The Adrenals 1 Adrenals

Your adrenal glands, located on top of your kidneys, secrete hormones including cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone, or DHEA, which effectively help you manage stress.

Supplementing with appropriate vitamins and minerals may be a good idea, but reducing your stress level is critical since adrenal dysfunction may lead to adrenal insufficiency and exhaustion.

Types of Stress

Pioneer endocrinologist Dr. Hans Selye, MD, noted that all forms of stress are handled the same way — and stress is cumulative in its effects. Environmental stress includes heat, cold and noise. Chemical stress includes pollution and drugs. Physical stress can occur from overexercising, trauma or an infection. Psychological stress includes worry and fear. Biochemical stress, such as nutritional deficiencies and excessive refined sugar consumption, as well as imaginary stress, are additional types of stress.

The Stress Response

In the “fight or flight” stress response, the adrenal glands enlarge and secrete large quantities of adrenal cortical hormones. These hormones suppress inflammatory responses and mobilize the body’s energy reserves. This puts the body on RED ALERT and diverts all biochemical resources to immediate survival. The body’s self-healing mechanisms are arrested, the immune system is suppressed, glycogen stores in the liver and muscle tissue are mobilized to raise the blood sugar level, and digestion and assimilation are inhibited. The stomach lining becomes thin and ulcerated and the thymus gland and lymphatic tissues shrink. This “fight or flight” response works well under emergency situations, but is not suited for our modern lifestyle. Battling traffic, competing for parking spaces and watching the evening new produces the same physiological responses as running for your life.

All forms of stress produce the same physiological consequences and different sources of stress are additive and cumulative in their effects.

As the body responds to this cumulative stress, it goes through 3 stages of response:

  • The first stage is REACTION, The body experiences the symptoms from the trauma, infection, heat, cold, chemical irritation, etc. The endocrine system responds with the release of cortisol and other hormones to compensate for the trauma. The heart beats faster, the blood pressure rises, the pupils fight_or_flightdilate.
  • The second stage is ADAPTATION. After the adrenal glands have enlarged and release large quantities of adrenal cortical hormones, the symptoms disappear and the individual feels good, has energy and is able to function in the presence of the stresses he/she is under.
  • The third stage is EXHAUSTION. After an extended period in stage two, the body’s reserves of nutritional elements (raw materials) and resilience becomes depleted. The symptoms return and there is now no relief. The individual may collapse physically, suffer a nervous breakdown, become dysfunctional and/or experience an organ or body system failure (heart attack, stroke, etc.).
  • An optional fourth stage is DEATH. If the stresses continue after stage three is reached and the body is no longer able to adapt, and rest, regeneration and healing do not occur, the consequence is death.

An individual in this cycle short of stage four can reverse the consequences of stress by removing themselves from the stressful situation, and giving themselves the rest, peace of mind and nutritional support that is necessary to restore the body’s reserves.

Testing Your Stress Hormones

Dr. Selye has found that even the slightest strain on the body, mental or physical, will cause it to use vitamins and minerals in excess of its normal needs. When the stress mechanisms of the body are exceeded, their functioning is diminished. All glands, but especially the adrenal and thyroid glands are responsible for the energy of the human body. When these systems are unbalanced nutritionally, symptoms arise.




The Mitochondria Adrenals


Inside our cells are tiny superheroes called mitochondria that work tirelessly to give us the energy we need every day. Their functions extend beyond energy production, encompassing various mechanisms such as maintaining iron and calcium homeostasis, as well as participating in the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters like melatonin. These organelles play a crucial role in facilitating and influencing communication across all physical levels by interacting with other organelles, the nucleus, and the external environment.

Mitochondrial dysfunction is directly related to excess fatigue. Mitochondria are not working correctly; the body will feel sluggish and have low energy. Fatigue is considered a multidimensional sensation perceived as a loss of overall energy and an inability to perform even simple tasks without exertion. In this article, we will delve into how mitochondria are responsible for our cellular energy and explore their hidden role, emphasizing that it’s not just adrenal glands but also mitochondria that contribute to daily fatigue.

Mitochondria – The Powerhouse of the Cell

mito1 Adrenals

Mitochondria are called the powerhouse of the cells because they convert energy in a form that the cell can use. Mitochondria are often likened to tiny energy factories within cellsTop of Form. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is the fundamental energy currency for most cellular activities and is essential for functions such as movement, cognitive processes, and sustaining life.

Mitochondria dominate the cellular space, taking up as much as 25% of the cell volume. In numbers, a single cell can typically contain between 1000-2500 mitochondria.

Mitochondria has its own DNA that is separate from your Nucleus’s DNA. This unique DNA helps them control their destiny and carry out their energy-producing duties.

How Mitochondria Produce Energy?

Our body is made up of trillions of cells. They all require energy to function. This energy is created within ourselves, in the mitochondria. Here, food is converted into chemical energy called ATP. The mitochondria release ATP so cells can use it. The ATP molecules produced can be used by the cell to supply the energy needed for its functions, where ATP is converted to ADP, releasing energy along with a phosphate group (ATP → ADP + P + energy to function).

Mitochondria consists of two membranes: an outer membrane separating it from the cytosol and an inner membrane surrounding the so-called matrix. The area between these membranes is called the internal membrane space.

ATP is generated at the inner membrane of mitochondria by an efficient mechanism called Oxidative Phosphorylation, involving several protein complexes. Nutrients provide high-energy electrons in the form of Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH), which the protein complexes use to pump protons from the matrix to the intermembrane space. This continuous pumping creates a proton gradient, attracting the positively charged protons to the more negative matrix. When protons re-enter the matrix through the ATP synthase protein complex, they catalyze the production of ATP.

How Do Mitochondria Work?

Mitochondria, known for energy production, have diverse roles beyond the generation of ATP. About 3% of mitochondrial genes relate to energy production, while most serve cell-specific functions.

Key roles include:

Energy Production

Mitochondria convert chemical energy from food into ATP through oxidative phosphorylation on the inner membrane’s folds (cristae), primarily via the Krebs cycle.

Cell Death (Apoptosis)

Mitochondria release cytochrome C, activating caspase, a crucial enzyme in apoptosis. Dysregulation may contribute to diseases like cancer.

Calcium Storage 

Mitochondria absorb and release calcium ions, which are crucial for cellular processes like neurotransmitter release, muscle function, fertilization, and blood clotting.

Heat Production 

Mitochondria contribute to non-shivering thermogenesis, generating heat through processes like proton leak. Brown fat, more prominent in infants, is involved in this heat production.

Mitochondria’s multifaceted functions extend beyond energy production, impacting cellular processes, apoptosis, calcium regulation, and thermogenesis.

Role of Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Fatigue

mito2 Adrenals

Fatigue, a hallmark symptom of mitochondrial disease, suggests mitochondrial dysfunction as a potential biological mechanism. People frequently characterize fatigue as a sense of low energy, mental or physical tiredness, reduced endurance, and an extended recovery period following physical activity. Various factors, including dysfunctions in mitochondrial structure, function (such as mitochondrial enzymes and oxidative/nitrosative stress), energy metabolism (ATP production and fatty acid metabolism), immune response, and genetics, have been investigated as potential contributors to fatigue.

Among the markers of mitochondrial function, carnitine emerged. Coenzyme Q10 is the most commonly investigated mitochondrial enzyme. Low Coenzyme Q10 levels are consistently linked to fatigue.

Why are Healthy Mitochondria Important for Combating Fatigue?

Our cells need energy to work, especially when stressed, sick, or exercising. This energy comes from a particular part of our cells called mitochondria, which make ATP. It could be because our mitochondria can’t make enough ATP when we feel tired. This can happen if we don’t eat well, skip exercise, feel stressed, or are exposed to toxins.

Mitochondria also help control how our bodies use food for energy. If our mitochondria aren’t doing well, our bodies might not use food efficiently, making us tired. Plus, when mitochondria struggle, it’s linked to problems like insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. So, taking care of our mitochondria is essential for having enough energy and staying healthy.

So, many people are struggling with fatigue, and it’s due to mitochondrial dysfunction. When you’re eating the standard American diet, which is fueled by processed foods, sugar, and trans fats, this can cause mitochondrial gridlock, where you feel fatigued and depleted.

Causes of Malfunction of Mitochondria

The causes of malfunction of mitochondria are as follows:

Poor Quality Fuel

Processed foods are often high in sugar or contain high-fructose corn syrup, and they may be deep-fried using unhealthy oils like hydrogenated trans fats. These factors contribute to increased inflammation and can adversely affect your mitochondria.


Pesticides like glyphosate can harm your mitochondria, leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. That’s why always recommend an organic, clean diet.

Prescription Drugs

Many prescription drugs have the potential to deplete certain nutrients, such as CoQ10, from your body. This depletion can affect the functioning of your mitochondria. Such drugs include statins (cholesterol-lowering pills), high blood pressure medications, diabetes medications, antibiotics, birth control pills, antidepressants, and proton pump inhibitors (acid-suppressive medications). That’s why CoQ10 supplementation is often recommended for individuals taking these medications.

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF)

Electromagnetic fields (EMF), such as exposure to blue light, are additional causes of fatigue and mitochondrial dysfunction in today’s world. Have you ever noticed that when you scroll through social media at night, you wake up the following day feeling sluggish? EMF and blue light can affect your circadian rhythm, and having a healthy circadian rhythm is crucial for your mitochondria. Many people who have chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia (CFS) seem to have circadian rhythm dysfunction.

Excess Food

Another common cause of mitochondrial dysfunction is an excess amount of food. When we consistently overeat, it can lead to mitochondrial gridlock. Essentially, your mitochondria become overwhelmed, triggering an emergency brake and shut down. This is why you may experience sudden fatigue when you overeat.

How Can We Boost Our Mitochondrial Function?

There are the following ways that can help to boost our mitochondrial function:

Highest Quality Fuel

Our mitochondria function optimally when provided with the highest quality fuel. This entails adopting a clean, organic, whole foods diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables, as they are abundant in antioxidants. Including high-quality proteins, such as wild salmon, organic chicken, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, or vegetarian options like lentils, nuts, and seeds, is also essential for supporting mitochondrial health.


Another way to boost your mitochondria is through exercise. When you engage in physical activity, you stimulate the replication of mitochondria, a process known as mitogenesis. This means you’re actively creating more mitochondria, which is highly beneficial for energy production. Sometimes, all it takes is that initial effort to start with some light exercise, as even a small amount can significantly increase your energy levels and effectively boost your mitochondria.

Intermittent Fasting

Another way to boost your mitochondria is through time-restricted eating, similar to intermittent fasting. Many people notice improved energy and mental sharpness during fasting periods. This is because it allows your mitochondria to focus on cleaning up reactive oxygen species generated during fuel burning. Giving your mitochondria a breakthrough time-restricted eating can be beneficial for your body. Hormesis involves introducing healthy stress to your body – essentially, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Both intermittent fasting and exercise contribute to boosting mitochondrial function, increasing the number of mitochondria, and potentially promoting longevity.

Improve Gut Microbiome

Another excellent way to improve the health of your mitochondria is by healing and enhancing your gut microbiome. While we are familiar with probiotics (good bacteria) and prebiotics (fiber), there’s growing awareness of postbiotics. Postbiotics result from the bacteria in your gut digesting the fiber you consume. These postbiotics, such as short-chain fatty acids and butyrate, are now believed to influence mitochondrial function in your body significantly. If you’re dealing with chronic fatigue, exploring the gut microbiome can provide insights into improving inflammation, including examining your bacterial profile and postbiotics.

Top Supplements to Boost Mitochondrial Function

There are specific supplements known to enhance mitochondrial function. One of the primary ones is CoQ10, or Coenzyme Q10, a cofactor and antioxidant that supports the Krebs cycle in generating more ATP.

Additionally, supplements like glutathione and vitamin C support mitochondria by acting as powerful antioxidants, helping to eliminate reactive oxygen species produced during the Krebs cycle.

Other critical supplements for boosting energy include Methyl B Complex, Fish Oil containing essential omega-three fatty acids, and magnesium. Together, these supplements improve your mitochondria’s efficiency in ATP generation.

Supporting Your Brain and Body from the Inside Out

Focusing on and supporting mitochondrial health presents a practical and accessible strategy tomito3 Adrenals combat fatigue and exhaustion. These healthy habits benefit your mitochondria and nurture neuro balance, enhance mood, and reduce stress. With numerous positive outcomes, it makes sense to incorporate these small, actionable changes into your routine. With a little effort and attention to our mitochondrial health, we can elevate our energy levels and experience a more vibrant and alive feeling!

In a Nutshell

The pivotal role of mitochondria in our cells unveils a new perspective on combating fatigue and promoting overall well-being. Often referred to as the cell’s powerhouse, mitochondria go beyond their energy production capabilities, influencing various cellular functions from hormone regulation to cell death.

Mitochondrial dysfunction is directly linked to the pervasive issue of fatigue, which is not merely a result of adrenal gland activity but also a consequence of impaired mitochondrial performance. Fatigue, characterized by a multidimensional sensation of diminished energy and endurance, can be attributed to factors such as poor diet, exposure to toxins, medication use, and disruptions in circadian rhythm due to modern lifestyle factors like excessive screen time.

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