Common Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Adrenal Fatigue is a stress-related condition that results in symptoms like exhaustion, weakened immunity, sleep disturbances, and food cravings. The adrenal glands and HPA axis become depleted and dysregulated after a long period of emotional stress or chronic illness.
As you might expect, tiredness and exhaustion are some of the most common Adrenal Fatigue symptoms. However, these are far from the only ones that you might experience.
What is Adrenal Fatigue and how can you recognize it? Adrenal Fatigue leads to lower levels of a number of hormones and neurotransmitters, changes that can affect every single part of your body. Every individual with Adrenal Fatigue tends to have a slightly different set of symptoms, although there are always common complaints.
The most common signs of Adrenal Fatigue, which are experienced by most sufferers, include symptoms like fatigue and food cravings. Then there are the less common symptoms, which are only experienced by a smaller set of patients. These include low blood pressure and frequent urination. Typically, an individual with Adrenal Fatigue will have most or all of the main symptoms listed here, along with a handful of the less common symptoms. Take a look and see how many apply to you.
The first section of this page contains the 7 most common symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:
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Get High Quality Sun Exposure:
Sun exposure on our skin not only helps to boost up vitamin D levels, but it also improves the ability of our mitochondria to produce energy for healing and repair. This helps take stress off of the adrenals and helps them to heal and regenerate faster .
Vitamin D is one of the best homeostatic regulators within our bodies and needed for healthy adrenal function. But our bodies also absorb biophotons from the sun, which are light particles that create reactions in our cells promoting DNA repair and synthesis.
Get Vitamin D Levels Into A Healthy Range
Spending more time outside in the sun also helps boost levels of vitamin D, because your body manufactures this important vitamin/hormone when it senses the sun on your skin. Vitamin D is responsible for regulating over 200 genetic pathways, so make sure your levels are high enough. I recommend an optimal range of around 60 to 80 ng/ml. Ask your doctor about a simple blood test to help you keep track.
The Importance In Addressing Hormone Health
When your adrenal glands are acting up, your overall health is going to be affected. If your routine has become difficult due to exhaustion or lack of focus, you may want to start by getting tested for adrenal fatigue. A healthcare provider can determine adrenal insufficiency with a simple saliva test, and from there you, can get more guidance on how to treat your unique situation head-on.
Your hormones affect your mental, physical, and emotional healthencompassing all areas of your holistic well-being. The process of promoting hormone balance can be difficult, but ultimately, it starts with lifestyle and nutrition choices. IIN covers all of this and more in our Hormone Health course, designed to teach Health Coaches how to best develop an individualized plan that supports their clients body and its synchronicity.
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What Is Adrenal Fatigue Steps To Overcome It Naturally
Did you know that chronic stress can affect your bodys ability to recuperate from physical, mental or emotional stress? This is likely why most people have dealt with adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives.
Many proponents of this condition estimate that almost every person can experience adrenal fatigue, also known as hypoadrenia, to some degree at a particularly stressful point in his or her life.
Because the adrenals influence many parts of the body, symptoms of adrenal fatigue can mimic a number of disorders and isnt always easily recognizable.
Adrenal fatigue symptoms, like brain fog, moodiness and trouble sleeping, can be indicative of many disorders and are often overlooked by doctors. But more and more people are starting to realize that a combination of these health issues often indicate the onset of adrenal fatigue.
If you have adrenal fatigue, it can have significant effects on your overall health. Luckily, you can improve this common issue naturally by focusing on your nutrient intake and lifestyle choices.
Stop Exercising 4 Hours Before Bedtime
Like caffeine, exercise raises cortisol levels. Cortisol keeps us awake. This is beneficial during the day of course but we dont want anything keeping us awake at night.Getting any exercise is still better for sleep than no exercise at all , so keep this in mind if you have limited time to exercise.
Thats it for my favorite sleep guidelines for HPA axis dysregulation a.k.a. adrenal fatigue! Regulating sleep is only one piece of the puzzle in this often complicated disorder, so make sure you talk with your own doctor or provider for unique ways you can reset your own HPA Axis and crawl out of the doldrums of adrenal fatigue!
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Spend More Time Outdoors
Because I have a job thats indoors, I need to make it a point to get outside more often. I believe there is something coded in our DNA that gives each of us an affinity with the sun and fresh air so that we seek out these health-boosting influences. I also like to practice earthing, or walking barefoot outside, as much as I can to help de-stress. Something about that skin-on-earth connection feels literally grounding and refreshing.
Take Adrenal Fatigue Supplements
Adaptogenic herbs such as Ashwagandha, Rhodiola and Holy Basil have powerful adaptogens that reduce stress and promote hormone balance. Licorice is a spice and herb that can also be good to take as it stimulates DHEA production. Mighty Maca Plus is also an amazing supplement that you can take for adrenal fatigue! Maca is a powerful adrenal healer and hormone balancer. Be sure to get Dr. Anna Cabecas Mighty Maca Plus!
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Causes Of Adrenal Dysregulation
Are you always trying to do more, more, more?
Whether it be refusing to say no to anything and everything asked of you or exercising in some capacity multiple times per day in effort to achieve your dream body, these are just some of the common drivers of hitting burnout or experiencing a dysregulation of the HPA axis.
Listen, its not necessarily your fault if youve gotten to this point. Our society is overly demanding of our time and energy. We inadvertently devalue rest/recovery and we glorify productivity.
Slowing down is for the weak, right?!
Wrong! We actually only get stronger when we rest and recover from our stressors!
Common stressors that serve may be the underlying root cause of HPA axis dysfunction include:
- Life stress such as work, family, and social stress
- Inflammation can stem from several factors, so reducing inflammation in the body is critical.
Discover Food Sensitivities Or Allergies
Food allergies and sensitivities also play an important role in the development of adrenal fatigue. Most allergies produce inflammation and will release histamine. Cortisol is considered an anti-inflammatory. Most allergies will release histamine, and the more histamine that is released your adrenal glands have to work harder to produce cortisol. The more fatigued the adrenals become, the less cortisol they will produce, and the histamine will further inflame the tissues.
It is a good idea to eliminate allergic or sensitive foods to help reduce the effect on your adrenal glands. The most common allergens or sensitivities include wheat, gluten, dairy, corn, and soy. Effective food allergy or sensitivity tests include the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay blood test, meridian stress assessment, bio-meridian testing, bio-analysis and bio-energetic feedback testing, and a food elimination diet.
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Intervene Into Your Chronic Stress
Another key element of adrenal fatigue treatment is managing chronic stress. Pinpoint your key areas of stress and work to modify them, whether that means testing for food intolerances, detoxifying your environment, or just letting yourself heal by clearing your schedule for a while. You can never eliminate all stress in life but if you can be sure to work in periods of rest and relaxation so stress levels can subside for a while, you will break the chronic stress cycle to regain your health and feel like yourself again.
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.
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Tip #1 Choose An Adrenal Fatigue Friendly Diet
Diet therapy which uses whole, natural foods and adrenal fatigue herbs to balance levels of cortisol is a great way to support your healing.
- Whole grains like brown rice and buckwheat
- Leafy greens like kale and spinach
- Lean meats like grass-fed beef and veal, or free-range chicken and turkey
- Dairy and eggs, which are good sources of protein for vegetarians
- Seeds and nuts like cashews and walnuts
- Fatty fish like salmon and herring
- Healthy fats like avocado or coconut oil
- Low-sugar fruits like apples or plums
- Adaptogenic herbs like lemon balm or organic ashwagandha
Purposefully Manage Your Stress Levels
Stress management is a non-negotiable for optimal health. If you havent incorporated targeted techniques yet, Id suggest aiming to start a practice of regular meditation and yoga. It can be beneficial to begin getting acupuncture from a trained practitioner as well. Whatever you choose, find a stress-management strategy that works for you.
Even if you dont feel stressed, your metabolism may be. Remember: for a while, I too thought I was doing well on a fast-paced schedule and little sleep.
If you can relate to my experience or are struggling with any of the symptoms Ive outlined above, know that theres a personalized path to wellness. It starts with objective testing and takes commitment over time, but youre not alone and do deserve to feel like yourself once again.
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Easy Steps To Reverse Adrenal Fatigue
The adrenal glands are two glands that rest above your kidneys, producing hormones that are essential for stress management and to maintain the bodys overall homeostasis. While they may be small in stature, these two almond-sized glands play a significant role in the bodyregulating your metabolism and blood pressure, moderating your energy levels, and helping you calm down in stressful situations.
These two glands, often referred to as the adrenal cortex, produce hormones that affect nearly every organ, tissue, and system in the body, but they are especially crucial during times of stress. When a threat occurs, whether physical, mental, or emotional, the adrenal glands produce the cortisol, adrenaline, and aldosterone necessary to respond quickly. This is the fight or flight response that reacts to a real threat, such as giving you the boost of energy to jump out of the way of a moving car, or perceived threat, such as a difficult situation at work. When the adrenal glands are overtaxed, adrenal fatigue may occur.
A Better Response To How To Heal Adrenal Fatigue
There are many other, very common reasons for fatigue that have nothing to do with your adrenal glands and adrenal fatigue.
Fatigue symptoms are most often caused by:
- Gut dysfunction
- Inflammation from food sensitivities or autoimmune conditions
- Sleep problems like sleep apnea
- Other physiological effects of stress
To effectively heal your fatigue symptoms, make sure you are focusing on the right causes.
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Natural Ways To Treat Adrenal Fatigue And Heal Your Adrenals
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With three boys to take care of ), a big house and garden to maintain, a company to run plus trying to stay in shape and be a good homemaker its no wonder perimenopause struck me hard.
I thought I was the tough woman who could handle it all!
Well, I could, but it had a price. All the built-up stress didnt help me, and I felt discomforts crashing down on me. Today, my schedule is still full, but I have tools to organize everything, so Im not bothered anymore.
The adrenal glands, our main stress regulator, is important as we enter menopause. These backup organs produce estrogen and progesterone when our ovaries start to falter. Like any part of the body, our adrenals reach a point of exhaustion too, and we experience adrenal fatigue symptoms.
If the adrenals are not your ally during menopause, you will experience more symptoms. Your adrenals are the first you have to take care of!
What Is Adrenal Fatigue And How Does It Make You Feel Older
Can your adrenal glands actually get worn out and start making you feel old?
First, its important to understand that the term adrenal fatigue isnt the best name for whats actually going on with your adrenal glands when theres a problem. Your adrenals control your bodys response to stress, and production of the stress hormone, cortisol. But as a result of a poor diet, a high toxic burden, and chronic stress, their role in the complex hormone symphony can be compromised.
Trouble with the adrenal glandsand the hormones they producecan and does contribute to signs of aging.
Cortisol production happens in the adrenal glands, along with the release of other hormones. When youre under stress, your adrenals release more cortisol to help your body deal with whatever problem it perceives. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, metabolism, inflammation, mood swings, and sex drive.
However, what became known as adrenal fatigue occurs when the communication between the brain and the adrenals is dysfunctional, leading to your stress response being stuck in the on position.
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Here Are Some Common Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue:
A tendency to be a night personHair lossWaking up in the middle of the night with difficulty falling back asleepYoure a slow starter in the morningFeeling keyed up and having trouble calming downLow blood pressureClenching or grinding your teethChronic low- or middle-back painDifficulty maintaining chiropractic adjustmentsChronic fatigue or getting drowsy oftenAfternoon yawningPain on the medial side of the knee or kneesNeeding to wear sunglassesDizziness when you stand upDifficulty losing weightGaining weight around the waistlineGetting upset or angry easily
Doesnt that sound like modern life? No wonder people are having so many endocrine issues!
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.
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Stress Hormones Produced In The Adrenal Glands
The adrenal glands produce many hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine that act in response to short, acute bouts of stress. An example would be when youre speeding on the highway, and you see a cop on the side of the road with his speed radar, which leads you to slam on your breaks. Your heart starts beating faster, your palms sweat, and youve got butterflies in your stomach. Thats adrenaline seeping through your bloodstream!
However, in the context of long-term physical, emotional, psychological stress, the hormones cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone steal the show. We get valuable data about the effects of chronic stress when looking at these two hormones.
Cortisol is thrown around frequently in the health and wellness space so it may be a term with which youre familiar.
Cortisol is one of our fight or flight hormones that is produced quickly in response to a stressful situation. Cortisol levels fluctuate throughout the day and should follow a consistency diurnal pattern. In a perfect world, you will see a natural rise of cortisol in the morning and a gradual decline as the day goes on.
Is cortisol bad?
No! Cortisol is not inherently bad. Cortisol helps you jump out of bed in the morning and get after your day. Cortisol also saves our lives when its do or die. Literally!
Stress is stress and the body will do WHATEVER it needs to to get out of that situation safely. Cortisol is your trustworthy pal/co-pilot till you die.