When you think of the adrenal glands you may think of fight or flight. The adrenals are probably best known for their production of adrenaline in situations that are high-stress, dangerous and or physically exhilarating. But those little organs perched atop each kidney like 2 bean bags are absolutely vital to your well being.
The Function of the Adrenal Glands
The three layer structure of the adrenals can be likened to an avocado.
- The Capsule
Like the skin of the avocado provides protection to the fruit, the adipose capsule, which is a layer of fat that surrounds the glands and protects them.
- The Cortex sits
The cortex, which is like the flesh of the avocado surrounds the medulla, which
lies in the center like the avocado seed. The cortex has 3 separate zones with
The medulla comprises 20% of the volume of the adrenal gland. The medulla is
The innermost part of the adrenal gland and has no separate zones or different
Function of the Adrenals
- The adrenals produce DHEA which makes strong bones and muscles is the precursor to anabolic hormones like testosterone.
- Blood sugar is also controlled by the adrenal by stimulating the liver to convert glycogen to glucose when the blood sugar is too low.
- The adrenals glands regulate blood pressure. When adrenaline is secreted heart rate increases, and your blood pressure can escalate.
- Cortisol is the stress hormone produced by the adrenal glandds Too much cortisol over too long a period can lead to a condition known as Cushing’s Syndrome. Too much cortisol could also lead to low sex drive and hypertension.
- Small amounts of cortisol is the key to your good mood, enhanced mind and boundless energy.