Don’t Stress Too Much, or Your Autonomic Nervous System Will Suffer

Try as you might, stress in daily life is ultimately impossible to avoid. Triggers for stress tend to surround you. They can be connected to your family, career, finances, health, dating life, and other factors. What you may not realize, though, is that every time you go through an intense time of stress, your autonomic nervous system (ANS) does more work than you can imagine. And if there is no end to your stress in sight, your ANS can easily become compromised to the point that your adrenals and overall health suffer too.

What is the Autonomic Nervous System?

The nervous system is mainly divided into two parts. First is the central nervous system, which includes the spinal cord and brain. Secondly, there is the peripheral nervous system, a part of which is composed of the autonomic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system covers a vast network in the body, including the cardiovascular, genitourinary, GI, ophthalmologic and thermoregulatory systems. Hence, it affects various critical organ muscles and glands. These include the heart, eyes, stomach, esophagus, small intestine, trachea, kidney, bladder, sexual organs, and the adrenal glands.

The ANS performs several critical functions within your body on a regular basis. It does so without the need for any voluntary action on your end since its responses are always done reflexively. In fact, with the assistance of the adrenal glands, it kick-starts a response to stress without you having to do anything.

Critical Response: How the ANS and Adrenal Glands Work Together in Times of Stress

When you are faced with stress, your brain’s hypothalamus essentially functions as a command center. It starts communicating with the rest of your body through your autonomic nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system is made up of five separate systems, with the sympathetic and the parasympathetic system is the most recognized. When faced with a stressful event, the hypothalamus proceeds to activate the sympathetic nervous system by having the autonomic nerves send signals to your adrenal glands, via the sympathomedullary nervous system.

This kick-starts your body’s fight-or-flight response to the stress. When this happens, your adrenals start pumping the hormone epinephrine, or adrenaline, into your bloodstream. Once the epinephrine starts to circulate throughout your body, you can expect a number of key physiological changes.

First, your heart will start to beat faster than usual. As your pulse rate goes up, so will your blood pressure level. You will also start to breathe more rapidly. The small airways in your lungs will open wide. This allows the lungs to take in as much oxygen as they can with each breath. This extra oxygen will then be sent to the brain to increase your body’s alertness.

When this happens, you will feel all your senses becoming sharper, including your sight and hearing. Around the same time, the epinephrine will trigger both blood sugar and fats to be temporarily released from storage within the body. These nutrients will then make their way to your bloodstream and supply energy throughout your body.

Meanwhile, as the stressful episode wanes, the initial surge of epinephrine throughout your body will subside. However, should the brain still perceive an event as dangerous, the hypothalamus will release a corticotropin-releasing hormone that will make its way to the pituitary gland? In response, the pituitary gland will release an adrenocorticotropic hormone, which then triggers the adrenal glands to start producing cortisol.

Once the threat or stress is gone, the cortisol levels in the body will begin to fall. The parasympathetic nervous system will then dampen your body’s stress response. As this happens, the body will also begin to recover from the stress.

Your heart rate will drop, and your muscles will start to relax again. Meanwhile, you will experience an increase in saliva as digestive enzymes are also released in your body. Your body’s urinary output will also increase to help you further flush out any toxins from the stress you just experienced. At the same time, any adrenaline left in the body will be metabolized. Norepinephrine, which is a neurotransmitter as well as a hormone, will be released, starting at the brain. This will cause a sense of alertness and results in insomnia for many, as well as pounding in the chest and possibly dizziness in some who are sensitive. Blood pressure tends to rise, though for sufferers of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS), who are commonly in a state of low blood pressure, this is seldom noticed except by a small number of people.

As you can see, your overall autonomic nervous system and adrenals are very much capable of handling stress. When the stress has become chronic, however, it overworks your body’s NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response to the point that your adrenals experience fatigue.

How the ANS and Adrenals are Compromised Under Continuous Stress

Adrenals and Autonomic Nervous SystemWhen stress is continuous, your body is not able to effectively modulate its parasympathetic nervous system. This means it does not have any chance to recover. In fact, the secretion of epinephrine is continuous, as your body is constantly preparing for a fight or flight.

At the same time, as mentioned earlier, norepinephrine will continue to travel to your heart and brain to keep you more alert. As a result, you may feel that your heart is beating harder or faster than normal. If left to persist, it can trigger serious cardiac problems.

Meanwhile, that surge of adrenaline in your body is a phenomenon that no opposing hormone is capable of neutralizing. As more of it is released, it leads to significant instability within your body, as is evidenced by what happens to your health soon after.

Chronic Stress and Adrenal Fatigue

When your body’s fight-or-flight response is activated too often, you can end up suffering from adrenal fatigue without warning. The continuous presence of stressors can cause your body to release significant amounts of various stress hormones, including cortisol.

Over time, your constantly elevated stress levels would cause your internal organs to become depleted of the raw materials they need to produce more neurotransmitters and hormones. Essentially, your body would experience a burnout, and this is what triggers AFS.

Once you have adrenal fatigue, your health will become compromised almost immediately. For starters, you will experience extreme fatigue, lightheadedness, and difficulty sleeping. A study conducted by several institutions in Spain and Cuba also found that high cortisol levels are linked to increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, and reduced immune function.

Furthermore, you can end up suffering from hair loss, muscle loss, and bone loss. You may also suffer from hormonal imbalance, skin ailments, insulin resistance, and even brain fog.

Aside from everything being experienced in your body, you may also find that you are not emotionally well. This is because adrenal fatigue can trigger feelings of depression and irritability. Hence, it may also affect your ability to focus and be effective at work.

How to Prevent Chronic Stress

As you can see, it’s important for you to better manage your stress so that your autonomic nervous system and adrenals don’t get overworked and compromised. There are several ways to deal with stress and keep it from getting worse. Before you try any remedy, however, it is always recommended to consult with your physician first, especially if you are trying a new supplement or therapy. In this way, you can be certain that the remedy you are trying is suited to your condition.

That said, here are helpful tips on how you can effectively manage chronic stress:

Check if Your Stress has a Biological Cause

Stress affecting a woman's Autonomic Nervous SystemIn some cases, there are some biological factors contributing to and exacerbating chronic stress. For instance, having vitamin B12 deficiency can readily trigger fatigue, anxiety, depression, weaker memory function, and a reduced attention span. If you happen to be B12 deficient while facing chronic stress, your adrenal fatigue can easily go from bad to worse.

Similarly, magnesium deficiency can also trigger several symptoms of stress, including fatigue, anxiety, and increased depression. Furthermore, a study conducted by the I.M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University and Ministry of Health of Russia found a link between stress and magnesium deficiency. Hence, it is believed that compensating for your depleted magnesium levels can enhance your ability to handle stress.

On the other hand, certain allergies and toxicity are also believed to cause stress. One study conducted by the Sapthagiri College of Engineering in Bangalore, India found that constant exposure to heavy metals can trigger oxidative stress. In fact, a study done by the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in Brazil also found that mercury toxicity can induce oxidative stress among growing cucumber seedlings.

Meanwhile, many who suffer from gluten sensitivity also report feeling fatigue. Some also report experiencing brain fog and sleeping problems. As you can see, these are all symptoms that people suffering from adrenal fatigue also experience.

If you believe you are suffering from any of these conditions that cause stress or make it worse, it’s best to have yourself checked out right away. Make an appointment with your physician. It is likely that they will recommend some laboratory tests to check for any sensitivity or deficiency you may have. Once they have determined what type of food or toxicity is causing you to become more stressed, make a conscious commitment to avoid these as much as possible.

Given that deficiency in certain vitamins and minerals cause fatigue and stress, it makes sense that taking supplements can help you combat these conditions. Ideally, you should opt for a supplement that helps your body balance its stress response. This can be a multivitamin that already contains B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, zinc and magnesium. You may also want to consult with a physician regarding what other vitamins and supplements you should take to help improve your body’s stress response. Unfortunately, this only applies to those with very mild forms of AFS. The weaker the body, the greater the tendency for the body to become sensitive to these nutrients. Paradoxical reactions can occur and adrenal crashes may be triggered.

Try Adrenal Breathing

Adrenal breathing is a special technique form of intentional breathing that is designed to help the body heal without stimulating the sympathetic nervous system. It is something that you can consciously practice in order to keep stress from taking over the rest of your life. The best part about it is that it’s quite easy to learn and practice regularly.

With every breath you take, you will find that you are becoming calmer. Hence, you will also be able to have better control over your reactions to stress.

Commit to Improving Your Sleep Quality

A woman improving sleep quality to support her Autonomic Nervous SystemYou may not realize it, but the quality of sleep that you get greatly affects how you are able to cope with stress. According to the American Psychological Association, a survey conducted in 2009 found that 47 percent of Americans cannot get proper sleep due to stress. If you can improve the quality of your sleep and sleep for around seven to eight hours regularly, you will feel more revitalized and rested upon waking up. This puts you in a much better position to deal with stress.

Take note of these tips and you will become better at handling any stressful event that comes your way. Remember, stress doesn’t just make you feel bad emotionally. It compromises your overall health, too. This is why it’s most important to keep its presence to a minimum in your daily life. With reduced stress, you will immediately feel much healthier. In addition, you will also become happier and more energized.

7 Natural Sciatica Nerve Solutions

Sciatic Nerve pain, also known as sciatica, can cause throbbing pain from the lower spine all the way to the buttocks. If you have sciatica, you may face high levels of discomfort. Natural sciatica nerve solutions can help relieve pain without causing any side effects. Moreover, natural remedies are often considered safer and more effective than surgery or anti-inflammatory drugs. ( https://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp )

What Is Sciatica Nerve Pain?

The sciatic nerve is the longest and widest nerve in the body; it runs from your lower back all the way to your feet. Sciatica nerve pain itself is not a condition; this term is used to describe the painful symptoms that occur in your lower back and lower limbs. Sciatica occurs when The sciatic nerve gets pinched which can result which can result in intense pain in the lower back and lower limbs. Many people describe this pain as intolerable.

Bulging spinal discs can press on the nerves causing conditions such as arthritis and bone spurs which can irritate the surrounding nerves. When the space around your spinal cord narrows, it can exert pressure on the adjacent nerve roots causing discomfort and pain.

Other causes of sciatica include:

  • irritation or pressure on sciatic nerves
  • bad posture
  • trauma
  • spinal misalignment
  • bulging discs
  • degeneration of spine or discs or lower back

For people with sciatica, simple activities such as bending to wear your socks or getting up from the chair can cause pain and be stressful. Stress from sciatic pain can make you feel fatigue. Sciatic nerve pain can also indicate symptoms of spinal stenosis. The condition is also closely linked to piriformis syndrome as the piriformis muscle is located nearby the sciatic nerve.

Your body is equipped with a NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response which acts as a natural defensive shield against stress. During stressful situations, the NEM stress response signals your adrenal glands to secrete the anti-stress hormone, cortisol. However, repeated stress overburdens your adrenals lowering cortisol production. This reduces your body’s stress-fighting ability leaving you fatigued. Stressors such as sciatic nerve pain can cause stress on your body triggering symptoms of AFS and further worsen the condition.

Symptoms of Sciatic Nerve Pain

Estimates reveal that one to two percent of people experience a herniated disc which can further lead to sciatic pain. The condition is more common in men than in women. People over 30 years of age are more likely to develop the pain. Sciatica can affect almost anyone including athletes, people who are physically active, lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Some of the common sciatic nerve pain symptoms include:

Lower back pain and natural sciatica nerve solutions

  • Frequently experiencing sharp and shooting pain in the lower back. The pain can travel down to the buttock, thighs, and feet
  • Pain during sleep
  • Tingling and numbness in lower limbs
  • Stiffness and trouble flexing feet
  • Trouble moving around or exercising
  • Inflammation and throbbing in lower back and thighs when sitting or standing for prolonged time

Depending on the type of damage, sciatic pain can last for up to six weeks. The inflamed bulging tissues do recover with time. In some cases, the pain may subside on its own after a certain period. However, in cases of acute pain, the symptoms may re-emerge. When sciatic pain lasts for more than six weeks, then it is unlikely for the pain to recover without any therapy. Natural sciatica nerve solutions can always be of great help in correcting the problem. Read More Article

Dealing with Chronic Adrenal Fatigue

We all are struggling to cope with life on a day to day basis. We want the best for ourselves and our families. We want the best career, the best house, the most luxurious lifestyle, a good and supportive family and lots of money in the bank. We have a lot of expectations from ourselves and there are others who also expect a lot from us, thus surmounting the pressure on ourselves. All these wants are positive, but in securing them the trade-off is ill health and stress. These days a lot of people are suffering from a condition called chronic adrenal fatigue.

So what exactly is this chronic adrenal fatigue? This is a condition which affects our adrenal gland. This gland is a very important and essential part of our body, as it produces as well as releases pertinent hormones such as adrenalin, endorphins, testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol. The function of this very important adrenal gland is also to regulate the hormones in our bodies. These hormones are produced when our body is under stress. These hormones reflect what we feel and think. The response of the body to deal with stress and pressure is the secretion and release of these various hormones.

When someone suffers from chronic adrenal fatigue, the production of hormones is affected. The body secretes too many hormones in large amounts to deal with the stress. This means the adrenal glands are working overtime which will only result in exhaustion of the adrenal glands which will, in turn, lower the hormone production in our bodies. The consequence will be that we will feel tired easily and we will be exhausted most of the time. Even a sound sleep cannot replenish the energies of chronic adrenal fatigue sufferers. They will also feel irritable and moody which can further lead to depression.

The best way to deal with chronic adrenal fatigue is to give ourselves ample amount of rest. Along with rest, proper nutrition and techniques to deal with stress need to be taken into consideration. The little bit of self-indulgence and pampering will also contribute to the treatment of chronic adrenal fatigue.

Helping You Understand Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Adrenal fatigue (also known as hypoadrenia) is an alternative medicine term. This term is used to state that fatigue or exhaustion occurred to the adrenal glands and caused them to lower hormone production levels. The main hormone which is improperly produced as a result of adrenal fatigue is the cortisol hormone. The term, adrenal fatigue, is often used to describe a variety of symptoms or may be classified as a symptom in itself. The scientific findings are limited to this condition and it is not a real diagnosis but the term is still widely used to describe fatigue of the adrenal glands and relevant symptoms of this. There are other types of adrenal conditions which can be diagnosed and are similar to this, such as Addison’s disease and adrenal insufficiency.

If you believe that you have adrenal fatigue then you could speak with your doctor to get their opinion. There may be other causes that your doctor could pinpoint the adrenal fatigue symptoms too. It may be another type of adrenal condition or something different altogether as there is such a wide selection of symptoms that are common with adrenal fatigue.

Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue

There are many different possible symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Some of the more commonly noted adrenal fatigue symptoms include chronic fatigue, disturbed or non-refreshing sleep, insomnia, light sensitivity, poor stamina, concentration problems, and much more. There are nearly 75 symptoms which are regularly claimed by people with adrenal fatigue. This is not to say that you will experience all or most of these symptoms but rather you will definitely notice a few from the list are true for you.

A lot of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue may be symptoms of other health issues as well. The adrenal fatigue may also be relevant to another condition or disease that you may have. Many of the common symptoms will go unnoticed or will be tracked to a different health issue. However, if you notice a decent amount of the common adrenal fatigue symptoms then you may want to check if this is really the issue you have.

A good way to help identify adrenal fatigue is to monitor your daily routine and see how and when the symptoms affect you. For example, it is common for fatigue to set in earlier in the morning. Brain fog is more common in the afternoon. In the evening you may feel more energetic after recovering from your low feeling. The tiredness will usually set in as normal at night time but you may not feel like sleeping. A new burst of energy may occur a few hours later in the night which could keep you up for a few hours before finally getting to sleep after one in the morning.

If you are trying to heal yourself and believe that adrenal fatigue may be the issue then you will want to go through the list of symptoms. You should also consider when the symptoms occur as you may follow a similar lifestyle to the common adrenal routine noted above. There is such an extensive list of symptoms for adrenal fatigue and many of them will overlap with other conditions so you will have to truly identify the condition before diagnosing yourself with it. If your daily routine is similar to the typical adrenal fatigue day schedule then it would be a major indicator of the condition.

Adrenal Fatigue Modalities

If you have determined that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue then you will want to work towards treating it. This is a health issue which can have a serious effect on your day to day life and productivity so as soon as you identify it you should look into what you can do to minimize the effects it has on you. Thankfully, there are many ways that your body can make the adrenal fatigue as negligible as possible.

Reaching the ideal adrenal health is necessary for you to be able to treat this condition as best as possible. There are many little things that you can do to improve your overall adrenal health. For example, lying down to rest at around 10 in the morning and between three and five in the afternoon can have great effects on your adrenal health. A healthy diet, exercising regularly, eating many meals a day (five to seven), taking supplements, and keeping your life exciting and active can all also have great effects on the treatment of adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue treatment is mostly an issue of improving your general health, diet, and exercise regimen. If you keep yourself active and allow for rest times throughout the day then it can help treat the condition. If you have only been suffering from minor adrenal fatigue then you can expect a near complete recovery within nine months. A moderate case of adrenal fatigue could easily be resolved within a year or two. However, it may take two years or a little more to fully treat a more severe case of adrenal fatigue. The amount of time that it will take to treat your case of adrenal fatigue will depend on the severity of it but you should notice gradual improvements on fighting the symptoms off as time passes.

If you have diagnosed yourself with adrenal fatigue or your doctor has said that it is possible then you will want to take the steps necessary to treat it. Even if you are not completely sure that this is the condition that you have the treatment method is still an improvement to your overall health. You will be more active, eat healthier, and rest when your down periods set in. The result of this will be an improved overall energy and a healthier lifestyle. In closing, if you believe that you have adrenal fatigue then you should definitely look into the various treatment methods and work towards treating yourself of this condition so you can live a healthier and more productive lifestyle.