You wake up tired and go to bed tired, regardless of how much of rest that you managed to get. You have developed a dependency on stimulants to jolt you through the day, and emotional situations tend to scare the living daylights out of you. If this scenario sounds remotely familiar, perhaps it’s time you understand what is adrenal fatigue – you could very well have this condition.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue occurs as a result of the malfunction of the adrenal glands. Your adrenal glands are responsible for one of the most critical functions in your body, which is managing stress – essential for health and well-being.
An unhealthy diet coupled with stressful situations and lugging around emotional baggage has a tendency to prompt the adrenal glands to manufacture high levels of cortisol and adrenaline. A perpetual need for the adrenal glands to maintain very high cortisol levels, eventually deteriorates the glands’ sensitivity and responsiveness.
Your stress levels tend to linger and escalate because your body’s short-term response to stress has been compromised. Your body has two adrenal glands which are situated above each of your kidneys; those glands are a part of the endocrine system and they secrete more than 50 hormones. The adrenal glands lose the ability to optimally balance as well as produce those hormones (DHEA, progesterone, testosterone, etc.) which are pertinent to good health and well-being.
Virtually anybody has the potential to succumb to adrenal fatigue at some time or another. For athletes, in any sport, it is even less ideal to suffer from it. Even if you are a hale and hearty individual, you are not exempted from this condition. If you are often faced with adversity or even previously went through a traumatic experience, then you could develop a condition of adrenal fatigue. Those who are most susceptible are individuals who make poor lifestyle choices (practice poor nutrition and don’t exercise enough). Those with chronic ailments or repeated infections, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, could very well be exposed to adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that needs to be recognised and not taken lightly. It is important to recognise these symptoms because your body is actually telling you that it desperately needs more support.
In many instances, sufferers find themselves falling into a slump as a result. It becomes progressively harder to get out of bed and you often feel fatigued. Many have to resort to drinking coffee, colas and even energy drinks for a pep, but that all worsens the condition, because of the occurring caffeine.
It makes you feel weak, especially in the mornings and afternoons – commonly when people train the most. It also affects your productivity at the workplace because your drive has been diminished and your ability to endure stress also becomes crippled. It could also affect your personal life because your libido diminishes, you become depressed, anxious and you find it hard to remember things. In addition you begin to crave sweet and salty food – when you fuel that craving, you actually fuel the condition, because excessive sugar and salt worsens adrenal fatigue.
Other symptoms (not limited to these) include, skin problems, weakened immune system (read this feature on boosting your immune system), hormonal imbalances, increased allergies, muscle loss, light-headedness when you stand up and more.
What is rather peculiar is that it is estimated that up to 80% of adults will experience adrenal fatigue, yet it is one of the most under-diagnosed conditions. Therefore it is important to get checked out if you experience some of the symptoms that were highlighted in this article.
If you have adrenal fatigue, don’t despair, it definitely can be treated efficiently. Keep a lookout for our upcoming piece on how to treat adrenal fatigue.
Do you suffer with some of the symptoms listed in this article? What do you do for a pick-me-up when you are feeling drained?