Adrenal Fatigue symptoms and treatment
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal Fatigue is the state at which the Adrenal Glands may be unable to perform at their optimal levels of hormone and steroidal production.
When the Adrenal Glands are continuously taxed from overuse of stimulants, lack of sleep, poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, and other lifestyle factors, the glands are forced to work harder to keep up with the levels that you are demanding.
As your Adrenal Glands continue to work in ‘overdrive’, the Adrenal system is eventually unable to maintain fully functional at such a demanding pace; the result is an uneven hormonal balance.
Symptoms of Adrenal fatigue
Since the Adrenal hormones are vital for many of the body’s processes, Adrenal Fatigue is generally accompanied by persistent fatigue, feelings of depression, cravings for sugar or salty foods, and sleep problems.
Testing Adrenal function
The advent of the Adrenal Stress Index test (ASI) has enabled us to identify where an individual is on the Adrenal Fatigue scale, depending on the measurements of two key stress hormones: Cortisol and DHEA. It is then possible to put together a health programme to restore adrenal function.
The test results below show the extremes that I routinely see in my patients:
The test below is for a person in the first alarm stage, cortisol levels are high whilst DHEA remain in reference range, this person is wired but tired.
The test result below is for someone experiencing low mood, slight depression and fatigue, more of a stage 3 adrenal fatigue.
What are the Adrenal Glands? Why Are they Important?
The Adrenal Glands are two triangle-shaped glands that sit atop the kidneys. Their primary function is in regulating the release of energy, especially in periods of stress. The Adrenal Glands are responsible for producing sudden bursts of energy during emergencies, also known as the ‘Fight-or-Flight’ response. This response is a valuable tool in human survival since it enables the body to perform at increased strength, energy, and levels of awareness during moments of possible danger.
In addition to emergency response, the Adrenal Glands are also vital in the body’s reaction to stress. The body reacts to minor stressors in the same way it does to large stressors, just to a smaller degree.
Today we are often subject to an almost endless number of daily stressors, from emotional stressors: children, money, marital issues; to physical stressors: fatigue, diet, lack of exercise. Whenever the body is stressed, it reacts in order to adjust to the stimuli. In the case of stress, the body releases cortisol, a stress hormone that allows the body to cope with stress and attempts to eliminate it.
As the Adrenal Glands are responsible for the production of Cortisol, they are also key in the production and regulation of various other hormones, including dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, aldosterone, and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA).
Find out if adrenal fatigue could be your problem