by BodyHealth Representatives September 15, 2016 2 min read
Do you feel always tired—for days, weeks, even months at a time, even after a series of “a good night’s rest”? Do you find yourself needing coffee and other stimulants just to get through the day? This could be a sign of adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue can occur when your adrenal glands, which produce adrenaline, aldosterone and cortisol, are overworked. Over-stimulated glands can begin to slow down or not secrete the hormones at all, affecting your body’s hormonal balance and energy levels. Below are some key factors you should know about adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal glands are small organs located above the kidneys. These glands release hormones that maintain our energy levels and general good health. Adrenal fatigue can be triggered by intense stress, whether that is one acute, immensely stressful event, like the death of a loved one, or a prolonged stressful period, such as stress at work or with an ongoing family situation. When this period of intense stress takes place, the adrenal glands can become overworked and begin to malfunction, ceasing to release hormones. Chronic illness, prolonged insufficient sleep, and poor diet can also contribute to triggering adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal hormones play a big part in the body’s stress and threat response. The hormones released from the adrenal glands help the body deal with stress by mobilizing your hormonal response. When these hormones are not released efficiently, or cease to be released at all, they result in feelings of tiredness or lethargy. Other symptoms can include difficulty getting over illness, confusion and “foggy” thinking, feeling overwhelmed and hopeless—even depressed. In more extreme cases, they can cause truly debilitating fatigue.
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue are similar to symptoms of other illnesses or syndromes, including depression or general fatigue. Making matters worse, since many conventional doctors do not recognize adrenal fatigue as a proven medical condition, the adrenal glands are rarely tested, at least not as a first resort. Many times these symptoms are thought to be linked to general stress, under-active thyroid, or a hormonal imbalance. A test of the adrenal glands will be able to better identify if the glands are functioning properly or if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is often a multi-layered issue requiring customized diagnosis and treatment plans. Treatment includes identifying and addressing other health and lifestyle factors that could be putting undue stress on your adrenal glands. However, as a good practice, it is first best to maintain proper diet, adequate exercise and a healthy sleeping pattern to ensure your body is receiving the nutrients and rest it needs to function properly and feel its best.
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by Dr. David Minkoff
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