Feeling a little slow moving even though we just got out of bed after adequate hours of sleep. Stresses and lifestyle changes and the body still has not caught up with you yet? Feeling fuzzy, cold, headaches and just cannot seem to concentrate at all? You just could be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
Your adrenal glands are a vital part of life as they help you handle all kinds of stress. They are part of the endocrine system and play an essential role in our health.
These glands sit above the kidneys where they have that vital role in the body. They produce over 50 hormones that are required for life. These hormones include adrenaline, progesterone and cortisol. The adrenal glands are responsible for numerous functions we need to live and maintain health.
What exactly is adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue is a medical condition in which the adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones required for the body to function. When they produce less than adequate amounts of hormones leading to alterations in the body’s carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system and even your sex drive. This imbalance means that the general everyday stresses of life become overpowering and sends the person to total complete and outright exhaustion. No matter how much sleep or rest a person gets they are still utterly exhausted.
Adrenal fatigue use to be noted as a rare condition and now it is very common. Lack of relaxation, poor diets, lack of sleep and even allergies can all contribute to fatigue. There are no seen symptoms of this disease. It is a very devastating condition for those who endure it. Persons who have this illness may appear healthy on the outside but feel as if they are just slipping away from life.
Causes of adrenal fatigue
The primary cause is constant. Ongoing unresolved stress. This stress can be from many different causes like emotional, poor diet, emotional trauma, over-exercise, working to hard, improper rest, or stimulants such as coffee, tea, narcotics and even infections.
The body’s reaction is the same whether it be real or imagined threats. For example, constant worrying over a relationship ending can cause the same overworking of the adrenals and suppression of the immune system as if the relationship did actually come to an end. Your thoughts do have an extreme influence over your adrenal health and well-being.
When the brain evaluates an occurrence as a threat like stress, the adrenals start working. They alert the nervous system to get ready for a battle or flee. Even when the incident is all over the body is still fighting. When the body remains in a fighting position for a long time period, the body’s reserves become diminished causing the adrenals and immune system to weaken.
In the beginning stages of fatigue, your body produces an overabundance of cortisol to handle the continual battle which was brought on by stress. These high levels of cortisol can result in conditions that include obesity, increased blood pressure, and changed brain chemistry causing depression, anxiety and even osteoporosis. If you do not attend to the stress, your adrenals will in the long run become so tired that they cannot produce the proper amount of cortisol or other hormones required to maintain normal functioning.
Adrenal fatigue can turn chronic, so it is vital to listen to your body to keep it from happening.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Constantly feeling cold
- Chronic low-grade infections
- Decreased sex drive
- Night Sweats
- Environmental sensitivities
- Not being able to focus or concentrate
- Increased allergies
- Light Headed
- Low back pain in kidney area or sacrum
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
You can check yourself for adrenal fatigue with the three following tests:
Blood Pressure Test: You will need a home blood pressure kit. While sitting down check your blood pressure. Then quickly stand up and take pressure again. Your first number (systolic) should have raised 8 to 10 mm. If it dropped you could have adrenal fatigue.
Pupil Dilation Exam: You will need a flashlight and mirror. While looking into the mirror shine the flashlight into the pupil of the eye. It should contract. If after thirty seconds it is the same or worse, dilates, you could have adrenal fatigue.
Pain: When pressing on the adrenal glands(over the kidneys).
There are easy treatments that you can do yourself such as:
- Sleep till 9 a.m., when it is possible.
- Lay down during work breaks suggested is 10 a.m., and again between three and five pm.
- Minimize stress
- Eat regular meals.
Since medical therapies do not exist for this illness many persons turn to alternative treatments. Listed are some of the holistic treatment alternatives.
- Rhodiola Rosea: Heightens memory and concentration. Studies have shown it decreases stress induced fatigue.
- Ashwagandha: It produces a sedative effect on the body and restores digestive and nervous system.
- Siberian Ginseng: It stimulates and provides nourishment to the adrenal glands and increases mental awareness.
- Cordyceps: Chinese mushroom it provides support to the adrenal gland and normalizes immune function and gives support to the kidney, lung, liver, nervous system and cardiovascular function.
- Licorice root extract to be added to your daily dietary consumption.
- Sea salt in your food instead of regular salt
The following supplements have been known to work :
- Pantothenic Acid
- Ascorbic Acid
- Vitamins A, C, E, B6
Thoracic nerves control and support the function of the adrenal glands. If there is a spinal misalignment at these levels, especially the T-10 level, it will produce interference in these nerve pathways which results in below-standard adrenal function. Spinal adjustments will remove the subluxation and allow the adrenal gland to function more properly. The glands become stimulated and strengthened.
Acupuncture can deliver promising results. In Chinese medicine adrenal fatigue is referred to as weak kidney chi. The adrenal glands which are positioned on top of the kidney are the reason for the energy being related to the kidneys. Acupuncture removes the blockage so the flow of energy can be restored.
Acupuncturists usually recommend that when the kidney flow is low to avoid cold and raw foods. Treatments usually are suggested for about three weeks and how many times each week is decided by the acupuncturist.
Massage therapy can aid in regulating the hormones and calm down the nervous system in order to reduce stress levels. Massage can also elevate depression making it possible to sleep through the night. Massage also decreases the stress hormones in the bloodstream.
Massages of shiatsu, Thai, Swedish and Esalen are recommended for this condition.