Adrenal Fatigue Overview
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that weakens the adrenal glands due to stresses on the body. It’s important to understand, people can have adrenal fatigue separate from Hypothyroidism. However it is quite common for patients to have both Adrenal Fatigue and Hypothyroidism.
According to Natural Thyroid Treatment, of the millions of people who are diagnosed with thyroid conditions, many of these people also develop adrenal fatigue. If a healthcare professional aims their treatment directly at the thyroid gland and ignores the adrenals, there is absolutely no chance of restoring the patient’s health back to normal.
Basics Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands cannot adequately meet the demands of stress.* The adrenal glands mobilize the body’s responses to every kind of stress (physical, emotional, and psychological) through hormones that regulate energy production and storage, immune function, heart rate, muscle tone, and other processes that enable you to cope with the stress.
Whether you have an emotional crisis such as the death of a loved one, a physical crisis such as major surgery, or any type of severe repeated or constant stress in your life, your adrenals have to respond to the stress and maintain homeostasis. If their response is inadequate, you are likely to experience some degree of adrenal fatigue.*
During adrenal fatigue your adrenal glands function, but not well enough to maintain optimal homeostasis because their output of regulatory hormones has been diminished – usually by over-stimulation.* Over-stimulation of your adrenals can be caused either by a very intense single stress, or by chronic or repeated stresses that have a cumulative effect.*
- Stressful relationships, stressful work, financial stress, or traumatic events
- Major surgery
- Long-term malnutrition or poor eating
- Drug addition
- Long exposure to toxic chemicals or pollutants
- Recurring disease, infection or illness
Basic Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Natural Thyroid Treatment explains there are many different symptoms people can experience with adrenal fatigue, but here are the more common symptoms:
- Extremely tired, especially in the morning
- Find it difficult to obtain quality sleep
- Crave sweet and salty foods
- Feel stressed out most of the time
- Decreased sex drive
- Low blood pressure (light headedness)
- Loss of body hair
- Needing stimulants or high doses of caffeine
How Stress Affects Adrenals
The adrenals are what handle the Fight or Flight” response in the body. Meaning, we experience stress, adrenaline kicks in and gives our body an energy boost. As cave women, it was great for fighting the occasional tiger (or running from said tiger) which we only had to do on occasion. But in the modern world we can experience stress every day from work, family stress, financial stress, poor diets, sickness, chronic illness or disease which means continually draining the adrenal system. When we are sick with a condition like Hypothyroidism, our bodies are continually draining the adrenals. Many people who have hypothyroidism also find they have adrenal fatigue.
We risk burning out the adrenals, resulting in a “crash”. You know that feeling, for example, after a big family holiday ends you just want to lie on the couch for days? Or you’ve finished a big work deadline and either you get sick, or simply can’t do anything for a few days? That’s the adrenal crash from stress. When you say “you burned yourself out” that’s totally true! You did. You fought that tiger, and you won, sister! But now you’re paying.
Adrenal Fatigue Can Be Missed
Although adrenal fatigue affects millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, conventional medicine does not yet recognize it as a distinct syndrome. According to AdrenalFatigue.org, Adrenal Fatigue has been known by many other names, such as non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, sub-clinical hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, adrenal neurasthenia, and adrenal apathy.
Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc with a person’s life. In more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that people may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day.
As the adrenals become more tired, every organ and system in the body is increasingly affected. Changes occur in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. The body does its best to make up for under-functioning adrenal glands, but it does so at a price.
Learn more at According to AdrenalFatigue.org, or read Dr. Wilson’s book, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome.
Can people experiencing adrenal fatigue heal and feel good?
According to AdrenalFatigue.org, YES. In my own experience, and reports from other patients, YES. It is possible to heal weak adrenals and feel healthy again.