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Is Adrenal Fatigue Real?

Is Adrenal Fatigue Real?

Adrenal fatigue is not recognized by most medical professionals until the point when your adrenals are overworked and stop working. At that stage, the official diagnoses of “Adrenal Insufficiency” or “Addison’s Disease” may apply.  In fact, there are no medically accepted blood tests for adrenal fatigue.

We know that stress can have a huge impact on our health and wellness. And, since your adrenal glands produce stress hormones, adrenal fatigue (or “HPA Axis Dysregulation,”) is a popular theme lately.

So, what are adrenals anyways?

Your adrenal glands live on top of both of your kidneys. These important glands produce many hormones, including stress hormones.

But what happens when they become “overworked?”

You’ve heard of “adrenaline junkies,” right?

Adrenaline and cortisol are the stress hormones that give you the commonly known adrenaline rush; when you’re totally alert and living in the moment. This feeling is known as your body’s “fight or flight” response.

Some people (perhaps you?) just love that intense feeling.

The release of hormones in the fight or flight response is your body’s normal reaction to stress.  Stress can sometimes be positive, like when it helps you swerve and prevent a crash.

After a short time, the flight or flight response dissipates, your body goes back to normal, and all is good.

But what would happen if you felt ongoing, never ending stress?

It wouldn’t feel like an awesome (once-in-a-while) “rush,” anymore would it?

And what do you think happens to your poor adrenal glands when they’re constantly working?

They’d get overworked, right?

Do I have adrenal fatigue?

When your adrenal glands are overworked by continuously secreting stress hormones in response to stress, you can start getting other symptoms.

Symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping, mood swings, weight loss or gain, joint pain, sugar cravings, even frequent infections like colds and the flu are signs that your adrenals are overworked.

However, if you do have symptoms, you should see your doctor to rule out other conditions. He or she may even be open to discussing adrenal fatigue, or at the very least, wellness strategies that can help to reduce your stress (and symptoms).

What to do if I have these symptoms?

There are many actions you can take to reduce your stress and improve your health and energy levels.

Ideally, if you think stress is starting to burn you out, stress reduction is key. There are tons of ideas how you can reduce your stress. My favourites are journaling, walking, more sleep, or taking a bath.

Of course, I also recommend working with me one-on-one to develop a meal plan that eliminates sugar and processed foods in your diet and replaces it with nutrition-dense foods. Better nutrition can only help your body.

Conclusion

Your adrenal glands produce hormones in response to stress. After long-term daily stress, they may get overworked.

Adrenal fatigue is a controversial disease that doesn’t have a true diagnostic test, nor specific telltale symptoms.

The most important thing you can do is to get tested with to rule out other potential conditions. You can also try stress reduction techniques like walking, journaling, sleeping more, or even a lovely bath.

Stress-reducing Lavender Bath

Per bath

  • 2 cups Epsom salts
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

Instructions:

  1. As you’re running your warm bath water, add ingredients to the tub. Mix until dissolved
  2. Enjoy your stress-reducing bath!

Tip: You can add a tablespoon of dried lavender flowers.

CLICK HERE to read about health benefits of Epsom salts.

In Health,

Dr. Anna ND

References

  1. Demystifying Adrenal Fatigue, Pt. 1: What Is Adrenal Fatigue? https://www.thepaleomom.com/adrenal-fatigue-pt-1/
  2. Is Adrenal Fatigue Actually Real? A Sales-Free Look at Symptoms and Treatment. https://www.dietvsdisease.org/adrenal-fatigue-real/