I hope you're having a great day and were able to do something fun over the weekend! It was kind of chilly (San Diego cold) here over the weekend, but it was great hiking weather, so I went hiking with a couple friends at Torrey Pines.
Today, I wanted to talk about something that many people experience, but you may or may not be aware that there is even something wrong.
Have you been:
feeling stressed out?
having difficulty sleeping?
having mood swings?
gaining weight around your abdomen?
These are all signs that your hormones may be imbalanced. The adrenal glands, which are 2 walnut sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys, work in conjunction with the thyroid gland as your energy producing system. When we experience chronic stress, our adrenal glands suffer. The adrenal glands produce some very important hormones:
Cortisol, which helps regulate blood sugar, metabolism, and your body’s stress response.
Aldosterone, which regulates blood pressure.
Adrenaline, which prepares the body to respond to a “fight or flight” situation. The adrenals also affect kidney function.
When our cortisol levels increase due to stress, and they stay elevated, it can affect our immune function, digestion, sleep, and our ability to produce other hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid hormones. This compromises our health, and can lead to inflammation, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess abdominal fat, which is one of the biggest problems that my clients complain about. If the adrenals are compromised for a while, we may stop producing cortisol, and produce excess adrenaline instead, which causes irritability, anxiety, and lightheadedness. This can also lead to adrenal fatigue.
What can you do to prevent this from happening or fix it if it has already happened?
Besides decreasing chronic stress, changing what you eat is also important. Make sure that you eat breakfast within one hour of waking up, and eat meals throughout the day (3 meals and 2-3 snacks). This will help balance your blood sugars. It is also best to avoid sweets (such as cookies, cake, and candy) and caffeine as these tend to make us “crash.”
Also, by detoxing the body in the winter, the organs that get naturally get detoxed in the winter(according to Chinese medicine) are the kidneys, bladder, and adrenals, so it’s really good to take care of these organs this time of year. During the winter, our natural tendency is to slow down, go within, and reflect. Hippocrates said, “Consider the seasons of the year and what each of them produces.” When you eat whole, fresh foods that are in season, you will detox the body naturally, (In the winter, that means you will naturally detox these 3 organs.).
Good kidney function is vital for your health also, as the kidneys are responsible for keeping the composition of the blood stable. Every day the kidneys filter between 120-150 quarts of blood to eliminate waste through the urine. They also help keep the electrolytes balanced in the body. Weak kidneys or adrenals can cause the following symptoms:
Lower back pain
Fatigue, even after a good night’s sleep
Cold hands and feet
Constipation or IBS
Stomach gurgling after eating
Cravings for sweets or caffeine
If you feel that your hormones may be imbalanced, or if you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned, you may want to consider doing a cleanse. I am currently offering my 14 day New Year, New You Reset. It is designed to support your body during the winter season. You will nourish the kidneys and adrenals by avoiding stressors such as caffeine, eating carefully selected foods, and drinking the cranberry water tonic. For more information or to sign up, click here.