The adrenal glands are located at the top of the kidneys. Each comprises two parts; the outer “adrenal cortex” and the inner “adrenal medulla”. Of these, the adrenal cortex is more important, since it supplies the body with vital hormones such as cortisol and aldosterone.
What is Cortisol?
A steroid hormone, cortisol performs essential roles like increasing blood sugar levels, regulating metabolism, regulating blood pressure, reducing inflammation, boosting energy and controlling the sleep cycle. The brain sends multiple signals to the adrenal glands to precisely control cortisol levels. The “stress hormone” cortisol also works alongside adrenaline as an aid to creating memories, but memory retrieval is impaired when high cortisol levels are present.
Like cortisol, aldosterone has a life-sustaining role to play in the body. Its primary function is to conserve sodium in the kidneys, colon, salivary glands and sweat glands. Potassium secretion, water retention and blood pressure regulation are also part of its job description.
Adrenaline is produced by the adrenal medulla and helps the body react to stress. Though not quite as critical as the hormones created by the adrenal cortex, adrenaline plays a major role in the body’s “fight or flight” response to danger or stress. It increases heart rate and blood pressure, opens airways, dilates eye pupils, increases blood flow to muscles, increases blood sugar and generally prepares the body for action, altering its metabolism. Adrenaline is also used in medication (e.g. treating anaphylactic allergic reactions or cardiac arrests).
Taking Care of Your Adrenals
Having established that the adrenal glands are crucial to good health, it’s important to know they can get overworked if subjected to too much stress. “Adrenal fatigue” leads to a host of undesirable symptoms, including physical exhaustion, low-stress threshold, low blood pressure, low blood sugar, poor night vision or sensitivity to light, alcohol intolerance and loss of libido.
To avoid overtaxing your adrenal glands, strive for a healthy lifestyle. Sufficient sleep (7-9 hours), nutritious food, not processed or junk foods, take high quality supplements to support balance and add in relaxation techniques. These can all help your adrenals to function at its best..
Supplements like Restore are designed to assist the body in balancing stress and supporting overall adrenal health.