Friday, April 12, 2024

What Are The Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue

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How Is Adrenal Insufficiency Treated

Could Your Symptoms Be Adrenal Fatigue?

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:

  • Your age, overall health, and past health

  • How sick you are

  • How well you can handle certain medicines, procedures, or therapies

  • How long the condition is expected to last

  • Your opinion or preference

You will need to take hormones to replace those that your adrenal glands are not making. That mainly means cortisol. But if you have Addison’s disease, you may need to take aldosterone as well.

Addison’s disease can be deadly. Treatment often starts with IV fluids and medicines called corticosteroids. You may take these medicines by mouth or by IV. You may have to take them for the rest of your life. You may also need to take other medicines . These can help keep your body’s sodium and potassium levels normal.

Enjoy Berries And Nuts

Replacing sugary and salty snacks with berries and nuts as a way of ridding your body of adrenal fatigue symptoms.

What to do:

  • Brazil nuts and almonds make a great snacking alternative.
  • Consume plain Greek style yogurt with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and/or black berries mixed in.
  • Add nuts and berries to your morning smoothie.

How it works:

Nuts add to your protein intake. This helps fight adrenal fatigue. Also, both berries and nuts are beneficial to clean the toxins from your colon.

Feeling Tired In The Morning

If you find yourself tired in the morning after getting a full nights sleep there could be a number of causes, including adrenal fatigue.

When your body is under constant stress, cortisol and other hormone levels are disrupted often causing you to feel tired or very slow to get moving in the morning.

*Tip: Have your cortisol tested so that you can see exactly what is going on and then you can choose which direction to go.

Dont try to blindly treat just based on symptoms! The more you know, the better

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How Is Adrenal Fatigue Different From Just Being Tired All The Time

Lets look a little more closely at fatigue. There are many different reasons you could be tired. When tired patients come to see me, adrenal fatigue is definitely up there as a possibility right from the start, but among other common reasons, the tiredness could also be due to a sluggish thyroid.

The thyroid and the adrenals are intimately connected, so heres an important functional medicine tip if you are being treated for a thyroid dysfunction with a thyroid hormone: make sure you also have your adrenals checked. Treating the thyroid without supporting the adrenals will further deplete the adrenals. So always be sure to ask to have your adrenal function looked at whenever thyroid issues are present.

You could also be tired all the time because youre low in iron. So, getting a full iron blood panel done can help. Maybe youre tired because youre burning the candle at both ends and just not getting enough sleep. Or youre not getting enough physical activity. You could also be stressed out and emotionally drained. Physical symptoms, especially from chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis, can also make you tired all the time.

As weve been talking about, being tired is a prime side effect of adrenal imbalance. However, because there are so many different reasons for being tired, getting the proper diagnosis is important so you can get the proper treatment.

How Are Adrenal Disorders Diagnosed And Treated

25 Lifestyle Strategies to Heal Adrenal Fatigue Naturally ...

The diagnosis of various adrenal disorders may vary on a case by case basis. However, the initial process usually begins by conversing with your primary care doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing. Keeping a journal of particular symptoms and when they arise may better assist your primary care doctor in diagnosing, monitoring, and treating adrenal disorders.

After discussing symptoms, your doctor may order a blood test to check potassium and sodium levels. They can also conduct imaging, including MRIs or a CT scan that can detect potential tumors, abdominal swelling, or other issues related to adrenal disorders.

Treatment for adrenal disorders in which tumors manifest either on the glands themselves or on the pituitary gland typically involves some sort of surgery. The operation may be minimally invasive depending on the size or severity of the tumors. The pros of this treatment include accurate, total removal of said tumors, and patients may not need additional surgeries. The downside to surgery can be the risk factors involved, including infection and recovery time.

For adrenal disorders involving tumors, there is a chance for curability. When found early and removed, adrenal cancer can be halted altogether. The same goes for Pituitary tumors. Invasive surgery through the nostrils can remove these growths and restore a healthy function. If left untreated, cancerous tumors can spread to other internal organs and pose life-threatening issues.

Also Check: Is Fatigue A Symptom Of Prostate Cancer

The Adrenal Scoop On Ibs Symptoms And Treatment

Stress is causing your IBS symptoms. Its as simple as that.

Of course, the foods you eat matter, but if your digestion is faulty because of Adrenal Fatigue, nothings going to go smoothly.

When your stress response system is trigger-happy, it suppresses your digestive function and creates disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome , leaky gut, and diarrhea.

Stress is relative. What you can handle might not be what your neighbor can handle. Perhaps speaking in public is a breeze for you, but for them, theyre running to the bathroom up until the moment they have to be on stage.

More serious life events, like the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, or even a joyous time like the birth of a child, cause stress within your body that slows down your digestive function. Your body is designed that way on purpose. In times of acute stress, your energy is needed elsewhere.

Trouble comes when the stress hits you from everywhere, all the time, and results in a Stress Response Dysfunction , aka Adrenal Fatigue. Leaky gut, dysbiosis, and IBS symptoms are inevitable.

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.

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Reduce Stress Thats Within Your Control

Its not realistic to obliterate all stress. But you can turn some stressors down a few notches. Your first step: Identify your areas of stress, using the Stress Web, below, as a guide.

Consider your stress level for each area of the web.

To make this easy, you might download and print out the web so you can color in the areas based on how much stress they deliver.

Lets say youre training hard in the gym several days a week. Then you might color in all four sections of the physical part of the circle.

On the other hand, maybe youre not dealing with any of the financial stressors. In that case, you might not color any of those in.

Once you see which areas pose the most stress, brainstorm ways to reduce those areas of stress.

And know that its not always about the big things.

For example, our client, Zahra, noticed that her environmental and mental dimensions of the stress web were particularly high.

After some thought, she made a couple changes. She:

bought noise-cancelling headphones to drown out her household

installed apps on her computer to block certain websites during periods of the day

Those strategies allowed her to cut down on unproductive distractions and focus on her work tasks.

After a month, Zahra was feeling more clear-headed, and actually started enjoying her workday more. Plus, she had way more energy. She hadnt realized how depleting all those competing distractions had been.

Difficulty Getting Up Each Morning Even After A Long Sleep

Symptoms of adrenal fatigue: A common and DEBILITATING problem

As we discuss in The Adrenal Fatigue Solution, one of the major causes of Adrenal Fatigue is getting insufficient sleep. Getting more rest is, therefore, one of the best ways to recover. However, when suffering from Adrenal Fatigue many patients wake up extremely tired and foggy, even after getting a long sleep. This can be caused by one of two factors.

Adrenal Fatigue sufferers in the early stages of their condition tend to be under significant stress, and therefore their adrenaline and cortisol levels are high. This interrupts the natural 24-hour cycle of cortisol levels, leading to a state of alertness in the evening that prevents restful sleep.

Those Adrenal Fatigue sufferers who are at a later stage of the condition will have consistently lower levels of cortisol. However, their blood sugar will tend to be much lower during the early morning . Your body realizes its hungry and forces you to wake up. Many Adrenal Fatigue sufferers are chronic late-night snackers for exactly this reason. You can get a better nights sleep by improving your sleep hygiene.

Also Check: Can Kidney Disease Cause Fatigue

Digestion / Bowel Movements / Urination

Frequent Urination. Do fluids seem to pass straight through you? Very high urinary urgency is a classic adrenal fatigue symptom

Usually constipation, especially in early stages.

Sometimes diarrhea, especially in later stages.

Light beige bowel movements

Frequent urination, and soon after drinking fluids

Irritable bowel syndrome

Bloating, , cramps, lots of gas

Undigested food

Eye Floaters .

Blurred Vision, or trouble focusing

Flashes of Light with eyes closed .


Dark Circles under eyes

Double vision .

Burning in Eyes

– Extreme fatigue .- Constant anxiety .- Restless sleep .- Ringing in my ears.- Pain in my upper back and neck that comes and goes.- Weak legs and sore feet that make it hard to stand for long periods.- Dizziness .- Nausea making it difficult to eat.- Low blood sugar if I don’t eat every 2 hours.- Low sex drive.- Sensitive to bright lights and loud sounds.- Shortness of breath and rapid heart rate.- Cloudy thinking making it hard to concentrate.- I feel better than I do all day between 6-9 p.m.

Top 5 Things You Can Do To Feel Better If You Have Adrenal Fatigue

  • Sleep and rest Honor the rhythm of your body by not overbooking yourself or making your calendar so busy that youre constantly on the go without a moment of rest. Try starting your day with yoga or another gentle practice, like meditation or a walk in your neighborhood.
  • 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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    Energy And Sleep Patterns

    An afternoon energy crash, followed a boost of energy late in the evening is a very common adrenal fatigue symptom.

    Chronic and long lasting fatigue .

    Often tired in the evening, but resist going to bed,only to feel wide awake at

    You feel exhausted in bed, but your mind won’t stop racing.

    Trouble getting to sleep, waking up at around 2:00 am

    Often severe insomnia

    Afternoon energy crash

    Sleep for long periods of time , but still have a hard time getting up in the morning

    Night sweats and Chills


    Thinning eyebrows , especially outer portion of eyebrows.

    Waking up with numb hands

    Joint pain, stiff joints

    Jaw Pain. Do have a hard time at the dentist?


    Lack of sweat. Do not sweat as much as you used to.

    What Are Common Types Of Adrenal Disorders

    Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms, Medication and Treatment

    There are different conditions related to your adrenal glands. Some of the most common include:

    • Addisons disease, also called adrenal insufficiency. In this disorder, you dont produce enough cortisol and/or aldosterone.
    • Cushings syndrome. In this disorder, your levels of cortisol are too high. This term can be applied when large doses of steroids are given to treat certain medical conditions.
    • Congenital adrenal hyperplasia. This term refers to genetic condition in which your adrenal glands are not able to make cortisol well. As a result ACTH is elevated. Depending on the defect higher levels of male hormone might be made.
    • Adrenal gland suppression. This is a type of adrenal insufficiency that is related to outside sources of cortisol or related synthetic hormones such as prednisone or dexamethasone.
    • Hyperaldosteronism. If you have this condition, your body produces too much aldosterone which can lead to blood pressure elevation and potassium loss.
    • Virilization. This condition happens when your body produces too much of the male sex hormones and is only apparent in females or boys before puberty.

    There are also conditions of the adrenal glands related to growths . These include:

    Also Check: Lack Of Energy And Fatigue

    Our Gut Is Fighting The Proverbial Stress Tiger

    I think this makes sense to most people when I explain it this way: If were in a stress response, the body is gearing up to fight the proverbial tiger. At that time, you dont want to waste precious energy digesting and absorbing food. Lets face it, its a bad time to sit down for a meal or have a bowel movement.

    Dealing with that tiger requires turning the digestive system off temporarily, conserving energy to address with the threat , and then, once youve survived, turn the digestive function back on.

    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: Common Causes Of Extreme Fatigue

    Is Adrenal Fatigue Real

    • By , Contributor

    Low energy and tiredness are among the most common reasons patients seek help from a doctor. Despite being so common, it is often challenging to come up with a diagnosis, as many medical problems can cause fatigue. Doctors engage in detective work, obtaining a medical history, doing a physical exam, and doing blood tests. The results often yield no explanations. It can be frustrating for clinicians and patients when a clear-cut diagnosis remains elusive. An attractive theory, called adrenal fatigue, links stress exposure to adrenal exhaustion as a possible cause of this lack of energy.

    What Is The Treatment For Adrenal Fatigue

    7 Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

    The treatment for adrenal fatigue is essentially lifestyle advice, including sleep, diet and exercise. Talk with your doctor to discuss how you are feeling so that your doctor can arrange tests if needed and also provide you with advice and support.

    It is very important to reduce stress and improve relaxation. See also the separate leaflets called Acute Stress Reaction and Stress Management and also the leaflet called Relaxation exercises.

    Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Avoid junk foods and processed foods. Also avoid or reduce coffee and any other stimulant drinks and reduce your intake of sugary drinks and foods. See also the separate leaflet called Healthy Eating.

    Regular exercise is also important. See the separate leaflet called Exercise and Physical Activity.

    It is very important to have enough sleep and to stick to a consistent sleep routine. For more information see the separate leaflet called Insomnia and the leaflet called Sleep diary.

    There is no evidence that supplements are of any value, and some supplements may be harmful.

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    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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