Identifying & Healing Adrenal Gland Fatigue
By Lana Lokteff | redicecreations.com
Most people are completely unaware of the function of the adrenal glands, located at the top of both kidneys. Therefore, hence the term "adrenal,” which in Latin can be translated as ad- "near" and renes- "kidney". Your adrenal glands produce and release several different hormones that maintain internal fluid levels, maintain sodium and potassium levels, and mediate the stress response. The purpose of the secreted hormones is to evoke a specific response in other cells of the body which are located far away.
The adrenal cortex is the outer layer and is responsible for the production of steroid hormones called glucocorticoids, mineralcorticoids, and androgens. The major glucocorticoid produced by the adrenal is cortisol. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone because the body releases it in order to help cope with stressful situations. It’s also secreted in higher levels during the body’s “fight or flight” response to stress, and is responsible for several stress-related changes in the body. These changes can be a quick burst of energy for survival reasons, heightened memory functions, a burst of increased immunity, lower sensitivity to pain and homeostasis.
After one experiences high-stress or a traumatic experience, it is vital to activate the body’s relaxation response so the body can return to a comfortable normal. For instance, the adrenal glands respond to stress by secreting aldosterone which tells the kidneys to retain more sodium and copper which are stimulating and provide a quick energy supply to power the sympathetic nervous system "fight or flight" response . At the same time, aldosterone tells the kidneys to eliminate large amounts of zinc and magnesium which are calming to the nervous system. The body doesn’t need anything calming in the nervous system if we need to be alert and ready for action, just as our "fight or flight" defense mechanism was designed to protect us from danger. However, the body cannot sustain these levels for too long or it becomes toxic to the system. These responses were designed to be temporary.