Are you feeling tired?… you may be suffering from Adrenal Exhaustion
Feature Article in the latest edition of Natural Bodz Magazine by George L Redmon Phd
For anyone involved in sustained resistance training activities, at certain times, short burst of overtraining are employed to reach certain goals. In this sense, the researchers cited above at Texas A&M University state that over-training can be a healthy part of training. However, when you factor in the daily stress load associated with the on-going psychological and physical stress associated with long-term resistance training efforts, one of the organ systems hit the hardest is the adrenal glands. Based on the comments in the opening remarks above, as an astute bodybuilder you are well aware of why, when, and what you eat, as well as how your workouts can manipulate various anabolic hormones. Because of this fact, a steady but silent decline of those anabolic hormones circulating in your bloodstream would be counterproductive to all your efforts to reach the short and long-term goals you have established for yourself.
Correspondingly, although the recovery and care of the adrenal glands is one of the most under-publicized and under-practiced aspects of resistance training, sports medicine researchers contend that adrenal exhaustion can be definitively linked to the rigors of intense workouts.
Unfortunately, this mishap appears to be more pronounced in its development in cases of over-training, ironically a physiological syndrome that mirrors many of the symptoms associated with adrenal exhaustion. Nonetheless, despite this irregularity, adrenal exhaustion can become problematic to not only reaching individual growth and muscular development goals, but sustaining long-term health.
Hormones: Made In the Adrenals
The fact is, the adrenal glands produce over 50 varied hormones, including adrenaline (epinephrine), cortisol, Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and testosterone. As you are well-aware of, all these dynamic hormones play a critical role in building a lean muscular physique. However, even more importantly here, the proper development and secretion of these hormones and many others also play a vital role in sustaining long-term health and well-being. Despite the contention that adrenal exhaustion isn’t recognized by the medical community as a basis for the development of illness and anxiety, the general decline in adrenal function is commonly referred to as adrenal fatigue and is caused by the body’s inability to handle its stress load.
This notion is avidly voiced by Dr. James Wilson Ph.D., the author of Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. Conversely, Dr. Todd B. Nippoldt, M.D of the Mayo Clinic states that the
medical term for this disorder is adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease) and is caused by an inadequate production of one or more of the aforementioned hormones produced by the adrenal glands, however as a result of an underlying disease. For this reason, he maintains that any unresolved issues associated adrenal insufficiency should be thoroughly discussed with a healthcare professional.
Adrenal Glands: Internal Stress Defenders
Dr. Christiane Northrup, M.D., the nationally known women’s healthcare advocate maintains that the adrenal glands are the body’s primary shock absorbers. These two tiny organs that rest on top of each kidney, along with the hypothalamus and pituitary gland are all part of what is known medically as the Hypothalamus-Pituitary –Adrenal Axis (HPA). This axis regulates temperature, digestion, immune function, and mood and energy usage. Nevertheless, when lingering adrenal stress reduces hypothalamic and pituitary gland function, unfortunately this can also down-regulate the production of thyroid hormones.
As you know, thyroid hormones regulate your metabolism, which essentially determines how effective your body is able to break down food and convert it into energy, as well as burn body-fat. This double down-grade can make it hard to muster up a steady supply of energy to maintain those intense workouts of yours, despite the proper input of fuel. The problem here, under stress, physical or mental, a combination of nerve and hormonal signals are sent to the adrenal glands, which release a surge of anti-stress and anti-inflammatory hormones, the most abundant being adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol.
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