>Energy goes beyond what gets you out of bed and running around all day. Energy is a process within our bodies.
Energy is what specifically comes from our food and nutrients via metabolic reactions and processes or what is also called, metabolic energies. Everything our bodies do from thinking and walking to just basic survival like breathing and the pumping of the heart require some form of metabolic energy.
If you have ever experienced consistently feeling less than optimal such as chronic fatigue, achy joints, trouble sleeping, itchy dry skin, weight gain or loss without any change in diet or exercise, then you are most likely living with low metabolic energies.
While you may think that you are destined to live out the rest of your life in a state of discomfort, this simply is not true. By taking matters into your own hands, you can actually reverse the ailments you are experiencing by getting to the root of the problem.
Our bodies need energy for every process and our body’s ready-to-use energy comes from ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is mainly converted from the nutrients that come from our foods – fats and carbs – and to a lesser extent and often only in the case of some sort of physiological disturbance, proteins. This is partially why we really are what we eat.
Typically when we encounter some sort of issue such as the aforementioned, it is due to a disturbance in one or many of our metabolic processes that converts our food stuffs into ATP that we so desperately need for all of our many functions. There are many reasons why you may be feeling the way you do or are having symptoms. How well your body can make these conversions is often a major factor and this is controlled by certain glands and their hormones. Two of these glands that seem to have an inverse relationship that are major players in your metabolic energy system are your thyroid and your adrenal glands.
The thyroid gland and your adrenals are often the cause of some sort of disturbance. Your thyroid’s major hormones T4 (thyroxine, which is converted to the active T3) and T3 (triiodothryronine) are major players in the system of ATP synthesis in each of your cells. Your thyroid also produces a hormone called RT3 (reverse T3) which slows down the process of ATP synthesis. These hormones are controlled by a thyroid-stimulating hormone that is released by your pituitary gland, which is controlled by the part of your brain called the hypothalamus. (Phew!)
Next are the glands that sit on top of our kidneys and are the glands that play a major role in dealing with all the metabolic stresses we have. With too much of any kind of stress, the adrenals will increase in excess the levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol. This also signals the pituitary to release too much thyroid-stimulating hormone and a reduction in T4 occurs, which causes that fatigue you feel even in spite of large amounts of stimulants like coffee.
Typical symptoms of a thyroid problem are easy weight gain, rosy complexion, thinning of the outer part of your eyebrows, a lethargic complacent demeanor, cravings for fatty foods, constipation and poor digestion. Some typical symptoms of an adrenal problem are cravings for sweets and salty foods, irritable bowel, hyperactive personality and demeanor, poor thermoregulation (too hot when it is just warm or freezing when it is just cool) and poor digestion. Some symptoms of both a thyroid and adrenal problem are a loss of libido, fatigue, overall joint and muscle aches and pains, poor memory and focus, depression, dry skin, acne, brittle hair, allergies and frequent infections and illness.
According to Bruce Rind MD of the Weston Price Foundation, some of the major contributors of low metabolic energy may be the following:
1. The thyroid gland cannot make enough T4 (hypothyroidism).
2. The adrenal glands are too weak to handle the stress of the body’s normal metabolic energy and force a down-regulation of energy production.
3. The enzymes (cellular machinery) which make ATP may be held back due to chemical interference from toxins, lack of needed ingredients (vitamins or minerals), or breakdown due to auto-immune disease or old viral damage.
4. Imbalance of hormones, such as growth hormone, testosterone, estrogen or progesterone.
5. Severe caloric restriction.
Your thyroid can be thought of as the gland that produces energy, while the adrenals are responsible for handling the load. If one overpowers the other, you can see how this can be problematic. If either gland produces too much of its hormones, this will cause a down regulation of the opposing gland’s hormone production, when really the compensation by the opposing gland may not be the best thing for your energy, overall feelings of health and well-being, and your physical and emotional states. A sudden job loss, death of a friend or family member, any lack of stability or security, a sudden change in diet, supplements or medications, lack of sleep and allergies are all major factors.
Ideally the best thing to do is to avoid the overly stressful things that can throw you out of whack, but life just doesn’t always work that way. Here are some ways to help rebalance your thyroid and the much overlooked adrenals:
* Add relaxation to your life with some Yoga, meditation, Tai Chi and massage.
* Avoid situations that will throw your life too much out of balance. Taking chances is great but taking too many can wreak havoc on your life and your stress levels.
* Follow a healthy meal plan consisting of good fats like fish oils, flax, coconut oil and the like while avoiding trans fats and plant fats like canola.
* Eat a diet rich in fresh organic veggies (LOTS) and fruits.
* Avoid common food allergens like wheat and dairy.
* Drink plenty of fresh contaminant-free water.
* Add supplements in gradual doses such as an Omega 3 fish oil, multivitamin/mineral.