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Take control of body’s survival strategy


Take control of body’s survival strategy

Among the many functions of the adrenal glands is producing cortisol in response to stress and, writes TRUDY KITHER, there is good reason for keeping cortisol production in check.

The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and control stress by producing cortisol in response to perceptions of stress in daily activities.

This is not just physical stress though, because emotional stress can be much worse than the physical form.

Adrenal glands also have many other functions such as anti-inflammatory actions, for example, ridding the body of pain and inflammation, balancing the salt and fluid levels, immune system protection, controlling minerals such as potassium, sleep and awake cycles and a rapid heart beat.

Cortisol was designed as a survival mechanism to alert us to take action but if the adrenal glands produces too much cortisol for too long, then belly fat will develop as a survival response.

This is because your body is going to make sure that it has enough stored fat, used in the body for fuel), around the liver, kidneys and heart to keep itself alive.

The body doesn’t worry about appearance. It is strictly a survival strategy.

There are natural treatments which can be implemented straight away to start lowering your cortisol levels while nourishing and supporting your adrenals back to optimal function.

A few of these treatments include:

Cutting down on stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and certain medications.

Even though you may feel the need to drink copious amount of caffeine or other stimulants to keep up your energy levels, it’s actually the worst thing you can do.  Caffeine and other stimulants place even more of a burden on your already over-stressed adrenals and help them to burn out faster.

Reducing body stress.

Because the body is in such a hypervigilant state most of the time it is important to reduce as much stress, whether it be physical, mental or emotional, as possible.  The overload of stress is what started the adrenal fatigue cascade in the first place, so a conscious effort needs to be made to remove yourself as much as possible from the stressful situations and/or environment.

Increase activities such as walking outdoors while NOT doing any high cardio or aerobic exercises.

Intense physical activity will overload the adrenals.  Your body is then reminded of the perceived dangers it could possibly face and quickly returns to its now well-rehearsed “fight or flight” response.

Consume at least two teaspoons of raw nutritional yeast flakes daily.

The more stress you experience, the more you deplete the B vitamins from your body.  One of the best sources of natural B vitamins is sourced in nutritional yeast flakes.  You can get this from your local health food store or some health food sections at the supermarket.

Sprinkle at least two teaspoons a day on your food to add B vitamins into your diet. This will help counter the natural stress on your body, nourish the nervous system and convert the food you eat into energy.

Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily.

As much as the Adrenal Body Type person finds it hard to sleep or at the very least, stay asleep, it is imperative that as much sleep is gained as possible.  The body needs calm and rest and the sleep cycle is needed to help heal your body.

There are beneficial herbs available to help encourage much-needed sleep (and longevity) cycle, which you need to achieve a healing 7-8 hours of sleep regularly.

Take a quality adrenal formula with targeted adrenal herbs for morning and night

The importance of this cannot be emphasised enough.  A combination of a good quality, targeted adrenal herbs in a formula for day and night is a must when treating adrenal fatigue.  An emphasis on specifically targeted, good quality herbs is important.

With the addition of these you will start to nourish, support and heal your overworked adrenal glands and get them working as healthily and as efficiently as possible once again.

As these natural treatments are implemented (sometimes along with other natural treatments and depending upon your individual circumstances), you will be able to start to bring back your motivation, energy, clear-headedness and enjoyment for life again.

 Trudy Kither is a naturopath, nutritionist and herbal medicine practitioner. Visit

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