Adrenal Fatigue and Adrenal Exhaustion

Adrenal Fatigue or Adrenal Exhaustion

Are you Tired all the Time?

If your answer is ‘yes’, you may be experiencing adrenal fatigue, also known as adrenal exhaustion.

Adrenal Fatigue means that your adrenal glands are not functioning as well as they should, hampering your ability to cope with stress. Adrenal fatigue or adrenal exhaustion is more common than we realise and is often the case if you’ve been under extreme pressure or stress over a long period. Your adrenal glands could then become ‘overworked’ and they struggle to produce the necessary stress hormones.

If this sounds like you, and you’ve been under the pump, adrenal fatigue naturopaths will use special questionnaires and  recommend specific adrenal fatigue tests to check your stress hormones. This means you get targetted treatment to ensure your recovery.

What causes Adrenal Exhaustion?

The adrenal glands produce hormones so that your body can cope with different kinds of stress.

The stress can be a physical crisis such as major surgery, an emotional crisis such as the death of a loved one, a psychological crisis or any type of severe repeated or constant stress. Enough adrenal hormones help with your energy, your immune function, heart rate,  and other processes that help you to cope with the stress. This way your body is kept in balance.

Adrenal Fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands can no longer produce these hormones because they have been overworked. If they struggle, you are likely to experience symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Adrenal exhaustion can be caused either by a very strong single stress, or by chronic or repeated stresses that have a cumulative effect. If this is the case you can become tired all the time and have some of the symptoms listed here.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

The main symptom is tiredness and exhaustion that is not relieved by sleep.

You may look and act normally with adrenal fatigue and not have any obvious signs of physical illness. You just generally feel unwell and medically no illness is diagnosed. To help relieve these feelings of adrenal fatigue, you may turn to coffee, coke, sugary foods and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to help you through the day.

But after a while, these stimulants stop doing the job and you end up needing them more often and in bigger amounts.

Other symptoms include:

  • A weakened immune system that causes you to regularly have extended, severe or recurring infections like coughs or colds that last longer than they should. It may also be recurring bronchitis or even pneumonia.
  • Pain in the muscles of your upper back and lower neck for no reason.
  • Insomnia, difficulty sleeping or sleep disturbance.
  • Feelings of being overwhelmed and unable to cope.
  • Tendency to gain weight, especially around the middle.
  • Trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour.
  • A decrease in brain function, thinking is less clear, difficulty concentrating and your brain feels foggy.
  • Low libido, reduced sexual drive or interest in sex.
  • You have to force yourself to keep going. Everything seems like a chore.
  • Poor digestion, even irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and an especially nervous stomach or indigestion when tense.
  • The craving for salty and sweet snacks.

Who is susceptible to Adrenal Exhaustion?

Anyone can experience adrenal fatigue at some time in his or her life. An illness, a life crisis, or a continuing difficult situation can drain the adrenal actions of even the healthiest person.
However, there are situations that can make you more susceptible to adrenal fatigue. First of all, certain lifestyles such as poor diet, substance abuse, too little sleep and rest, or too many pressures. Secondly, chronic illness or repeated infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia. And further examples are feelings of being trapped or helpless for extended periods of time which is the case in perhaps a bad relationship, a stressful job, when there is prolonged poverty.

*Images courtesy of FreePik.com

What is Naturopathic Adrenal Fatigue Treatment?

Adrenal exhaustion or adrenal fatigue treatment includes a well designed nutritionally balanced program which takes into account the effects of long term stress. Most cases do not need hormone therapies of any kind.

Naturopaths at Your Wellness Centre are well aware of the symptoms that indicate the likelihood of adrenal fatigue and take a detailed history of the development of your condition. An in-depth questionnaire will indicate the severity of your condition, while a salivary hormone test will reveal the levels of your adrenal hormones. Testing cortisol (one of the adrenal hormones) using your saliva is easy and gives a good picture of what your cortisol levels are like.

Adrenal fatigue treatment uses a combination of specific herbs for the adrenals. It also uses nutrients to enhance and support the recovery of adrenal function. Dietary guidelines, relaxation, and exercise are recommended to further help the speed of your progress.  Using our unique treatment plan, your recovery is ensured.

Image by Mrsiraphol / Freepik

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