Distinction From Addisons Disease
Adrenal fatigue is closely related to, but not to be confused with, Addisons Disease, a disorder characterized by insufficient cortisol production due either to a pathology directly affecting the adrenals or a disruption of signaling between the brain and the adrenals. While symptoms of Addisons Disease are similar to adrenal fatigue, the primary difference is that adrenal fatigue is considered a possible result of the overuse of otherwise healthy adrenal glands due to stress.
The adrenals are necessary to have gluconeogenesis to take place in the liver, as well as the glycogen storage where it stimulates the production of blood glucose, says Dr. Wilson. So, most of the major symptoms of either adrenal fatigue or Addisons Disease are a result of either a lack of cortisol or a lack of blood glucose and the many effects that it has systematically throughout the body.
He theorizes, Unlike Addisons, adrenal fatigue doesnt have a pathological origin, with the exception of the overuse of antibiotics which may partially shut down the use of the adrenal glands. So, you do get different symptoms with versus adrenal fatigue, because youre talking about the difference between a body that cant secrete cortisol versus a body that isnt secreting sufficient cortisol.
Can Adrenal Fatigue Become Chronic
Yes, in some people the adrenal glands do not return to normal levels of function without help, either because the stress was too great or too prolonged, or because their general health is poor. However, when adrenal fatigue becomes chronic it is almost always because of factors that can be changed.
Can Adrenal Fatigue Affect My Sex Life
Yes. A common complaint from people suffering from adrenal fatigue is decreased sex drive. This is because some of the sex hormones are manufactured in the adrenal glands, as well as in the sex organs themselves. Low adrenal function can lead to low performance or low desire. Both usually return to normal as the adrenals recover.
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Common Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue
Fatigue is obviously a symptom of adrenal fatigue, but there are other common symptoms such as:
- Difficulty getting up in the morning
- Continuing fatigue not relieved by sleep
- Craving for salty or sweet foods
- Lack of energy
- Increased effort to do everyday tasks
- Increased time to recover from injury, stress or trauma
- Lightheadedness when standing up quickly
- Mild depression
- Less enjoyment or happiness with life
- Worse symptoms if meals are skipped or insufficient becoming hangry
- Unfocused thoughts, inability to pay attention, brain fog
- Less-accurate memory
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Causes Signs Symptoms Treatments And Controversy
With James L. Wilson, PhD
Excess stress causes the adrenal glands to increase cortisol production.
If you’re feeling tired and fried, chances are you’ve probably heard of adrenal fatigue and wondered if it may be the source of your constant exhaustion. But what exactly is it, and how do you know if it’s what’s causing your lack of oomph? Let’s investigate.
Adrenal fatigue is an increasingly common yet sometimes controversial diagnosis used to indicate depletion of the adrenal glands. Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenals for use in the regulation of blood pressure. In response to stress, the adrenals release greater amounts of cortisol. Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenals have become overtaxed by excess cortisol release and can no longer produce levels of cortisol necessary for optimal body function.
James L. Wilson, PhD, who coined the term adrenal fatigue in his book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Syndrome, describes the adrenals as two little glands that sit over your kidneys and are about the size of two large grapes and weigh about five-to-eight grams.
According to Wilson, The adrenals put out over fifty hormones. We often only hear about DHA and cortisol, but forty percent of womens estrogen or progesterone are made in the adrenal glands and about forty percent of testosterone in males is made in the adrenal glands.
Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome
In Adrenal Fatigue, Dr. James Wilson combines a researchers grasp of the latest scientific insights into the causes of adrenal dysfunction with an experienced clinicians practical understanding of its real life impact on patients. The result is a book that successfully bridges the gap between the therapeutic lifestyle changes the research shows must occur to restore adrenal function and the support clinicians can provide to enable patients to actually make these changes.
Adrenal Fatigue is a condition in which the adrenals, due to chronic over stimulation, begin to fail and produce lower levels of cortisol even when stimulated by higher levels of ACTH Wilson makes a very strong case that adrenal fatigue is an increasingly prevalent yet unrecognized response to the hyper-stress characteristic of the 21st century. Stressors physical, emotional, psychological, environmental, and infectious all contribute to adrenal fatigue. The adrenals respond to all types of stress in the same way. And the load is cumulative if many smaller stresses occur simultaneously, accumulate or become chronic, and the adrenals have no opportunity to recover, adrenal fatigue is all too often the result.
The many diverse manifestations of adrenal fatigue
The diverse roles played by adrenal hormones explain why adrenal fatigue can be the underlying cause of such a wide range of symptoms and conditions, including:
Fatiguethe hallmark symptom
Organizational structure of the book
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What Happens In A Stress Situation
Our stress reaction was developed in prehistoric times, when we were subjected to real dangers. For example when a dangerous predator or enemy crossed our path. To survive, we had two options: fight or flee. To enable these, a lot of energy had to be released in as short a time as possible. Raising our blood-glucose levels was our body’s response.
The adrenal glands play an important part in this raising of the blood-glucose level in stress situations. After all, the adrenal glands produce the hormones adrenalin and cortisol, which ensure the conversion of glycogen in liver and muscles, and proteins in muscles, into blood glucose as quickly as possible. Next to raising the blood-glucose level, cortisol is also the most important anti-inflammatory agent in the body. Which is logical really, because any inflammations or wounds sustained during a fight or flight would reduce our chances of survival.
Is Adrenal Fatigue Related To Fibromyalgia Or Clinical Depression
Yes, adrenal fatigue can be related to both. Most people who suffer from fibromyalgia have a form of adrenal fatigue. Sometimes the adrenal fatigue comes before the fibromyalgia. A mild depression is also a chief sign of adrenal fatigue and although there are other conditions that cause clinical depression, if clinical depression is present, a saliva test for adrenal hormones will determine whether the adrenals are involved.
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The Original And Most Comprehensive Self
Find out how stress affects your body and what you can do to recover and protect your health in this comprehensive self-help book. Are you:
- Tired for no reason?
- Having trouble getting up in the morning?
- Depending on coffee or colas to keep going?
- Feeling run down and stressed?
- Dragging through each day?
- Craving salty or sweet snacks?
- Struggling to keep up with lifes daily demands?
- Unable to bounce back from stress or illness?
- Not having fun anymore?
- Experiencing decreased sex drive?
- Simply too tired to enjoy life?
If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you will probably benefit from reading this book!
Stress Influences In This Day And Age
In fact, our body uses the same system today, during modern stress influences, as it did on the old days in order to save our lives. Except that our stress load is totally different. The stress we experience today does not usually involve a life-threatening situation, but represents an accumulation of minor stress loads at work, in our private lives, in our present-day society with its information and communication overload, overeating, and sometimes even overtraining. Usually no acute traumatic situation is involved, but a chronic accumulation that may eventually become too much. As a result, we are no longer able to cope with any stress at all. In nature, an antelope fleeing from a lion will be peacefully grazing away within just 5 minutes, while a human being having faced a trauma may end up on the therapist’s couch years after the incident.
I’m sure you have people among your acquaintances who have worked very hard for ten years or so, seemingly invincibly. Then, suddenly, they are burnt out. They fall from one illness into another and need years and years to even remotely resemble their old energetic selves once again.
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Are You Suffering From 21st Century Syndrome
08/01/2010 9:02 am
Are you always tired? Irritable? Constantly run down? If you’re reaching for your third coffee this morning we may have uncovered the reason why. According to doctors, living in such a fast paced society has become so stressful that it has actually led to a new type of illness.
Are you always tired? Irritable? Constantly run down? If youre reaching for your third coffee this morning we may have uncovered the reason why. According to doctors, living in such a fast paced society has become so stressful that it has actually led to a new type of illness.
21st Century Syndrome is so commonplace it has now been recognized by the World Health Organisation, and covers everything from chronic fatigue to low sex drive.
Adrenal Fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands, which produce high levels of the hormone cortisol during periods of stress, get overworked.
First noted by Dr James Wilson in 1998, Adrenal Fatigue is thought to affect millions.
The problem is this disease is difficult to diagnose. Adrenal function is measured on a sliding scale, a bit like thyroid function. Its only if a test shows you to have levels in the highest or lowest 2 per cent that youll be deemed abnormal, he said.
Does Adrenal Fatigue Affect The Thyroid Gland
Yes. Approximately 80% of the people suffering from adrenal fatigue also suffer some form of decreased thyroid function. Often people who are shown to be low thyroid and are unresponsive to thyroid therapy are suffering from adrenal fatigue as well. For these people to get well, the adrenals must be supported in addition to the thyroid.
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Extreme Fatigue But Blood Tests Are Normal
When reporting extreme fatigue, a doctor may do blood work to rule out causes including low iron levels/anemia, hypothyroidism, diabetes, vitamin deficiencies, celiac disease, inflammation, liver or kidney function problems, or specific infections. If these tests come back normal, it just means these are not the causes, and more tests may need to be done.
However, chronic fatigue is common and can be caused by myriad issuesmany of them not discoverable through blood work. A doctor will also ask about your sleep habits, diet, exercise regimen, stress levels and medications to consider how these may be contributing to how you feel.
If your extreme fatigue is accompanied by abnormal bleeding severe headache chest pain shortness of breath irregular heartbeat severe abdominal, pelvic or back pain or lightheadedness, seek treatment immediately.
Also consider that errors on lab tests do occur. You are free to ask your doctor how often false-negative or false-positive results occur with your specific tests, or whether a retest could be done under different conditions . You can also get a second opinion.
Consider creating a symptom journal to track how you feel and when. Doing so can help you connect whether specific actions or foods are contributing to a feeling, or whether any changes to your routine are helping.
To Help Restore Your Emotional And Physical Health Start By Simplifying Modifying And Minimizing All Forms Of Stress
- URL Copied
Stress – whether physical, emotional, psychological or environmental – triggers all kinds of physical changes in our bodies. Adrenal fatigue is a 21st-century stress-related condition that occurs when your adrenal glands are functioning below their optimal level. The adrenal glands are small structures attached to the top of each kidney.
The human body has two adrenal glands, which control your bodys response to stress by releasing hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones include cortisol, DHEA and epinephrine, which are used to regulate your heart rate, immune system, energy storage and much more.
The main role of cortisol is to enable us to handle stress and maintain our immune systems. Once the adrenal glands struggle to meet the high demands of cortisol production, this eventually leads to adrenal fatigue. A few common signs of adrenal fatigue are:
-exhausted / constantly feeling tired-struggle to lose weight, especially around the waistline -mild depression -hypersensitivity to bright lights and loud noise -To help restore your emotional and physical health, start by simplifying, modifying and minimizing all forms of stress. Although staying fit is important for your general wellbeing, if you suffer from adrenal fatigue it is important to avoid vigorous exercise such as running, sports, spin classes etc. You cannot afford to produce the stress hormones that these activities require – your short-term rush will be followed by an adrenal crash.
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Running On Empty 21st
Adrenal fatigue is a 21st century syndrome
Did you wake up tired this morning ? Did you need a strong coffee in order to feel semi-human? Does your body feel achy and sore? Do you get light-headed when you stand up quickly, or maybe you have cold hands and feet and a propensity to carry weight around your middle?
If this is beginning to sound familiar, you could be suffering from adrenal fatigue, which is brought on by excessive and prolonged stress and is common among harried executives who have more appointments in a day than they have hours of sleep in a night.
The adrenals are the walnut-sized glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They are known as the body’s shock absorbers and they secrete a number of different hormones, including adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine, which help the body respond to stress.
The trouble is that the travails of modern life mean many of us are under sustained stress. We are less inclined to take hour-long lunches, we feel guilty if we leave the office at 5pm and often we don’t acknowledge emotional burdens until it’s too late. This is why adrenal fatigue is euphemistically known as ‘burn out’ and otherwise known as “the stress syndrome of the 21st century”.
Stress hormones are necessary for optimal body functioning however, those suffering from adrenal fatigue secrete more of these hormones than they need. They’re in fight-or-flight mode even when their bodies should be in rest-and-digest.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue
There are multitudes of individual causes of adrenal fatigue but they usually stem from one of four common sources that overwhelm the body.
- Disease states such as severe or recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis or flu, cancer, AIDS, auto-immune and other illnesses.
- Physical stress such as surgery, poor nutrition, addiction, injury, exhaustion, etc.
- Emotional stress, usually arising from relationship, work or psychological origins.
- Continual and/or severe environmental stress from toxic chemicals and pollutants in the air, water, clothing or food.
The Adrenal Fatigue Recipe Book
- More than 50 energy-boosting recipes, including Grain-Free English Muffins, Apple Cardamom Muffins, Almond-Crusted Chicken Tenders, Coconut Chicken Curry, Carob Mousse, Pear & Pine Nut Scones, and many more
- Exciting ways to prepare superfoods like organ meats, sprouts, broths and fermented foods
- All recipes are gluten-free, contain no added sugar, and are designed to give you energy throughout the day
Look After Your Adrenal Glands And They Will Look After You
The book itself doesnt include an awful lot on thyroid disorders, as its primarily focused on adrenal fatigue, but it does touch on the two being linked.
In fact, in Thyroid Pharmacist Izabella Wentzs experience, adrenal dysfunction is present in 90% of us with autoimmune hypothyroidism. And this doesnt surprise me.
This book helps you understand why its so common and how it goes untreated or mistaken for other conditions.
It starts with an easy to follow introduction to the adrenal glands and what adrenal fatigue actually is. Its written in quite an easy to digest way, but I did find I had to read this book in small amounts at a time due to thyroid brain fog perhaps a chapter or two a day, just due to how much information it was throwing at me I felt I needed time to properly absorb it.
One particular feature I liked in this book was the many, many case studies featured. Supposedly real life ones, and relate-able too, they give examples of people who have experienced adrenal fatigue, what caused it and how they fixed it.
It includes a questionnaire for you to use to help you understand if you likely have it, and its very thorough. I found it so fun to do I even got my other half to do it just so I could do it again! Im not sure quite how medically accurate it is, but the results seemed true for me.
You can get a copy of this book from Amazon on the link below and also check out the other books that may be helpful to you in my bookstore, here.
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