Adrenal Fatigue: High Sugar Intake Stresses the Adrenal Glands

~ written by Sharon Green, RHN (registered holistic nutritionist) in private practice at Alchemy & Elixir Health Group in Vancouver.

The adrenal glands; two small triangular glands that are located on top of the kidneys, are part of our endocrine system. The endocrine system regulates hormones, body temperature and balances our bodys chemistry.

A diet compromised by high sugar intake stresses the adrenal glands because the human biochemical system is not adapted to handle large amounts of concentrated sugar. London Universities, John Yudkin in his book “Sweet and Dangerous” warns against the ill effects refined sugar can have on our hormones. A high sugar diet, he reports, can cause a striking increase in the level of adrenal cortical hormone. It can slow the rate of transport of hormonal chemicals by as much as 2/3 even in one week.

When the adrenal glands fail to function properly, the blood sugar response tends to become sensitive and thyroid-hormone out-put tends to decline. Sometimes just regulating sugar intake may be enough to control cortisol levels and over the long term a high sugar intake may cumulatively weaken the adrenal glands so that hormones are not converted efficiently.

Exhaustion of the adrenal glands may be managed by the consumption of a wholesome diet of natural foods, many B-rich foods and the avoidance of sugars and sweets. Probably the richest source of B complex is the germ and bran of seeds such as cereal, nuts, beans and legumes. Other B-rich foods include; leafy greens such as kale, collards, spinach, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, avocado, eggs, peanuts, almonds, kidney beans, millet, cracked wheat, wheat germ, brown rice, lentils, asparagus, bananas & dates, to name a few.

Incorporating a ‘whole foods’ eating style that emphasizes a greater use of fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds and the inclusion of un-refined cereal, beans and other complex carbohydrates will assist in nourishing the adrenal glands. Regular moderate exercise also stimulates the adrenal glands and helps to relieve stress.

The constant fluctuation of adrenal hormones from stress will result in the exhaustion of the adrenal glands and increase symptoms of fatigue, insomnia, irritability and depression. In order to preserve health; supporting, restoring and enhancing the function of these two important glands is paramount.

** Reference: John Yudkin, “Sweet and Dangerous” excerpt from Menopause without Medicine by Linda Ojeda PhD

Sharon Green, RHN is in private practice at Alchemy & Elixir Health Group in Vancouver, contact us at 604-683-2298 to book an appointment.