Tired of Being Tired? Do You Have Adrenal Fatigue?
UNDERSTANDING THE ADRENAL GLANDS
We all know that stress can have a debilitating effect on your body’s energy level. But did you know that stress could cause a condition called adrenal dysfunction? Not many people understand how adrenal dysfunction works, much less how to combat its tendency to rob your body- and mind- of the vitality that is essential to your wellbeing.
Adrenal fatigue, also known as hypoadrenia, can be hard to diagnose, but its effects are very real. Its symptoms often worsen over time, starting with just a general sense of being tired as our stress levels increase. However, if undetected and left untreated, adrenal dysfunction can result in other symptoms, which might include:
- Reduced memory
- Difficulty concentrating
- Frequent bouts of influenza
- An inability to lose weight despite an intensive effort
The body’s ability to effectively deal with stress is one of the keys to survival. Aside from producing adrenaline, a key component in our body’s fight or flight mechanism, author Dr. John R. Lee believes our adrenal glands also function as the sugar, salt, and sex glands, so to speak. The adrenal glands secrete three specific hormones: cortisol (sugar), aldosterone (salt) and Dehydroepiandrosterone, commonly known as DHEA (sex). Realize there are two distinct ends of the adrenal fatigue spectrum: Secreting too much cortisol results in a condition called Cushing’s Syndrome; secreting too little cortisol, when the adrenal glands actually fail, which is known as Addison’s disease.
The function of the Adrenal Glands
When the functions of the adrenal glands are weakened or stopped by stressors such as uncontrolled anger, chronic illness, excessive exercise, low blood sugar, excessive use of sugar or caffeine or prolonged sleep deprivation, the body no longer deals with stress in an effective manner. unfortunately, adrenal fatigue often goes undiagnosed until it is actually too late and patients find themselves in the beginning stage of adrenal failure. Part of the problem is the traditional medicine has not yet dedicated a diagnosis code to this disorder.
Manage Adrenal Fatigue
So what can be done to halt the effects of adrenal disease? It is easy to say, “Relax, rest and learn to manage stress.” However, recovering from adrenal fatigue may require a combination of healthy eating, moderate exercise, dietary supplements, and bio-identical hormone therapy. As far as the exercise routine, author James Wilson recommends exercises that increase lung capacity, muscle tone, and flexibility. My own recommendation would be following a monitored program of moderate aerobic activity, weight training, and yoga.
As with any condition, a certain amount of discipline is required to make the changes necessary to restore your body back to good health. By incorporating the above therapies and treatments, patients will be able to reduce and reverse the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Once this happens,
you will begin to notice an increase in your wellbeing and vitality as well as a corresponding decrease in your symptoms. Recovery times can be anywhere from six months to two years, depending on the severity of your adrenal fatigue.
Traditional health care providers are slow to recognize or even diagnose adrenal fatigue, mainly because the lab tests used to evaluate adrenal function cannot necessarily be used to diagnose adrenal fatigue. As studies increase and patient experiences are recorded, awareness increases
daily. So if you find yourself suffering from continuing fatigue related to stress, don’t allow yourself to be satisfied with a prescription of rest and relaxation. The cause of your fatigue might be more serious than an inability to cope with the pressures of daily living.
Successfully treating adrenal fatigue is very much like filling up the gas tank in your car. You can choose to run on fumes, but you will not get very far, and eventually, an empty tank will stop your progress completely. A full tank gets you to your destination without worry. By restoring adrenal function, you can go the distance in life with energy and vitality.