Many people in our society are stressed out. (You may be one of them.) They will often label themselves as such and unwittingly drink large amounts of coffee to get themselves through the day. What they don’t realize is that chronic caffeine use, especially if too much caffeine is consumed, will stress the adrenal glands.
It’s a condition known as caffeinism – which is characterized by symptoms of depression, nervousness, irritability, recurrent headache, heart palpitations, and insomnia. (Any of this starting to sound familiar?) That puts extra stress on the adrenal glands.
The adrenal glands are important as they control many bodily functions and play a critical role in the body’s resistance to stress.
If an individual has experienced a great deal of stress, the adrenal glands will shrink and not perform properly.
The adrenal glands then become exhausted from the constant demands that are placed on them. A person with adrenal exhaustion will complain of feeling stressed out or anxious, and will have a reduced resistance to allergies or infections. They might catch every virus that is circulating, will have a harder time recovering from disease and are more prone to getting sick again.
That’s bad news, especially when we enter into cold and flu season again. Someone who is ‘running on empty’ and continually reaching for another cup of coffee will only make their health worse and may be more susceptible to getting sick.
A recent news article says sleep deprived doctors in Australia have been ordered to drink up to six cups of coffee a day to stay awake during extended shifts.
The average North American consumes 150 to 225 mg of caffeine daily, which is about the amount of 1-2 cups of coffee. Multiply that by six times (as some people do simply by ordering a few ‘Venti’s) and you’re consuming a lot of caffeine – caffeine that is stressing your adrenal glands.
How to Support the Adrenal Glands
Obviously, getting enough sleep is part of the equation. Though in our fast paced society, adequate sleep is often shoved aside in favour of getting more done. But even taking a cat nap can help the body with the rest it needs.
– Eating a healthy diet with fresh fruit and vegetables along with whole grains and essential fatty acids (EFA) can help too.
– Supporting the adrenal glands with herbal botanicals like ginseng and astragalus are key to helping the body to function properly.
– Keeping inflammation down in the body is also a good idea, as inflammation is more likely to lead to disease. Taking EFAs like flax seed or hemp seed oil can help with that goal.
With proper support for the adrenal glands, along with dietary and lifestyle changes, you will have enough natural energy so you won’t need caffeine.
Marilyn Zink has been publishing The Herbal Collective magazine for more than 17 years. In that time, the magazine has grown and expanded to circulate from Victoria, B.C. on Vancouver Island to as far north as Campbell River, B.C. It is also delivered to locations in Vancouver, B.C. and the Lower Mainland.
To keep up to date with the latest on herbs, and sign up for your free newsletter, please visit Herbal Collective.
Latest posts by Marilyn Zink (see all)
- The top 10 essential oils for an aching sore body - October 3, 2010
- Little Known Health Facts about Parsley - April 23, 2010
- How Your Stressed Adrenal Glands are Making you Sick - April 8, 2010