The adrenal gland is critical for life and optimal health. The many facets that play into the health of the adrenal gland also help the rest of the body. The United States and nations around the world face a new epidemic of chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia (for more common questions and experts answers on Fibromyalgia, visit Sharecare.com), chronic fatigue and arthritis. It is important to study these factors to help the body regain its health.

The adrenal gland will rely on the same principles that the rest of the body uses: proper nutrition, adequate rest, exercise and stress reduction. Certain aspects of these concepts resonate very loudly with the adrenal gland. Our current lifestyles are a recipe for disaster in terms of health and longevity. It has become obvious that the body was not meant to take a lifestyle of processed foods, excessive sugar and preservatives, and chronic stress with little or no activity. This is the current prescription many of us are following and the reason our health care spending is spiraling out of control.

Chronic stress will inevitably cause the adrenal gland to struggle. Controlling and eliminating stress might be one of the most important treatments the body will ever need. Chronic stress will also cause declines in physical health, which can heighten the stress. Breathing exercises, yoga, counseling, a focus on nutrition, job changes and regular exercise routines can all help alleviate the stress cycle. Seek out an option that allows a feeling of peace and also provides direction in where your body needs to go. If your stressors are putting your life in danger, immediately get away from them. Otherwise, write out what makes you so stressed and why, and then think about the change you hope to bring and a plan to do so.

Nutrition is a great starting point for those wishing to regain control of their health. Replace processed and junk foods with whole foods, mainly fruits, vegetables and proteins. Focus on foods that primarily do not come in packages or sit on a shelf for weeks or months. Junk food and soft drinks are very hard on the adrenal gland. Include healthy fats in the diet and throw out any foods that contain hydrogenated oils, margarine or high fructose corn syrup. Many people experience even faster results by avoiding extra wheat and milk; they can be very highly processed and often are poorly digested. A food that is digested poorly  is more work for the body. There are several vitamins to help the adrenal gland, which will be discussed on the next page, but food is probably the most important treatment that can be put in the body to strengthen the adrenal gland and the body in general.