A typical diet for adrenal exhaustion usually is to eat raw protein or fermented protein products. By eating raw protein, you get the amino acids your body needs along with the enzymes in raw protein. If you go to a naturopath or physician with adrenal fatigue, you might be told to eat eggs and dairy to get more B vitamins along with amino acids.
If you’re staying on a strict vegan diet, make sure the supplements you take have amino acids and B vitamins in small amounts so you don’t over stimulate your thyroid. Vitamin B stimulates the thyroid. You don’t want to go overboard on vitamins.
Some people eat sushi to get raw fish protein. It’s your choice. Always check with your doctor if you don’t know what’s wrong with you to make sure you really have adrenal exhaustion.
The problem with a strict vegan diet with people that have adrenal exhaustion is that they aren’t getting enough protein in the first place. When your body starts craving protein, the first balance lost is the sugar or glucose-insulin balance. When the glucose-insulin balance goes out of whack, you’re exhausted adrenals work harder until they start to quit.
What foods help the adrenals balance glucose better and the pancreas balance insulin better? It’s sea vegetables, in moderation. Don’t eat so much seaweed that your thyroid is over-stimulated and your predisposition to glaucoma isn’t stimulated by too much seaweed, protein powders, or soy.
Balance and moderation is foremost. Other foods that help are ginger, a little sea salt, beans combined with whole grains, if you can eat grains, organic meats or fish, Alaskan salmon, broth and wine or vinegar, red and orange vegetables, and almonds or almond oil. Carob is good, but chocolate is not good for adrenal exhaustion.
Foods to avoid for those with adrenal exhaustion include coffee and caffeinated beverages, juices instead of whole fruit, sugar, alcoholic drinks, fried foods, soda, processed foods such as processed cheese, salty textured vegetable protein, chocolate, pasta made with white flour, milk, most artificial sweeteners, junk food, white rice, and anything to which you’re allergic/sensitive.
Adrenal Exhaustion big topic in the news for 2012
What about adrenal exhaustion? It’s big in the news nowadays. Has winter holiday season stress made you feel a decade older than your chronological age? A few months ago, on the Dr. Oz show, a repeat, remedies for adrenal fatigue were discussed.
The condition also is known as adrenal exhaustion. One remedy from the Dr. Oz show featured a little protein at each meal and some vitamin C to help balance those out-of-whack hormones.
The doctor also mentioned Siberian ginseng may be of help for some (unless you have adverse reactions to the stimulation of ginseng). Check out the sites, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome: A Real Medical Condition – The Dr. Oz Show, Dr. Oz Unveils Adrenal Fatigue Fact Sheet: Society and Foundation, and Dr Oz: Adrenal Fatigue Siberian Ginseng Remedy.
Resveratrol studied at UC Davis to see whether it helps in stress-induced adrenal exhaustion
Biotivia provided high quality resveratrol to researchers in the Sacramento/Davis area at the University of California, Davis, Albert Einstein Medical School, the Canadian Health Ministry and many other researchers, either at no charge or at a large discount for their human trials, according to the diet.blog.com forum posting under the article, “Fountain of Youth or Waste of Money.”
Where is the data on human patients? See the January 8, 2008 Reuters ( Biotivia news) resveratrol news article, “Resveratrol-Like Drug Works in Humans–Sirtris.” Also see the UC Davis article, “Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet.”
One of the results of the UC Davis study was a reduce incidence of diabetes in the mice studied. In humans, high calorie diets usually mean increased glucose and increased insulin levels that may lead to diabetes.
That article and blog forum also gives some reasons why human trials aren’t progressing fast enough on the effects of resveratrol on aging. There will be a human study conducted by the National Institute on Aging – but the results won’t be available for a couple of years, according to that article. Will the complex human body produce the same results as test tube studies? Also see, Nutrition Action Healthletter, March, 2009.
If you’re familiar with your adrenal gland, you’ll realize that it’s also sometimes called the stress gland. The biochemical experiments are still being done with resveratrol to answer some of the questions about how safe is it and what’s a dose that’s safe and still works. Scientists know that if you take more than 300 mg of resveratrol, it inhibits an enzyme in the liver. The May, 2010 issue of Dr. Sherry Rogers’ Total Wellness newsletter has a “resveratrol warning” on page 8, basically, there are still unanswered research questions.
Only scientists don’t know as yet what purpose that liver enzyme has that the resveratrol is turning off. Some people take high doses of resveratrol without knowing what it’s doing and how effective it is at various doses. Even at lower doses, resveratrol can turn off the adrenal or ‘stress’ gland and use up nutrients that your body uses to detoxify itself.
The word ‘detox’ has become a buzz word that some doctors tell patients to be aware of so when they hear the word, their knee-jerk reaction is to think ‘quack.’ But what detox actually means is when your body gets rid of toxic substances such as mercury and lead by itself.
That it is cleanses itself, using the vitamin C and other nutrients already in your body from food. Think in terms of how your body cleansed itself before the days of vitamin and mineral supplements. That’s what the word ‘detox’ actually means–a cleansing process your body uses.
Regarding resveratrol, check out the study, “Phytoestrogen resveratrol suppresses steroidogenesis by rat adrenocortical cells by inhibiting cytochrome P450 c21-hydroxylase.” The authors are Supornsilchai V, Svechnikov K, Seidlova-Wuttke D, Wuttke W, Söder O, published in Hormone Research in Pediatrics, 64:280-86, 2005. (Pediatric Endocrinology Unit, Q 2:08, Department of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.)
The Swedish study looked at the effects of resveratrol on rats. But rats are used in scientific studies to see how a substance reacts also with humans, since the genes are not as far apart as you’d believe.
The main point of the resveratrol study that you should be aware of is that resveratrol is a phytoestrogen. As a phytoestrogen, it’s going to act like a phytoestrogen in your body. The phytoestrogen resveratrol is found in grapes, mulberries and peanuts, all of which are consumed regularly by humans.
Resveratrol is also used in chemotherapy against cancer and aging and as a cardioprotectant. The aim of the present study had focused on characterizing the effects of resveratrol on rat adrenal steroidogenesis and to study the underlying mechanism.
If you’re curious about how the scientists tested the resveratrol, they began by isolating the adrenocortical cells from the adrenal glands of normal male rats (in vitro) and from male rats administered resveratrol in their diet for 12 weeks (ex vivo).
Cells from resveratrol-treated and non-treated rats were tested ex vivo for responsiveness to ACTH and cells from normal rats were tested in vitro for responsiveness to ACTH in the presence and absence of resveratrol. Corticosterone and progesterone production were measured by RIA and expression of steroidogenic enzymes analyzed by PAGE/Western blotting.
That’s how they did the experiment. What happened is that the resveratrol inhibited corticosterone production by what laymen call the stress gland, that is, the adrenal gland.
Corticosterone production was inhibited 47% by 50 microM resveratrol in vitro and 20% ex vivo, whereas progesterone production was elevated to 400% of the control value in in vitro experiments. Resveratrol treatment decreased adrenal cytochrome P450 c21-hydroxylase expression in vivo and cell culture conditions.
So how much resveratrol would it take to decrease your adrenal cytochrome and hydroxylas expression in a human? That’s the big question you have to consider when you take resveratrol. In other words, how much can you take for benefits and still be safe without turning off your adrenal gland or using up your body’s detox nutrients?
At least the experiment revealed that no changes to cell ‘viability’ happened with the rats. That is the resveratrol didn’t mutate or destroy the rat’s cells.
No changes in cell viability or morphology were caused by exposure to resveratrol in both ex vivo and in vitro experiments. So basically, the study concluded that resveratrol suppresses corticosterone production by primary rat adrenocortical cell cultures in vitro and ex vivo by inhibiting cytochrome P450 c21-hydroxylase.
The big picture for us humans is that we have to consider, do we want our corticosterone production suppressed? And do we want our cytochrome inhibited?
If these natural functions are inhibited, what happens to the rest of our body–our cells, organs, and blood? Is it good or bad to have something in our body’s normal function suppressed or inhibited? Now the question remains, does the rat experiment transfer over to humans?
Will the same situation happen in people? What happens when and if the adrenal or stress gland might be turned off? How can we know it will happen in humans because it happened in rats? Are the genes pretty much the same at that basic level? And what type of detox nutrients will the resveratrol use up?
Those are the types of questions you have to ask when you’re told to take resveratrol to increase your life span. You want the big picture–more facts. And how much should you take? If only 20 mg is effective, why are people being sold bottles of 250 mg of resveratrol when scientists know at 300 mg one of your liver enzymes is inhibited? Think about it.
As yourself, with all the various brands of resveratrol, how do you find out which sources are best? Is resveratrol surrounded by too much marketing? Where is the health information on side effects made available to the average consumer?
Is resveratrol on a marketing bandwagon ever since one company had been features on the television news program, 60 Minutes last year? Where can you find the information in plain language about what resveratrol can do in what doses? On the other hand, check out the 2006 study reported in the Harvard Medical School newsletter article of how resveratrol extended the life span of obese mice, “Small Molecule Increases Lifespan and ‘Healthspan’ of Obese Mice.”
The resveratrol mimicked caloric restriction. The article reported, “After six months, resveratrol essentially prevented most of the negative effects of the high calorie diet in mice.”
You also could check out the site of the National Institute on Aging’s Laboratory of Experimental Gerontology, Aging, Metabolism, and Nutrition Unit. Basically, when it comes to resveratrol, continue research is required so that the public as well as scientists can better understand resveratrol’s roles and the best applications for it.
What’s adrenal exhaustion? Your adrenal glands that are positioned just above your kidneys take cholesterol from your blood and turn it into cortisol and various other hormones that control inflammation, blood glucose, your immune system, tissue repair, and even reproduction. Stress that builds up chronically and sugary foods can knock those hormones out of balance
Your goal is to create a balance in your body between cortisol and insulin by adjusting the type of foods you eat. Accumulated stress from a poor diet and chronic environmental, physical, relationship, or work-related stress exhausts your adrenals.
One example might be a poor diet–say donuts for breakfast daily, having a new baby, and unhappy relationships or work-related stress that builds up. Your adrenals release so much cortisol in trying to cope with the chronic, sustained stress, that they tire out. Then symptoms appear that look a lot like reactions and sensitivities to environmental toxins.
What’s insulin resistance? Your pancreas releases insulin to bring into balance the sugar in your blood from food. When too much insulin is excreted into your blood after eating sugar, and your body becomes resistant to the insulin, more insulin pours out.
Soon your body becomes resistant to the insulin being released by your pancreas, and in a cycle, more and more insulin pours out into your blood, but no longer brings down the high glucose level in your blood.
Or before this happens, you feel the symptoms of low blood sugar and too much insulin making you feel anxious, as if everything in your body is speeded up. You need to stop creating those high sugar spikes in your bloodstream by balancing your diet with healthier oils and protein and less sugar consumed from food.
You need complex, not simple carbs. Simple carbs turn to sugar in your blood too fast. So you need whole foods and to eat lower on the Glycemic Index.
When adrenal fatigue happens, the adrenal glands give off too much cortisol, the stress hormone. Soon the adrenals are depleted, and they no longer can sufficiently produce necessary hormones. One symptom of adrenal exhaustion is a craving for salty foods. Another is gaining weight in the middle/abdomen.
Adrenal fatigue or exhaustion begins when stress accumulates. The stress could be due to being in a job that’s not what you’d like, a bad marriage, sugary breakfasts, being put down by a spouse, relative, boss, or teacher, or any other type of stress you encounter daily that is chronic and builds up, accumulating over time.
When adrenal exhaustion happens, you’ll begin to feel symptoms that look much like environmental toxin responses, allergies, fatigue, low blood glucose, and chronic infections or malaise–even panic and depression.
You may feel sluggish or tired all the time, start to gain weight in your abdomen, become irritable, or have a type of mental fog, hair loss, asthma, or other symptoms that look as if you’re allergic to your carpet or the treated fiber in your sheets. You really may be allergic or sensitive, or you may have adrenal exhaustion.
If you have low blood sugar/glucose, your pancreas may be releasing too much insulin. But when you have adrenal exhaustion, your adrenals are releasing too much cortisol.
Poor diet is one cause. Adrenal exhaustion can be helped by changing the way you eat. Experts recommend high-quality protein, monosaturated oils, six servings at least of vegetables and fruits daily, a bit of sea salt, and complex carbs.
If you don’t have celiac disease, you can add whole grains such as whole oat groats, amaranth, barley, or quinoa. If you have celiac disease, use the whole grain substitutes recommended by your doctor if you can’t digest whole oat groats, brown rice, soy products such as tempeh or tofu, or quinoa.
What you’re trying to do with food is to let your adrenals relax so they don’t have to keep releasing cortisol to get your blood sugar/glucose levels up after your insulin resistance knocked it down when your pancreas released too much insulin based on you eating too much sugar or vegetables/fruits that quickly turned to sugar. So you want to eat low on the Glycemic Index.
Genome testing to tailor foods to your genetic and metabolic response
Health trends for 2012 include two new companies announcing they can now test your entire genome for around $1,000, a more affordable price than in the past. Check out the ABC news article, Company Announces Low-Cost DNA Decoding Machine – ABC News. Also see, Company announces low-cost DNA decoding machine – Yahoo! News.
Now there’s a biotech machine that will decode your DNA in a day for $1,000, a long-sought price goal for making the genome useful for medical care. The company is Life Technologies Corp.
Already the firm is taking orders for the technology, which it expects to deliver in about a year. The Carlsbad, California company has already signed up three major research institutions for the $149,000 machine: the Baylor College of Medicine, the Yale School of Medicine and the Broad Institute of Cambridge, Mass.
There’s another company, Illumina of San Diego, that at the same time also introduced a new technology that decodes your entire genome in about 24 hours. How much do you think you’ll pay for that service?
At least if you have it done, you’ll have your entire genome at your fingertips so your doctor can see (if trained) what risks you possibly may have and tell you, maybe how to prevent issues by a change in diet or lifestyle if you can switch off the bad gene tags so to speak and turn on the good gene tags to make you healthier, if it’s possible.
That area of research in tailoring your food to your genes also is in its infancy, but promises to be of help. The genome decoding machines are called sequencers. These devices make it possible for scientists to identify the arrangement of the 3 billion chemical building blocks that make up someone’s DNA.
It’s now more than 12 years past since sequencing of the basic human genome was announced at the White House. But hey, the costs are dropping quickly. It’s now affordable to decode your entire genome and see how your DNA works and affects your health, lifestyle, and food choices.
The $1,000 target has long been cited as a key step toward making the technique practical for doctors to use to help their patients, such as for revealing vulnerabilities to certain diseases or tailoring medical treatment.
Why scientists decode your DNA is basically for research. It’s not like sequencing your DNA for ancestry, a whole other test such as DNA-driven family history. Other companies decode part of your DNA to uncover risks for disease or inherited susceptibility, if any, to a particular disease or group of diseases. Other DNA tests are just for ancestry, such as what part of the world your ancestors may have come from in the last thousand years or so.
The good thing is that moneywise, a $1,000 cost for a whole genome is about the same as many of today’s lab tests. Will you get your entire genome decoded?
Here’s a good frozen dessert recipe for people with adrenal exhaustion–if eaten in small amounts:
Cook a cup of amaranth and a cup quinoa mixed with water until the water is absorbed. When cooled, put it in your blender. Add two cups of water, a handful of almonds and two handfuls of cashews. You can add more almonds and cashews, if desired, up to 1/2 cup each.
Add a pinch of stevia sweetener and one tablespoon of non-alkalized cocoa powder. Optional: you can put in the blender also a small amount of peeled fresh, raw organic ginger. You can slice a one-inch piece of ginger from fresh ginger root.
If the blend is too thick, thin with a little water, soy milk, or almond milk. The liquid should be thick, like a thin wallpaper paste. Blend everything until liquefied. Freeze in containers or covered dessert bowls. Serve as you’d serve ice cream.
What you get when you eat this dessert is the equivalent of a bowl of cooked quinoa and amaranth which is a higher-protein grain than rice or oat groats. You get the healthier fats from the almonds and cashews, and the sweet taste of the cocoa and stevia.
Or use a spice such as powdered cloves, cinnamon, or chili powder instead of a sweetener. But as a rule, don’t emphasize too many sweets in your diet, or it could unbalance the cortisol-insulin balance between your tired adrenals and resistant pancreas. You don’t want to addict your brain to crave sweets.