Published: 11/11/2014 - Updated: 01/02/2018
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
The suprarenal glands, also know as the adrenal glands, are glandular structures that function to regulate responses to stress, fear, anxiety, etc., by synthesizing primarily adrenaline and noradrenaline (secreted by the adrenal medulla). These glands also produce other indispensable hormones for life like sex and cortisol hormones, among other functions.
As their name indicates, they are located above the kidneys (supra: above, renal: kidney). They are tiny “hats” above the kidneys that are made up of a cortex (the external part is yellow, which basically receives instructions from the hypophysis through the adrenocorticotropic hormone) and a suprarenal medulla (located within the cortex, a brown-red color and considered to be a ganglion in the sympathetic nervous system). Both structures are innervated by the autonomous nervous system.
What are the functions of the adrenal gland?
Anytime there is a stress situation like excessive exercise, lack of food, or a situation that causes fear, uncertainty, or anxiety, the suprarenal medulla cells activate, producing hormonal substances that increase cardiac frequency, vasodilation, bronchodilation, and increased metabolism. These responses are very fleeting. They also secrete other substances whose job is fundamental for the body, like controlling sodium and potassium balance, contributing to increasing blood glucose levels and secreting and maintaining balance between sex hormones, both androgens and estrogens.
When the adrenal glands produce more or less hormones than normal for the body, you can become ill and suffer from several illnesses, like Addison’s disease (very little cortisol), adrenal failure, Cushing’s syndrome (excessive cortisol), hypoglycemia, hunching between shoulders, primary aldosteronism, Waterhouse Friderichsen Syndrome, etc.
Causes of adrenal deficiencies:
In addition to those that are born without the ability to produce enough cortisol, there are conditions and other circumstances that could damage or deteriorate adrenal glands, such as:
- Taking excessive amounts of medication
- Poorly cared for hemorrhages and infections that affect the glands and that could be dangerous if not treated in time.
- A deficient diet and a sedentary life.
- Frequent and prolonged states of anxiety, stress, anguish, fear, anger, etc., (poorly handling emotional energy) severely wastes the body when these states are constant and intense. During these situations, the body enters into a state of “emergency” and secretes adrenaline to prepare the body to fight or run from potential danger. This causes an extreme use of energy.
- Presence of tumors.
Natural treatment to strengthen the adrenal glands
Adrenal gland treatment depends on which problem is being experienced. Natural-based treatment, however, can undoubtedly help strengthen them and can even cure them. These treatments can be alternated with any other treatment:
Diet: There’s nothing better than keeping the body clean and well nourished, with very healthy blood and intestines. If you suffer from any adrenal dysfunction, or if you want to strengthen these glands, it’s recommended to follow a diet rich in fresh vegetables, eliminating any foods with refined sugar or flour, cow’s milk and its byproducts, as well as meats, and packaged and fried foods.
We recommend a purifying diet for two or three days, whereby you choose to eat just vegetable broth, starting the days by drinking two glasses of warm, fresh water. One of these glasses should include the juice from one lemon. After the lemon, drink two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Then, after half an hour, start with the vegetables. Follow this diet for two days and then start adding new foods little by little, avoiding those that were previously mentioned. You should include vegetable milks, seeds, and whole grains, as well as seaweeds and aloe juice as dietary complements.
Exercises, massage, and alternative therapies to benefit your adrenal glands
You should combine your diet with an exercise program that helps release tensions, like bioenergetic exercises, yoga, or tai chi. Massage is an efficient way to stimulated glands and to release possible toxins and accumulated wastes from the body.
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Acupressure and acupuncture are helpful alternatives that stimulate stagnant energy in the body and irrigates energy to the glands. Apitherapy and bioenergetic therapy are very effective alternatives for this.
Emotions noticeably influence adrenal health
Whenever someone faces a threat or a possible threat, either by losing their job, bills to pay, traffic, being in a rush, not having money, conflicting situations at work, with a partner or a family, fights and discussions, tension by watching the news, etc., the body becomes physically and mentally tense and demands special efforts, whereby the endocrine system is accentuated in its involvement.
That’s why helping your glandular health is so important, through readings or workshops that promote new perspectives for facing fear and anger, which are so aggressive to the body. A healthy life reflects a peaceful and healthy mind. Practicing meditation is also another natural alternative to support the healing process, both emotional and physical.
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Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 01/02/2018
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