Adrenal glands play a huge role in the stress response. When your brain registers a threat, whether emotional, mental or physical the body reacts the same way. The adrenals release cortisol and adrenaline hormones to help you react to the threat (the fight-or-flight response), rushing blood to your brain, heart and muscles. The adrenal cortex then releases corticosteroids to dampen processes like digestion, immune system response and other functions not necessary for immediate survival.
In a well functioning body the adrenal glands release cortisol on a diurnal rhythm, which means boosts of cortisol are released throughout the day that help wake us up, with a decline in this hormone level in the evening to help us prepare for sleep. This rhythm, however, gets affected when frequent external stress occurs.
But what happens when we are stressed ALL THE TIME? Stress doesn't have to just be the usual work or home stress- it can also include:
CONTINUAL PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL STRESS Too much exercise, muscle injury, dietary (food sensitivities or too much sugar/ junk food), repeated infections, low immunity, skipping meals and insufficient sleep. Emotional stress at work or home, worrying, unhealthy relationships, feeling not good enough.
A DIET HIGH IN SUGAR & CAFFEINE A diet high in sugar, junk food and stimulants like caffeine put a lot of additional stress on your body.