Risks And Side Effects
First, remember that any new dietary regimen or addition of supplements in your lifestyle should be implemented under the supervision of a physician/naturopath you trust.
In general, introducing more plant-based foods into your lifestyle and eliminating stimulants, sugary foods and processed items with a ton of sodium or chemicals added to them is going to help you feel and live better, regardless of conditions you may or may not have.
The larger concern comes when referring to herbs, spices, supplements and essential oils used to combat adrenal fatigue. Dont blindly use any new supplements, herb or essential oil without medical supervision or proper education on how, how much, how often and how long to use these supplements.
There are several herbs that should not be used when pregnant or breastfeeding. This includes medicinal mushrooms, adaptogenic herbs and some essential oils.
Other Conditions That Affect The Adrenal Glands
Certain conditions, such adrenal insufficiency , can prevent your adrenal glands from making enough hormones. Addisons disease is a rare but serious disease.
The symptoms of Addisons disease include fatigue, body aches, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, loss of body hair and skin discolouration.
Addisons disease is recognised by doctors and can be detected through blood tests that show insufficient hormone levels. On the other hand, these tests are often normal in people who are told they have adrenal fatigue.
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.
Recommended Reading: Do Vitamins Help With Fatigue
When Stress Becomes Distress
The dark side of chronic hypervigilance is anxiety! Your brain and body get stuck in survival mode, and you end up with:
- Afternoon fatigue, caffeine, or sugar cravings
- Allergies, food reactions, hives
- Perfectionism, feeling that youre never doing enough
- Trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up still tired
What Should You Do
Constantly feeling tired, lethargic or experiencing mood swings can be maddening. While you may want a quick answer and diagnosis, the reality is these symptoms can be a number of things many of which have nothing to do with your adrenal glands.
For starters, a poor diet can leave you craving sugary and salty foods and poor sleeping habits may result in a chronic state of being tired. The truth is, it could be any number of issues, ranging from a simple infection to more serious issues with your major organs heart, lungs, kidneys or liver. Even mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression, can produce these symptoms.
While not as common, your medical problems may be a sign of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome , a condition that leads to reduced blood flow when you stand up. The lack of blood volume can make you feel lightheaded or increase your heart rate.
If your doctor suspects any problems with your adrenal glands, they can conduct an ACTH test, check your thyroid to rule out hypothyroidism or conduct an A1C test to check for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.
Getting a full workup before a diagnosis is important because some doctors may treat adrenal issues with cortisol steroid injections. However, pumping your body with cortisol can actually have negative consequences, such as weight gain and heart implications.
Also Check: Weight Loss Fatigue Joint Pain
Exhausted 10 Ways To Know If You Have Adrenal Fatigue And What To Do About It
by | Health & Nutrition |
Id wake up barely after hitting the snooze button as many times as I could get away with. My eyes wouldnt really focus properly until Id had my shower and first cup of coffee. Bright sunlight completely blinded me so I never left home without sunglasses and standing up quickly was sure to give me a crazy case of the spins. If I worked out too hard, Id be down with a migraine and no matter what temperature it was outside or the rest of my body temperature, my pits would be sweaty. I would be exhausted when it was time to go to bed, and yet Id be totally wired and couldnt sleep.
I didnt know this at the time but every single one of these seemingly unrelated annoyances was an indication of adrenal fatigue, the informal term for a dysfunction in a core chain of command in our endocrine system between the hypothalamus, the pituitary and our stress handling glands, the adrenals.
So How Do You Know If You Have Adrenal Fatigue
The sad truth is that in our day and age, most people have some level of adrenal dysregulation. Most of the stressors were dealing with on a daily basis are brand new in the human experience such as unhealthy diet, environmental toxins, chronic stress of daily life, and chronic degenerative disease. Furthermore, these are what we call the sit and stew kinds of stressors: long-term chronic stressors where stress hormones are released, but not really used. This is much more damaging to the body than the traditional fight and flight: you know, the running from a woolly mammoth kind of thing, where youd get the adrenaline rush and then USE it by running like hell.
The best way to know if you have adrenal fatigue and at what stage , is to work with a holistic practitioner who can order testing to determine your cortisol levels at various points throughout the day. I do this work, and so do many other functional practitioners. In the absence of that, here are 10 indicators that you have some degree of adrenal dysregulation:
Recommended Reading: Anti Fatigue Wine Kitchen Mats
What Is Adrenal Fatigue
The idea underlying the condition is that constant stress puts an undue burden on the adrenal glands to produce hormones especially cortisol and the glands burn out. The lack of adrenal hormones leads to a host of generalized symptoms, including tiredness, trouble falling asleep or waking up, and a need for stimulants like caffeine to get through the day. With the fast-paced demands of modern life making many people feel consistently stressed out and sleep-deprived, its easy to understand the appeal of a diagnosis that promises an explanation and treatment to counteract their feelings of fatigue.
The fallacy of this logic is that there is no evidence that the stress of day-to-day life could have any such effect on the adrenals. Endocrinologists believe correctly that under stress your adrenals work harder and make more cortisol, not less, says Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD, chief of the division of endocrinology, metabolism, and molecular medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles. Friedman says that the patients may be given the diagnosis by naturopaths, chiropractors, functional medicine doctors, and anti-aging doctors.
At A Glance
You Feel Exhausted After Working Out
Exercise should make you feel more energized, it shouldn’t make you exhausted and fatigued afterwards. Physical stress can be troublesome for your adrenal glands – too much exercise can actually do the opposite of what you want. If your workouts make you feel drained for the rest of the day what youre doing isnt working for your body right now. Switch up your routine when youre feeling overworked to begin with, take part in lower-intensity exercises to create more balance. Dont underestimate the power of a nature walk, pilates, and an at-home yoga session. Support yourself in feeling better, not worse.
You May Like: What Causes Dizziness Fatigue And Blurred Vision
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.
It Is Possible To Recover From Adrenal Fatigue
Yes, it is! Finding a functional medicine practitioner is the first step. As already stated, it can take one to two years to recover from adrenal fatigue. It may even take longer for some people. You must be gentle with yourself. You must be kind to yourself. Dont be too hard on yourself. Dont be excessively demanding on yourself. Give yourself a break. If you give your body and your mind the opportunity to rest and recover, you will heal.
Read Also: Mens Army Fatigue Cargo Pants
Fatigued Adrenals In The Modern World
In the BePure Clinic we are seeing a marked increase in the number of fatigued adrenals, and tapped out nervous system cases, which suggests its becoming more common in the general population. So, in this article, we will talk about why it is so common and some signs to look out for.
Its important to note, you do not have to have all of the following signs to be needing some support in this area. These are the most common signs we see and it exists on a scale.
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.
You May Like: Fatigue Falling Asleep During The Day
Pay Attention To Your Coffee Intake
Coffee is misunderstood when it come to adrenal fatigue. The standard advice is to avoid it entirely because it spikes cortisol. The reality is a little more complicated than that.
Coffee does spike cortisol if you only drink it occasionally. If you drink it every morning, though , you build tolerance to the cortisol release, but not to coffees wakefulness boost.
But in order to build tolerance to the cortisol, you have to drink coffee every morning. If you only drink it occasionally, your body wont adjust, and the coffee will cause a big cortisol spike that isnt good for adrenal fatigue.
Basically, when it comes to adrenal fatigue and coffee, you should take an all-or-nothing approach:
- Drink coffee every morning, or
- Cut out coffee entirely
If you do decide to drink coffee, I suggest Bulletproof Coffee for extra mental clarity and effortless focus, which is crucial when dealing with adrenal fatigue.
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.
Read Also: Best Anti Fatigue Mat For Garage
Youre Not Sleeping Well
Ideally, we should all be getting between 7 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Your body needs this time to recover, reset and recharge for a new day. You should wake up every morning feeling refreshed and energized. However, many of us are actually being counter productive by giving up sleep to continue with more work. Unless youve actually found the 25th hour in the day, all of this busy-bee behaviour throws off your balance and makes it harder for you to fall/stay asleep. It’s time to introduce a healthy new habit to improve your rhythm.
Plan your bedtime, this may mean winding down at 9:30pm so that you can be asleep by 10pm and up at 6am
Even if you can’t fall asleep quite yet – being in the dark helps your body to produce melatonin – your sleepy-time hormone
If your mind is racing before bed – practice some guided mediation or listen to a calming instrumental playlist to clear your thoughts
Take a warm bath before bed with added AlkaBath, a mineral blend to relieve a stressed body, helping you to relax
Diffuse essential oils such as Highland Lavender or this Sleep Well blend, which promote the feelings of being calm and relaxed
Avoid screens before bed, and program your blue light filters on your devices to activate once the sun goes down. These screens emit light which interferes with your natural melatonin production
Adrenal Fatigue Test At Home
Since scientific research hasnt shown adrenal fatigue to be an official diagnosis, it isnt recommended that you carry out adrenal testing at home.
However, if you choose to do so, depending on your states laws, you may be able to order the tests online.
These include cortisol and glucocorticoid stimulation or suppression tests, which are frequently ordered by doctors to diagnose diseases of the adrenal glands, as well as the thyroid, ACTH, and DHEA tests.
Neurotransmitter tests, which require a urine sample, are often marketed for this purpose too, but
Read Also: How I Cured My Adrenal Fatigue
Cortisol And Adrenal Fatigue
Most people would be forgiven for thinking that adrenaline overload is the number one enemy for adrenal fatigue sufferers. However, cortisol has an equally important role when it comes to adrenal health. Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol is responsible for a number of important physiological processes, not least in determining your bodys ability to cope with stress.
Having too much, or indeed too little cortisol in your system can result in a number of devastating health problems. For this reason, its vitally important for anyone with adrenal fatigue to understand why cortisol is so fundamental for balanced adrenal health.
Why Does Adrenal Fatigue Happen
Adrenal fatigue might be attributed to prolonged physical, emotional, and mental stress. In turn, this can give rise to a variety of health issues like poor sleep quality, inflammation, or even blood sugar spikes. Adrenal fatigue is believed to be caused when the adrenal glands become incapable of meeting the demands of a constant fight or flight response attributable to chronic stress. When you are subjected to stressful situations, your adrenals react by releasing cortisol to help your body prepare for a dangerous predicament. However, if such a situation is for one reason or the other prolonged, your adrenals will in the long run become worn down. This makes them unable to respond to stressful circumstances.
Also Check: Can Depression Cause Fatigue And Body Aches
Dangers Of Unregulated Vitamins And Supplements
The FDA does not review or approve dietary supplements based on their safety and effectiveness. This means that many supplements and herbal remedies sold in stores can contain ingredients that may interact with other medications youre taking, or the dosages may be out of FDA-regulated guidelines.
Its best to run any dietary supplements by your doctor first. Not all vitamins, supplements, and herbs are dangerous , but everyones personal health issues are unique. Talk to your doctor if you have other medically diagnosed conditions, or are currently taking prescription medication.