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Is Adrenal Fatigue Real? – Everything You Need to Know

adrenal fatigue

Do feel like you are constantly tired all of the time even though you get plenty of sleep every night? Do you often crave food that is salty in nature? Perhaps you have been to see a doctor or several doctors who constantly confirm that there is nothing at all wrong with you. If you see a naturopathic or a non-mainstream medical doctor, they may suggest to you that you have something known as adrenal fatigue. However, most traditional doctors don’t believe this to be a real condition.

What Exactly is Adrenal Fatigue?

The term ‘adrenal fatigue’ first came about in the year 1998 by James Wilson – a doctor, naturopath, and expert in the field of alternative medicines. He describes this condition as a solid group of signs and symptoms that are all related in nature. These symptoms are all thought to come about as a result of the adrenal glands functioning below the appropriate level. He explains that this condition is often associated with intense levels of stress, and it often follows some chronic conditions such as pneumonia, flu, and bronchitis.

He also explains that people who may have this condition might not have any physical signs or symptoms of illness. However, they may still feel down and tired and will often have intense levels of fatigue that doesn’t go away no matter how much sleep they get. People with this condition are also known to crave salty snacks.

Dr Ruscio, an expert in the field of natural medicine, clinical researcher, and the author provides some information on the adrenal fatigue symptoms and some of the things to look out for that may suggest you might be suffering from this condition. Check out his blog on adrenal fatigue symptoms for an in-depth explanation.

What Is The Job of The Adrenal Glands?

Your adrenal glands are very important for your overall health and well-being. These glands produce certain types of hormones that help your body to do all of the following:

  • Regulate sugar and inflammation
  • Distribute proteins and fats
  • Promote proper cardiovascular functioning
  • React to stressors

If your adrenal glands fail to produce enough of the appropriate hormones, this can lead to a range of negative symptoms and health issues.

How Does Adrenal Fatigue Happen?

Your immune system responds to stress by kicking in and working hard when it notices higher stress levels. Your adrenal glands are a part of this process, and these are small organs located above the kidneys. The adrenal glands respond to stress by releasing certain hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones are part of the body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ system, and they increase your heart rate and your blood pressure in times of stress.

According to various theories, if you experience high-stress levels over a long period, your adrenal glands will eventually burn out from the long-term production of the hormone cortisol. This is where adrenal fatigue is thought to kick in and the symptoms are likely to appear.

There is no approved test to prove that adrenal fatigue is real and there is no way to diagnose this condition. A blood test can’t detect small drops in your adrenal production so there is no way of proving this theory.

There are several suggested treatments for promoting healthy adrenal functions. These include a diet that is low in sugar, junk foods, and caffeine. Plus, a targeted nutritional supplementation is advised, which includes the following minerals and vitamins:

Can Adrenal Fatigue Be Classed As a Real Condition?

Is Adrenal Fatigue Real? – Everything You Need to Know

There is no scientific evidence to back up the adrenal fatigue theory. The world’s largest organization of endocrinologists – The Endocrine Society -say that adrenal fatigue is not considered to be a real disease. The people in The Endocrine Society research and treat patients who have problems with their hormones and glands. Professional endocrinologists suggest that the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are just too general and that they can apply to many different types of diseases or conditions. Some of these conditions include sleep apnea, depression, hypothyroidism, and fibromyalgia. They suggest that many of these symptoms simply stem from everyday life so can’t simply be put down to adrenal fatigue.

The leaders of the Endocrine Society also warn that some of the common treatments for this condition can actually be quite dangerous. Improving your diet will almost always make you feel much better in your general health, no matter what types of conditions or diseases you may have. However, taking supplements to help with the production of extra cortisol can be dangerous. If you don’t need this extra cortisol, this can cause your adrenal glands to fail, which can be very dangerous.

What Are the Main Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?

There are several common symptoms of adrenal fatigue. These can include the following:

  • Poor responses to stress
  • Poor mood regulations
  • Fatigue, particularly after waking up
  • Intermittent crashes in your energy throughout the day
  • Cognitive issues or memory problems
  • A compromised immune system
  • Increased energy levels later at night
  • Overuse of certain stimulants such as caffeine
  • Craving salty foods

Some of the less common signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue include the following:

  • Poor circulation
  • Insomnia
  • More frequent urination
  • Reduced muscle tone
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • A decrease in libido

Could the Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue Mean Something Else?

There are many different things that could be linked to these types of symptoms. Symptoms such as feeling tired, sleeping for long periods, and lacking energy could also all be signs of depression. Depression is the most common cause of these types of symptoms.

These symptoms may also be closely linked to various other conditions such as sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, and several other diseases.

What Is Adrenal Insufficiency?

Adrenal insufficiency is recognized by doctors around the world and this condition can be diagnosed. There are two different types of adrenal insufficiency and both of them are caused by problems with the adrenal glands, which results in them not producing enough of the cortisol hormone.

Symptoms of both types of adrenal insufficiency include weight loss, loss of appetite, fatigue, muscle weakness, and stomach pains. You may also experience symptoms of low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, depression, diarrhea, and skin darkening.

Adrenal insufficiency can be diagnosed by your doctor via a blood test. The blood test will determine if your cortisol levels are normal or if they are too low. If your cortisol levels are too low, this will determine the adrenal insufficiency diagnosis. If you do have it, you will need to take hormone replacement drugs.

Know when its time to get help

If you believe you may have adrenal fatigue, a balanced diet is highly recommended. This may be helpful in increasing your energy levels and regulating your blood pressure. A well-balanced, healthy diet can do wonders for your health, and you’ll definitely notice a difference in the way that you feel.

For the best results, combine a healthy diet with some other lifestyle changes such as managing your stress levels, establishing a healthy sleep schedule, and getting plenty of exercise each day. You should always speak to your doctor before making any big changes to your diet or eating habits. If you continue to experience symptoms after making some lifestyle changes, consider speaking to your doctor for some advice on the steps that you can take to relieve your symptoms.

Although many doctors don’t believe in the adrenal fatigue theory, they are ultimately there to help you and should be able to give you some advice or supplements to help improve your symptoms.

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