Symptoms From Overuse
Anyone can suffer from adrenal fatigue symptoms, even those who appear to be in the best of health.
-- Are you always tired for no apparent reason?
-- Do you have trouble getting up in the morning?
-- Do you rely on stimulants like coffee and colas?
-- Do you crave salty or sugary snacks?
-- Do you feel run-down, stressed and overwhelmed?
These noticeable adrenal fatigue symptoms (more listed below) can come on suddenly following an intense life event, or develop more gradually from periods of prolonged bodily stress. It could be the result of emotional or physical challenges, environmental toxins, substance abuse, poor diet, inadequate sleep, chronic illness, trauma, anxiety, workplace pressures or at-home problems. You name it…
fight or flight response
react to all of these as a “threat” and signal the adrenal glands into action, time and again… often subjecting them to overuse.
Adrenal Function and Cortisol
To better grasp the importance of these two “stress glands” and how adrenal exhaustion can occur, let’s take a look at just what they do.
The adrenals sit atop the kidneys and are a significant part of the endocrine system. Their main purpose is to furnish your body with the type of energy it needs to handle any sort of distress. They do this by manufacturing and releasing essential hormones, particularly
Cortisol deals in all aspects of energy production and metabolism relating to blood sugar (glucose), protein and fats. It further regulates blood pressure, heart and blood vessel tone and contraction, immune and anti-inflammatory responses.
Your body essentially depends on the adrenal glands to maintain hormonal homeostasis, which keeps you alive!
Activation of the
is needed for a period of time in order to fully recuperate and conserve energy following a stressful event. The endocrine glands and cortisol levels can then return to a balanced state.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen in our hurried-hectic lives. In fact, it would be hard to find people who did not have a surplus of circulating cortisol on a regular basis.
You may not have any obvious signs of real illness… yet, you feel unwell.
Adrenal fatigue symptoms become more apparent as over-stimulated glands lose their ability to keep up with the body’s demand. Eventually, the hormone supply dwindles to below the necessary level. Your body does its best to make up for the adrenal exhaustion (under-functioning glands), but it does so at a price.
“With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is more profoundly affected.”
~ James L. Wilson ND, DC, Ph.D.
Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- The most obvious adrenal fatigue symptom is continuous and excessive fatigue that is not relieved despite getting a normal night’s sleep. In more serious cases of non-Addison’s hypoadrenia (adrenal fatigue), you may find it difficult to function for more than a few hours per day.
- Not feeling refreshed you have trouble getting up and out of bed in the morning
- You don’t really “wake up” until 10:00 AM
- You drag from an afternoon low between 3:00 – 4:00 PM
- Most of your energy of the day comes after 6:00 PM, following the evening meal
- Craving snacks high in salt and sugar
- Everyday tasks seem to take much effort
- Decreased sex drive
- Decreased ability to cope with stress
- Compulsive eating, smoking, or drug use
- Slow recovery from illness, injury, or trauma
- Light-headed when standing up too quickly
- Mild depression
- Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
- Dependence on coffee, colas, or energy drinks
- Difficulty concentrating or making simple decisions
- Impaired memory, absentmindedness, losing your train of thought
- Intolerant, lack of patience
- Decreased productivity, hard to stay focused, tasks take longer to complete
Adrenal fatigue is marked by a collection of signs and symptoms known as a syndrome, that for the most part goes undiagnosed. Finding help for your adrenal fatigue symptoms is unfortunately not easy.
There’s a tendency in the medical profession to largely ignore adrenal fatigue. The tests they use do not test for it, and the treatments they use do not alleviate it.
Most doctors are trained only to officially diagnose extreme forms of adrenal dysfunction such as Addison’s and Cushing’s disease.
Although adrenal fatigue symptoms affect millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, conventional medicine does not yet recognize it as a distinct syndrome.
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