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The purpose of the adrenal glands is to help the body cope with the stresses of life and to survive. It is the job of the adrenal glands to enable the body to deal with stress from every possible source, ranging from injury and disease to work and relationships. Our resiliency, endurance and energy depend on their proper functioning. The hormones secreted by the adrenal glands influence the major physiological processes in the body. They affect the utilization of carbohydrates and fats, the conversion of fats and proteins into energy, the distribution of stored fat (especially around the waist), normal blood sugar regulation and proper cardiovascular and gastrointestinal function. Indeed, the protective activity of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant hormones secreted by the adrenals helps to minimise negative and allergic reactions to alcohol, drugs, foods and environmental allergens.

The propensity to develop certain kinds of diseases and the ability to respond to chronic illness is influenced significantly by the adrenal glands. The more chronic the illness, the more critical the adrenal response becomes. We cannot live without our adrenal hormones and how well we live depends a great deal on how well our adrenal glands function. Adrenal fatigue (whether mild or severe) is usually caused by some form of stress. This stress can be physical, emotional, psychological, environmental or infectious. Anyone who does not get enough rest and relaxation, who drives themselves constantly, who is a perfectionist, who is under constant pressure, who feels trapped or helpless, who feels overwhelmed by repeated emotional or physical trauma or illness is probably suffering from some degree of adrenal fatigue.

Signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  • • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • • Continuing fatigue not relieved by sleep
  • • Craving for salt or salty foods
  • • Lethargy – everything seems like a chore (even things you enjoy)
  • • Increased effort to do every day tasks
  • • Decreased sex drive
  • • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • • Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma
  • • Light-headed when standing up quickly
  • • Mild depression
  • • Less enjoyment or happiness with life
  • • Increased PMS
  • • Symptoms increase if meals are skipped or inadequate
  • • Thoughts are less focused, more fuzzy
  • • Memory less accurate
  • • Decreased tolerance

It is extremely sad that adrenal fatigue (hypoadrenia) is not taught in medical schools yet it has been recognised, written about, discussed and treated for over one hundred years. Unfortunately, the average doctor is unaware of its presence and so, not surprisingly, seldom looks for it. Even endocrinologists rarely recognise adrenal fatigue as a distinct condition or are prepared to treat it (unless it manifests in its most severe form: Addison’s Disease), that is why it is important that we become informed ourselves and recognise it.

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Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells within the pancreas. Insulin is released into the blood stream and travels throughout the body. It is an important hormone that has many actions within the body. Most of the actions of insulin are directed at metabolism (control) of carbohydrates, fats (lipids), and proteins. Insulin also is important in regulating the cells of the body including their growth.

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the cells of the body become resistant to the effects of insulin, that is, the normal response to a given amount of insulin is reduced. As a result, higher levels of insulin are needed in order for insulin to have its effects.

Causes

There are probably several causes of insulin resistance and there is thought to be a strong inherited component. Some medications can lead to insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is seen often in the following conditions:

  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Oestrogen
  • Menopause and the years thereafter
  • The Pill
  • HRT
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Infection or severe illness
  • Stress
  • Steroid use

A combination of raw vitamins, minerals and amino acids mixed daily with some fruit juice not only ensures the insulin response works at its optimum level, but also boosts energy and assists with weight loss. And, it’s not too disgusting to drink either!

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