The adrenal glands are walnut size glands that sit on top of the kidneys and are part of the endocrine system, along with the thyroid gland, pituitary gland and so on. Their primary function is to help the body take action during times of stress by producing certain hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine, etc. When a person is exposed a temporary stress the adrenal glands function quite normally. But when a person is in the state of chronic stress, the adrenal glands eventually fatigue and lose their ability to produce these important hormones that are required to meet the demands of stress [ironic eh?]. The result is low blood pressure, fatigue, inability to concentrate, anxiety [also symptoms of PD], as well as chronic infections and respiratory infections.
According to adrenalfatigue.org, there are six other indicators of adrenal fatigue:
- You feel tired for no reason.
- You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
- You are feeling rundown or overwhelmed.
- You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness.
- You crave salty and sweet snacks.
- You feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day.
According to Dr. Robert Morse, a Florida based naturopath, the question isn’t do you have adrenal fatigue, it is how severe is your adrenal fatigue because we are all living under constant stress.
If you are experiencing PD and certainly if you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you are well advised to take steps to strengthen your adrenal glands. This should include taking vitamin C, B-complex, magnesium [may include calcium, zinc and potassium], as well as a good adrenal support. An ideal adrenal support will include licorice, ashwagandha, rhodiola and Siberian ginseng. Two brands that have worked very well for me are Natural Factors Stress Relax Serenity Formula and AOR Ortho Adapt Vegan. Fresh parsley, dandelion and cilantro are also recommend.
It is also important to reduce stress as much as you can so as to give your adrenals a rest. Do everything you can to calm your mind [it’s our thoughts that cause us to feel stressed]. Do deep breathing exercises, laugh, meditate, bring your mind into the present moment, exercise, do things you enjoy and laugh some more. Also, drink lots of fresh spring water and make sure there’s a sufficient amount of sea salt in your diet.
Studies have shown that it can take up to two years to correct adrenal fatigue, so be prepared to stick with it for awhile [until well after the symptoms have cleared].
Because the adrenal glands are so closely tied to the kidneys and thyroid gland, it is also advisable to take a kidney support as well as iodine for the thyroid.
Be extremely cautious about taking cortisol. Personally, I wouldn’t go near the stuff, but if your health practitioner recommends it, take only a small amount for a short period of time. Everything I have read about cortisol says exercise extreme caution. Taking cortisol can cause your adrenal glands to shut down, putting your health very much at risk. For people experiencing PD, an overabundance of stress hormones like cortisol is one of the primary causes of the PD, so it really should be avoided. What is more, when you have cortisol in your system, your body thinks it’s under stress, so it doesn’t rest [which adversely affects your sleep]. I think an adrenal support is a far better option. It has certainly worked for me.
Perhaps research will eventually show a connection between Parkinson’s and adrenal fatigue. In the meantime, if you’re experiencing fatigue, anxiety and or low blood pressure, it would be a good idea to take an adrenal support. At the very least, it may help you with your Parkinson’s symptoms.
Have an awesomely strong day!