The adrenal glands are two small endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They produce a number of important hormones including cortisol and adrenaline, the hormones involved in managing our response to stress. The adrenals also produce small amounts of male and female sex hormones such as testosterone and oestrogen.
When our body is under constant stress it has a knock on affect to our adrenal glands and our hormone production.
The adrenals are also involved in blood pressure regulation as they also produce the hormone aldosterone. Aldosterone maintains the correct balance of salt and water within the body which also assists the control of our blood pressure.
With these little glands being crucial to so many important functions within the body you can see why being under constant stress can cause such internal disharmony such as hormone imbalance, blood pressure issues, cardiovascular problems and fertility issues.
A quick way to check how stress may be affecting you is to take a look at your eyebrows. If it seems unusually wiry or long, it could be an indication that you are burning the candle at both ends and your adrenal glands are under too much stress.
Fine eyebrow hair or tapering brows can be a sign of adrenal exhaustion (you are near burn out and your adrenal glands are struggling to work efficiently) or thyroid issues, such as an underactive thyroid.
The thyroid is a large gland found in the neck that controls our metabolism and pretty much every cell within the body. It regulates your metabolism or the way our cells are fuelled via the production of thyroid hormones.
You may often hear people say they have a slow metabolism or blame weight gain on an underactive thyroid, which means the body is slow to utilise food for cell fuel or energy meaning that excess fuel or energy is stored as fat within the body.
The body requires a dietary intake of iodine and selenium for healthy thyroid hormone production.
Often when one organ is out of balance (such as the adrenal glands) this can have a knock-on effect to the thyroid and sometimes even the reproductive system.
The three systems work synergistically together; if left untreated it will have a knock-on effect to the entire health of the body.
Foods to nourish
Vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus, strawberries, capsicums
Magnesium rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds
Mineral-rich seaweed, kelp, brazil nuts (selenium), sea salt
Foods to minimise
Raw cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts and kale