Tag Archives: immune

Hormonal? Fertility Issues? Have You Addressed the Adrenals?

Being a practitioner that places a heavy amount of emphasis on nutrition, I’d be remiss if I didn’t continue to elaborate on the far reaching hands of the adrenal glands.  Being a beaming new father who has been blessed with a beautiful and healthy wife and baby, I’d also be remiss if I didn’t go into more detail about how adrenal dysfunction can influence the sex hormones responsible for reproduction and beyond.  Well, nobody wants to be labeled as remiss, so here we go.

In the simplest terms, the adrenal glands are our stress glands.

(For a review on these essential workhorses feel free to refresh: https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2013/03/12/de-stress-your-life-part-1/

and

https://clarkechiropracticwellness.com/2013/03/19/de-stress-your-life-part-2/ .)

When they are overworked for any of a variety of reasons (mental or physical stress, food intolerances, etc.) they shift towards an overproduction of cortisol in order to help us deal with stress.  One of the many downsides to this is that the production of hormones like estrogen, progesterone and testosterone decreases.

In order for the adrenal glands to make cortisol in response to sustained levels of elevated stress, it ends up stealing the cholesterol precursor that would normally be used to make something called DHEA, which is the precursor to our sex hormones.  This is a phenomenon called pregnenolone steal and can result in hormonal imbalances, PMS, infertility, male menopause, and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

Your hormone production is also dampened by overactive adrenals on a cerebral level.  As we’ve discussed in the past, the adrenal glands are under control of a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which in turn directs the pituitary gland.  The pituitary gland either makes, pumps out or sends the signal to trigger hormones like growth hormone, thyroid stimulating hormone, oxytocin, as well as hormones that signal the adrenals.

The anterior pituitary is also responsible for LH (luteinizing hormone) and thus progesterone, and FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and thus estrogen.  These hormones are intracle in properly regulating the menstrual cycle, reproduction and beyond.  Adrenal overdrive overworks the pituitary causing it to be sluggish in its output of other hormones, like LH or FSH.

Another fact to be cognizant of is the fact that an inflammatory diet or unknown food intolerances will also have the adrenals logging extra hours at the office.  This not only attenuates hormone production for reasons described above, but it also downgrades the immune system.  This is critical for us all, but especially for a mother and her un or newborn child.

When dealing specifically with pregnancy, studies have shown that a mother with adrenal dysfunction can actually pass it on to her unborn baby by drawing hormones through the umbilical cord.  We’ve illustrated the systemic effects of adrenal dysfunction in the past, so a newborn child with this condition is highly susceptible to immune and gut dysfunction, allergies, eczema, food intolerances, even autism.

The best thing to do if you are having issues that have been deemed or you presume are hormonal is to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner.  Cleaning up the diet and repairing the gut, identifying potential food intolerances, providing adrenal support if necessary, making lifestyle changes, making sure the nervous system (which ultimately controls ALL) is balanced, and just taking a deeper look inside for the root of the issue is the logical course of action.

If you or anyone you care about is going through any of this, please give us a call (321-848-0987) and we’ll work through it together.

On a personal note, as I prefaced in the intro, my wife and I are proud new parents.  Going into 2013 we didn’t have a time table to begin trying.  However, my wife is a patient of mine and we actually had her on various adrenal support and supplements due to symptoms she was having and the results of an exam.  After that we both partook in a fast/detox/cleanse together, while congruently sticking to an elimination/provocation diet.  A couple of months later we decided to “stop not photo 4trying” to get pregnant.  A month later Ashley was pregnant. And 9 plus months later we have a healthy baby boy.

I realize there are always other factors that contribute to hormonal imbalances and things such as pregnancy.  But don’t rule out these seemingly simple things. Don’t fall victim to the current status quo and believe that “that’s just the way it is,” or you need a pill to fix that. Keep hope alive.  Trust the body and treat it well and most likely it will return the favor.  This goes for the current topic or any other.

Good luck and do not hesitate to call for a consult if any of this resonates with you.

The Sour Side of Sugar’s Sweet Seduction

In the ever evolving world of nutrition a clear villain has emerged. It is a villain cloaked in mouth-watering and opioid receptor stimulating deliciousness. It is a villain that can be somewhat of a chameleon, hiding in large volumes in seemingly “healthy” foods. I am of course speaking of your favorite and mine: sugar.

(Unfortunately this sugar classification also includes high carb foods like grains. Translation: all that bread will eventually be broken down into the simple sugar: glucose.)

Mounting research implicates sugar (namely high fructose corn syrup and other processed/refined varieties) as a major culprit behind a plethora of diseases well beyond the obvious, but never understated obesity and diabetes. As a realist I realize that complete elimination of sugar is not much of a practical or desirable option, however a reduction in consumption would serve us all well, especially if you are having other seemingly unrelated health issues.

So other than coming to terms with the fact that you may be consuming way too much sugar, how do you know if you possibly are having issues with the way your body handles sugar? And why is this an issue anyway? Well, sit back, relax (dump your soda down the drain) and I’ll try to give it to you in a raw, unsalted nutshell.

We’ve heard the terms hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but we will mainly be referring to dysglycemia and reactive hypoglycemia. These are conditions in which your blood sugar levels are not being handled properly and can be anywhere along the chain of dysfunction. Therefore addressing and correcting becomes imperative for health.

If you are someone who is consuming too many carbohydrates or sugar on a regular basis it is likely that your pancreas will become overactive in its secretion of insulin. This will lead to blood sugar levels rapidly swinging from high to low after a meal.

A clinical picture of this is marked by a drop in energy levels, mood swings, and overall cognition. This can be seen as spacing out easily, poor short term memory, becoming agitated if going too long without eating, and being prone to crashing in the later part of the afternoon. This is what’s known as reactive hypoglycemia, a form of insulin resistance which goes hand in hand with diabetes.

This person typically misses meals, eats foods high in sugar, craves sugar and salts throughout the day, depends on caffeine to function, and has a hard time waking up in the morning or sleeping through the night. Fatigue, brain fog, and headaches are also amongst the effects of this condition.

This could also lead to or be a contributing factor behind becoming hypoglycemic. This condition is marked by fatigue, mental confusion, lethargy and headaches and can also be caused by adrenal fatigue, poor diet, hypothyroidism or drug side effects.

A clinical picture of this would be someone who craves sweets throughout the day, is irritable if they miss a meal, eating can relieve fatigue, feeling shaky, jittery or having tremors, depending on coffee to get started or keep going, feeling lightheaded if meals are missed, getting agitated, easily upset or nervous or being forgetful.

Another possibility is to escalate from the reactive hypoglycemia to insulin resistance. The chronic release of insulin due to high carb/sugar loads eventually fatigues the cells to the point where they no longer want to accept the insulin or the glucose it is trying to deliver.

Clinically this entails feeling like you need a nap after every meal, craving sugar after every meal, being constantly hungry even after big meals, increased belly fat, insomnia, and facial hair or thinning hair in women (due to the fact insulin resistance promotes testosterone production in women), or breast and hip growth in men. It can also include frequent urination, migrating aches and pains, and overall difficulty losing weight.

Insulin resistance has also been linked to other coveted conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, obesity, hormone metabolism disorders and certain types of cancer.

A key factor to be aware of is that if you are dysglycemic in any way, your adrenal glands will also be activated in the body’s attempt to stabilize your blood sugar. The same holds true in reverse, as when your adrenal glands (stress glands) are on overdrive and they severely alter your body’s ability to effectively handle blood sugar.

Dysfunction on both fronts can be at the root or a main contributor to hypothyroidism, a weakened and inflamed digestive tract, a weakened immune barrier of the gut, lungs and brain, hormonal imbalances, clogging of the body’s attempts at detox and impairment of fatty acid metabolism.

So what to do? If any of these pictures we painted sounds like you it would be wise to investigate further and take action prior to escalation and emergency reactions. Rather than addressing each one of these symptoms separately with a potential side effect causing pill, imagine if you could clear up many issues simply be addressing your diet.

As we’ve said in the past, the phrase “garbage in, garbage out” holds true in a variety of venues, but never more so than with the diet. Outside of the obvious weight gain, the systemic effects can be devastating.

If you are ready to get serious and commit to investigating and potentially remedying your issues, please give us a call (321-848-0987) as it would be our pleasure to collaborate with you on your liberating journey towards optimal, all natural health.

It’s what we do.

Come join us.