Adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia is a pseudoscientific diagnosis believed in alternative medicine to be the state when adrenal glands are exhausted and unable to produce adequate quantities of hormones, primarily the glucocorticoid cortisol, due to chronic stress or infections.[1] Adrenal fatigue should not be confused with a number of actual forms of adrenal dysfunction such as adrenal insufficiency or Addison's disease.[2]
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Mama, it is AS IF we are living parallel lives! 🙂 Minus the third precious child, farm, and homeschooling, this is me, SPOT ON. I am JUST FINISHING this book as well, after getting confirmation from the saliva test that my adrenals are “maladapted” (the calm before full-blown adrenal fatigue) and I’m trying like H-E double hockey sticks to modify my lifestyle (the # culprit – ongoing, compounded stress for YEARS, plus broken sleep for 18 months – nursing babes, and all!) to rebuild those reserves. I’m really looking forward to your series! Thank you for sharing your story! Lots of love! xo
Adrenal glands play a huge role in stress response. Your brain registers a threat, whether emotional, mental or physical. The adrenal medulla releases cortisol and adrenaline hormones to help you react to the threat (the fight-or-flight response), rushing blood to your brain, heart and muscles. The adrenal cortex then releases corticosteroids to dampen processes like digestion, immune system response and other functions not necessary for immediate survival.
We tested her cortisol levels using a saliva test, and found that not only did she have the symptoms of stage 3 adrenal fatigue, the test confirmed it. Instead of following a curve that starts high on waking in the morning and trends down to its lowest point at night, her cortisol curve was a flat line. Her DHEA, another adrenal hormone, was also low, as were her free T3 — the active thyroid hormone — and her levels of B12, vitamin D, zinc, magnesium and selenium.
Meditation involves using the diaphragm to draw oxygen into your body, allowing for full oxygen exchange in the lungs. This causes your body to deactivate the ‘fight or flight’ response because it suddenly realizes you’re not facing a threat. Your brain is effectively ‘tricked’ into thinking, “Hey, I can relax.” This allows for a change in the brain’s chemistry. Neurotransmitters and hormones responsible for “rest and digest” mode are activated, and a sense of physical and mental calm is induced. Cortisol production ceases and you will begin to feel more relaxed and at peace.

Fortunately, there’s an art and science to sleeping, and it’s actually quite easy to hack. A lot of people think sleep is about getting eight hours a night, but sleep quality is far more important than sleep quantity, especially when it comes to balancing your cortisol.[5]  In fact, people who sleep less than 8 hours a night tend to live longer.[6] I’ve been sleeping for five hours a night for the past several years, and my performance has only gone up.
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