When you’re going through times of stress, trauma, and betrayal, your adrenals (which output cortisol) are going to have a visceral reaction. At first, your cortisol levels can go extremely high as you’re in stress mode and your body is looking to support that. There’s a demand and you’re using a tremendous amount of cortisol. It’s as if you’re running from a tiger and your body is adapting so you have the energy and stamina needed to run to safety.
Here’s what happens over time
Over time, through stress, that output is going to start to drop because the adrenal glands just can’t keep up with the demand anymore. It’s as if the tiger is no longer a threat but you’re still running because you’re sure you’re still being chased and at risk of being attacked.
The highs and lows
The high phase is going to feel like overdrive – you can’t ramp down. You probably notice this, especially at night. You want to wind down in order to have a restful night’s sleep but your mind just won’t stop racing.
The low phase is going to feel like burnout – you have no energy. This is the phase where everything feels like an effort. You feel like you’re pushing against a force that’s pushing you back as you’re trying to move forward. If you’re going up a staircase, instead of using the railing as support, you’re using it to pull you up each step. Everything feels twice as hard as it used to feel and the only thing you want to do is collapse on the couch and call it a day.
Giving the body the raw materials it needs is key and having the right combination of nutrients that can support your adrenals is crucial.
So what nutrients are needed and how do you help bring the body back into balance?
Talk to your doctor to see what’s right for you first. Here’s more about the key nutrients the body needs to help balance out the highs and lows to support your adrenals during stressful times:
Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng)– The ginseng family of herbs possesses a unique property of aiding in the regeneration and enhanced function of hypothalamic cortisol receptors, providing an amphoteric effect (can act as a base and an acid), which allows the body to better self-regulate cortisol levels. American ginseng may also improve energy levels, benefit brain function and boost the immune system. It can also help to lower blood sugar.
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice root) – Licorice extends the serum life of cortisol, thereby lessening the demand on the adrenal cortex during stressful conditions. What does that mean and what can do for you? It helps to regulate and manage cortisol. It may also help with upper respiratory issues while reducing inflammation and digestive upset.
N-Acetyl-tyrosine–A critical building block of various neurotransmitters, thyroid hormones, and catecholamines (often depleted under chronic stress conditions). It can also act as a precursor for the important brain neurotransmitter dopamine, which impacts your energy and mood.
What are some other nutrients that are helpful to support your adrenals and the rebalance of your body, mind, and mood?
Vitamin C, pantothenic acid (B5), vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate), and vitamin B2 (as Riboflavin-5-Phosphate), all play critical roles as enzyme co-factors in the balanced production of stress hormones.
Where can you find these quality nutrients in the right amounts to help support your adrenals?
Panax quinquefolius (American ginseng) is a root that can be steamed, added to teas, stir frys, soups and water.
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice root) can be found in licorice- no, this isn’t an excuse to head out to the candy aisle of your favorite supermarket or candy store!
N-Acetyl-tyrosine is found in protein such as fish and turkey. Also in dairy such as cheese, yogurt and milk (organic is best if using dairy at all). It can also be found in pumpkin and sesame seeds, avocados, and more.
You can also find it in Rebalance. Check out Rebalance here:
While our bodies are beautifully adapted to respond to a stressful situation, we overly tax our bodies when the message isn’t conveyed that it’s time to rebalance because the thread is over. Through breathing, meditation, journaling, adrenal support and other lifestyle changes, it’s time to let the body know that the threat is over and healing is underway.
Founder and CEO, The PBT (Post Betrayal Transformation) Institute