Adrenal Fatigue: Signs Symptoms And How To Heal
Are you experiencing brain fog? Irritability? Extreme fatigue? Poor sleep? Or do you just not feel like yourself? You could be experiencing adrenal fatigue. Dont worry, though, you are not alone, and you can heal!
Adrenal fatigue comes from an overstimulation of the adrenal glands brought on by chronic stress. The adrenal glands are small organs above the kidneys. They release cortisol when responding to stress, and they help to regulate blood pressure. Some stress is normal and actually necessary to be an active participant in society, but too much stress that is not managed for a prolonged period of time is not what we want. We need to keep our adrenals healthy!
- Negative thinking
- Food sensitivities
- Simply rest more
- Be kind to yourself
There are herbs and supplements that can be beneficial for someone trying to heal from adrenal fatigue, but I recommend that you work with a medical provider to figure out which ones are right for you. For instance, ashwaganda made my symptoms worse and is commonly recommended for adrenal fatigue. I will say that magnesium has helped me by calming my nervous system down, especially at night. Again, I dont recommend that you take things blindly.
As a health coach, I help people reach their health and wellness goals. If reducing stress is a goal of yours, I would love to see you!
Focus On Deep Breathing:
Improving your posture, seeing a high quality chiropractor and optimizing your breathing patterns is highly recommended. Take time every day to breath long and deep and allow the rest and peace that comes with this practice to come over you.
Follow these tips here to improve your breathing patterns.
You Feel Puffy Stiff And Sore
Your body reacts to stressful events, like giving a talk in front of 200 people, by getting adrenaline and cortisol flowing so you’re energized and focused, Dr. Blum says. But when you’re constantly stressed, your adrenals become “pooped” and your cortisol levels plummet, leading to non-specific symptoms like feeling puffy, or stiff and achy in your joints and muscles, she says.
The fix: Get your adrenal glands evaluated , says Dr. Blum. But she warns that conventional docs don’t necessarily know how to recognize the symptoms or treat the condition.
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S To Overcome It Naturally
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels
Now, all of this said, if you are looking to prevent or overcome Adrenal Fatigue, you need to do two things. And, those are, manage stress as well as engage in habits that ensure proper Adrenal Gland function.
Much easier said than done, fortunately, we put together a list of steps you can take to make it easier.
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.
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Finding Out You Have Adrenal Fatigue And What To Do Next
To diagnose adrenal fatigue, some steps that an integrative practitioner might take include a four-point saliva test to look at the diurnal rhythm of your adrenal glands. This can tell us things like whether your adrenal glands may be really struggling with cortisol production in the morning, but not at night and we can tailor solutions to you what you need and when.
For example, you can start to shift your meal times and some of your food choices to offer support for normalized cortisol production. Another step may be to use adaptogenic herbs to soothe the adrenals and re-balance cortisol production.
I find that many conventional doctors who don’t believe in adrenal fatigue like to say to their patients, Well, what you really are is depressed. The patient will often be prescribed some psychotropic drugs and they will get all the side effects that go along with them. However, if your body is suffering from adrenal fatigue these anti-depressant drugs may be a temporary bandaid, but they wont fix whats actually wrong.
When you know in your gut that its something more, its worth the time and effort to explore whether adrenal fatigue is in play. When you recover from adrenal fatigue and your energy levels start soaring again, you will know it was worth the effort.
Our Women’s Health Network site has so many helpful articles with other tips you can try! I recommend reading Burned Out? Here’s How to Cope and Best Tips on How to Boost Your Energy Naturally.
My Face Legs Feet And Hands Are Often Puffy And I Get Lightheaded
Blame it on: Aldosterone
Some women complain that they can swell up with fluid within minutes of feeling stressed. This is not their imagination.
Or, their fluid retention may creep up after repeated stressful triggers over the course of the day. Heres why:
When your body flicks on the fight or flight reaction, it pumps out a chemical called aldosterone. This hormone has the important job of regulating levels water and electrolytes in your blood and your blood pressure.
But when youre under duress, aldosterone sends a message to your kidneys to retain salt, so your body retains as much fluid as possible.
This sodium retention is a survival strategy, just in case you need that fluid on board to face any emergency. This not only leads to puffy face, ankles and tummy, it can also lead to the appearance of cellulite in areas like the thighs, because the high levels of sodium there is pulling more water to those areas.
Frustratingly, this water retention can make you feel like youve gained weight, even though it is all fluid. Yet you may also find that you need to get up go to the toilet at night. This can happen because its the first time in the day when youre not rushing so your body feels safe enough to not have to retain as much fluid and starts to release some of it.
Since aldestrone also regulates your blood pressure, exhausted adrenals can also translate to getting light headed when getting up from a bed or chair.
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S To Heal The Symptoms Of Adrenal Fatigue Naturally
“Adrenal fatigue” describes a disruption of the adrenal glands’ ability to make cortisol in the right amounts at the right times. Chronic stress, an unhealthy diet, and general inflammation are all thought to contribute to it. Though adrenal fatigue is not recognized as a legitimate condition by the traditional medical community, I’ve seen the effects of unsteady cortisol levels play out time and time again with my patients. Here are the signs you might be dealing with them too.
The Epidemic Of Adrenal Fatigue:
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that most everyone experiences at some point in their lives due to the amount of chronic mental, emotional, chemical and physical stressors that come with the life we live. These stimuli increase our state of sympathetic tone and increase the adrenal hormone output. Naturally, we should be able to cycle in and out as we take time to support our body, rest and repair.
The major problems with adrenal fatigue and its progression into adrenal exhaustion occur when the adrenals are unable to turn-off. This can be due to underlying infections, allergies, leaky gut syndrome, nutrient deficiencies and an overload of toxicities .
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S To Working Out With Adrenal Fatigue
Apr 7, 2016 | Wellness
I cant even tell you how many times I googled this exact phrase over the last year, in constant fear that I was causing further dysfunction to my adrenals with my workout routine. For the first time ever, I was actually thinking about how working out TOO MUCH could be causing health issues, such as adrenal fatigue, or at least not making them any better.
Because Im a personal trainer and have spent the last 11 years in the fitness industry, I have always thought of exercise as the key to the door of optimal health, which I still believe to be true. But, I have finally figured out the fine little line where working out becomes detrimental instead of impactful. I had to learn this the hard way.
What Are Common Symptoms Of Hpa Dysregulation Adrenal Dysfunction Or Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
Feeling stressed by every little thing
Feeling overwhelmed by day-to-day activities
Waking feeling tired
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Feeling wired and tired
Weight gain or inability to lose weight
Menstrual irregularities Or PMS
Feeling lightheaded when you go from lying down or seated to a standing position
Low blood pressure
Exercise intolerance or difficulty recovering
And so much more
Here are 5 tips I share with my clients to help them care for their adrenals and prevent adrenal dysfunction .
Eat Regular Meals.
Skipping meals, grabbing quick energy fixes and forgetting to fuel your body creates stress on an already stressed out system. Your body has no way of knowing if there is a famine versus you just got too busy and forgot to eat. Start your day with protein and aim to include it with each meal to keep you feeling full longer and avoiding peaks & dips in blood sugar.
Also Check: Fatigue Muscle Weakness Joint Pain
Avoid Caffeine & Sugar:
Caffeine works by stimulating the adrenals to pump out more stress hormone. If the body is already in a state of adrenal fatigue, than this will overtax the body and cause adrenal exhaustion and burnout.
Increasing sugar creates blood sugar imbalances, which cause the adrenals to have to work harder in an effort to maintain some level of balance of sugar in the bloodstream. Staying off of sugar is a priority to heal fatigued adrenals.
High Levels Of Fatigue Each Day
Do you feel that your energy levels are just at a permanently lower level than they used to be? Aging is often a factor in this, but chronic stress can be a major contributor to exhaustion too. If youre one of those people who find themselves drinking more and more coffee just to get through the day, it might be time to look at the underlying cause behind your tiredness.
In the later stages of Adrenal Fatigue, your adrenals become depleted and unable to produce enough of the hormones that you need. This means that your levels of cortisol, along with neurotransmitters like adrenaline and norepinephrine, are generally lower than they should be.
The relative lack of these crucial hormones explains how patients suffering from Adrenal Fatigue find it difficult to lift themselves or maintain any kind of reasonable energy level throughout the day. There is one exception though Adrenal Fatigue sufferers sometimes experience a bounce in energy in the late evening.
If you want to get your energy levels back to where they were, there are a few things that you need to do. Adopting an adrenal fatigue diet will give your adrenals and HPA axis the raw materials they need to recover. Removing sources of stress from your life will eliminate one of the causes of your adrenal exhaustion. And changing your lifestyle will have a measurable impact on your ability to handle stress.
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You Feel Overwhelmed By Life
Almost always, the women acupuncturist Chiu treats for adrenal fatigue are completely stressed by their day-to-day lives and put self-care last on their list of priorities…”at least, until their bodies finally shut down,” she says.
The fix: Learn to say no. “Get rid of the things in your life that cost you energy, but don’t give you much back, like unsupportive people and relationships,” Chiu says. Putting your own needs first, and giving yourself permission to have more fun, will help with stress which, in turn, will take a load off your adrenals.
Avoid Your Food Sensitivities
Food sensitivities can also be a cause of fatigue. For example, 64% of patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity reported fatigue when they ate gluten [26
Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source].
The low FODMAP diet has specifically been shown to improve fatigue for people with IBS and fibromyalgia . A gluten-free diet like the paleo diet or a low histamine diet are other options that may help, if appropriate for you.
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How To Improve Your Energy Levels Chronic Fatigue And Stress Levels
When it comes to how to heal adrenal fatigue, we need to take a few steps back. Though your fatigue is real, adrenal fatigue is not recognized as a medical condition and is even being questioned by many in alternative medicine.
Instead of talking about how to heal adrenal fatigue, we need to discuss what may really be causing your fatigue symptoms.
Treat the cause, not the symptom. The truth is that your gut health, thyroid function, iron levels, blood sugar levels, food sensitivities, and stress tolerance are more likely to be underlying causes of your fatigue. Diagnosing and treating the true cause of your fatigue is the key to getting your energy back.
In this article, well explain the theory of adrenal fatigue and why many experts dont consider it valid. Well explore other possible root causes of fatigue symptoms and how to improve fatigue with research-backed solutions.
Q: Is It Possible For Your Adrenal Glands To Be Truly Fatigued
A: The adrenal glands have a big job. Theyre responsible for producing, secreting and regulating specific hormones in your body, including cortisol. They work constantly and have a huge functional capacity just like your heart or lungs.
The term adrenal fatigue is based on the assumption that your adrenal gland has the capacity to fatigue but certain organs in your body are not so easily subverted. They dont simply tire out.
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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.
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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.