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#1 Health Tip

Eat every 2 to 2½ hours throughout the day, each and every day.

adrenal glands

It is important to eat regularly to keep your blood sugar steady all day and night. This will enable your adrenal glands to relax. It is the adrenal glands that raise the blood sugar between meals when we go more than 2½ hours without eating. Some people feel hungry, tired, unfocused, or perhaps hyper throughout the day as their adrenal glands compensate for the drop in blood sugar. Instead of having the stress hormones cortisol and adrenalin do the work to keep the blood sugar at a normal level, it is better to eat and let your adrenals take a vacation.

After eating a meal, most people have plenty of glucose for a while, but the glucose gets delivered into the cells to make energy and also may be stored in the liver for later use. However, you cannot count on the back-up glucose in the liver. Your liver may not be efficient at gathering and holding glycogen (stored sugar). Your liver could be stressed, for it is this organ that does much of the detoxifying of chemicals and hormones in your body. Your liver can also be stressed from dealing with unsaturated fats. Therefore it is best to eat regularly, allowing your cells to receive a good supply of glucose at all times.

When blood sugar drops, we release both cortisol and adrenalin. These are both stress hormones, meaning that they are released when the body is under stress. The purpose of releasing these hormones is to get energy to the muscles and brain quickly and release stored nutrients as back-ups for when we may have to "run away from the lion" (times of intense, unexpected physical exertion). The body perceives stress when our blood sugar drops, when we over-exercise, and when we are in psychological stress or danger. When you use your stress hormones for blood sugar adjustment, this is like calling the fire department when your kitchen has some smoke in it. It is not an emergency. All you have to do is turn on the fan. It is the same with your body. The adrenal hormones are there for a real emergency, like running from a lion. And after you run from a lion, your body has some serious recovery to do. These stress hormones cause loss of precious protein from your muscles, and your body may have damage from fats that were quickly mobilized by your system.

Save your emergency hormones for important events. Eat regularly and you will maintain muscles mass and protect your body from oxidative damage from free radicals.

To recap, eating regularly will help you maintain good energy throughout the day as well as curb your appetite and help with those nagging cravings. It will also help eliminate irritability, feelings of depression, low energy levels, and sugar cravings, and will enable you to have good focus when you need it.

To learn more about stress and adrenal fatigue, please read our Adrenal Recovery Support document (PDF).

By Kristina Amelong