Get Your Mojo Back: Natural Libido Enhancers – Part 3

Herbal Interventions for Low Libido

Another way to naturally enhance your libido is through the use of appropriate herbs. There are quite a number of herbs you can use as natural libido enhancers but some of them may have side effects, just as medications do. There is little to no risk in using herbs as a natural libido enhancement. In contrast, to lifestyle changes, using herbs is possibly the easiest way to deal with low libido. They approach the issue of low libido directly at the source.

There are essentially two types of herbs to consider when working with natural libido enhancers. Phytoestrogenic herbs have estrogenic compounds that come from plants. They add estrogen to the body as a way of dealing with hormone imbalance, but this often leads the body to stop producing estrogen on its own. If this happens, it leads to a further decrease in the body’s own hormones.

Non-estrogenic herbs do not contain estrogen. These herbs nourish the pituitary and endocrine glands, leading them to make natural hormones more efficiently. This process balances estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone naturally. These natural libido enhancers may be the safest way to deal with the symptoms of imbalanced hormones. They seem to be very appropriate natural libido enhancers.

You should keep in mind that herbs, in general, have not been scientifically studied well. The reports about benefits have nearly all been word of mouth from users. How much of the positive results, from the use of herbs, is a placebo effect is not known. Possible side effects of herbs are not well known, either. Certainly, the lack of consistency in the number of herbs used or the quality of the herbs affects the results you may get. When trying to enhance libido naturally, use caution if you take herbs.

Some herbs may act as stimulants to the body. This could be detrimental to you if you’re in a condition of adrenal fatigue. What is beneficial for one person may become detrimental to another depending on overall health and the health of your adrenals. You should use herbs as a way to enhance your libido naturally, but only under the watchful care of an experienced adrenal expert.

Ashwagandha

It is said to increase blood flow to a woman’s sexual organs. This increases arousal and makes it a popular herb to use. Menopausal women also get relief from hot flashes, anxiety, and depression with this herb. For some with adrenal issues, this herb may lead to feelings of anxiety and adrenal crashes may be triggered.

Avena sativa

A popular herb used by women to increase libido, ease cramps during the menstrual cycle, and as an aphrodisiac. It has been found to increase blood flow, stimulate the central nervous system, and increase both the physical and emotional desire for sex. Some research suggests it frees bound testosterone, thus increasing sexual desire. The research studies have been small, so these results may not prove accurate with further study.

Epimedium

Known as Horny Goat Weed, it is said to relieve menopause symptoms. This makes it very attractive to those women enduring menopause. Just as many other herbs are said to do, epimedium increases blood flow to women’s sexual organs. Alkaloids and plant steroids found in this herb have actions like testosterone and, word of mouth reports suggest they are more effective than medications and have no side effects.

Maca Root

Do not smoke while using natural libido enhancersKnown as Peruvian ginseng, it has been used by native peoples, of the Andes, to deal with the symptoms of menopause. It’s said to decrease infertility, sleep problems, night sweats, hot flashes, and sexual dysfunction. A frequently used aphrodisiac and libido enhancer, it’s loaded with phytonutrients and zinc. This herb appears to be a powerful natural libido enhancer. Because of its stimulatory effect, those with advanced adrenal fatigue need to be very careful to avoid over-stimulation and adrenal crashes.

Muira puama

It is said to stimulate greater blood flow to the pelvic area. Women report increased sexual desire and more satisfying sex. These reports are word of mouth only.

Suma Root

Also called South American Ginseng, it is frequently used as natural libido enhancers to increase sexual desire and improve reproductive health. Animal research suggests these results to be accurate. Use of suma root appears to increase estradiol-17beta. This is a sex hormone necessary for healthy reproduction and balancing hormones. It’s a promising natural libido enhancer.

Tongkat Ali

It is said to be the best natural aphrodisiac known. Malaysian women use these natural libido enhancers to increase libido and make the erogenous zones more sensitive. Some research has shown it to increase testosterone levels and increase balanced hormones. Another promising natural libido enhancer.

Tribulus Terrestris

It has long been used as an aphrodisiac. Apparently, it stimulates androgen receptors in the brain and increases the efficient use of hormones in the body.

Damiana

It is traditionally used by Mayan people in Central America to increase sexual function in both men and women. Said to be an aphrodisiac, its use is controversial due to no scientific evidence that it does anything.

Natural Libido Enhancers: Vitamins, Minerals, and Foods

Nutrition is a necessity in naturally enhancing libido. Our culture of fast foods and processed foods leads to malnutrition. As you know, good nutrition is necessary for good gut health which is necessary for balancing hormones and increasing libido. Getting sufficient vitamins and minerals comes only with supplementation or eating the right foods.

Pumpkin Seeds

They increase zinc, leading to higher levels of testosterone. They block the enzyme that changes testosterone into estrogen. Increased sex drive comes from increased levels of testosterone.

Water Melon

It has a compound that produces a Viagra-like effect. It increases blood flow which is needed to stimulate tissues to be aroused and lubricated.

Rhodiola

It is a plant-derived supplement that improves mood. This increases the likelihood of engaging in sex. Possibly, it helps increase dopamine, which boosts women’s sexual pleasure.

Dark Chocolate

It seems to help increase dopamine, also. In addition, the bioflavonoids in dark chocolate may help improve blood flow, making stimulation of the sex organs more likely.

Halibut

It is high in magnesium, which can help raise testosterone levels.

Look for the natural libido enhancers in your life

Asparagus

It has a high amount of folate. A folate is a naturally-occurring form of folic acid. It helps regulate the amount of histamine in the body, the chemical released during orgasm.

Garlic

It improves blood flow due to the action of allicin. It helps to relax the arteries, allowing a greater volume of blood through them.

Bananas

They have a natural libido enhancer in the form of bromelain, an enzyme that helps in more production of testosterone.

Walnuts

They are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help the production of dopamine that increases nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is necessary for erections by dilating blood vessels, allowing blood to flow better.

Beef

It is high in zinc. As seen above, zinc helps increase testosterone.

Herbs are generally not recommended due to their stimulatory effect on the body. Those who have adrenal fatigue should be worried. The weaker the adrenals, the greater the risk.

Hormones to Improve Low Libido

Over and over again, testosterone is seen as important when enhancing women’s libido naturally. However, there are some cautions to be considered.

For women, in the pre-menopause stage, research regarding the use of testosterone, as a way of increasing low libido, is limited. But the small number of studies seem to show side effects, in premenopausal women, to be the same as in postmenopausal women. Acne and facial hair can be seen even in some women with normal levels of testosterone. Fluid retention has been a side effect as well. Difficulties with lipid levels may occur. If you have a history of breast cancer, severe liver disease, or severe deep vein phlebitis, you shouldn’t take supplements that increase testosterone. During pregnancy, avoid products that increase testosterone including natural libido enhancers.

The FDA has not approved testosterone supplementation for women due to concerns about safety. Studies have shown some increased risk of breast cancer in women taking testosterone as a way to increase libido. Concern about cardiovascular health also remains.

DHEA has been shown to be effective in increasing sexual arousal in older women. One study showed women between 60 and 79 years of age experienced slight increases in testosterone and estrogen with DHEA supplementation. For women over 70, there was a significant increase in libido and sexual satisfaction.

Tibolone, a synthetic steroid, is said to increase SHBG, stimulating free testosterone and estradiol. It is not approved in the U.S. because of increased risk of breast cancer and stroke.

Taking testosterone as a form of natural libido enhancers for women can have unwanted side effectsWhen you try to enhance libido naturally, there are options. As with any method that is used to increase low libido, you may have to try several options or combinations of options. Changes that will come to your libido through these natural methods won’t necessarily come quickly. Your body didn’t get to the point of having low libido, regardless of cause, overnight. So, don’t expect benefits to show up in a short time. Start very slowly if you have adrenal fatigue. Talk to your doctor and make sure your body is strong enough to endure the stimulating effect of such compounds. The close monitor is required. The weaker the body is, the less one should any form of a sexual enhancer.

If you do self-navigate, don’t get discouraged when using natural ways to enhance libido. It takes time. Time and work. But the results will be worth the effort. Stay with it. Run the course. Take the time necessary to enhance your libido naturally. Always be monitored by a knowledgeable professional for maximum effect and benefit. The proper dose, delivery system, frequency, and timing is critical to successful implementation and a positive clinical outcome.

Dietary Supplements That Boost the Immune System in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

We’ve all experienced fatigue and stress on various occasions in our lives. For many people, the condition resolves within a relatively short period. Most often, both adequate sleep and sufficient rest are advised. However, there is a close link between AFS and your immune system.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is a condition that occurs due to prolonged physical and/or psychological stress. Some of the common symptoms that occur with this condition include stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, among others. The condition is also said to have a slow and insidious onset.

Furthermore, studies have established AFS as one of the leading health conditions with increasingly high prevalence rates. On top of that, over 90 percent of chronic health conditions have AFS as a factor.

On one hand, when your body is stressed, your inflammation circuit becomes activated. This, in turn, triggers the immune system response for the purpose of eliminating the invading pathogen.

On the other hand, an untamed inflammation reaction leads to a negative health impact on your body: your immune system response becomes dysregulated due to overload. Inflammation becomes rampant, and chronic inflammation leads both to autoimmune disorders and increased risk of acquiring infections due to weakened immunity.

AFS and NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response

To start with, AFS is neither a genetic nor a contagious condition. Normally, this condition results when adrenal glands become unable to control stress and thus succumb to severe stress.
The condition is defined as acute, severe, chronic, or excessive, depending on the level of progression.

In addition, the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response is the survival mechanism your body adapts.

The NEM Stress Response consists of six systems and organs that are integrated and work together to fight stress, as well as maintaining their organ functions. The six circuits are inflammation, detoxification, neuroaffect, metabolic, cardionomic, and hormonal.

Dietary Supplements That Boost Your Immune System

Dietary supplements that boost the immune system play a vital role both in maintaining immune function and alleviating symptoms of AFS.

Probiotics

The most essential thing about probiotics is that they contain “good bacteria” and yeast. Both optimize health in your gut. When “good bacteria” are in low numbers, your gut has high chances of attack by “bad bacteria.” So “good bacteria” works as a defense mechanism. Also, probiotics digest nutrients and detoxify your colon. Examples of probiotics include:

  • Saccharomyces boulardii, yeasts that help to eliminate diarrhea and other digestive problems.
  • Lactobacillus, the most common type of probiotic, widely available in fermented foods and yogurt.
  • Bifidobacterium, found in dairy products, eases Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) among other conditions.

Again, probiotics have more health benefits, such as for skin conditions (e.g. eczema), vaginal and urinary health, and in preventing allergies and colds.

Vitamin C

A bottle of vitamin C to boost the immune system

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is obtainable in fruits and vegetables. This vitamin has a powerful antioxidant effect in your body. It also aids your body in forming and maintaining connective tissues, such as your skin, blood vessels and bones.

Other benefits attributable to vitamin C involve the prevention of heart diseases, increased absorption of folic acid, and reduction of low density lipoprotein (LDL, also known as “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides.

Vitamin C supplements cut down on the duration and symptoms of the common cold, and support healthy immune system function.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is cheaply available from sunshine. The vitamin can also be obtained from foods and supplements.

Vitamin D has several important roles in your body.

It maintains the health of your bones and teeth. It backs up your immune system, brain, and nervous system. It also regulates insulin levels and controls diabetes.

Garlic

By taking garlic, you are in a position to better combat illnesses like the common cold.
You also can reduce your blood pressure if it is at all high.

Garlic also helps you regulate your cholesterol levels. Again, your heart and bones are kept in good health.

Garlic has antioxidants that help to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Studies have revealed that garlic has antiviral as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic has the ability to improve the immune system also.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid

You can get omega-3 fatty acids in fish, some sea foods like algae, and in some plants, as well as nut oils.

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and lower risks of chronic conditions like heart problems, cancer, and arthritis.

Omega-3 fatty acids also improve memory and brain performance.

Foods High in Steroids

Similar to humans, plants also produce steroids.

Studies have established that 70 percent of sampled plant species have steroids similar to testosterone in them.

It’s easier to boost your natural steroid level by including the following items in your daily diet:

  • Figs are a rich source of zinc and amino acids. Including figs in your diet can boost testosterone levels.
  • Asparagus has potassium and folic acid, which enhances sex drive. It also has vitamin E, vitamin B6, calcium, zinc, and magnesium, as well as diuretic properties.
  • Raw oysters contain plenty of zinc, magnesium and other vitamins.
  • Avocados are well packed with cholesterol, potassium, vitamins, and folic acid. By eating avocado, your testosterone levels will hike up, and your low density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, will decrease.
  • Spinach is a great source of magnesium, which helps in increasing testosterone levels. It also has nitrate, which is converted into nitric oxide and improves blood flow.
  • Eggs are rich in fat and cholesterol, which help to increase testosterone levels. Also available in eggs are aspartic acid, protein, and calcium.
  • Quinoa has zinc, L-arginine, and magnesium, which is ideal for better sleep.
  • Wild oats contain plenty of fiber, which helps you to stay full for a longer duration.
  • Bananas are an excellent source of bromelain enzyme, vitamin B6 and potassium. Bromelain is good for boosting testosterone levels.
  • Fava beans contain calcium, phosphorus, manganese and potassium.

Immune system and NEM Stress Response systems

Inflammation system

Low inflammation levels makes the immune response weak. This exposes the body to bacterial, fungal, and viral infections.

On the flip side, chronic inflammation, due to prolonged low-level release, sets the immune response on overdrive. Due to continuous overworking, immune response dysregulates, leading to a host of adverse health conditions in your body as inflammation becomes rampant. The possible health conditions include:
Dysregulated immune system can lead to allergies

  • Autoimmune disorders, e.g. arthritis, autism, cancer, and stroke
  • Exposure to infections
  • Pathogen is not cleared
  • Worsening of pre-existing clinical disorders
  • Exposure to environmental irritants and food allergies

The most common signs that signal chronic inflammation are bloating, food sensitivities, brain fog, depression, anxiety, and leaky gut (or IBS).

However, by taking dietary supplements that boost your immune system, the body benefits from restored immune response and improved health conditions.

Detoxification

The detoxification system consists of the immune system, liver, extracellular matrix, kidneys, and the lymphatic system which facilitates effective removal of excessive wastes.

When the system gets overworked due to continued inflammation, the organs start to slow down. As a result, toxicity levels in your body increase due to an accumulation of reactive metabolites.

Some common signals that occur due to increased toxicity levels are constipation, brain fog, insomnia, electrolyte imbalance, food sensitivities, anxiety, and gastric bloating.

It is vital to support your immune system and rid your body of any infections that may be increasing the toxic load on your detoxification circuit.

Cardionomic

The cardionomic response system prepares the heart, blood vessels, and lungs by providing more blood filled with oxygen for the fight-or-flight response.

This response is regulated by both the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal gland hormones — adrenaline, norepinephrine, and cortisol.

With continuous chronic inflammation, the fight-or-flight response is also continuous. Supporting the immune system can help to reduce inflammation and the stress on your adrenal glands.

The Bottom Line

Dietary supplements that boost the immune system can be life changing in AFS recovery. The supplements have incredible power in resolving many conditions which result from AFS. Moreover, they have the ability to re-energize your body and enhance your health.

Article Source

Understanding Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue, medically known as hypoadrenia, is often controversial; there is the debate if adrenal fatigue is its own syndrome or a symptom of another medical condition like that of Addison’s disease. Either way, Adrenal fatigue can really affect one’s health negatively when it comes to weight loss attempts. To understand the effects adrenal fatigue has on weight loss, it’s important to understand what it is.

Adrenal fatigue is associated with constant and overwhelming stress. Often people complain of being tired, feeling exhausted or run down and physically and emotionally stressed. In an attempt to address the problem, people will use excessive amounts of caffeine and sweets to keep their energy up.

What happens to the body when it’s overly stressed is fairly simple to understand. When the body is experiencing high levels of stress it produces lesser amounts of cortisol, a hormone released by the adrenal gland. Although the adrenal gland produces other hormones such as estrogen, adrenalin, and androgen; cortisol is the primary hormone of the adrenal gland with the goal of responding to stress by increasing production. Cortisol converts’ protein into energy.

Under normal circumstances when the body experiences stress or when there is a need for the “fight or flight” response, cortisol initially increases to the point of homeostasis and then decreases when the stress is relieved. However, if that stress is not relieved; cortisol continues to produce and the adrenal gland tires leading to adrenal fatigue, which in turn begins to fail in hormone production.

1-Inst-office-exercises-36479

Adrenal Fatigue and Weight Issues

The effects on weight due to adrenal fatigue are multi-fold. First, because those suffering from adrenal fatigue seek to perk themselves up with caffeine and sugar; there is weight gain from empty calorie consumption. Of course, the big problem here is that weight will have to be lost at some point especially as we age and need to maintain better health for a longer and healthier life.

Next, because adrenal fatigue makes the body feel tired and a “sugar-high” only lasts so long there is a tendency to exercise less than what the body needs. When the body doesn’t exercise enough, stress has a tendency to build-up in the body instead of being released; this keeps the stress-adrenal fatigue cycle on a continuum.

Increased or decreased cortisol levels are unhealthy for the body; remember cortisol converts’ protein into energy. When energy is unable to be produced by the conversion of protein to energy, the body begins to feel tired. If you are already stressed and lack the needed energy to exercise properly, weight gain is inevitable. Thus, adrenal fatigue is often considered a precursor to obesity.

More often than not, adrenal fatigue associated weight gain is concentrated around the midsection of the body; the waist and abdominal areas or what is commonly referred to as the belly area. The weight gain in this area is extremely hard to lose and is extremely tiring for the body to carry.

To address weight gain in this area, there will need to be a lifestyle change. Yes, this may sound scary and overwhelming, but it’s not as drastic as it may sound. Remember, when your body isn’t able to function properly you simply won’t feel well, not in the morning, afternoon, or night.

Adrenal fatigue can lead to depression, insomnia, belly fat, poor self-esteem, constant craving for empty calories, deficient digestion, continuous stress, poor digestion, and of course overall weight gain. Use these tips and tricks to get your adrenal fatigue and weight gain in check.

Tips & Tricks

Learn to Relax.

Don’t sweat those little annoying things in everyday life. Yes, sometimes these things are far more stressful than the bigger more important issues in life; thus, you must learn to deal with them, and it will benefit your health. Use meditation, relaxation tapes or take a nap.

Exercise Often.

Exercise is important in releasing stress, balancing hormones, and losing weight. The human body is designed to keep fit and to function at its most efficient levels possible. When suffering from adrenal fatigue take it slow when starting out with exercise; let your body adjust to the changes it will go through as it heals itself from the lack of the previous exercise. Increase slowly, but be constant and consistent. Don’t give up when results aren’t seen immediately; you will start feeling less stressed and healthier before you start physically seeing results; this alone will start helping to address adrenal fatigue. I would also suggest using a sauna to flush out environmental toxins, pesticides, etc.

Eat Well.

Even though adrenal fatigue makes one crave salt and sweets and increase the use of caffeine and sugar to keep energy levels up to avoid it.

This may be hard at first, but keep up your efforts and before you know it your body will adjust to having these treats less. Next, remember, that the adrenal gland produces cortisol that converts protein into energy; thus, eat more protein and avoid starches to get that figure in shape and pep in your step.

You can help your adrenals by eating more omega fatty acids from fish such as salmon and sardines, dandelion, mustard or any other dark leafy greens as they contain vitamin A.

In addition increase your selenium intake by consuming smelt, herring, scallops and Brazil nuts. You can also use adaptogenic herbs to help in repairing the adrenal glands such as ginseng and Rhodiola. Item to avoid being gluten (get tested) and too much soy protein.

Steroids and Adrenal Insufficiency

Stress is unavoidable in the world we live in today. Instead, the best option is to take steps to effectively manage stress. Your body is equipped with a self-healing system. In order to deal with stress, the adrenal glands of your body produce certain natural steroid hormones. These anti-stress hormones are vital to keeping you going. Steroids and adrenal insufficiency are interconnected.

When your adrenal glands do not secrete adequate anti-stress steroid hormones, your body’s ability to cope with stress is reduced. This can be associated with adrenal fatigue. When adrenal glands fail to produce cortisol, a medical condition known as adrenal insufficiency can surface. Adrenal insufficiency is a recognized medical condition requiring lifelong steroid replacement. Adrenal fatigue is, on the other hand, not recognized by mainstream medicine, but sufferers have many symptoms similar to adrenal insufficiency, though in different intensity. Regardless of whether it is adrenal fatigue or steroids and adrenal insufficiency, it is crucial to allow your adrenal glands to heal naturally. This, in turn, will restore and repair your adrenal glands thus helping to normalize adrenal function.

Excess stress is the main reason for adrenal fatigue. Factors that trigger stress are known as stressors. Below are some of these stressors that we face in daily life:

  • excess workload
  • tight schedules
  • unrealistic expectations
  • negative self-talk
  • unhealthy lifestyle
  • unhappy relationships
  • depression
  • grief
  • prolonged medication
  • pollutants

Poor diet, chronic disease, inadequate sleep and emotional stress are other factors that contribute to adrenal insufficiency.

Understanding Steroids and Adrenal Insufficiency

Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the adrenal glands of your body do not produce adequate steroid hormones, principally cortisol and sometimes accompanied with low production of aldosterone as well. This can be documented by low cortisol level in laboratory tests. Your body has a pair of adrenal glands each situated above a kidney. Adrenal glands are the center for the production of vital anti-stress hormones. These steroid hormones also referred to as corticosteroid hormones are secreted by the adrenal cortex.

During symptoms raised due to inadequate secretions of corticosteroids, its synthetic versions are administered to alleviate the condition. Synthetic corticosteroids cause similar effects as that of the natural corticosteroids secreted by the adrenal cortex. These drugs are also used to treat various health disorders including skin irritation, immune system, inflammation and other conditions.

The adrenal gland is divided into two regions. The inner region is known as adrenal medulla which produces stress hormones noradrenaline and adrenaline. The outer region is known as adrenal cortex which secretes numerous kinds of steroid hormones. Aldosterone, cortisol, and cortisone are the main steroids.

Aldosterone maintains salt and fluid balance (potassium secretion, sodium conservation water retention) of the body whereas cortisol and cortisone maintain the body’s metabolism and inhibits inflammation.

Types of Adrenal Insufficiency

There are two types of adrenal insufficiency. They are primary adrenal insufficiency and secondary adrenal insufficiency.

steroids and adrenal insufficiency conditions

Primary adrenal insufficiency is also known as Addison’s disease. It is a rare condition where the adrenal glands do not secrete adequate stress hormones. While the autoimmune disease is the common reason for primary adrenal insufficiency, it is also caused when the adrenal glands are infected or damaged. Secondary adrenal insufficiency occurs when the pituitary glands do not send a signal to the adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. An endocrinologist can diagnose adrenal insufficiency through proper tests.

Adrenal insufficiency can affect people of all ages including children and seniors. Based on the condition, the type and severity of adrenal insufficiency differ. Each person is affected differently; hence, the treatment also differs from person to person.

Why Are Cortisol and Aldosterone Hormones So Crucial?

Both cortisol and aldosterone hormones are secreted in the outer region (adrenal cortex) of the adrenal glands. Both these hormones play a crucial role in helping the body to tackle stress.

Cortisol comes under the category of glucocorticoid hormones. They affect almost all the tissues and organs in the body. The chief role of the cortisol is to help the body deal with stress.

Various other functions of cortisol include:

  • Maintains functioning of the heart, blood vessel, and blood pressure
  • Impedes inflammatory response of the immune system
  • Regulates metabolism

The anterior part of the pituitary gland produces adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) which regulates many hormones in the body including the level of steroid hormone cortisol, secreted by adrenal glands. The hypothalamus is a part of the pituitary gland and brain. First, the hypothalamus releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), which trigger hormones that signal the pituitary glands to release ACTH. The released ACTH stimulates adrenal glands to secrete cortisol. After cortisol is secreted, it sends signals back to the hypothalamus and pituitary glands to reduce the trigger hormones.

Secretion of cortisol in balanced levels is important as any imbalance can cause health issues. High cortisol levels can cause diabetes, high glucose levels, obesity, weak muscles, high blood pressure, more body hair, low potassium levels, and high bicarbonate levels. Low cortisol levels can cause symptoms of high calcium levels, high potassium levels, low glucose levels, low sodium levels, low blood pressure, fatigue, weak muscles, a decrease in appetite, and weight loss.

Aldosterone comes under the category of mineralocorticoid hormones. Aldosterone plays a vital role in maintaining blood pressure and sodium-potassium level in the body. During low aldosterone secretion, your body loses more sodium and retains more potassium.

A drop in sodium levels causes a decrease in blood volume and blood pressure. It also causes hyponatremia with symptoms of feeling fatigued, confusion, as well as developing muscle seizures and twitches. When your body retains more potassium, it can cause hyperkalemia. While this condition may not have particular symptoms, hyperkalemia causes nausea, and irregular heartbeat – including slow, weak or irregular pulse.

Symptoms of Adrenal Insufficiency

Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency include:

symptoms of steroids and adrenal insufficiency

  • Abrupt, penetrating pain in abdomen, legs or lower back region
  • Severe diarrhea or vomiting
  • Confusion or even coma
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shaking & chills
  • Low blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • High fever
  • Skin darkening
  • Joint pain
  • Flank pain
  • Nausea
  • Dehydration
  • Profound weakness
  • Sluggish movement

Tumors, cancer, congenital condition and several other health conditions can also affect the adrenal gland, pituitary gland or other endocrine organs. When your endocrine system does not work properly, the secretion of cortisol and sometimes aldosterone is also affected – leading to adrenal insufficiency. The condition can happen at any stage of life.

Diagnosis Of Adrenal Insufficiency

Adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed by blood test and urine test of cortisol. The cortisol level is noted before and after the patient is injected with ACTH and CRH to stimulate the adrenal glands for production of cortisol. During the treatment process, natural hormones – which are to be secreted by the adrenal glands – are replaced with synthetic hormones, to mimic the natural version.

In certain cases, despite presenting with many adrenal insufficiency symptoms, lab tests do not show any positive result. This is often the case in adrenal fatigue.

Clinical Study Demonstrating Effects of Steroids and Adrenal Insufficiency

Studies demonstrate the effect of synthetic corticosteroids on adrenal insufficiency. Researchers conducted a study to know the effect of fluticasone propionate and budesonide on the cortisol level. The study revealed that fluticasone propionate produced greater adrenal suppression in both plasma and urinary cortisol than budesonide.

During the research, 12 adult asthmatic patients were given chronic doses of inhaled fluticasone propionate (FP) and budesonide (B) through a metered dose inhaler. The dose was given twice a day in a quantity of 250 mg, 500 mg and 1,000 mg at 8 hours and 22 hours for four consecutive days. After the completion of the eighth dose, the patients were then examined for overnight urinary cortisol excretion and plasma cortisol level at 8 hours and 10 hours respectively.

steroids and adrenal insufficiency research

Results showed that when compared to budesonide, fluticasone propionate had a greater effect on overnight urinary cortisol/creatinine ratio.

Since synthetic corticosteroids suppress adrenals, they are dosed in lower quantities to prevent an adrenal crash. However, according to research published on April 2015 in the online edition of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, patients who use nasal sprays and asthma steroid inhalers for common allergies are at risk of developing adrenal insufficiency.

During February 2014, an online survey was conducted on corticosteroids and adrenal insufficiency. The survey aimed to estimate the percentage of patients having adrenal insufficiency after undergoing treatment with corticosteroids for various health conditions. Further, the survey also aimed to stratify the result based on disease, treatment, treatment dose, route of corticosteroid administration, and duration see more article here.

The survey covered 74 articles with 3,753 asthmatic participants. At the end of the survey, the result showed that:

Stratified by administration form

For patients who received corticosteroids in administration form, the adrenal insufficiency percentage ranged from 4.2 percent for nasal administration to 52.2 percent for intra-articular administration

Stratified by disease

For asthma patients receiving inhaled corticosteroids, the percentage of adrenal insufficiency ranged from 6.8 percent to 60.0 percent for hematological malignancies

Stratified by dose

In asthma patients, the risk varied according to the dose from 2.4 percent (low dose) to up to 21.5 percent (high dose). This indicated that higher the dose, more the risk of adrenal insufficiency.

Stratified by treatment duration

Based on treatment duration, the risk of adrenal insufficiency varied from 1.4 percent to 27.4 percent showing that the percentage of adrenal insufficiency increased with the increase in treatment duration.

The survey concluded that:

  • Discontinuation of glucocorticoid can trigger adrenal insufficiency
  • There is no treatment duration, administration form, or dosing that can certainly exclude adrenal insufficiency, although longer use and higher doses increase the risk level
  • A threshold of tests for adrenal insufficiency in corticosteroid users should be less in the clinical practice, particularly for patients who have nonspecific symptoms post cessation

Synthetic corticosteroids are used to minimize symptoms of asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, multiple sclerosis, and COPD. They are taken in the form of skin creams, nasal sprays, pills, liquid, shots, and inhalers. Depending on the dose and duration, synthetic corticosteroids can cause side effects.

Short-term effects include weight gain, insomnia, unusual growth in body hair, nausea, as well as spikes in blood pressure and blood sugar.

Long-term use of synthetic corticosteroids can lead to serious side effects which include impeding growth in children, osteoporosis, cataracts, weak muscles, diabetes, and heart attack. Owing to its serious side effects, synthetic steroids are always to be taken under a doctor’s supervision.

Adequate Antioxidant Supplements for Anti-Aging

Aging is a natural phenomenon from which we cannot escape. The best way to deal with the process is to age gracefully. The onset of wrinkles is the first sign of getting old. However, aging is not just about wrinkles and sagging skin. Those changes are just a superficial view of the impending transformation that your body would undergo with advancing time. There is good news! When taken with an antioxidant-rich diet, antioxidant supplements can prove beneficial to retard the aging process: https://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp.

The underlying truth is as you age, the complete internal system of your body including vital organs such as heart, lungs, and kidneys are all affected. Your body needs adequate antioxidants for anti-aging. Studies prove that adequate antioxidants can help slow down cell degeneration, enhance vitality, promote great heart health and well-being.

2-research-antioxidant-supplements-32999

Antioxidant Supplements and Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular illness and heart attacks are major issues that the present world is facing. The problem is a great cause of concern especially among the elderly and is one of the major reasons for hospitalization. With age, the skeletal muscles gradually start to wither which is a major reason behind the cause of disability. Years of studies reveal that antioxidants have a positive effect on health and support healthy aging, especially among men.

According to a study conducted by the University of Paris (France), antioxidant supplementation among men showed a greater probability of healthy aging including a better score of metabolic and cardiovascular health. The research was conducted by Karen Assmann along with colleagues. Over 3,726 women and men enrolled in the Supplementation with Antioxidant Vitamins and Minerals Study.

During the research, the participant’s metabolic syndrome was tracked at the beginning of the study and continued with over 13 years follow-up. The participant’s self-reported medication and dietary habit were also monitored during this period. From time to time, the researchers also measured the participant’s blood pressure, cholesterol, glycemic markers, and waist circumference.

Diet plays a major role in promoting good heart health. According to a study conducted by the Journal of the American Heart Association, anti-inflammatory diet may help in the prevention of Myocardial Infarctions (MI). During the research, the measurement of the dietary inflammatory index (DII) indicated that pro-inflammatory diet can increase the risk of myocardial infarctions that play a role in inflammation and atherosclerosis development, a major contributor to cardiovascular disease.

Studies Revealing Association Between DII and Cardiovascular Illness

Obesity has always been linked with cardiovascular disease. This killer illness is not confined just to the wealthiest nations now. Developing countries are also victims of heart-related problems. A survey reveals that during 2012, over 17.5 million deaths were due to cardiovascular disease which accounted for 31 percent of the total worldwide mortality.

The survey also reported cardiovascular illness as the second cause of mortality in France. Over 40 percent of premature cardiovascular deaths are attributed to lifestyle choices. Dietary changes are a simple cost-effective solution to minimize the obesity epidemic and heart diseases. Several studies have been conducted to understand the relationship between nutritional factors and cardiovascular illness. This resulted in the development of a dietary score – Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII). Based on the various components of the diets pro-and anti-inflammatory properties, DII measures its inflammatory potential.

A study was conducted to assess the association between the inflammatory potential of the diets measured by DII and the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases including its sub-types – angina pectoris, angina pectoris, MI, and revascularization interventions. The study reported the beneficial role of anti-inflammatory diet on heart health.

The research with long-term follow-up included a large team of French adults selected from the SUpplémentation en VItamines et Minéraux AntioXydants” (SU.VI.MAX) study. The Commission Nationale Informatique et Liberté (CNIL no. 334641) and Ethics Committee for Studies with Human Participants of Paris Cochin Hospital (CCPPRB no. 706) approved the SU.VI.MAX study conducted during 1994 and 2002.

Researching antioxidant supplements

The research involved randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled primary prevention trial methods on 741 French adults that included women aged 35 – 60 and men aged 45 – 60. The main aim of the study was to examine the potential effects of the daily supplementation on the prevention of heart illness, cancer, and mortality.

The supplementation included “antioxidant supplements”, minerals and vitamins (β-carotene, ascorbic acid, selenium, zinc and vitamin E) which were administered to the participants in nutritional doses.

The trial phase of the study concluded in 2002 while the health monitoring continued up to September 2007. During the SU.VI.MAX study trial phase (1994–2002), all the participants were required to provide a 24-hour dietary record for every 2 months. In total, 6 records per person were collected covering all seasons and days of the entire week.

At the end of the study and over 13 years of follow-up, a total of 292 cardiovascular diseases were reported which included 54 women and 238 men. The detailed report showed 58 strokes, 93 MI, 13 sudden deaths, and 128 revascularization interventions and angina pectoris.

The result of the long study recommended dietary alterations for preventing MI. The study suggests limiting of pro-inflammatory foods. The research further states that anti-inflammatory nutritional compounds might benefit in lowering the risk of MI – thus cutting down the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Important Factor Contributing to Aging

Aging is not just developing signs of wrinkles; the process affects the inside as well reducing the heart’s potential energy and weakening the entire body. With advanced aging, your heart gradually loses its pumping capacity. Cardiovascular illness also affects heart health. Oxidative stress is known to cause heart disease and accelerate aging. Antioxidants play a vital role in reducing oxidative stress by fighting against free radicals. They also help to detox the body by removing the accumulated toxins from the body. Stress is another factor that is believed to accelerate the aging process. Studies prove that long-term stress can shorten lifespan and increase the risk of age-related illness such as heart disease. People of all genders are concerned about looking young. They reach for various beauty products to make their skin look young and beautiful. Most of the time, the important factor behind aging is neglected. Managing stress can help slow down the aging process to a large extent.

6 Ways To Improve Your Leaky Gut – Part 2

Testing for Leaky Gut Syndrome

Although leaky gut is usually diagnosed due to the symptoms present, there are two tests that are reliable in diagnosing the condition.

leaky gut testing

  1. The Lactulose Mannitol test (Intestinal Permeability Assessment Test)
    Patients are given premeasured amounts of lactulose and mannitol. These two sugars cannot be metabolized by the intestines. Urine examples are taken for a period of six hours and the sugar levels measured. Low sugar levels are a definite indication of a leaky gut syndrome.
  2. Array 2 – Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen
    The test measures intestinal permeability with regards to large particles moving through the intestinal barrier and that is usually the cause of inflammation.

How to Manage a Leaky Gut

Leaky gut is a lifestyle orientated disease and is caused by chronic stress, inflammation, medication, yeast, a deficiency in certain minerals, and the modern diet. The solution to the problem would thus be found in changing certain lifestyle habits and practices. The condition itself did not present overnight but was a long time in the making. Recovery will also be a long-term process.

Diet

Those with leaky gut syndrome should take a two-pronged approach to their diet, i.e. one of elimination and inclusion.

Any foods that could cause irritation or contribute towards the growth of yeast should be eliminated. These foods include grains, starches, and sugars.

Eat plenty of whole, fresh foods full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes as these help with the healing process. Good sources are vegetables, proteins, and whole-food fats as they help to strengthen cellular membranes. High-fiber foods help get rid of any toxic waste.

Good sources of foods rich in fiber include vegetables, legumes, nuts, and berries. Omega-3 fatty acids help calm down inflammation while it helps with cellular health. Fish, avocado, and nuts are good sources.

Probiotics

Probiotics help cultivate a favorable intestinal microbiome in the intestine. Lactobacillus, a gut-friendly bacteria help balance the intestine’s flora, fights yeast infections, helps the gut lining to heal, and aids with nutrient absorption. Excellent sources of natural probiotics include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, tempeh, yogurt, and kombucha.

Fermented foods help lower inflammation while playing a role in controlling your blood sugar levels and increasing antioxidants. Unfortunately, they may not be well tolerated by those with adrenal fatigue

Reduce stress

Stress, whether from work or your personal life, is one of the main culprits when it comes to the development of a leaky gut. By addressing your stressors, you help your adrenal glands heal as well as your intestines in the case of the leaky gut syndrome as your cortisol and other hormone levels as well as bodily functions stabilize.

Exercise is a great natural way to relieve stress and does not simply going to the gym. Gentle exercise is rather recommended. Other ways of reducing stress include:

  • Meditation
  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Listening to soothing music
  • Practicing the mindsets of mindfulness and gratitude
  • Natural supplements

Enzymes

Enzymes help break down sugars, protein, and starches, making for easier digestion. Larger pieces of undigested molecules irritate your intestinal lining. An enzyme supplement should ideally contain lipase, lactase, protease, and amylase, as they help with the breaking down of fats, dairy, protein, and starches respectively.

Licorice root

leaky gut and licorice root

Licorice root helps stabilize hormone levels by suppressing cortisol production. Licorice root should not be taken by those in the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue where cortisol levels are probably low. Licorice root is also linked to edema and hypertension, so should not be used by those with either of these conditions. In addition, the may worse those with advanced adrenal fatigue: https://www.drlam.com/articles/adrenal_fatigue.asp.

Gelatin

Collagen is one of the major components in broth and, once cooked, becomes gelatin. Whether in powder or capsule form, collagen or gelatin helps boost your gastric function. Excessive collagen can lead to constipation. Those with advanced adrenal fatigue may not tolerate well.

Oil of Oregano

To be taken only for a period of up to fourteen days, Oil of Oregano helps balance your intestinal flora. Oregano can, however, cause an upset stomach and should not be used by those allergic to any herbs in the Lamiaceae family, which includes mint, sage, basil, and lavender.

Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains caprylic acid that supports intestinal activity. It also has antifungal and antiviral properties.

Marshmallow root

Marshmallow root helps ease inflammation of the stomach lining, helps to heal ulcers, and creates a protective lining on your digestive tract’s lining, helping with both instances of constipation and diarrhea.

Conclusion

There is a definite link between adrenal fatigue and leaky gut syndrome. The two are not necessarily exclusive of each other. Both have very similar symptoms, indicating that leaky gut, to a very large extent, is due to overworked adrenal glands and the resultant adrenal fatigue.

When you look at the body from a holistic point of view and seek to treat the root cause of the problem, treating your adrenal fatigue problem, you in effect address the cause and symptoms of your leaky gut as well.

The problem, however, and what needs keeping in mind, is that there is no fast, quick-fix solution when it comes to the condition. Both adrenal fatigue and leaky gut syndrome are conditions that develop over a long period. The treatment, which is mostly lifestyle orientated in nature, will thus take a long time before it proves effective. Patience and perseverance are the key ingredients in making a full recovery that site.
.