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How Adrenal Fatigue Mimics Illness

Chronic adrenal fatigue is a real condition affecting millions of people around the world. Because the way in which each person handles stress varies so widely it is often overlook or misdiagnosed and therefore treated insufficiently.

This condition is often associated with prolonged or intense stress brought on by the tribulations of modern living or an event or illness that is mentally and physically taxing. The difficulty in recognizing and diagnosing this type of disorder is that we often associate the symptoms of adrenal fatigue as “normal” in modern living because many people have become accustomed to being overworked and exhausted. Add into the mix a lack of understanding and information regarding the effects of hormonal imbalance and your immune response. We need to do better at recognizing what healthy and balanced is, and compare all else.

The dominating symptom is fatigue – a fatigue that cannot be relieved by prolonged rest or even sufficient amounts of sleep. Many individuals often manage what may be interpreted as a “normal” life with adrenal fatigue. However, a poorly functioning adrenal system leads to an imbalance of hormones that impact immune function, sleep, mood and energy levels.

The adrenals sit on top of the kidneys and are responsible for the release of several hormones and neurotransmitters like cortisol, adrenaline, and estrogen, to name a few. You can imagine how having an imbalance of estrogen or progesterone may effect a woman trying to conceive or manage her menstrual cycles, yet this is just one area of life which can be negatively impacted by a decrease in adrenal function. Immune suppression and mental health are major factors in adrenal fatigue. Again these are often overlooked as being associated with the adrenals because we, as a society, attribute many of these dysfunctions as “just part of life.”

These are other common symptoms of adrenal fatigue which you may relate to: irregular blood sugar levels, joint and muscle pain (fibromyalgia-like symptoms), indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, depression, mood swings, brain fog and memory loss, anxiety, thyroid disorders, and hair loss.

The best way to determine if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue is to have your cortisol and other hormones tested. This is the first step in regaining adrenal health, and in turn regaining that energy and vitality in life which may seem gone forever.

Next it’s crucial to have proper nutrition. If your diet is high in sugars, caffeine, and processed carbohydrates, you are increasing the cortisol levels in your body which robs you of your energy. So imagine this downward spiral that so many people get stuck: your exhausted and rely on caffeinated (typically sugar drinks) which increases the release of cortisol which further exhausts the adrenals which makes you more tired. This is a very common and very detrimental cycle.

Eating a diet which is low in sugar and processed carbohydrates, along with plenty of water and quality nutritional supplementation to support the adrenal function is crucial in regaining adrenal health, and essentially overall health.

So much can be done to heal the adrenals by changing your diet and taking supplements specific to your needs. The only way to determine what those needs really are is by seeing a healthcare practitioner who is educated in nutrition and supplementation.

Contact our office here if you think you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Being exhausted and suffering from hormonal imbalances is not a normal part of life, you can feel better and live a more optimal life!