Are you feeling tired for no reason? Do you need coffee and energy drinks to keep going? Do you have trouble sleeping? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. This condition affects over 80 percent of people at some point in their lives. The lifestyle experienced by our ancestors no longer exists. The way we live has changed, but our bodies haven’t.
What Are the Adrenal Glands?
When your adrenal glands fail to keep pace with the stress in your life, adrenal fatigue may occur. These small triangular glands are located on the top of your kidneys. They produce estrogen, testosterone, adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones. These chemicals control your immune system and affect the way your body responds to stress.
What Is Cortisol?
When you’re under stress, the adrenal glands release cortisol to increase your pain threshold and energize the body. When stress lasts for several weeks or months, your body gets flooded with adrenaline and cortisol. As a result, you will gain abdominal fat and feel hungry all the time. High cortisol may cause intense cravings for sugar or salt, binge eating, insomnia, memory problems and low blood sugar levels.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
If stress continues for a long time, the adrenal glands become depleted. You will experience mental fatigue, body aches, and low energy levels. Over time, this can lead to severe health problems, including depression, anxiety, autoimmune disorders, low libido, and hormonal imbalances.
Intense stress may cause overstimulation of the adrenal glands. Women are particularly affected by chronic stress. They usually have a full or part time job, take care of children, and do most of the household chores. Combine these competing responsibilities with an unbalanced diet, hormonal imbalances, and poor sleep – all of these are risk factors for adrenal fatigue.
What Can You Do About It?
Making small lifestyle changes can help you overcome stress and keep your adrenal glands healthy. An evaluation of adrenal function is necessary to understand the type and severity of adrenal problems. After confirming a diagnosis, a healing program is started. This consists of vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, hormone treatments and lifestyle counseling. Treating adrenal fatigue increases energy, health and enjoyment in life.