Chronic stress is unhealthy for men and women—but men are generally less focused on managing stress, which may lead to adrenal fatigue.
“Older men typically come to me for low energy,” says Andrea Whelan, ND. She suspects her older patients are worn out due to chronic stress and adrenal fatigue from when they were younger.
Here’s how the adrenal fatigue theory works. During stressful events, the adrenal glands—a pair of triangular glands perched on top of the kidneys—secrete the hormone cortisol. Cortisol stimulates the breakdown of stored glycogen (a type of sugar), protein, and fat; this provides the energy we need to handle the stressful situation. However, prolonged or repeated activation of the adrenals, as occurs during chronic stress, may result in adrenal fatigue: the inability of the worn-out adrenals to produce quite enough cortisol for optimal well-being.
Get ahead of stress, protect your adrenal glands, and avoid future consequences.
- Meditate. “Deep breathing calms the nervous system and the adrenals,” says Andrea Whelan, ND.
- Avoid processed foods and keep blood sugar balanced to support your adrenals nutritionally.
- Consider maca, Withania somnifera (ashwagandha), and Rhodiola rosea supplements. “They modulate the stress response while supporting the adrenals,” says Whelan.