Due to stress and poor diet, the function of the adrenal glands is diminished. Three naturopaths I know have indicated that almost every one of their patients has adrenal deficiency, an under-diagnosed condition attributed to many health issues including tiredness, recurring infections, failing immune system, decreased sex drive, infertility, salt cravings, achiness, low blood pressure, dizziness when standing, and hypoglycemia.
The adrenals are small glands above your kidneys in your lower back. They secrete over 50 hormones including epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, aldosterone, progesterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), estrogen, and testosterone. They are responsible for the fight or flight response, a life-saving mechanism designed to strengthen our bodies in times of extreme stress. As a result, stress is one primary cause of adrenal deficiency.
During stress, the adrenals release cortisol. (High levels of this hormone are linked to breast cancer.) When the adrenals are fatigued from overwork, extra progesterone is sent in to help support them. Since the hormone progesterone helps keep your levels of estrogen balanced, it gets distracted from doing so when it steps away from its post to help your adrenals. This cycle of stress and adrenal fatigue can continue indefinitely. Meanwhile, your hormones struggle to maintain some sort of normalcy.
Adrenal deficiency and the associated symptoms can be reversed. One way is to stop all the rushing around and rest. Lie down as often as you can. Meditate, sleep adequately, eat well, and limit both sugar and caffeine, which stress the adrenals. All of the things you know to heal stress also heal the adrenals.
Balancing hormones means creating an internal condition that is as close to your natural rhythm as possible. The natural rhythm of a human being does not involve speeding down a highway or rushing around to get everything scratched off a to-do list each day. To get closer to your own natural rhythm, take time for yourself, slow down, and breathe.