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With winter approaching, our mood may get a little dark, especially when the cold weather hits. For some it happens every year, the winter blues set in and this makes getting through the year a struggle. Where does this all start? We would suggest that there is a possible connection to the adrenal glands as energy levels, cognitive function, and mitochondrial health are all affected. The hormones produced by your adrenal glands control many facets of one’s health.
Through being accustomed to morning light, our brains are hard-wired to sync up with the season. With the decreased exposure to sunshine, it can be pretty common during the winter months to experience an altered mood, especially for those who live in more northern climates.
What is adrenal fatigue?
The term "adrenal fatigue" refers to a range of vague symptoms including exhaustion, physical aches, anxiousness, and disturbed sleep. Though the term is popularly used, it is not yet a confirmed medical condition. Because "Adrenal Fatigue" is a syndrome as opposed to a condition, it refers to a group of symptoms.
Common symptoms include:
- Fatigue and intermittent tiredness throughout waking hours
- Poor mood regulation
- Digestive issues
- Mental fog
- Craving sweet and salty foods
- Compromised immune system
- Poor circulation
- Low mood
- Body aches
When the cells in your body's adrenals (which are in charge of regulating the body’s stress response) are depleted, these glands cannot perform as optimally as they should. Thus, it can be challenging for you to perform at your best if you experience symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Vital metabolic functions are markedly slowed down when one is low on energy. And as a result, you are more likely to be susceptible to illness.
Understanding adrenal fatigue
The adrenal glands, two tiny glands located above the kidneys, are essentially a factory for producing hormones: “Adrenaline (Epinephrine), Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine), Cortisol, Cortisone, DHEA, Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogen, and Aldosterone are among the important hormones they produce for the body”. (J. Berry, 2019). The state of the entire body can be affected if the adrenal glands even slightly malfunction.
The adrenal glands produce the stress hormone cortisol to control your blood pressure. More cortisol is released by the adrenals in response to stressful situations. Adrenal fatigue is thought to develop when the overworked adrenals are unable to produce the quantities of cortisol required for healthy physiological function.
Cortisol, serotonin, and melatonin are just a few of the hormones that are regulated by sun exposure and in turn, influence our internal clock. Cortisol and serotonin are produced as a result of daylight, whereas melatonin is produced in response to low light.
It might seem simple to expose oneself to daylight and darkness at opportune moments. However, with the complication of added blue light from modern technology in addition to seasonal variations, achieving the right light exposure at the right time may pose a challenge and can have a profound effect on the immune system and overall well-being.
How Can Red Light Therapy Help
There are of course ways to combat adrenal fatigue and one of the more newly discovered ways is with the help of red light therapy, also known as photobiomodulation. This safe and noninvasive treatment can help your system by regulating the synthesis of various hormones and assisting in restoring the sleep cycle. With the aid of the wavelengths from red light therapy, our tissues regenerate from the inside out at the cellular level.
Because melatonin and cortisol are known to have an impact on how well the adrenal glands operate, the findings from this study were significant in terms of adrenal exhaustion. Hence, regulating the cortisol production and melatonin may aid in alleviating symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue.
Blue light after dark raised cortisol production to daytime proportions after one hour of exposure according to the researchers noted in this study. Melatonin's effect would be the absolute antithesis of cortisol's effects. Cortisol synthesis peaks when melatonin levels are low, and vice versa. Blue light exposure at night has a negative impact on balancing the two, and considering the prevalence of blue light-emitting electronics, this hormone imbalance may also be a culprit in adrenal fatigue.
The findings that were reported in the Cell Metabolism Journal, stated that light can stimulate the adrenal gland, revealing that light was necessary for "activating" the adrenal glands, which included controlling gene expression (by turning on helpful adrenal genes and off toxic ones) and glucocorticoid release (by regulating the release of steroid hormones produced by the adrenal gland).
Another explanation for why red light therapy has been so beneficial in treating other persistent mood conditions, like depression, is that exposure to light stimulates the creation of hormones and restores hormonal balance.
What is the connection between the adrenals and the thyroid
Your body may benefit from red light therapy, which can also control how different hormones are synthesized. For one, red light has been demonstrated to improve thyroxine (T4) production in the thyroid in this study. Thyroxine is in charge of controlling metabolic activity and mood, among so many other functions.
Red light therapy's wavelengths have the potential to address the underlying causes of adrenal problems, such as hormonal fluctuations like hypothyroidism.
The mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles found inside the majority of body cells, respond to red light as it enters the body by engaging with light-sensitive chromophores. With that said, because of this interaction, the mitochondria can produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the cellular fuel, and support adrenal function. For those who have adrenal fatigue, these findings provide encouragement.
How do I know If I have adrenal fatigue or am I just tired?
According to the research, there are a few myths regarding adrenal health that are to blame for the controversy over the existence of adrenal fatigue. For instance, difficulties in diagnosing and detecting adrenal exhaustion may be the only reason for the doubt cast on whether it actually occurs.
According to studies, measuring a person's own cortisol levels is the best way to tell if they have adrenal fatigue. Assessing cortisol can be difficult, nevertheless, since it varies daily and in proportion to various kinds of stress. Therapies designed specifically for adrenal fatigue are rarely advantageous, especially if dietary and lifestyle factors are not identified and managed. For the stabilization of the adrenals, correct nutritional balance is essential.
Focusing solely on the findings of testing in a lab that may be done on an individual basis is a common but mistaken strategy for dealing with fatigue. For instance, research has determined that your symptoms alone can identify approximately 75% of the many possible causes of fatigue. Unfortunately, lab tests can be erroneous, and it may be necessary to combine them with symptoms to identify a specific reason of fatigue. Always speak to a qualified healthcare professional when finding the root cause of your symptoms.
Despite the fact that red light therapy cannot be relied upon to heal adrenal fatigue, it does appear to be beneficial for alleviating its symptoms. Nevertheless, implementing supportive lifestyle measures like consuming a well-balanced diet, getting proper sleep, and managing stress while applying red light therapy, can enable you to get the most satisfactory results and aid the body's inherent functional capacity.
Since you are a unique individual, your therapy must be tailored just for you.
According to an old saying, observe the sunrise if you want to have plenty of energy throughout the day. Watch the sunset if you are seeking a restful night's sleep. Meanwhile, red light, which in itself is extremely beneficial for your mitochondria and highly soothing, is part of the many wavelengths emanating from the sunrise and sunset respectively. You can watch the sunrise and sunset, which is something I would certainly advocate, but you can also purchase a red light therapy panel and begin using it. This could significantly benefit mitochondrial integrity, oxygenation, and the potential to even further accurately calibrate your circadian cycle for restful sleep.
Support and calm the adrenal system and keep the body and mind in a more parasympathetic state. Along with doing all the helpful things like being in nature, eating well, red light therapy is an incredible supportive tool.
You can swiftly stimulate dozens of helpful adrenal genes and increase the synthesis of the vital adrenal hormones with Rouge red light therapy.
The first step toward enhancing your health and quality of life may be discussing red light therapy with your doctor. Check out our blog to discover more about the several ways red light therapy may improve your life and to see why Rouge Red Light Therapy products are among the most effective available. Start your journey to better health with Rouge right away!
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