What Causes Adrenal Disorders
Adrenal gland disorders are caused by problems with the glands themselves that cause overproduction or underproduction of hormones. They are also caused by problems in other glands, such as the pituitary gland. Genetics can also play a part in certain adrenal disorders. In many cases, no one really knows why the disorders develop.
Common Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms In Females
1. A tendency to feel cold
2. Inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
3. Sweet and salty food cravings
4. New allergies to things you werent allergic to before
5. Depression and/or anxiety
Treatments for adrenal fatigue
Lets face it, stress will never go away. But managing your stress can help combat this type of fatigue. Find new ways to get even five extra minutes of peace per day. Techniques like mindfulness, meditation or cutting back on caffeine can be a big help in restoring adrenal balance. Dr. Russo can also help you identify other treatments and supplements to help get you back on track.
#2: Fatigue and hormonal imbalance
Hormonal imbalance is one of the top reasons women suffer from fatigue that rules their lives. During perimenopause and menopause, the hormones take a beating, causing fatigue. Estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are just three of the many important hormones that become imbalanced during menopause. Certain medical conditions and procedures can also lead to fatigue from hormonal imbalance.
What Are The Adrenal Glands
Your body has two adrenal glands. Each gland is located above a kidney. The adrenal glands secrete many hormones needed for the bodys normal functioning. Two of these hormones are cortisol and aldosterone. Cortisol helps the body use sugar and protein for energy and enables the body to recover from infections and stresses . Aldosterone maintains the right amount of sodium , potassium, and water in the body.
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Women Suffering From Adrenal Fatigue
While the symptoms of adrenal fatigue in women can make life more difficult, menopausal women often experience more severe symptoms.
Women approaching or going through menopause already experience difficulty sleeping due to hot flashes and general restlessness and are more prone to irritability and depression. Adrenal fatigue can compound these symptoms and exacerbate them sometimes to the point of extreme fatigue and deep depression making it difficult for them to stay out of bed for more than a couple hours.
The adrenals are also responsible for making about 20% of the bodys reproductive hormones. Fatigued adrenals can negatively impact your hormones at any age, but for women already experiencing a decrease in hormone levels, this can make the symptoms they are already experiencing worse. It is a vicious cycle as the symptoms can cause adrenal fatigue, the adrenal fatigue can worsen the symptoms and the two can just compound on each other.
Women with thyroid disease, such as hypothyroid or hyperthyroid, may also more commonly experience adrenal fatigue. As the levels of the thyroid hormones directly impact your metabolism an increase or decrease can cause these little glands to try to keep up with the variation in thyroid levels. Those experiencing auto-immune thyroid issues may have a worsening of these symptoms as the auto-immune disorder also affects adrenal function.
Testing For Adrenal Fatigue
If you are wanting to determine if you are experiencing adrenal fatigue or our medical practitioners suspect that you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, we can run saliva tests to diagnose it. Adrenal function is most easily tested through cortisol as this is a hormone that regularly fluctuates during the day. The test is taken at various points throughout the day to compare to an ideal cortisol curve to determine if you have adrenal fatigue and to what extent. By understanding our adrenal fatigue and what impacts it the practitioners here are Tampa Rejuvenation are able to customize a treatment protocol to address symptoms and reverse your adrenal fatigue.
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Still Tired After Sleeping A Full Night
We have all had a long night and had to get up early the next morning. You feel tired, sluggish, cant think as easily, and generally feel rundown. If you feel that way after getting a full nights rest, you might have a problem. We can all feel tired every once in a while, but if that is every day, you may have Adrenal Fatigue.
Top 5 Things You Can Do To Feel Better If You Have Adrenal Fatigue
In the midst of your busy schedule, pencil in downtime during the day and start saying no more often to extraneous obligations that put you on overload. The school bake sale can still go off without a hitch without your famous homemade cookies that take you hours to make.
If there is something extra stressful that you must do, try to do it at a time when you will have time afterwards to relax and recover. So, that stressful meeting with your boss? Schedule it for just before a long and leisurely lunch in order to give your stress response a chance to turn back off.
Also, make sure you sleep during the right hours. Be in bed and sleeping by 10:00 or 10:30 PM at the latest. If you need to unwind, or it takes you awhile to fall asleep, then get to bed at 9:00 or 9:30 PM. Your night of sleep sets the stage for how easily youll handle stressors the next day. Make sleep a priority.
To help you sleep, try drinking soothing chamomile tea at the end of the day, or soak in an Epsom salts bath, or consider a relaxing herbal supplement to naturally help you wind down.
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So Whats A Person To Do
Navigating this ocean of uncertainty is not an easy task. Symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue probably have multiple causes. Frequent follow-up visits and a strong patient-clinician partnership are critical elements for success. Alternative and complementary clinicians often have better results, because the appointments tend to last longer and they view patients through a more holistic lens. An important word of caution: some medical professionals prescribe cortisol analogs to treat adrenal fatigue. Cortisol replacement can be dangerous even in small doses. Unintended consequences can include osteoporosis, diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease.
Regardless of what we call it, there are millions of people suffering from similar symptoms, and a personalized plan that involves counseling, medications, supplements, lifestyle change, among others could work for many. Improvement following these programs is slow, and the evidence is weak, but I hope advances in big data, genomics, and its relationship with the environment and the microbiome, may shine a light on how to better help people who suffer from these ailments.
The adrenal fatigue theory may fit like a glove to explain your symptoms, which are very real. But before buying expensive protocols over the Internet to treat something were not even sure exists, take a deep dive and reexamine your lifestyle. The path to feeling better may be closer than you think.
Symptoms Of Excess Aldosterone Secretion: Conn’s Syndrome
Signs and symptoms of primary hyperaldosteronism : Many patients feel normal except high blood pressure. The symptoms, if present, can be variable.If the adrenal tumor is overproducing aldosterone, then you have a disease called primary hyperaldosteronism, also called Conn’s Syndrome after Dr. Conn, who first described this disease. The signs and symptoms associated with Conn’s Syndrome include low potassium in the blood , muscle cramps and heart palpitations . High blood pressure is also associated with excess production of aldosterone . If you ever have high blood pressure and low potassium, you should definitely be investigated to make sure you dont have an aldosterone-producing adrenocortical tumor. We have an entire section of this website dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of primary hyperaldosteronism .
How Common is Conn’s Syndrome and Hyperaldosteronism? Conn’s Syndrome and the adrenal tumor that causes it are much more common than you would think–with many people undiagnosed. It is estimated that almost 10% of patients who have elevated blood pressure have underlying primary hyperaldosteronism as the cause and thus all doctors should be on the lookout for it.It is very important to identify these individuals since a simple operation can dramatically reduce the risk of dying prematurely from heart disease and stroke.
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What Are The Four Stressful Situations
Scientists who study stress say that the things that cause the most mental and emotional stress usually have four similarities:
First, people are stressed by things which are new to them. First-time experiences cause you to worry about how you will feel during that event. This causes a stress response.
Second is unpredictability which heightens the stress response. The unknown causes anxiety and stress.
Third is a threat to you physically or emotionally. You may feel threatened by being judged by someone else.
Fourth is not having control over your situation. A perfect example of this is the person in middle management. They have the responsibility of performing new tasks. The results are often unpredictable. A bad result threatens their job approval. Most of the time, they dont have control over the results. Not surprisingly, middle managers are often considered to have the highest stress in most corporations, leading to high turn-over, burnout, and poor job satisfaction.
The Limits Of Conventional Adrenal Testing
If youre worried that your adrenal glands arent functioning properly, you probably want to know if theres a test for that. The frustrating answer is that the current conventional testing protocol for cortisol only calls for evaluating the extremes of adrenal imbalance that require immediate medical intervention: Addisons disease, when cortisol production is severely deficient, and Cushings syndrome, when cortisol production is excessive.
If your test results fall between those high and low cut-off points on the test even if youre very close youll probably be told that your adrenal function is normal, no matter how many symptoms you have. Saliva tests for adrenal function typically measure cortisol at different times of the day and can therefore pick up more subtle imbalances, but many conventional practitioners are unaware of them or dont trust them.
As you will see, the best indicator of your adrenal health is whether you are feeling well or not. Your symptoms are your best guide to choosing an approach that will help you feel better.
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Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms: 14 Red Flags
According to naturopath and nutritional therapist Olivia Smart, the main symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
- Withdrawing from work, family and/or friends
If left untreated, you may develop chronic health issues, explains Goode. Thats because stress increases pro-inflammatory mechanisms in the body and can then act as a trigger for various chronic illnesses, she shares.
What Are The Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do
You have two small adrenal glands that lie just above each kidney. Each adrenal gland has an outer part and an inner part . Cells in the adrenal glands make various hormones. A hormone is a chemical which is made in one part of the body but passes into the bloodstream and has effects on other parts of the body.
Cells in the outer part of the adrenal glands make the hormones cortisol and aldosterone. The amount of cortisol that is made is controlled by another hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone . ACTH is made in a small gland that lies just under the brain . This in turn is stimulated by another hormone which is produced by another part of the brain called the hypothalamus. ACTH passes into the bloodstream, is carried to the adrenal glands and stimulates the adrenal glands to make cortisol.
- Cortisol is a hormone that is vital for health. It has many functions which include:
- Helping to regulate blood pressure.
- Helping to regulate the immune system.
- Helping to balance the effect of insulin in regulating the blood sugar level.
- Helping the body to respond to stress.
Cells in the inner part of the adrenal glands make the hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline . These have various actions throughout the body.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Adrenal Disorders
The symptoms of adrenal disorders vary depending on which hormones are involved. Many of the symptoms of adrenal disorders are similar to those of other illnesses.
Symptoms of high levels of cortisone include:
- Upper body obesity, while arms and legs stay thinner.
- Being tired and confused.
- Developing high blood pressure and diabetes.
- Skin that bruises easily.
- Developing a greater sex drive.
Developing masculine traits is called virilization.
Not Feeling Hungry Until The Afternoon
Your adrenals and natural hormones keep your body on a regular rhythm. When they get mixed up, things start to fall apart. Your cortisol levels should be high in the morning then level off during the day. Someone with Adrenal Fatigue may have a low cortisol level in the morning causing their hunger and energy levels to be low. Imbalanced cortisol levels have also been linked to sexual issues. If you are experiencing any sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction or difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, this could be a sign of Adrenal Fatigue.
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Q: Why Is An Accurate Diagnosis So Important
A: Unfortunately, adrenal fatigue doesnt truly explain whats going on in your body, which can lead to misdiagnosis, mistreatment and unpleasant side effects. Even more concerning: A diagnosis of adrenal fatigue can potentially mask something else going on in your body something that should be further explored with your care team.
Sometimes, patients who have been misdiagnosed with adrenal fatigue are prescribed prednisone or advised to purchase expensive adrenal supplements to replace the cortisol that is presumed to be missing. But patients experience no benefits from taking these medications and in fact, taking prednisone can result in negative side effects and could ultimately even suppress your bodys own ability to produce cortisol.
Often, it turns out that patients misdiagnosed with adrenal fatigue actually have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome , a surprisingly common condition. Patients may also have various underlying illnesses, making a thorough workup with your primary care team a vital part of your care plan.
Its very important that doctors spend enough time gathering your history details and performing tests before diagnosing the problem and beginning treatment. Sometimes, we can start to help a patient immediately by making modifications to their diet, prescribing an exercise regimen and/or recommending specific supplements.
Signs And Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
The presentation of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome can be affiliated with any of the following signs, symptoms, or conditions. Currently, there is no definitive laboratory test for AFS but you should always be on the lookout if you are suffering from a high number of the following Adrenal Fatigue symptoms.
Its important to note that not everyone has all of the signs and symptoms listed below associated with Adrenal Fatigue. Everyone’s body is different, and as such, everybody presents differently. However, the higher the intensity and the more widespread the symptoms listed below are, the higher the likelihood of having Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome becomes.
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Symptoms Of Adrenal Cancer
About half of all adrenocortical cancers overproduce cortisol. Thus, patients can develop signs and symptoms of Cushings syndrome .
Adrenocortical cancer can also overproduce sex steroid hormones . In women, increased androgen can lead to hirsutism , acne, absence or changes in the menstrual cycle and increased libido . In men, increased estrogen can cause gynecomastia , problems with libido and erectile dysfunction.
If you have an adrenal tumor and overproduction of sex steroid hormones, this almost always occurs in the setting of a cancerous tumor, so that is very important to know. Aldosterone-producing adrenocortical cancer, although rare, can lead to signs and symptoms of primary hyperaldosteronism. . Patients with adrenocortical cancer can also be completely asymptomatic but also have hypertension, osteoporosis, diabetes and low potassium. We have an entire section on the diagnosis and treatment of adrenal cancer.
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How Many Symptoms Are You Experiencing
Women are often responsible for balancing the needs of our own work, home and family, and can wind up taking more care of others than ourselves. The negative impact of the stress we experience can build until it bursts out in miserable symptoms, crushing fatigue and health problems.
If you suspect that adrenal stress and fatigue are behind your symptoms, take our Adrenal Stress and Fatigue Quiz to understand the stress your body is experiencing right now. Its the first step to feeling better and more like yourself.
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What Are Adrenal Disorders
There are many conditions that can lead to problems with the adrenal gland function. The adrenal glands are small and shaped liked triangles and are located just above each kidney. They are sometimes called suprarenal glands. Their job is to make hormones that you need to keep your metabolism, blood pressure, immune system and stress response in balance.
Adrenal disorders are the result of your glands making too much or not enough of certain hormones. Hormones produced by the adrenals include hydrocortisone , adrenaline and aldosterone.
You can think of dominoes and how one movement by one domino sets off a chain reaction, making the next domino in line fall down. If something happens and the next domino doesnt get the message, the effect is ruined.