Q: What Is Adrenal Insufficiency
A: Adrenal insufficiency is a state in which your adrenal glands dont function properly and cannot secrete the vital hormones your body needs to function normally.
Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by Addisons disease, a pituitary disorder or another disorder. Some symptoms of this life-threatening dysfunction include extreme exhaustion, lack of appetite , diarrhea, nausea, low blood pressure and low blood sugar.
Is B12 Good For Adrenal Fatigue
Taking in adequate amounts of Vitamin B12 For Stress can help reduce stress by promoting healthy nervous system function. When the nervous system is functioning properly, the adrenal glands do not secrete as much cortisolthe hormone produced during times of stress that causes fight or flight response.
First Change Your Lifestyle
The two most important steps to take are: 1) Change your hectic lifestyle and 2) learn stress reduction techniques.
The idea here is to lower the demands on your adrenal glands. If you continue an exhausting and demanding way of living, your adrenal glands will be constantly struggling to catch up. Full recovery will be difficult if you dont deal with stress.
For stress reduction, yoga, tai chi, meditation, prayer and deep breathing are proven to be effective.
For stress reduction, yoga, tai chi, meditation, prayer and deep breathing are proven to be effective. They are simple, and available. Other ways of lowering stress are being out in nature or doing gentle exercises such as walking. There are also many phone apps for guided imagery and meditation. All these things get you out of the high alert mindset.
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Adrenal Fatigue Linked To Chronic Stress
The adrenal glands, which are located just over the kidneys, release hormones such as cortisol as a response to stress, in the process increasing your blood pressure and blood sugar while also affecting how the heart functions. The thing is, long-term stress and an accompanying long-term release of cortisol can lead to adrenal fatigue when the adrenal glands stop producing that stress-induced cortisol, effectively emptying the gas tank. Result: lingering fatigue or exhaustion.
How To Deal With Adrenal Fatigue
In recent times, the word stress has garnered a lot of attention, as society began to experience a gradual rise overall. Certainly, in the past 2 years, with the many changes we have all undergone, we have discovered how much stress we are under. Being in a constant state of high stress is truly harmful to us. There are many long-term detrimental effects that we should all seek to avoid.
Stress causes adrenal fatigue. Our adrenal glands sit on top of our kidneys and act as the bodys main stress responder by releasing the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol into our blood so we can prepare for battle or also known as the fight or flight response. This action increases blood pressure, heart rate, and makes us ready for whatever challenge we have to face. There are many side effects to stress, especially if our stress response is always heightened. We can suffer from headaches or ulcers, experience weight gain, heart and digestive problems, and may have increased allergies and asthma. Stress is a necessary response to danger. However, chronic stress is a condition we need to address.
There is good news though. We can prevent adrenal fatigue by taking control of stress. This is done by making a few lifestyle changes, which will pay dividends in so many areas of our lives, as well as combating that ever-present stressful state we live in.
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What Do You Eat
While a lower carb diet is fabulous to reduce inflammation and many symptoms of thyroid disease, eating this way for too long can put stress on the adrenals and cause hormonal imbalance. So its important to get good, healthy carbs into your diet each day such as: potatoes , root vegetables, peas, properly prepared legumes or gluten-free grains , apples, pears, berries, and beets.
I like Dr. Christiansons idea of eating one golfball-size portion of carbs at breakfast, two golfball-size portions of carbs at lunch, and three golfball-size portions of carbs at dinner. Using this method, dinner should be the largest meal of the day. And most importantly, dont stress about your food. Do the best you can, and let the rest go.
S To Heal From Adrenal Fatigue Naturally
Did you know that almost everyone struggling with thyroid disease also has some form of adrenal fatigue? When the adrenals become taxed, this tells pituitary to slow down the thyroid . If you struggle with thyroid disease, its important you take steps to heal the adrenals so the rest of your endocrine system can return to homeostasis.
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Origins Of The Myth Of Adrenal Fatigue
The website of chiropractor and naturopath James L. Wilson, DC, ND, PhD, says that he coined the term adrenal fatigue in 1998 to identify below optimal adrenal function resulting from stress and distinguish it from Addisons disease. As many other naturopaths have taken up the diagnosis, it has spread widely across the Internet. Wilsons website notes that conventional medicine does not yet recognize it as a distinct syndrome.
That rather understates the attitude of conventional medicine. A literature review published last year in BMC Endocrine Disorders found no substantiation that adrenal fatigue is an actual medical condition. Therefore, adrenal fatigue is still a myth.
Adrenal fatigue is not recognized by the Endocrine Society or any other endocrinology society, but adrenal insufficiency is. One glaring problem for the adrenal fatigue concept is that the reported symptoms dont match those from adrenal insufficiency, although there is some overlap. The adrenal fatigue symptoms are mostly nonspecific including being tired or fatigued to the point of having trouble getting out of bed experiencing poor sleep feeling anxious, nervous, or rundown craving salty and sweet snacks and having gut problems, says Nieman. For the most part, these do not match symptoms of chronic adrenal insufficiency, which is characterized by weight loss, joint pain, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dry skin, low blood pressure, and fatigue.
This Is How To Recover From Adrenal Fatigue
Recovering from adrenal fatigue depends upon you. It means changing your lifestyle, changing your relationships with other people, and taking good care of yourself. I tell my patients to treat yourself just like you would a newborn babywith a lot of loving care and attention. When you are tired, go to sleep. When you are hungry be sure you have plenty of healthful, nourishing food. When you are stressed by someones demands, learn to say no, at least temporarily. In this way, you will slowly learn to take the stress off your adrenal glands and allow them to heal.
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Adaptogens Chronic Stress And The Hpa Axis
So how do adaptogens work? Lets take a look at the HPA axis so we can understand their function.
Your hypothalamus is the part of your brain that recognizes stress. Under stress, your hypothalamus signals your pituitary gland. Together they signal your adrenals to produce and release hormones to deal with a crisis. This is known as your HPA axis.
Chronic stress keeps your HPA axis constantly engaged. This is bad news for your overall health. Its also taxing to your adrenal glands and micronutrient reserves. Your adrenal glands have to work incredibly hard to keep up with the constant demands on them. If the adrenal gland never gets a break, adrenal fatigue and dysfunction can result.
Adaptogens support a more balanced response to ongoing stress. They augment the optimal production of stress hormones and cortisol production to prevent adrenal fatigue and HPA axis dysfunction. Adaptogens also help modulate cellular sensitivity to stress hormones, thereby encouraging a healthier overall response to stress.
Causes Of Adrenal Fatigue
Excessive stress, an important cause of burnout, can be from many sources. Chemical toxicity and nutritional depletion are among the physical causes. Mental, emotional or spiritual stress may be a major factor. Financial, family or other stress may also contribute to burnout.
Any excessive stress can deplete the adrenals, especially when weakened by poor nutrition. Working too much or emotional stress are two common causes. Excessive stimulation, especially for children, is another cause. Fast-paced, high-stress, fear-based lifestyles are a sure prescription for adrenal burnout. Other stressors in cities are noise and electromagnetic pollution. Cell phones, microwave towers and appliances like televisions, microwave ovens and computers give off strong electrical fields.
Chronic infections play a critical role in some cases of adrenal exhaustion. Chronic infections may originate in infected teeth or gums, though they can be located anywhere in the body. They contribute greatly to the toxic load of the body. Infections also cause inflammation and stress that must be countered using the adrenal hormones such as cortisol and cortisone.
Stimulants damage the adrenal glands. They whip the adrenals. Caffeine, sugar and alcohol are among the most common stimulants.
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Overuse Of Stimulants Like Sugar And Caffeine
Are you one of those people whose day revolves around finding your next shot of caffeine? If so, youre not alone! Millions of people rely on stimulants like coffee and sugar to lift them up when they get tired. However, theres a big difference between drinking an occasional coffee and consuming stimulants all through the day.
The problem is that stimulants tend to lose their effectiveness over time. As chronic stress takes its toll on your endocrine system, each cup of coffee or sugary snack gives you less of an energy boost. Caffeine can prevent you from getting a good sleep too. The more stressed and tired you become, the more stimulants you need. This vicious cycle is how many people unwittingly accelerate their decline into hormonal dysregulation and extreme fatigue.
It doesnt have to be this way. Simply becoming more mindful of your caffeine and sugar consumption will often help to reduce it. Limit yourself to one or two coffees each day at first, then try to give it up entirely. Eat a nutritious, healthy diet, and try some of these low sugar recipes. Look for low glycemic fruits instead of sugary dried fruits or fruit juices. Learn how to improve your sleep hygiene so you wont feel the need for those stimulants. And identify ways to work more efficiently during the day, so you take rests when needed.
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.
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But Is Adrenal Fatigue A Real Disease
The adrenals are two small glands that sit on top of the kidneys and produce several hormones, among them, cortisol. When under stress, we produce and release short bursts of cortisol into the bloodstream. The adrenal fatigue theory suggests that prolonged exposure to stress could drain the adrenals leading to a low cortisol state. The adrenal depletion would cause brain fog, low energy, depressive mood, salt and sweet cravings, lightheadedness, and other vague symptoms.
Numerous websites mention how to diagnose and treat adrenal fatigue. However, the Endocrinology Society and all the other medical specialties do not recognize this condition. The Endocrinologists are categorical: “no scientific proof exists to support adrenal fatigue as a true medical condition.” This disconnect between conventional and complementary medicine adds to the frustration.
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.
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What Does Adrenal Fatigue Mean
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that usually results from a long period of chronic stress. Over time, this stress taxes the adrenal glands and HPA axis, thereby disrupting the production of cortisol and other hormones. The body initially produces large amounts of cortisol to cope with the stressors, but eventually cortisol levels drop. The cortisol cycle can also become dysregulated, with irregular peaks in the evening.
Adrenal fatigue has been a relatively controversial condition for several reasons. One important reason is the early focus on the adrenal glands becoming tired. We now know that adrenal fatigue and burnout tend to present themselves in the dysregulation of the HPA axis and disturbances in the cortisol cycle.
What Are Adrenal Glands And What Do They Do
The adrenal glands are the triangle-shaped endocrine glands that sit on top of your kidneys. The adrenal glands are hormone producing glands similar to ovaries, testicles and the thyroid. They are the regulators of your body as theyre responsible for regulating stress responses and play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
Adrenal glands are key contributors to:
- Proper thyroid function
- Maintaining ones ideal weight
- Stabilizing emotions
- Controlling cravings
Multiple studies have proven that the health of the adrenal glands will dictate the health and recovery of many types of chronic illnesses. Since chronic stress is the main cause of overactive adrenals, its important that we find a way to control and eliminate stress.
Moreover, proper nutrition, adequate rest, and exercise is also very important. Unfortunately, an astounding amount of people suffer from adrenal fatigue due to lifestyle factors that are often overlooked.
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Warning Signs You Have Adrenal Fatigue And How To Beat It Forever
The easy, relaxed lifestyle experienced by our ancestors no longer exists, and we’re not even aware of how much stress we’re under. The problem? “Our lifestyles have changed, but our bodies haven’t,” Dr. James Wilson said in his November lecture at the First Arizona Choices Exposition in Tucson, Ariz. A large portion of our population is feeling tired and stressed out, and we want to know why.
The adrenal glands sit over the kidneys, where they play a significant role in the body, secreting more than 50 hormones necessary for life, including epinephrine , cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone , progesterone and testosterone. Since they produce so many essential hormones, the adrenal glands are responsible for many of the functions we need to stay alive and healthy, including:
- Energy production – carbohydrate, protein and fat conversion to blood glucose for energy
- Fluid and electrolyte balance
- Fat storage
One hormone in particular, cortisol, is extremely important for keeping our body systems in balance, as well as protecting our cells. For example:
- It controls the strength of the immune system: Too much cortisol weakens the immune system, setting the motions for increased susceptibility to infections and cancer, while too little leads to an overactive immune system and autoimmune disease.
- It normalizes blood sugar.
- It regulates blood pressure.
What Is The Cause Of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is usually caused by long-term stressors. These can include financial stress, overwork, family disputes, or marital problems. Often it might a be a combination of factors, such as those experienced by a high-flying executive with young children.
Other factors can come into play too. A poor diet means that your body has fewer reserves and less capacity to deal with stress. Chronic or latent disease can be a factor, as can regular exposure to toxic chemicals or pollutants. And dont forget sleep one of the most important requirements for your body to function properly. If youre burning the candle at both ends, consider that a lack of sleep might be damaging your long-term health.
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Q: Whats The Best Approach For Managing A Suspected Adrenal Problem
A: If youre just beginning your quest for answers or have already been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, consult your family doctor for a referral to an endocrinologist. Because the symptoms of an adrenal issue may be nonspecific, its important to figure out if theres an underlying issue causing your symptoms in order to help manage your health properly.
To assess adrenal function, your healthcare provider will conduct a one-hour ACTH stimulation test, which is safe and reliable. They will likely also look for thyroid issues and diabetes.
After checking for a variety of endocrine disorders using testing and symptom assessment, we start working with a multidisciplinary team of doctors to figure out the root cause of the patients problem.
Is Oatmeal Good For Adrenal Fatigue
Oatmeal with yogurt and berries is a great adrenal fatigue snack because it’s very good for the health of your adrenal glands. Oats contain a lot of iron, zinc, manganese, and B-vitamins which are all essential to the normal functioning of the nervous system. They also keep you full because of their high fiber content.
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