239 – The Adrenal Stress Connection – My Interview with Dr. Marita Schauch

Adrenal fatigue is a common and growing problem.

Mood & Stress Support

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Dr. Marita SchauchThere is no doubt that most of us live with a certain level of constant stress. The stressors we face in modern life are in many ways unrelenting. Stressors such as family issues and financial problems, increased work load, lack of exercise, insufficient rest, poor diet, environmental toxins and geo-political conflict all contribute to more stress. This constant stress affects your stress adaptive organs, the adrenal glands.

When we live in a state of constant stress our adrenals are working overtime. If this is you then this should tell you two things: that you need to seek balance in your life and you need to nourish your adrenal glands. This starts when you examine your life and health status and determine that stress is a likely component of your health challenges. If you have the kind of stress the can’t be mitigated by lifestyle choices and let’s be honest, none of us can easily walk away for the stressors in our life. This suggests that we really need to work on the nutritional component. And if you need nutritional support, then the only way to supply those nutrients is through food and supplements.

In this interview Dr. Marita discusses how stress affects the adrenal glands and she highlights the common issues that you might experience if your adrenals are fatigued. Here is a quote from Dr. Marita, “The first time I (Dr. Marita) learned about adrenal stress was in naturopathic school: my colleagues and I had no idea that we were on our way to adrenal burn out. When I started my practice, I was amazed at how these two small glands had the ability to control sleep, appetite, inflammation, digestion, anxiety, depression, hormones and much more. I soon realized that these glands were so vitally important to our health. It is now standard in my practice, even if patients reassure me that “they have no stress”, to test the adrenal glands. I have seen year after year, patients improve when adrenal health is restored. Studies have revealed that stress experienced even in your mother’s womb can affect the function of your adrenal glands later on in life.” You can learn much more in her book “The Adrenal Stress Connection“.

“One of the characteristic features of all living beings is their ability to maintain the constancy of their internal milieu despite changes in their surroundings. Whenever this self-regulating power fails, disease or even death occurs. Truly, life is largely a process of adaptation to the circumstances in which we live, and the secret of health and happiness lies in our successful adjustment to the ever- changing conditions created by the world around us and by our inner search for truth. The greater our self-knowledge on all levels, and the greater our willingness to take responsibility for our own lives and expressing our truth, the greater will be our ability to adapt to and embrace life.

The great majority of illnesses have a number of causes and one of the main causes of ill health is the effect of stressors on those self-regulating balances. Surveys and research reports indicate that approximately 45% of all adults suffer adverse effects to stress while between 75% to 90% of all visits to physicians are in some way related to the results of psychosocial stress. Stress is a factor in many illnesses – from headaches to heart disease, immune deficiencies, anxiety disorders and digestive problems, just to name a few.

In today’s fast paced society, the vast majority of individuals are under a barrage of constant stressors. While some of the initial fight or flight stress responses may be beneficial to survival (acute stress) there is an increased risk of various physical and psychological health challenges when the stressors are prolonged (chronic stress).  Stress is not going away and it is not something new. However, in today’s world of technological advances, we are seldom ‘unplugged’ from the cell phone or laptop. Divorce rates hover near their highest in history, the concept of job security is gone by way of the dinosaur and time to just kick back, unplug and ‘smell the roses’ is a concept that is fading. Stress has become endemic and it penetrates to the core of our being and changes us in the process, altering our bodies and our brains.

Some stress is absolutely normal and necessary in living creatures and everyone has a built-in gauge that helps control our reaction to various stressors. New research is indicating that the body can become ‘sensitized’ to stress and the brain will re-circuit itself in response to stress. When this sensitization happens, the body just does not respond to stress the same way and the brain responds to a normal stress such as being late for an appointment as though it was a life-threatening event. Studies show that the stressful events that occur in childhood such as losing a parent, or being raised by an alcoholic or abusive parent can permanently rewire the brain’s circuitry and result in inappropriate responses to stress.

kidneys, adrenal glands, and blood vessels

The stress response is ‘wired’ into our brain and even though we are no longer like the cave man running for our lives from the wild boar, studies have found that – for many – the same ‘fight or flight’ stress circuits are all working overtime from varied stressors such as work deadlines, extreme weather, over-exercise, divorce or death of a loved one. Each of us is wired for stress differently and will have different responses to different stressors depending on our own unique wiring system. Each of us will benefit from reducing stressors, but the obvious benefits will vary depending on our overall stress resistance capabilities, which are determined by our individual strengths and weaknesses. Often, the stressors can be non-specific and less obvious and we may not be aware of the effects on our bodies and minds.” Excerpt from Dr. Marita’s article Adrenal Fatigue.

Dr. Marita also discusses an aid for adrenal support called AdrenaSense by Natural Factors.

  • Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) increases resistance of the body to chemical, biological and physical stressors. It has been proven to enhance mental and physical performance.
  • Suma (Pfaffia Paniculata) is considered a regenerative tonic and is used to treat many types of stress.
  • Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus) has been shown to normalize reactions to physical and mental stress and increase the body’s ability to withstand adverse conditions. It promotes vital energy and supports optimal adrenal function.
  • Schizandra Berries (Schizandra chinensis) is commonly used as a general tonic and to counter the effects of stress and fatigue. Studies show it has normalizing affects in cases of nervousness and improves physical endurance as well as mental capability.
  • Ashwagandha (Withana Somnifera) is used primarily as a general tonic to increase energy and has calming effects on the central nervous system.

About Dr. Marita Schauch
Dr. Marita  is a trusted naturopathic doctor, women’s health expert, author and public speaker with a genuine passion for sharing the Dr. Maritaknowledge and tools of alternative medicine and nutrition to empower women to own their path to optimal health, and lead happy, vibrant lives. With particular expertise in alternative solutions for chronic pain, stress management and adrenal health, hormone balancing, detoxification, weight management and nutrition, Doctor Marita leads a busy clinical practice in Sidney, BC on Vancouver Island, Canada. DoctorMarita.com

Natural Factors


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