WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?

Adrenal fatigue has many components, the physical level being a critical factor in healing so the body can come back into balance; but adrenal fatigue is not permanently healed without looking at the emotional, mental and spiritual components as well. My goal is to help you to  understand adrenal fatigue and also give you the necessary tools to heal.   You can click here to learn more about my experience with adrenal fatigue and how I healed.

How Did This Happen?

Our modern day world has meant that many of us are feeling stressed way too often. This is often due to some kind of ongoing emotional stress, but can also be from physical or mental stress.

The results of chronic stress can cause the adrenal glands to become exhausted and the sympathetic nervous system becomes over stimulated.  We can then find ourselves dealing with a host of debilitating symptoms like extreme muscle fatigue and weakness, body aches, muscle loss, difficulty falling asleep at night, initial weight loss then weight gain, low blood sugar, hair loss, digestive disturbances, susceptibility to respiratory infections and viruses, light headedness, fogginess, reduced sex drive, depression and anxiety.  It doesn’t sound that fun does it!

Why Am I Feeling This Way? 

Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands are not functioning properly resulting in an inability to produce hormones like cortisol and DHEA in the way that they should.   In the early stages of adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels are often very high making us feel tired and wired at night; and if the adrenal fatigue moves to a more severe stage, cortisol levels become very low making it difficult to function normally, and this is where our energy can flat line.  There is nothing left in the tank so to speak.  With DHEA, production usually decreases when under stress and can cause a knock on effect with many of the other sex hormones like estrogen, progesterone and tostesterone, resulting in issues with pms, menopause, andropause and thyroid issues.

This is the thing with adrenal fatigue, one system affects another, then affects another, and so on, until many systems in the body are not functioning properly, producing a host of symptoms too many to mention here.

YIKES, What Now……???

The mainstream medical world does not recognise the term adrenal fatigue because it is not a disease as such but rather a collection of sign and symptoms, but I can assure you these symptoms are very real, and anyone going through adrenal fatigue can tell you this.

There are many stages of adrenal fatigue and the severity of your symptoms will determine what type of treatment is best for you and how long it can take to recover from.  A mild form of adrenal fatigue may take 6 months to recover from and more severe cases can take up to 2-3 years.  However, know that you are a unique individual and this is just a rough guideline.

STEPS TO HEALING ADRENAL FATIGUE

1.  Find a Natural Health Practitioner or a Doctor who understands Adrenal Fatigue.

Before you commit to seeing someone, be sure to ask them if they understand how to treat adrenal fatigue and whether they have had experience with this.  Trust your intuition as to who feels like the right fit for you.  There are many different ways to heal the physical aspect and you need to find what works best for you.  Your practitioner can set up some testing for you to establish if there is something else going on with your health or if adrenal fatigue is in fact the issue.  They can also obtain a very detailed case history from you which usually gives a very good picture of what is going on.

2.  Engage in Activities that are Calming. 

The second step is to engage in as many activities as you can that are calming for you. This supports the parasympathetic nervous system and allows you to release calming hormones like oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins.

Engaging in activities like
* meditation,
* calming breathing exercises,
* walking or simply being in nature,
* easy walks and/or yoga,
* doing creative activities that you love;
these are all an essential part of your healing journey.  Engage in activities that feel peaceful and calming for you.

3.  Look into Your Underlying Emotional Patterns. 

Your physical healing must be supported with your emotional healing for full recovery to occur.   The mind body connection with adrenal fatigue is about not standing in your power.  We too often give our power away to others, while compromising our own needs and very quickly become worn out and exhausted with our lives.  Look into what is going on in your life and how your emotions may be negatively affecting your physical health.  It can be very worthwhile to work with a therapist who resonates with you and look into these issues.

4.  Get Support.

Healing adrenal fatigue is not something you want to do alone.  We all need support in our lives.  Find the support that you need on all levels; physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  This will really help you to understand and come to terms with what caused the adrenal fatigue in the first place and begin to address those areas in your life.

5.  Be Patient With the Process. 

The great thing is that you can heal from adrenal fatigue.  It can just take a little time.  It took a little while to get there, and it just takes a little while to get back.  The exact healing time is different for everyone, and is really dependent on the new lifestyle that you are creating for yourself and how severely your adrenals have been affected.

To help you with taking these steps to healing adrenal fatigue, refer to these blog posts below which will help you to more fully understand what adrenal fatigue is and what to do about it.

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
My Adrenal Fatigue Remedy
The Relaxation Response
Top 10 Physical Healing Tips for Adrenal Fatigue
Thoughts, Emotions & Health
Standing in Your Power

We’re Here to Help You Every Step Of The Way…

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6 thoughts on “WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?

  1. I have been suffering with symptoms for over 10 years….. Have been hospitalized three times & just found a dr. Who is working with me. Have had many saliva test they always came back very low.I have been on florid cortisone for 2years & estrogen replacement I’m 55 years old.but I feel 95. I feel better for short periods of time & had just started yoga for 3 weeks & felt myself slipping back again. I feel sooooooooo frustrated

    • Bonnie, you can come through this.
      I encourage you to make some changes to the way you live your day.
      Start very gently and make a change that you know will be positive for you.
      Go gently on a physical level as your body comes back.
      Do things that deeply calm your parasympathetic nervous system – meditation, yogic breathing, sitting or walking slowly out in nature.
      You can do this, one step at a time.
      Lisa.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Just reading this article I was wondering if I have been suffering from adrenal fatigue to some extent and if my daughter has too.
    My daughter is now 14 but she is a high achiever; she aims for HDs, she gets the due awards and other academic awards and is placed in advanced classes. But what happens in the end is she becomes literally burned out; she asks to take some time off school to recuperate or rest. I wonder if this is a form of adrenal fatigue.
    She’s just started on some homeopathics now which are helping her with debilitation. I encourage her to spend time barefoot outside which seems to help. She’s not a yoga, sporty, or meditative person which makes things a bit challenging but I can get her to sit still and breathe deeply occasionally. I make nutritional meals but she is picky. Her healing is an ongoing process, slow, with lots of ups and downs..
    Much love Christina.

    • Hi Christina
      Lovely to hear from you. Unfortunately I can’t diagnose if you or your daughter has adrenal fatigue, there can be other health issues going on that may be contributing. I highly encourage you to work with a naturopath who understands adrenal fatigue if you have concerns. On an emotional level, she needs to know that she doesn’t have to be perfect, her best is good enough. One of the underlying issues with adrenal fatigue is pushing through to try and please others. Pushing for extrinisic awards is never healthy for us in the long run, especially if it leaves us “burned out”. Keep encouraging her to create daily rituals that are healthy for her, where she finds plenty of time for things she really enjoys that don’t overtax her system. There is always a lot more to burnout than what lies on the surface, we need to dig deeply to get to the root cause of the pattern. You are going to be her finest example. The daily rituals that you create for yourself that lead to a healthy you, will help her greatly. Love to you. xo

  3. I just found you on FB – and am now officially fascinated with your website! It is so informative but in a very calming, reassuring hopeful way. Since I am dealing with the same symptom you experienced of muscle loss, I am wondering whether you regained any of it once your adrenals were restored? This is something that is very important to me so I am very curious to know if this particular symptom can be reversed as well. Thank you so much!