Adrenal Harmones, Neurotransmitters and Diet

By: Esther Vasa

Hormones and Endocrine Targets
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Adrenal glands are endocrine glands that secrete harmones directly into the blood. These glands sit atop the kidneys and are triangular in shape. There are two parts to each adrenal gland. One is cortex and the other is medulla. Adrenal Cortex secretes harmones that look like cholesterol and are called steroids. These harmones regulate metabolism and control inflammation. The Adrenal Medulla is part of the central nervous system and secretes harmones called catecholamines, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. Cortex and medulla function together to synthesize adrenaline.

The harmones secreted by these glands govern your emotions (like anxiety, fear and depression), energy levels (either fatigue or over-active), inflammation, and sleep pattern among many others. An imbalance in these harmones will have a direct effect on the individual and the person may notice that he/she is quickly fatigued, has disturbed sleep and may need to rest more frequently to function normally all through the day. Now, many Multiple Sclerosis patients that I have discussed with have mentioned several such symptoms including myself.

How do we recognize these emotions and feelings like fatigue, depression, fear, anxiety, numbness and pain etc.,? From my understanding thus far, it is the neurotransmitters that enable us to sense the above mentioned feelings and emotions. Neurotransmitters are chemical compounds released at nerve endings. While harmones are released directly into the bloodstream, neurotransmitters allow signal transmission from one neuron to the other across synpases. Any irregularity in neurotransmitters will have a direct influence on how a person feels or thinks.

Examples of the adrenal harmones are DHEA and cortisol while neurotransmitters are epinephrine, norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, glycine, GABA, glutamate, PEA and histamine. To maintain the right levels of these adrenal harmones and neurotransmitters, one must be on a strict dietary path. A diet rich in chlorophyll-rich green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, collard greens and sulfur-rich vegetables like garlic, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, radish, horseradish, kale, brassica vegetables is the way to go. Not only do these vegetables help with the adrenals, they are also vital for detoxification.

Last but not the least, discuss with your doctor if you experience very strong emotions of depression, anxiety and also of fatigue.

Reference: Wikipedia

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