What is Adrenal Fatigue?
- Are you finding it difficult to deal with stress?
- Are you exhausted?
- Do you feel depressed?
- Do you feel weak?
- Could you be in a state of "Burn Out"?
Our Adrenal glands are responsible for producing the hormone Cortisol. The main role of Cortisol is to enable us to handle the stress and maintain our immume system, If we are exposed to prolonged stress, the adrenal glands struggle to meet the high demands of cortisol production and this may eventually lead to "adrenal fatigue".
The onset of adrenal fatigue often occurs because of prolonged exposure to different issues like financial pressures, emotional stress, smoking, drugs, poor eating habits and several other stressful factors. After experiencing many of these events over a long period of time, the adrenal glands may start to produce less cortisol.
Patients with Adrenal Fatigue have a distinct energy pattern
- Feeling very fatigued in the morning
- Start to feel more functional after a noon meal
- Feel low again during the afternoon, generally around 2-4pm
- May start to feel better after 6pm, however, usually tired after 9pm and in bed by 11pm
- Work's best late at night or early in the morning
Take the Adrenal Fatigue Quiz
- Tired for no reason?
- Having trouble getting up in the morning?
- Need coffee, energy drinks, salty or sweet snacks to keep going?
- Feeling run down and stressed?
- Crave salty or sweet snacks?
- Struggling to keep up with life's daily demands?
- Can't bounce back from stress or illness?
- Not having fun anymore?
- Decreased sex drive?
"One person may withstand a stress more easily and be ready for more, but another person, or that same person at another time, may find the same stress overwhelming and impossible to bear. It is important to understand the onset and continuation of adrenal fatigue has great individual variation." Dr James L. Wilson
Examples of lifestyle factors that may contribute to adrenal fatigue:
(Most of these are within your control)
- Lack of Sleep
- Poor food choices (white flour, low fibre, sugar, few vegetables or fruit, lack of raw food, etc.)
- Using sweet of salty food and sweetened or caffeinated drinks as stimulants when tired
- Staying up late even though tired
- Feeling/acting powerless
- Constantly driving yourself
- Trying to be perfect
- Not enough enjoyable and rejuvenating activities
How can we test for Adrenal Fatigue?
The cortisol saliva test measures the levels of cortisol and provides an evaluation of how cortisiol levels differ throughout the day. The test involces simply spitting into a test tube. The saliva cortisol is measured four times during one day - in the morning (8am), midday, late afternoon (4pm) and night (best between 8pm and midnight)
Examples of life events that may help precipitate Adrenal Fatigue:
- Unrelieved pressure or frequent crises at work and/or home.
- Severe emotional trauma (death of someone close, divorce, etc)
- Major surgery with slow recovery
- Prolonged or repeated respiratory infections
- Serious burns - including severe sunburn
- Head trauma
- Loss of stable job
- Sudden change in financial status
- Relocation without support of friends or family
- Repeated or overwhelming chemical exposure (Including drug and alcohol abuse).
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