What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal gland fatigue is exactly what the name implies: your ad-renal glands are tired, and unable to keep up with the daily demands that are required of them. They are feeling the same way you do! You know the saying “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”? Same principle here. If your adrenals ain’t workin’, ain’t you workin’ either…
Your adrenal glands produce several different hormones that are necessary for the production and regulation of thyroid hormones and sex hormones (estrogen/progesterone/testosterone). They also produce the hormones that influence your ability to:
- deal with stress
- metabolize fat
- and regulate blood sugar.
When the demand on your adrenal system is greater than what they can produce, nothing gets the attention it deserves, and things start sliding…sound familiar? The symptoms we notice in our own lives are a pretty accurate reflection of the condition of our adrenals. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you!
The adrenals are constantly responding to external stimuli to provide the appropriate physical response to the conditions you find yourself in.
- They are the “fight or flight” regulators that give you that adrenaline surge you need in an emergency situation.
- They are the cortisol regulators that tell your body to hang onto that fat because you haven’t eaten all day, and maybe you’ll need it to live off of.
- They are the glucose regulators that give you the insulin surge you need to deal with that donut you just ate.
As with most things in life, moderation is the key! Extreme situations call for extreme reactions from your adrenals,and a steady stream of EX-tremes is EX-hausting!
What Is Adrenal Fatigue Caused By?
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is a stress related condition. Learning to recognize causes of stress to our adrenal system and making a plan to reduce and/or eliminate our exposure to those stressors are the keys to healthy living and adrenal restoration.
Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome the same as Adrenal Fatigue?
Sometimes referred to confusingly as “adrenal chronic fatigue”, Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are two conditions that share similar symptoms but have different causes. There is, however, always a relationship between persistent (chronic) fatigue and adrenal insufficiency, and adrenal gland fatigue is almost always present in cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, so implementing changes that will support and recharge your adrenals should be part of a plan for managing CFS.
Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms
Do you have adrenal fatigue symptoms? Symptoms of adrenal fatigue resemble what our mothers used to call a nervous breakdown. The inability to cope with stress is, however, not a breakdown of our nerves, but of our adrenal glands, which can burn out after long periods of heightened output.
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Startle easily-something as simple as the phone ringing will send your heart pounding wildly.
- Feeling tired all the time – You wake up tired even after what should have been “a good night’s sleep.” You nap, but never feel like you’ve had enough.
- Allergies – You have either developed new allergies, or have developed an increase in severity of allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
- Diminished tolerance for stress/anxiety attacks – Stress triggers an irrationally disproportionate anxiety or irritability. Feeling of being unable to cope, or “coming unglued.”
- Postural hypotension – feeling dizzy upon rising, particularly from a horizontal position.
- Lethargy – a feeling of almost incapacitating weakness, especially when not eating regularly.
- Hypoglycemia – (Low blood sugar)
- Hypotension – (low blood pressure)
- Caffeine dependent – need caffeine to get started or keep going during the day.
- Weight gain – specifically as a layer of belly fat.
- Sensitive to bright light, or have a hard time driving at night.
- Sleep pattern: need to “sleep in” – you get your best sleep between 7-9am. Slow to get going, but then pick up some steam, until you hit a late afternoon low and need a nap. If you don’t go to bed early, then you get a second wind after 11pm, and can go until the wee hours. Doing that, however, will leave you a total wreck the next day.
- Unable to fight off or recuperate from illness – You seem to be sick all the time.
- Exercise makes you feel worse, not better.
- Hard time getting to sleep, or staying asleep.
- Low libido (low sex drive).
- Food cravings include salt, sweets, and protein.
You have multiple “stress factors” in your life: you’ve just had a baby… had surgery… got married… got divorced… moved either across town or across the country…lost a loved one… been a victim of a crime… have “3 under 5″…have “tweens”… have teens… have a job…lost a job…have any kind of life at all…the stress factors don’t necessarily have to be negative, and they don’t have to be dramatic, but they are continual. All the “little” stressors in our lives can add up to a case of adrenal fatigue. Symptoms like those above are frequently discounted when looked at individually, but taken as pieces of the same puzzle, they paint a picture of adrenal glands that need some TLC.
Low Testosterone Syndrome
Low testosterone (low T) is underproduction or lack of production of testosterone.
The causes of low T include chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, infections, obesity, or other hormonal conditions. The symptoms of low T include change in sleep patterns, reduced sex drive (low libido), sexual dysfunction, infertility, emotional changes, decreased strength, and weight gain.
Saliva testing is an easy and noninvasive way of assessing your hormone balancing needs, and is proving to be the most reliable way to measure hormone levels. Saliva testing represents hormones actively delivered to receptors in the body. It is far more relevant to test these bioavailable hormones and provide an accurate reflection of the body’s active hormone levels.
Weight Loss – Phenteremine
Phentermine (Adipex-P, Suprenza) is a prescription medication used to suppress appetite. It can help weight loss by decreasing your hunger or making you feel full longer. Phentermine is also available in a combination medication for weight loss (Qsymia). Like other prescription weightloss drugs, phentermine is intended to be used as part of an overall weightloss plan. It is indicated for people who have not had success losing enough weight with diet and exercise alone.