Adrenal fatigue is a collection of symptoms which indicate your adrenals are functioning below normal levels. The most common cause of adrenal fatigue is prolonged periods of stress. Anyone who is under constant stress can be susceptible to adrenal fatigue. This stress may come from work demands, family commitments, emotional distress, physical stress, or a combination of all of them.
Our bodies respond to stress, whether emotional or physical, in the same way. Hormones like cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine are good and useful when produced in small amounts. However, if your body is constantly under stress and must continue to produce high amounts of these hormones to keep up with the stressor signals it is receiving, then your adrenals can become exhausted and burn out.
If this goes on long enough, your body will become exhausted and it will force you to take downtime because it can’t keep up.
Common Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Fatigue and weakness, especially in the morning and afternoon
- A suppressed immune system
- Increased allergies
- Muscle and bone loss and muscular weakness
- Cravings for foods high in salt, sugar or fat
- Hormonal imbalance
- Skin problems
- Autoimmune disorders
- Increased PMS or menopausal symptoms
- Low sex drive
- Lightheadedness when getting up from sitting or lying down
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- Trouble waking up in the morning, despite a full night’s sleep
- Poor memory or “Brain Fog”
- Needing to be on coffee or some sort of stimulant to keep you awake
How do I know if I have adrenal fatigue?
Testing for adrenal fatigue is simple but requires several samples throughout the day. Either blood or saliva can be used, and they should be tested at 8:00 am, 12:00 pm, 4:00 pm and 8:00-9:00 pm. This allows the doctor to have a good understanding of what is going on with your adrenals and the best way to support them back to optimal health.
Once the test is complete, our office will send the results to our lab. We should have the results back in just a couple of days. We might also want to test your thyroid function and hormones to get a better understanding of how your body is functioning.
Treatments for adrenal fatigue
If you are diagnosed with adrenal fatigue, there are many different treatments we can consider including botanical medications, glandulars, intravenous nutrients, diets, and/or natural hormone replacement. It depends on the severity of your adrenal fatigue, and results will vary from person to person. It can take anywhere from six months to two years for full recovery.