Most people have heard the term adrenal fatigue; however, many do not understand what it really is, what its symptoms are, or whether they are at risk of developing this condition. Millions of people around the world suffer from this condition; therefore, it would not be surprising if you or someone you know is suffering from this condition. In fact, many people suffer from this medical condition without even knowing they have it.
One of the leading causes of adrenal fatigue is high stress levels. Whether your stress is acute (short-term or associated with a sudden, significant change in your life) or your stress is chronic (long-term associated with long periods of illness or stress), it can be taxing on your adrenal glands. If you have experienced financial setbacks, a serious illness, or a personal crisis, you are likely to have also experienced this medical condition. Additionally, people who work in a toxic environment or those who are recovering from major surgery or treatments such as chemotherapy are very likely to experience this syndrome. Even very healthy and young people who take good care of themselves can suffer a setback that taxes their endocrine system
The endocrine glands, located on top of the kidneys, are responsible for producing the hormones that regulate your metabolism, blood pressure, heart rate, mineral levels in the bloodstream, and the way the body responds to stress. When your endocrine system is overtaxed, they falter and do not function properly, resulting in a condition called adrenal fatigue.
How do you know you have adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue syndrome causes a host of signs and symptoms. When you are under stress, facing an illness, or other challenges, your endocrine system may not function properly and you may begin to feel exhausted easily. When the symptoms begin, you may feel fairly normal other than tiring easily. For those who have overcome an illness like the flu or another viral infection, you may think your exhaustion is just a lingering symptom when in fact it may be adrenal exhaustion.
What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
One of the hormones that are produced by the adrenal glands is cortisol. Cortisol is used to regulate your blood pressure. When you are stressed, the adrenal glands release more cortisol. When your adrenal glands become overtaxed, they can no longer produce the necessary amounts of cortisol and other essential hormones like DHA, adrenaline, epinephrine, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and more. When this occurs, you can experience the following symptoms.
- Changes in energy levels – In the evenings you may experience increased energy levels.
- Circulation problems – Poor circulation is a common symptom.
- Concentration problems – Cognitive issues along with brain fog can occur.
- Cravings – You may experience cravings for sweet or salty foods.
- Fatigue – Fatigue is especially noticeable in the morning and intermittent periods of extreme fatigue throughout the day.
- Immunity – Your immune system may become compromised.
- Insomnia – You may have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep.
- Mood problems - Difficulty regulating mood, depression, and a poor stress response occurs with this medical condition.
- Muscles – You may experience a loss of muscle tone.
- Sexual problems – Sufferers may experience decreased libido.
- Stimulants – To help counteract the fatigue, you may find yourself overusing caffeine and other stimulants.
- Urination – Frequent urination may occur.
- Weight gain – Weight gain may occur when your endocrine system does not function properly.
My doctor says there is no such thing as adrenal fatigue!
Opinions are divided about this syndrome. Many medical professionals do not give credence to its existence, while natural health care and holistic practitioners diagnose this syndrome when the body can no longer keep up with the demands of stress on the body.
Alternative medicine practitioners offer specific treatments that have been shown to be effective. The best ways to treat this syndrome is to treat the symptoms holistically and naturally. Alternative medicine practitioners have identified a number of situations and symptoms that may indicate stress to the adrenals and cause a person to feel tired and out of sorts.
When an individual is experiencing excess stress, they may have recurring illnesses and allergies, generalized pain, low blood pressure, and unexplained weight loss. Sufferers may also experience excess sleep, unrelenting exhaustion in the afternoons, loss of hair on the body, and excess cravings for sugar, salt, and caffeine.
Holistic practitioners also have noted that there is a correlation between adrenal exhaustion and several diseases, including metabolic syndrome, chronic pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, cancer, mood disorders, cardiometabolic disease, and autoimmune disorders.
Alternative medicine practitioners identify a number of situations and symptoms that may indicate stress to the adrenals and cause a person to feel tired and out of sorts. Among them are recurring illness and allergies, unexplained weight loss, excessive sleep, exhaustion in the afternoon, general aches and pains, loss of hair on the body, low blood pressure and excessive cravings for sugar, salt and caffeine.
Is there any way to know absolutely that I have adrenal fatigue?
There is some debate over the diagnostic methods used to diagnose adrenal fatigue. Previously, the endocrine system was determined by certain blood tests used to diagnose Cushing’s Syndrome and Addison’s Disease. Unfortunately, these tests do not account for the changes in cortisol that occur throughout the day.
Typically, cortisol levels are checked using either a saliva test or a urine test. Unfortunately, these tests are not definitive. Your doctor will need to administer several comprehensive tests, learn your energy patterns throughout the day to help determine the best time to test your cortisol levels.
If you are experiencing the symptoms described above, you should contact a holistic doctor to have your cortisol levels checked. If your levels are out of balance, your holistic doctor will work with you to help improve the health of your adrenal fatigue.
Treatment options for adrenal fatigue
The best way to combat adrenal fatigue is to prevent it from ever happening. Eat a well-balanced diet, manage stress properly, exercise daily, stay hydrated, get a good night’s sleep, and make good use of adrenal support supplements.
If you have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, there are several things you can do to improve your health. You should decrease the amount of sugar and caffeine you consume, avoid junk foods, and take adrenal supplements. High quality supplements from Vita Living can help you ward off low energy and prevent adrenal apathy. Here are the supplements we recommend to improve adrenal gland function, lower stress, and improve your overall health and well-being.
Adrenal fatigue occurs when you experience emotional, physical, or mental stress. The symptoms of this medical condition include insomnia, needing stimulants to make it through the day, tiredness, cravings, and mood swings. Adrenal support supplements can provide your adrenal glands with the nutrients it needs to improve your endocrine health.