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Adrenal Fatigue and Essential Oils

What are the adrenal glands and what do they do?

You have two small adrenal glands that lie just above each kidney. Each adrenal gland has an outer part (adrenal cortex) and an inner part (adrenal medulla). Cells in the adrenal glands make various hormones. A hormone is a chemical that is made in one part of the body but passes into the bloodstream and has effects on other parts of the body.

Cells in the outer part of the adrenal glands (adrenal cortex) make the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. The amount of cortisol that is made is controlled by another hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH is made in a small gland that lies just under the brain (the pituitary gland). This in turn is stimulated by another hormone that is produced by another part of the brain called the hypothalamus. ACTH passes into the bloodstream, is carried to the adrenal glands, and stimulates the adrenal glands to make cortisol.

· Cortisol is a hormone that is vital for health. It has many functions which include:

o Helping to regulate blood pressure.

o Helping to regulate the immune system.

o Helping to balance the effect of insulin in regulating the blood sugar level.

o Helping the body to respond to stress.

· Aldosterone helps to regulate salts in the blood and helps to control blood pressure.

Cells in the inner part of the adrenal glands (adrenal medulla) make the hormones adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine). These have various actions throughout the body.

What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

A relatively new term, “adrenal fatigue” was proposed as a new condition in 1998 by Dr. James L. Wilson, a naturopath, and chiropractor. His assumption was that overstimulation of the adrenal glands (or “adrenals”) by long-term stress could lead to an inconsistent level of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the bloodstream.

In addition to this overload or improper stress hormone levels, people with adrenal fatigue often do not have enough DHEA, the “parent hormone” responsible for the creation of many necessary hormones in the body.

Dr. Wilson describes the unique progression of adrenal fatigue throughout the day as follows:

  • You wake up and are unable to function without a significant amount of caffeine.

  • You finally feel a boost of energy during the early part of the day.

  • Then your energy levels crash around 2 p.m., rise around 6 p.m. and fall again around 9 p.m.

  • Your energy finally peaks again at 11 p.m.

Is Adrenal Fatigue Real?

The major issue with recognizing or diagnosing adrenal fatigue is the inability to distinguish its symptoms and patterns from other disorders. The parameters for this condition are nonspecific, which, unfortunately, has led to a great controversy around this topic, even though the very nature of cortisol and bodily hormones is that the effects are far-reaching.

A diagnosis for this condition is difficult because stress hormone levels typically fall in what conventional medicine would call “inside the normal range,” although the symptoms are clear to those suffering from the condition.

People who believe that adrenal fatigue isn’t a real health concern often state that consistent levels of chronic stress have no effect on the adrenals and that the only true endocrine disorders are those caused by other diseases and direct damage to the adrenal glands.

However, many practitioners of natural medicine know, from experience in a health care practice and supporting scientific evidence, that hypoadrenia is very real and associated with several complications.

What happens when the adrenal glands stop producing hormones efficiently?

Every bodily function is affected, and as adrenal hormone levels ebb and flow abnormally, even the normal “get-up-and-go” you get from them disappears.

Studies indicate that adrenal fatigue symptoms include:

  • Autoimmune conditions

  • Chronic fatigue (always feeling tired)

  • Brain fog

  • Hair loss

  • Hormone imbalance

  • Weakened stress response

  • Insulin resistance

  • Lightheadedness

  • Decreased sex drive/libido

  • Moodiness and irritability

  • Depression

  • Muscle or bone loss

  • Skin ailments

  • Sleep disturbances/sleep apnea

  • Weight gain

  • Sweet and salty food cravings

  • Loss of appetite

As one can see, there are several symptoms that might be related to other underlying disorders, including some very common women’s health issues that are possible reasons why the medical fraternity is so divided in camps.

There are a lot of shortcomings in testing protocols and there is hardly any treatment other than hydrocortisone and which is already floundering and with a lot of side effects.

Extracellular Matrix for Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

The term extracellular literally means outside the cell, which explains where the matrix is located. The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a network of non-living tissues that provide support to cells. It is a three-dimensional network of proteins, glycosaminoglycans, and other macromolecules. In addition to structural support, it also plays a role in other very specific functions. They include cell adhesion, migration, and proliferation. The fluid of the ECM initiates crucial biochemical and biomechanical signaling critical for tissue development, differentiation, and maintaining homeostasis. Biofilms secreted by bacteria reside within the ECM and can lead to increased ECM toxic load. Over time, this can lead to ECM congestion and pollution. Ultimately, the ECM becomes damaged, leading to defective cellular communications and signaling. Maintaining a healthy ECM is therefore essential for optimum health.

The important role of the ECM is now recognized by researchers. Looking from afar, the ECM is one continuous interconnected ground substance, tying every function and every process in the living body one way or another. It should be considered an organ system on its own. The reason is simple: every cell in the body is nourished via the matrix, and all waste products of cellular metabolism pass through this ground substance, which is the actual milieu.

ECM damage is frequently seen in the advanced stages of Adrenal Fatigue. Sufferers are typically fragile, weak, housebound, and unable to carry on normal daily living or hold a full-time job. In addition to dysregulated neuroendocrine function triggered first by overactive and subsequent dysfunctional hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, ECM congestion is invariably involved as AFS progresses. Those with a history of aggressive antibiotic use for infectious diseases such as Lyme disease, H. Pylori, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes, giardia, parasite, candida, and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth are most at risk. Their body is already under chronic attack by toxins from these stealth infectious agents after the acute infectious episode is over. However, stealth toxin release continues to occur at the subclinical level. Laboratory tests are negative. Patients are sent home pronounced cured, but a good number of them continue to feel malaise, fatigue, loss of exercise endurance, reduced libido, and diminished vitality. This subclinical state of stealth infection and toxic state can go on for decades and elude detection as our current laboratory detection model is not sensitive enough. Patients often jump from one doctor to another seeking a solution, but to no avail, because no attention is paid to ECM congestion and pollution as major contributing factors.

Maintaining an unpolluted and clean ECM is an important step in overall AFS recovery from such advanced stages. Essential oils used for Adrenal Fatigue can be of great help in facilitating this, especially if one is in a stealth infectious state.

Essential oil benefits:

Due to concentration, EO contains virtually all the plant’s beneficial nutrients, oxygenating molecules, amino acid precursors, vitamins, trace minerals, enzymes, hormones, and more. Moreover, because they are concentrated, essential oils are from fifty to seventy times more therapeutically potent than the unfermented herbs or plants they are derived from. Unlike dried herbs which can lose up to 90 percent of their nutrients and oxygen molecules, essential oils do not.

Benefits of Implementing Essential Oils Uses

Proper essential oils used for Adrenal Fatigue can serve as an invaluable tool in optimizing ECM health and function. The following physiological pathways are involved:

1. Essential oils for Adrenal Fatigue can quickly penetrate the surface of the skin and the membranes of cells. They can literally disperse throughout the bloodstream and tissues almost instantly. These oils penetrate the blood-brain barrier and reach the amygdala and the other limbic regions of the brain responsible for controlling our emotions, moods, and behaviors. This means essential oils used for Adrenal Fatigue can help if we are anxious, angry, stressed, or in any other emotional state.

2. Essential oils' uses include acting as a natural anti-inflammatory and an effective pain-relieving home remedy. They can be used to relieve the pain from broken bones, torn muscles, or any type of bodily injury to humans or animals.

3. Essential oils provide a hostile living environment for anything dangerous to cells, such as viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Many bacteria can form multicellular communities, termed biofilms. An important characteristic of a biofilm is the ability of cells to synthesize and secrete an extracellular matrix which serves as the first line of defense against antibiotic attack. This matrix offers structural support, community organization, and added protection, often making the cells impervious to desiccation, predation, and antimicrobials. Some essential oils have antimicrobial properties that can eradicate bacteria within biofilms with higher efficiency than certain important antibiotics, making them interesting candidates for the treatment of biofilms. Oil of Oregano, for example, has been used for centuries in combating systemic candida. Other EOs with anti-microbial properties include lavender, Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil), peppermint, and thyme.

4. It’s well established that essential oils can help in managing stress and we already have successfully demonstrated this with our roll-on blends for anti-anxiety and for convenient use we have introduced it in Vicks-type inhaler and to increase its use across board and are offering at an introductory price of rupees hundred and will last from a month to two depending on times inhaled.

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