Do you want to learn how to calm overactive adrenal glands? Then you’re on the right page – this article looks at ways to beat adrenal fatigue and normalize your system.
Overactive Adrenal Glands: Causes & Symptoms
The adrenal glands are nickel-sized glands located right above the kidneys. They are endocrine glands that produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and steroids such as aldosterone and cortisol.
Basically, our adrenal glands produce hormones that help the body carry out certain functions such as controlling blood sugar, regulating blood pressure, burning protein and fat and reacting to stressors like a major illness or injury.
Overactive adrenal glands are those that produce excessive amounts of certain hormones:
- Androgen hormones: Adrenal glands produce androgens (male hormones) in small amounts. If your adrenals produce too much of them, it can lead to strong male traits in both men and women. Symptoms include extra hair growth on face and body, baldness, acne, deeper voice, more muscle mass in the body.
- Cortisol: This is the body’s main stress hormone. It is a steroid hormone that regulates a wide range of processes throughout the body, including metabolism and the immune response. Too much cortisol can lead to Cushing syndrome. Symptoms include upper body obesity, increased fat around the neck, thin arms and legs, fragile skin that easily bruises and pink/purple stretch marks on the body.
- Aldosterone: Excess aldosterone can cause high blood pressure and low levels of potassium. Symptoms include fatigue, muscle aches, spasms and even paralysis.
- Epinephrine or norepinephrine: Excess of these hormones leads to high blood pressure. It also results in sudden severe headaches and anxiety symptoms.
Blood & urine tests as well as imaging tests can help diagnose overactive adrenal glands.
Adrenal glands may start producing excess hormones on their own for unknown reasons. They can occur if the pituitary gland produces excess of the hormone ACTH (adrenocorticotropin). People who take high doses of steroid medicines for a long period of time will also show signs of overactive adrenal glands.
All humans have an ingrained ‘fight or flight’ response in our bodies which helps us get out of danger in an emergency.
But when you have overactive adrenal glands, your body constantly feels like its stuck in a never-ending ‘fight or flight’ mode. This is characterized by high anxiety & stress levels as the body produces increased amounts of adrenaline and cortisol.
Why? So that your body is ready to defend itself or take off since it’s constantly in the ‘fight or flight’ mode. When these excess hormones are released into your blood stream, they rapidly increase your heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and fatty acid levels.
When your body is regularly in such a state, it increases the risk of many health complications including insulin resistance, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, anxiety disorder and more.
This is why it’s important to look at how to calm overactive adrenal glands.
How to Calm Overactive Adrenal Glands
Below, let’s look at 10 easy ways on how to calm overactive adrenal gland:
1. Sip on Healing Teas
Herbal teas have a profound effect on our systems. Sip chamomile or rooibos teas to help reduce high cortisol levels.
Drinking these teas every day helps decrease symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and stress within a few weeks.
Warming teas such as ginger and cinnamon can increase energy, boost metabolism, and help to stabilize blood sugars. Please see: Top 5 Best Teas for Adrenal Fatigue – Get Your Energy Back!
2. Make Use of Herbs
There are a variety of healing herbs including adaptogens, nervines, relaxants and stimulants that help calm overactive adrenal glands.
Adaptogen herbs such as ashwaganda helps calm the body, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and fight inflammation.
Relaxants such as chamomile and lavender help quell the feeling of restlessness.
Stimulants such as licorice balances adrenaline which counters adrenal fatigue. Ginseng is an ancient herb that treats fatigue, lack of energy and low libido.
3. Get Better Sleep
We cannot function without sleep. Good quality sleep keeps us energized and well rested throughout the day so we can carry out our daily activities properly.
It’s important to have a proper sleep schedule to calm overactive adrenal glands.
4. Eat Green Superfoods
Green vegetables are super rich in antioxidants and key nutrients such as folate that improves brain-hormonal function, and magnesium that helps balance communication in the brain-adrenal axis.
Green superfoods include leafy greens like spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, asparagus, chlorella, spirulina and more.
5. Increase your Intake of Nutrient-Dense Proteins
Eating more nutrient-dense protein is an excellent way of managing adrenal health. Consume oysters, which are rich in zinc that helps reduce brain stress and anxiety.
Turkey meat contains the amino acid tryptophan which is a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin calms the body, promotes better sleep and improves your ability to handle anxiety.
Another nutrient-dense protein is organ meats because they contain significant amounts of choline, B-vitamins and Vitamin D that help beat adrenal fatigue.
6. Consume Healthy Fats Everyday
By now, everyone must be well-informed that we need to eat healthy fats in order to keep our bodies healthy. Limiting all fat out of the diet is disastrous for our bodies. Add healthy fat such as avocados, coconut oil, chia seeds, wild caught fish and more into your daily diet and see the amazing results to your health!
Avocados are rich in potassium which regulates blood pressure. It also boosts reproductive health and keeps the brain well-functioning.
Coconut oil is full of MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) which are good fats that can help with brain function. Wild caught fish and chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids that decrease inflammation and boost hormonal health.
7. Up your Magnesium Intake
Magnesium is one crucial mineral you need when considering your adrenal health. It helps support the adrenal glands, soothes tired muscles and nerves and also promotes better quality sleep. Magnesium is actually best absorbed through the skin.
Spray magnesium oil on the soles of your feet, stomach and back of knees. Also, throw in 2 cups of Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) into warm bath water every week and relax in it. It can help you get magnesium into your body.
8. Use Stress Management Techniques
Stress is one of the biggest causes of overactive adrenals. When you’re agitated and overworked, your adrenal glands constantly secrete too much cortisol which makes them overactive.
Manage your stress by doing the things that you love, practice meditation, sleep better, go for a deep tissue/relaxing massage.
Things like taking a walk in the park with your furry friend or spending quality time doing the things you love over the weekend are great stress-busters for many people.
9. Get Vitamin D
Did you know that Vitamin D is actually a hormone? It is a group of fat-soluble steroids that are produced in the skin, when it comes into contact with sun light.
Make sure you’re Vitamin D levels are high enough because Vitamin D deficiency has several side effects including depression and fatigue.
Spend at least 15 minutes everyday outdoors where the sunlight is directly touching your skin.
The early morning sun is the best time to get some Vitamin D without the sun being harsh on your skin.
10. Spend More Time in Nature
There’s something so relaxing about being in Nature. Breathing in the fresh oxygen produced by plants and looking at the wind rustling leaves on trees has a grounding and soothing effect on the mind and body.
Smelling flowers and walking barefoot on grass also helps unwind the body and reduce stress, which has a positive effect on the adrenals.
I hope the above ways have given you an idea on how to calm overactive adrenal glands for a healthier more vibrant you! Share your thoughts in the comments below.