How do I know I have it?
Here is a list of common symptoms of adrenal Fatigue:
- Feeling “Burnt Out”
- Wake at 3 A.M. and can’t get back to sleep
- Dark circles or “bags” under the eyes
- Trouble losing weight
- Blood pressure/sugar problems
These symptoms and more can be directly attributed to adrenal problems and adrenal fatigue.
What are Adrenals?
The adrenals , or adrenal glands are small endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. They are about the size of walnuts. Small in comparison to the amount of work they are doing. They are responsible for the production of cortisol. Cortisol output is necessary when there is stress. This is the stress hormone. A Fire, the boss is yelling at you, a child is about to be involved in an accident, caught in rush hour traffic and you need to be somewhere, these are when you are in an adrenaline rush.
The adrenals are directly involved in these types of situations. Today’s lifestyle means that we are almost always in an adrenaline rush. The glands were not designed for this type of ongoing work. We start with the “alarm phase”. This is when cortisol output increases, causing more blood to flow to the heart, muscles and lungs. This increases blood sugar as well and we get a heightened mental alertness and vigilance. This is a normal response and the body goes back to its initial state in due time.
The second phase, is when the body tries to maintain the original alarm reaction to an ongoing stressor. Cortisol output stays elevated for a prolonged period and you start to feel “wired, but tired”, anxiety and /or depression, heart palpitations, weight gain, digestive issues, fertility and hormonal problems, insomnia, sweating, elevated blood sugar. Situations such as work stress, marital discord, a family always on the go, even excessive physical activities fall into this category. We feel great as the body is always on fire but crash and burn when we are able to rest. The ongoing state of this can actually lead to the next stage, called “Exhaustion”. This is when the glands “burn out”. They can no longer produce the same level of cortisol to maintain the stress response. This is known as adrenal fatigue. The glands have essentially shrunk to prunes. Now extreme fatigue, memory issues, allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, autoimmune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid, etc) set in, trouble losing weight, chronic infections, allergies, etc. The worst case is developing a bubble of fat on the back below the neck between the shoulders. Many people are dealing with this type of condition and don’t know how to address it other than medications to treat the above mentioned conditions.
First and foremost a good B complex is necessary, one that will deal with the alarm phase before it gets to the next stages. This allows the body to deal with the stresses without taxing the adrenals. That is why supplementation is necessary for dealing with this type of lifestyle. It allows for the fire to be put out, before it rages. A multivitamin does not have enough to B’s to compensate for this. The B’s in the multi will have been used before the day has gotten off and running. What about the rest of the day?
If one is already at the second phase and dealing with constant stress, more B’s are needed ongoing and a stress support product is necessary. There are many to choose from. Combination and singular herbs can sometimes be the answer to start quenching the fire that has spread.
At the exhaustion phase, one needs a true adrenal support product that will now be necessary for a while to get the gland “pumped up” or rejuvenated, along with the above protocol. As you can read, if you take care of the stresses initially one does not need a boatload of help. When the ship is sinking, a lot more work and money is necessary.
If you have questions about your situation or want to try helping to put out that tired feeling, come in and talk to one of us. We can help you put out the fires that have been raging and get you feeling like your old self. Unfortunately we will not answer questions or make recommendations over the phone or email.