You’ve been working hard. You’re tired, stressed, you feel like your body’s falling apart, and everything seems to be going wrong. Yet you’ve been doing your best to take care of your health! So it might be worth looking into adrenal fatigue.
Doctors now acknowledge the symptoms of adrenal fatigue as a real condition, even though it’s not yet a recognized medical condition and can’t be diagnosed with a blood test. (Adrenal insufficiency, on the other hand, can.)
Adrenal fatigue symptoms result when your adrenal glands – responsible for producing stress hormones like cortisol – become overworked and start to suffer. If you feel this might apply in your case, keep reading, and we’ll guide you through the topic!
What are the Adrenal Glands?
Adrenal glands are small, triangular-shaped glands that sit on top of each kidney. They produce a variety of hormones, including aldosterone, cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine (noradrenaline). Between them, they help regulate blood pressure, metabolism, and the immune system.
When you’re in a stressful or dangerous situation and your body’s under a lot of pressure, your adrenal glands will release stress hormones.
Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure, the immune system, blood sugar level, and our body’s response to stress.
Aldosterone helps regulate blood sodium level and blood pressure.
Epinephrine and norepinephrine increase the heart rate and force heart contractions, which leads to increased blood flow to your muscles and brain and relaxes your airway muscles. They also help in regulating glucose metabolism and blood pressure.
The point of all this adrenal hormonal activity is to address your stress and help you survive the danger. But what happens when your stress levels go into overdrive?
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
The short answer is, too much demand on your stress hormone response.
The longer answer is this. Your stress hormones help you cope by putting you in “fight or flight” mode to physically fight the threat or run away. The problem is that nowadays there are no woolly mammoths to fight, and the threats are mostly of a different kind that, unfortunately, tend to surround you constantly.
Examples include the environment, fast-food diets, lifestyle, anxiety, and (currently) emotional reactions to economic conditions. If these cause you excessive and constant stress and trauma, your adrenal glands become so overworked they can’t regulate optimal hormone levels anymore. Your hormones get out of balance and you get fatigued.
In addition, when you produce too much cortisol, it builds up in the body. This constantly high level of stress hormones can cause a variety of other health problems including heart disease, stroke, asthma, weight gain, and Type 2 diabetes. Plus a variety of other symptoms, as below.
What are the Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?
As we said, adrenal fatigue can be difficult to diagnose. There may be physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms, however, and these can vary between individuals. The most common symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
- general malaise (tiredness and exhaustion)
- joint pain or muscle aches
- low blood pressure
- low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia)
- mood swings
- depression or anxiety
- trouble sleeping at night (insomnia)
- nausea or vomiting
- digestive problems (constipation or diarrhea)
- poor concentration
- low libido
- inability to handle stress
- low energy
- dependent on stimulants (like caffeine) for energy
Unfortunately, these symptoms can also be the result of a number of other complaints! This explains the problems of diagnosing.
Treatment of Adrenal Fatigue
You may, by now, be wondering how you can solve your symptoms. It’s important to firstly check your diet and lifestyle. That’s because if stress is at the root of the problem, lifestyle changes are important. Some simple changes may make all the difference to your stress levels.
Let’s look at some of these ways to bring you back on track.
Watch your food intake
Can your diet help with adrenal fatigue symptoms? Yes. A balanced diet is always worth adopting. To help counteract adrenal fatigue, increase your sources of lean protein, vegetables, and whole grains to balance your sugar levels.
Think lean meats, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, leafy greens, whole grains, low-sugar fruits, and healthy fats. It’s best to stay away from foods and drinks that are high in refined and processed sugar, and unhealthy fats.
In addition, have regular meals and don’t skip breakfast! The aim is to increase your energy levels naturally. So don’t forget to reduce caffeine consumption and drink plenty of water!
Choose your exercise carefully
Adding regular exercise to your routine can seem too hard if you have adrenal fatigue. The answer is to stay away from high-impact exercises and opt for low-impact ones such as yoga or Pilates. High-impact exercises would overwork your already tired adrenal glands.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep has become more problematic in a smartphone age! So create a night routine where you limit the time on your phone and set up a sleeping environment that encourages sleep.
Use stress-reducing techniques
Life is often stressful. You’ve probably done your best to set work-life boundaries, but that doesn’t always solve things. This is where stress management techniques save the day. Reconnect with nature, relax in a salt bath, take up meditation, reduce exposure to digital devices, and make sure to take time for hobbies! When was the last time you played your favorite instrument or did a jigsaw?
What About IV Nutrient Therapy?
This is another option worth considering. IV nutrient therapy is a long-term approach to healing our bodies. The intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants enhances nutrient absorption and reduces digestive issues (such as bloating, indigestion, and food sensitivities).
For this reason, it can be the perfect boost for extra energy. Depending on the root cause of your adrenal fatigue symptoms, your provider will recommend the optimal cocktail of supplements if this seems the best way forward for you.
What About BHRT?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy is another option. Your healthcare provider will carry out tests to decide if an imbalance in your hormones is the root cause of your symptoms. Once one hormone gets out of sync, the others follow, so it’s a possibility.
We Can Help
You’re tired and stressed. You asked, is it adrenal fatigue? The answer is, it may be. The best way forward, therefore, is to check out your symptoms with your health provider and get some professional advice. At Evexias Denver, we pride ourselves on being your partner in wellness, helping you review and reset your overall health with a customized treatment plan. Book a consultation with one of our specialists and live your best life!