Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep. You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to get through the day.
Adrenal fatigue can wreak havoc with your life. In the more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is more profoundly affected. Changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to and to compensate for the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue. Your body does its best to make up for under-functioning adrenal glands, but it does so at a price.
Adrenal fatigue is produced when your adrenal glands cannot adequately meet the demands of stress. The adrenal glands mobilize your body’s responses to every kind of stress, whether it’s physical, emotional, or psychological. 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.
You may be experiencing adrenal fatigue if you regularly notice one or more of the following:
You feel tired for no reason. You have trouble getting up in the morning, even when you go to bed at a reasonable hour. You are feeling rundown or overwhelmed. You have difficulty bouncing back from stress or illness. You crave salty and sweet snacks. You feel more awake, alert and energetic after 6PM than you do all day.
Can people experiencing adrenal fatigue feel their best again? Yes, with proper care most people experiencing adrenal fatigue can expect to feel good again.
For detailed information about how you can help support your adrenal glands, promote healthy adrenal function and maintain your health during stressful times, please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com