Today’s pace of life is pushing the boundaries of our health like never before. Besides the stress levels of everyday life, we’ve seen greater dependence on stimulants to get moving as well as things like alcohol to slow down at the end of the day.
With coffee shops on every corner and stronger and stronger levels of caffeine and sugar in our drinks, we’ve not only become a connected society by the internet, but we’ve become wired with these and the plethora of energy drinks. Trying to stay up with the many demands of life has pushed humanity into new and toxic levels of existence. With that, we’re seeing greater levels of physical exhaustion, with added reason to force the body to keep up, using stimulants.
The more we abuse these stimulants, the greater need to try and slow things down when day is done. Sleep is so very important in maintaining optimal health, and we’re seeing sleep deprivation as one more obstacle to achieving optimal health. Adrenal exhaustion is so common that treating every patient I see with adrenal support, even without doing any kind of work-up is probably one of the smartest things I can do.
Salivary testing with what we call the adrenal stress index can reveal the degree of adrenal health the patient is in. Elevated cortisol is something we see in the acute phase of stress and is probably the easiest to care for. When this level tanks, we have to provide prolonged treatment.
My first line of treatment in the case of acute stress, where cortisol is elevated is Drenamin. This includes adrenal DNA to down-regulate damage to the adrenal glands. Along with this there’s the calming and nerve regenerating B vitamins. Included is vitamin C to aid adrenal function since the element Tyrosinase, (critical to adrenal function) is present in it.
This component of vitamin C is only found in naturally occurring vitamin C. It’s critical for adrenal function. High potency ascorbic acid is void of this element. Many times, the calming and relaxing alkaline minerals are required to get us out of the fight or flight mode so we can actually relax and allow the adrenal glands what is needed to recover. For this, I often resort to a mineral tranquilizer called Min-Tran.
Herbal therapy is often where we can get some well needed support. For this we have herbs like Rhodiola, Schisandra, Ashwaganda, and Rehmannia. These are specific when we are in the acute stress stages as well as into stage 1 of adrenal trauma.
To get adequate help here, there are two things required. First is to eliminate or reduce the stress load, and secondly is to maintain support for one to three months. Reducing the stress load can be as simple as turning off the news or getting active with some physical exercise or spending quality time with family members. Many use meditation or things like yoga to reduce stress. The primary principle is to change your focus.
Far too often our stress levels are nothing more than what we feed into our eyes and ears on a daily basis. Worrying about something is far more stressful than doing something about it. When both DHEA and Cortisol levels are dropping, treatment needs to be more aggressive and for a longer time to regenerate adrenals. During these times, the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus needs support. This is the control center for your adrenal glands as well as all your other glands. When this area is tapped out, we see many other conditions arise.
The issues of low testosterone as well as many other hormone imbalances are often connected to a stressed out hypothalamus. This is the frequently forgotten stress response center. This area not only controls your hormone balance, but your autonomic nervous system as well. When we see tapped out adrenals and hypothalamus, treatment can require three to twelve months to be fully revived. This is provided stress issues are addressed properly.
Sometimes there’s a greater need for more aggressive use of minerals to restore the endocrine system while using added adrenal and hypothalamic support. Repairing adrenal and hypothalamic function can often help other conditions which may seem to be separate and isolated.
The fact that stress affects every aspect of life is something we all need to be aware of. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of worry, fear, and discouragement. Encourage yourself today and make it a point to do so for someone else. God is still on the throne and loves you!
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Dr Briggs is a 1980 graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and has been practicing naturopathic medicine in the northwest corner of Oregon since his graduation. His practice involves diagnostic and therapeutic modalities which have stood the test of time and the challenges of diverse disease. We believe that each person exists dynamically as a spirit being, possessing a soul made up of their mind, will, and emotions, living in a body which requires specific care and nutrition. To address only the physical needs is to ignore the real person, and frequently, the real issues. We strive to address all your issues (spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical) with compassion and wisdom.
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