When Anxiety Hits.... The Adrenal Connection

Anxiety, Panic attacks, Depression, General Anxiety Disorder or GAD often accompanies OCD.   If you understand the cause it is easy to see why.

There are glands which sit on top of each of your kidneys called adrenal glands.   During times of stress, these glands go into a primitive survival mode.  They produce adrenaline to help you fight or flee from the stressor.  However, most of our stressors today are not something like a bear, which we can fight or run away from to protect our lives; rather they are bosses, co-workers, teenagers, spouses, bill collectors etc.

Instead of the adrenaline going to the muscles where it is used up and discarded by the body, the adrenaline dwells within the body, often attacking the coating of the nerves (aka myelin sheathing).

If this process happens long or often enough, the myelin becomes very thin and the adrenals tend to stay in continuous defense mode.  Therefore every little stressor can cause the feeling of extreme panic or anxiety.

There are other factors to consider....

  • Coffee, tea and caffeine... over-stimulate the adrenals, keeping them in an already agitated state
  • Lack of nutrients especially potassium, sodium, B-complex and fatty acids...which help soothe the adrenals
  • Video games and adrenaline-provoking movies can play havoc on a weakened adrenal

Avoiding STRESS and the above insults to the adrenals are necessary, but there are other avenues which can help.  

  • Natural sodium (found in cucumbers, cabbage, and slippery elm).... not NaCl or salt... helps soothe the adrenals and gets the message across that the danger has past
  • Potassium (found in parsley) ...  also helps soothe the adrenals
  • B-complex (made by the body, not the supplemental form) ... appears to lessen the over-stimulation to the adrenals during time of stress.   Probiotic Eleven is probably the very best source of the bacillius which, when populated in the intestine, produces natural B vitamins..... Caution:  isolated Bs, found in vitamin tablets, can increase anxiety
When under prolonged anxiety and stress, the adrenals can become burnt out, often causing depression and fatigue.  Mood Elevator is probably my very favorite nutritionally supportive combination for the adrenals
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