What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Unfortunately, our hectic modern life presents us with a series of small, constantly stressful situations. As noted above, our body reacts to each situation the same way; it doesn’t know the difference between “life threatening emergency situations” and “mild daily stress.” The adrenal gland is constantly working to keep the body at homeostasis. If the Adrenals do not have a chance to rest, they eventually become unbalanced. When the Adrenal glands do not function optimally, hormones are not released properly. Adrenal fatigue can potentially lead to hormonal imbalance disorders, as well as systemic dysfunction often seen in depression. Adrenal fatigue can also predetermine chronic fatigue, allergies, and autoimmune disorders such as lupus and multiple sclerosis. Adrenal fatigue may also be a result of physiological conditions like chronic illness, pain, sleep deprivation, infection, high intake of sugar, depression, and undetected food intolerance. On the other hand, the Adrenal glands can also become overactive and produce hormones at the wrong time, resulting in symptoms like headaches, heart palpitations, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, and irritable bowel syndrome
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is commonly a result of continuous stress placed upon the body. Additionally, a stressful lifestyle is a precursor to exhaustion and adrenal fatigue as well. An inadequate intake of nutrients, deprivation of sleep, emotional stressors, and an imbalance of adrenal hormone production can cause adrenal dysfunction.
What are Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?
Anxiety, fatigue and exhaustion, joint and body aches, flux in weight, Gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, constipation, nausea, indigestion, and reflux, insomnia, headaches, heart palpitations, asthma or respiratory complaints. Low blood pressure, blood sugar, sex drive, back pain.
Diagnosis of Adrenal Fatigue
If you believe that you are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, these steps may be taken in order to confirm your condition:
- Blood tests to measure thyroid hormones and levels (TSH, T3, T4, Total and reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies), blood count, electrolytes, cholesterol levels, and vitamin levels.
- Blood test can also detect diet intolerance and food sensitivities.
- Glucose tolerance test to measure fasting insulin and sugar levels.
- Saliva test to measure levels of cortisol, DHEA and other hormones.
Treatment of Adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue takes time and effort to treat; and cannot be “fixed” overnight. With patience, a full recovery can occur. The best approach to treat adrenal fatigue is an individualized approach. Based on your specific symptoms and test results, your individualized protocol might include diet and lifestyle modification, supplements, vitamins and minerals, as well as bio-identical hormones.