The term “adrenal fatigue” is likely one you have heard bandied about in many different circles, but most prominently in the field of natural practitioners and integrative doctors. It has the mainstream medical community in a spin, with their approach that the adrenals can’t get fatigued. Their argument is that when it comes to the adrenal glands, the only issue is whether there is a clear dysfunction with the adrenal glands, not whether they are supposedly fatigued or not.
I am not here to debate whether the terminology is correct or not. What I am here to draw your attention to is how the effects of stress, especially chronic stress, set off the stress response in your body. This results in the hormonal system of your body becoming out of balance as stress hormones are released from the adrenal glands. This, in turn, creates a set of stress-related signs and symptoms; that is effectively where the term adrenal fatigue comes from.
It’s important to understand a long list of physical, mental and emotional issues can occur from chronic stress, some very minor and other more major, life-threatening diseases and conditions. It’s important to establish, with the support of your medical doctor, whether other health issues are going on for you and whether adrenal fatigue is indeed the issue. If your mainstream medical doctor does not understand adrenal fatigue, I suggest an additional visit to an integrative doctor or a natural health practitioner who understands adrenal fatigue, to help you gain a clearer understanding.
Adrenal fatigue certainly can come about from acute (sudden) stress such as an accident or surgery, or a sudden event such as the loss of a loved one or an unexpected end to a relationship. However, the most common cause of adrenal fatigue is chronic stress, where a repeated stress response is occurring.
When I began to experience a whole host of stress-related symptoms, I became more determined to understand what was going on with my body and how to heal.
What are the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
The signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue are many, depending on how severely stress has affected you, whether chronically or acutely.
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue include, but are not limited to:
🔴 blood sugar imbalances
🔴 insomnia and night sweats
🔴 feeling tired in the morning and wired at night (mainly in the early to moderate stages)
🔴 weight gain around the belly
🔴 feeling consistently tired and weak (mainly in the more severe stages)
🔴 muscle weakness and atrophy
🔴 food sensitivities and gut disturbances
🔴 unexplained nausea and dizziness
🔴 low blood pressure
🔴 salt cravings
🔴 hair loss
If your symptoms of adrenal fatigue are very severe, it is essential that you adopt a level of individualised, professional support and let go of trying to work this out on your own. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and most of the mainstream recommendations are for mild or moderate adrenal fatigue.
I came to understand there can be many different stages of adrenal fatigue. Initially, you may not even realise that you are going through this, you just feel tired and wired, but eventually, you can flat line with extremely low levels of energy all the time. Over time, with chronic stress, one system affects another, and the body can change and adapt the way one system operates to support another, in an effort to keep you functioning.
Your next key steps are to honour your stressed system with daily rhythms and habits that activate a calming response in your nervous system. There are also key steps to take to support the physical changes that have occurred to allow your body to rebalance itself over time.
And most importantly to get to the root of why this occurred in the first place.
I will explore more of this in upcoming blog posts.
If you’re ready to get solid support for yourself, and develop new daily rhythms that support what you desire for your life, then let’s chat.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence for weeks or maybe even months, to go ahead and book this chat, I’m asking you what is stopping you? What do you have to lose?
You have this one incredible life, but it starts with YOU saying yes to YOU.