By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
March 11, 2016
- The most overlooked cause of low energy
- 3 nutrients to boost adrenal function
- Just five minutes to lower cortisol levels
Do you ever feel like everyone else in your house wakes up “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” each morning, while you have to drag yourself out of bed?
Maybe it doesn’t matter what time you wake up. It could be six, seven or eight in the morning. Yet, it still takes you about three or four hours to shake off that morning brain fog and get moving.
Then, you suddenly feel great… for a few hours.
But by the time three or four o’clock rolls around, that fatigue sets in again. If there’s a bed anywhere near you, you’ll fall into it for a quick nap.
Finally – somewhere around six or seven in the evening – your body and brain suddenly pull themselves together and you’re ready to roll! Of course, by then the best part of the day is gone.
Frustrating, right? While everyone around you is lively and chipper from sunrise to sunset, you’re only a ghost of yourself for the majority of the day. When you finally discover your energy, everyone else is shutting down for the evening.
You can blame it on aging if you want. In fact, your doctor might even do that. But let’s be honest. There are plenty of senior citizens who zip through their days with more get-up-and-go than the Energizer Bunny. And you should be one of them.
Adrenal Fatigue: One of the Most Overlooked causes of Low Energy
When I was in medical school, my classmates and I were all taught about Addison’s disease. That’s when the adrenal glands literally fail. We also learned about Cushing’s, a disease that occurs when you have too much cortisol and other hormones.
But the idea of adrenal fatigue itself was never a topic. And to this day many doctors don’t understand it, let alone know how to diagnose it. In fact, a lot doctors don’t even recognize it as a real medical condition.
On the other hand, this is something we’re seeing more and more of. Especially as the stressors associated with modern life continue to grow.
You see, over the centuries, the human body hasn’t changed much. But our culture has.
Face it. Every day you’re thrown into traffic jams, conflicts and disagreements. You have bills to pay and deadlines to meet. You eat foods that don’t always give you the nutrients you need. You might not be getting enough sleep.
This stress blossoms, and there reaches a point where your adrenals just can’t handle it anymore.
Well, these two little cone-shaped glands pump out almost 50 hormones in your body. This includes cortisol, adrenaline, DHEA, progesterone and testosterone. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to metabolize fats, carbs and proteins for energy.
But when these glands become stressed, they can’t produce all of these hormones. The more stressed they become, the greater the failure.
To keep your adrenals working properly – and get rid of all that fatigue and brain fog – you need to sleep better, eat better and make sure you’re feeding your adrenal glands what they need most.
A couple of the nutrients your adrenals need for top performance include:
- Vitamin C (3,000-6,000 mg. daily in divided doses)
- B-Complex, including at least 100 mg of B5 and B6, along with 300 mcg of B12.
- CoQ10 (100 mg daily)
Five-Minute Breathing Exercise Lowers Cortisol
I’ve also got a quick trick you can use every day. It’s the only proven non-pharmacological way to decrease stress cortisol levels in the body.
It’s called mindful breathing. This type of slow breathing triggers signals to your nervous system to reduce cortisol and lower both your heart rate and blood pressure.
Just slowly inhale through your nose for a count of four, and hold it for a count of seven. Then exhale through pursed, rounded lips for a count of eight. Do this for about five minutes in the morning on or shortly after awakening when your cortisol is surging.
If you can also do this in the afternoon around noon and then again around 4pm (when natural cortisol surges happen) – and or whenever you feel particularly stressed – you’ll give your adrenal glands a little bit more relief.
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Pal GK, et al. Effect of short-term practice of breathing exercises on autonomic functions in normal human volunteers. Indian J Med Res. 2004 Aug;120(2):115-21.
Heather Mason, et al. Cardiovascular and Respiratory Effect of Yogic Slow Breathing in the Yoga Beginner: What Is the Best Approach? Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2013 23;2013:743504.