We’re brought together by a single disease that is ransacking our lives, businesses, and health. It’s important to stay calm and believe in your power. Currently, migraineurs and those with adrenal fatigue have a triple threat:

1.       Higher levels of stress

2.       Fewer healthy foods available

3.       Mental health concerns

Before I go into the three glands under attack and discuss a few ways to address these threats, I’d like to invite you to laugh. We all need a bit more humor in our lives.

Taking Care of Your Adrenal Glands

If you haven’t read my blog before now, take a look at these causes and natural treatments for adrenal fatigue.  In this article, I’d like to focus on some quick facts about how your adrenals are behaving and what you can do about it.  Let’s start with the basics:

·         Some form of stress primarily causes adrenal fatigue syndrome – be it physical, emotional, or mental. These two tiny glands at the top of each kidney give you the bursts of energy you need to get through that workout, perform strenuous tasks, deal with stressful situations, and react to your fight-or-flight response.

·         The glands do not produce enough hormones to perform those activities all the time without proper sleep and self-care measures. This leads to a host of symptoms, especially extreme exhaustion, body aches, and lightheadedness.

·         Adrenal fatigue and adrenal insufficiency are not the same things, though very similar. One is a “recognized” disease (Addison’s disease = insufficiency), and the other is much more difficult to identify and treat. 

The adrenal glands are like a motor, and your motor needs fuel.  Food is fuel. I made a video about foods you can add to your diet that’ll help restore and replenish the adrenal glands.

Improving Your Thyroid Function

Your thyroid function is one of the most prominent players in keeping your body’s engine moving. It’s what we’re talking about when we mention ‘metabolism.’ The thyroid gland is much like your adrenals because it’s also highly sensitive to stress. One of the telling signs of low thyroid function is extreme sluggishness throughout the day – a similar feeling to the fatigue that comes from adrenal gland burnout. 

Taxed and worn out adrenals put incredible pressure on the thyroid gland and slow the metabolism, often leading to noticeable fluctuations in weight.  The thyroid gland becomes unable to support the food, drink, and chemicals going into the body.  Not surprisingly, 30% of people with an underactive thyroid gland also have severe headaches and migraines. 

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your thyroid gland. Even moderate physical activity can support your thyroid gland. Take a light walk, clean up the yard or home, dance, or do yoga. Whatever you decide, make it a routine and be gentle with yourself. Here are 5 great foods you can try to boost thyroid function as well.

Supporting Your Brain

The hypothalamus regulates the adrenals and thyroid gland (among others). It’s a small region in the brain near the pituitary gland. Controlling your behaviors, managing what you eat, and continuing to look for ways to get better puts you in a prime position to find a regimen that works. Once you find more ways to help your body heal itself, the hypothalamus will usually self-correct; however, there are still a few things you can do to support this part of your brain.

·         Go for foods high in omega-3 fatty acids and add a good fish oil supplement.

·         Eatvitamin-rich foods (especially in B and C vitamins), which are excellent sources of “brain food.”

·         Frankincense and myrrh essential oils have active compounds called terpenes and sesquiterpenes. These compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have helped improve brain function since biblical times.

·         As with thyroid and adrenal gland support, exercise and getting enough quality sleep will strengthen your brain.

Migraineurs don’t just have severe headaches.  It’s not “all in your head.”  It’s all over the body, and it’s especially prevalent in your glands. When your body, mind, and spirit are under extreme levels of stress, everything responds by giving more hormones. Without proper self-care and attention, hormone stores will be depleted, and the body will be ripe for disease. Start with the things you can control and know you’re not alone. 

Sources:

Hormone Health Network: Adrenal Fatigue

Dr. Lam Coaching: Are chronic migraines caused by adrenal fatigue

Medical News Today: What does the hypothalamus do