Are your Adrenals Fatigued, or are you?
Adrenal Fatigue, Insufficiency, Exhaustion… oh my!
If you’ve ever scoured health blogs, or talked to someone who has, you’ve probably heard of Adrenal Fatigue. Feeling exhausted, unable to recover, or stressed out are usually what people refer to when they use the term. Stick with me here because I want to clear a few things up: The thing is… Adrenal Fatigue isn’t a medical diagnosis, and the closest thing to a diagnosis would be Adrenal Insufficiency. Adrenal Insufficiency is when your adrenal glands don’t sufficiently produce the hormones that they’re supposed to; it’s rare and can be measured by a blood test that your doctor can perform. So what’s this Adrenal Fatigue business then?
The Gland’s Plan: What are Adrenal Glands and What do Adrenal Glands do?
Your adrenal glands are like two little hats that sit on top of your kidneys, and are responsible for regulating blood pressure, water balance, blood sugar, and muscle growth/function. It does this by producing hormones for your body like Aldosterone, Cortisol, DHEA, even Testosterone. Pretty easy to guess how important these little glands are to your well-being, daily functioning, and even performance. Keeping these things functioning well and balanced is important. When your adrenal glands are out of balance, the following symptoms may occur:
- Low energy, especially on waking and mid-afternoon. In extreme cases, it may be constant.
- Brain fog or difficulty focusing.
- Cravings for sweets or salt, especially mid-afternoon or before bed.
- Low blood pressure and dizziness, especially when standing up.
- Weakened immune system or signs of inflammation
- Difficulty handling stress.
- Low blood sugar (shakiness, irritability, if don’t eat frequently)
Now, looking at that list, who hasn’t experienced some– if not all– of these symptoms during periods of prolonged stress… or heck, maybe even most of the time. That doesn’t mean that your hormones are failing you, and lots of this can be chalked up to exhaustion, poor nutrition, improper sleep, or lack of recovery. It’s safe to say that you don’t have to have a measurable hormonal imbalance to suffer from the effects of stress.
Enter Adrenal Fatigue: What is Adrenal Fatigue?
So if you’re exhausted from stress or pressure, or constant work/grinding, have been hitting the junk food too much, can’t find the energy to start exercising and eating better, you’re not alone; it’s useful to call that state something general. Colloquial use of the term “Adrenal Fatigue” gives us a convenient collection of symptoms, with a common cause, to treat. Whether those hormones are sub-clinically affected or not, some good ol’ Naturopathic care can go a long way: specific vitamins, minerals, herbal adaptogens, some counselling and support can go a long way in reducing the stress response and getting your system closer to recovery.
Book an appointment if you need some help. We’ve got everything from stress management to a quick Adrenal Shot that can give you the foothold you need to feel better!
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