Now that fall is in full swing, how are your stress levels?  Are you leading a balanced life with enough time for fun, physical activity and sleep, as well as work?  Is your diet healthy and nutritious?  Do you feel relaxed and energized, eager to face the day when you wake up each morning?

Just wondering... I sincerely hope your life is balanced and you are enjoying it.  Just in case stress is sneaking up on you and taking a toll now that summer seems to be an all too distant memory, I want to talk specifically about how you can nourish your adrenal glands so you can better weather any stresses you may be facing.

   How to Recognize and Combat Adrenal Fatigue

We've discussed the adrenal glands in an earlier newsletter (December 2011, /newsletter/adrenal-december-2011-volume-3-issue-9.html).  Briefly, I'm sure you're aware that the adrenal glands regulate your stress response - your "fight or flight" response, as it's commonly known.  The fight or flight response is triggered when you interpret a situation as stressful.  Adrenalin is released, which gives you the ability to deal with a truly dangerous situation. 

Chronic stress can be due to obvious reasons such as divorce, loss of your job, the death of a loved one, but it can also be due to other factors such as surgery, illness, worry, anxiety, lack of sleep, poor diet, overwork, financial worries, and many other reasons.  If any of these, or other such factors are affecting your health, please feel free to contact me for an appointment (please call  613.827.0427).  I can teach you techniques to help minimize your reaction to stressors.

Today many of the situations we perceive as stressful are not truly life-threatening, and long term adrenal stimulation in response to chronic stress results in chronically high cortisol levels.  This has been linked to

  • reduced immune function which can, of course, make us more susceptible to infections, colds, flu etc.
  • decreased bone density and muscle tissue
  • increased blood sugar and insulin resistance
  • increased abdominal fat
  • problems with mental function
  • high blood pressure
  • stomach ulcers.

Adrenal fatigue can result in the adrenal glands being unable to produce enough adrenalin to enable the body to deal with stress.  Signs of adrenal fatigue include

  • tiredness (for no apparent reason)
  • weakness
  • depression
  • becoming easily frustrated
  • nervousness
  • difficulty concentrating
  • cravings for sweets or salty foods
  • irritability
  • insomnia
  • allergies
  • headaches.
   Why You Need Vitamins During Stress and Adrenal Fatigue

Usually, people experiencing adrenal fatigue are not taking adequate essential nutrients to meet the increased nutritional demands of stress.  When your adrenal glands respond to stress, the metabolism of your cells speeds up, burning many times the amount of nutrients normally needed.  By the time you are in a state of adrenal fatigue, your cells have used up much of your body's stored nutrients and are in desperate need of new supplies to continue to function and rebuild. 

Superior nutrition is essential to your ability to handle and recover from stress, as well as to remain healthy during times of stress.  There's no substitute for good quality food for the best source of nutrients.  However, good quality nutritional supplements can be an important addition, particularly to provide nutrients or combinations of nutrients that are difficult to get adequate amounts of through food alone.

   B Vitamins and Adrenal Function

Your adrenal glands manufacture a number of hormones, such as cortisol, adrenalin, aldosterone, estrogen and testosterone that regulate many processes in your body as well as help you cope with stress.  This hormone production system is referred to as the adrenal cascade.  Each of the B vitamins that make up vitamin B complex is essential in varying quantities throughout the adrenal cascade, in addition to many other processes from mood to DNA synthesis to energy production.  Most B vitamins act as coenzymes, which means that they help form enzymes to become catalysts in biochemical transformations throughout your body.

Vitamin B3 (niacin) is one of the most important B vitamins to the adrenal cascade. Large amounts of niacin are necessary to form the molecular structure of certain coenzymes critical for almost all of the steps in this cascade.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) is another contributor to the adrenal cascade and is converted to acetyl-CoA, as substance critical to the conversion of glucose into energy.  It is present in all cells but in higher quantities in the adrenals because so much energy is needed to produce the adrenal hormones.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is also a coenzyme in several of the biochemical pathways in the adrenal cascade and plays a role in the functioning of the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal (HPA) axis that modulates adrenal activity and the stress response.

Although larger proportions of vitamins B3, B5 and B6 are used in adrenal hormone production, all the B vitamins help generate energy and work together.  Thus the complete B complex is necessary for each B vitamin to optimally do its job.  Note that it may be advisable to take B12 separately as a liquid or sublingual tablet for better absorption.

Not all B vitamins are created equal.  Different formulations may be more or less suitable for a given individual.  It is very possible to take a B complex that does you no good;  therefore I  suggest booking an appointment with me so I can see if your B complex is working for you, and if not, find a suitable alternative.

The best food sources of B vitamins include whole grains, brewer's yeast, pollen, miso (a Japanese soup stock), Marmite (a vegetable concentrate paste), liver, certain raw nuts, sprouts and rice bran syrup.  They all contain natural forms of B complex.

Other essential nutrients include vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium.

Treating adrenal insufficiency

  • Cut out sugar - except for small amounts of dark chocolate which will give you an energy boost and also has a natural mood elevator. 
  • Cut down on caffeine.  Switch to green tea, which has enough caffeine to give you a boost without causing a crash later.  It also contains theanine, which helps calm you while leaving your mind clear.
  • Don't fall for the news media trying to get your attention by making everything seem like a crisis.  It is not!  When you find yourself stressing, ask yourself, "Am I in imminent danger?"  If the news causes you stress, turn it off.  Remember, you don't know how inaccurate it is, and stressing over it will not help anyone, least of all you.

A general tip for dealing with stress:  It's your reaction to (or perception of) an event that creates stress, not the event itself.  While it's certainly easier said than done, if you can change your response to events that typically stress you, you can greatly reduce your stress levels.

To put it another way, pretty much the only cause of stress is thoughts.  So if you can change your thoughts - and you can - then you can reduce your stress levels.  It takes a lot of work and practice, but it can be done.

It may seem unrealistic to try to eliminate all stress by changing your thoughts, and it certainly takes time and effort, but I suggest you start by identifying a stressor that you admit is minor and work on changing your reaction to it.  For example, suppose you get angry every time someone cuts you off in traffic.  I won't try to guess what you're thinking, but you are most likely taking the situation personally.  Instead, you might try telling yourself that the person is just having a bad day and there's no reason it should have any effect on your wonderful day.  Then see how much better you feel!

   Nature's Sunshine Products Recommended to Help You Deal with Stress:

Zerenity:  Lost your serenity?  Quickly feel less nervous and more relaxed with Zerenity.  Zerenity  is a new product just recently released by Nature's Sunshine. It helps quickly ease nervousness and promotes feelings of relaxation and calm.  It is non-drowsy.  Zerenity contains supporting nutrients not commonly found in other formulas.

Formula summary:
Sceletium tortuosum - alkaloids appear to be responsible for the extract's benefits of enhanced mood, improved cognitive function, and stress relief.  The two primary mechanisms of action that have been attributed to the alkaloids include selective serotonin reuptake inhibition (SSRI) and an inhibition of phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4).

L-Theanine - Elevated mood, improved cognition, decreased stress, and general relaxation are all benefits that can be attributed to elevated gamma-amino-butyric acid (GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter) function and GluR antagonistic actions.  This action complements those activities that have been described for the Sceletium extract.

Magnesium and zinc are essential to nerve function as well as a host of other very important biochemical processes and appear to modulate the receptor for the excitatory amino acid glutamate; in combination, they have been shown to collectively relieve anxiety.

Thiamin or Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a cofactor for a variety of enzymes that are essential to carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, particularly in nervous tissue.  Thiamine is widely acclaimed to function in synaptic nerve transmission and to have importance to the normal physiology of the nervous system.

Collectively, these five ingredients hit multiple targets underlying nervousness and anxiousness.

Zerenity offers safe, non-habit-forming relief.  You can order it directly from our office.

Stress Pak is a 30-day program to provide the right nutrients which are depleted during times of physical and/or emotional stress.!/Stress-Pak/p/25596019/category=5963008

  • Nutri-Calm provides generous amounts of vitamin C, and the B vitamins that are essential to proper nervous system function. Also contains calming herbs and adaptogens.
  • Stress-J provides nutrients required for proper functioning of the nervous system. It is a sedative and tranquilizing formula used to relieve the effects of everyday stresses.
  • Nerve Eight is an herbal combination designed to support the nervous and structural systems.
  • AdaptaMax is an exclusive combination that provides powerful adaptogens to help the body buffer the effects of stress and adapt to stressful situations

Stress Formula:  A vitamin B-complex formula in a base of calming herbs to nutritionally support the nervous system when under stress.!/Stress-Formula-100-tablets/p/6402647/category=5963008

B vitamins offer many health benefits and influence the health of most of the internal organs of the body. They help promote energy, maintain the nervous system, improve immune functions and buffer the effects of stress.

Liquid B12 Plus helps replenish the body’s supply of this essential nutrient.!/Liquid-B12-59mL-liquid/p/6402631
Synerpro B-Complex Vitamins and Vitamin B Complex as well as Vitamin E with Selenium can be ordered directly from our office.  Please call 613.829.0427.

For additional information, please email; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment.  Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter.  Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

  1. Recognize and recover from adrenal burnout. Accessed September 19, 2014.
  2. Dr Wilson's Adrenal Fatigue Team. Dietary supplements: B vitamins and the adrenal glands. Dr. James Wilson's Adrenal Fatigue Blog. Posted February 27, 2010. Accessed September 19, 2014.
  3. Curinga K. Vitamins that support the adrenal glands.  Last updated May 21, 2014. Accessed September 19, 2014.
  4. Teitelbaum J. Is stress exhausting your adrenal system? Posted February 4, 2010. Accessed September19, 2014.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic