Due to the increased stress of modern living, Adrenal Fatigue is a condition affecting more and more people. Here at the clinic, we are seeing a marked increase in the number of adrenal fatigue cases. In this article, I want to talk about why adrenal fatigue is so common and signs to look out for if your adrenal glands are suffering. We will continue to talk about how to treat adrenal fatigue, dietary recommendations and lifestyle interventions in upcoming blogs.
It’s important to note, you do not have to have all of the following signs to have Adrenal Fatigue. These are the most common signs we see. There are many other signs that could also indicate Adrenal Fatigue. We often think of Adrenal Fatigue as a condition you have or you don’t, but Adrenal Fatigue, like thyroid conditions, have a scale. You may not have full blown fatigue yet, but you could be well on your way.
Here are the 5 most common signs you have Adrenal Fatigue.
This is the hallmark symptom of Adrenal Fatigue. A lack of energy, or persistent tiredness for a consistent period of time. It can be normal to feel more tired and rundown than normal occasionally, but it shouldn’t be a daily occurrence.
Another common symptom is light sensitivity. This is caused by imbalances in sodium and potassium. When your body is stressed you use certain minerals more quickly than others. We rely on these minerals for every single bodily function; including pupil dilation in response to light in the case of this symptom.
Adrenal fatigue is the result of many stressors within your body. One constant source of stress is unstable blood sugar levels. If we eat diets high in refined sugars and carbohydrates, our blood sugar levels constantly rise and crash. It is common for people experiencing adrenal fatigue to experience afternoon lows as a result of a blood sugar crash. Physiologically our bodies want us to boost blood sugar levels, reduce cortisol and lessen stress. The problem is, we often reach for caffeine or sugar to provide quick relief and this perpetuates the cycle.
Have you got insatiable cravings for salty or sugary foods? There is a biological reason for this when you’re fatigued. As mentioned above, our bodies use sodium more readily when stressed. Your body craves salt to replace your deficit. Sugar cravings happen to boost blood sugar lows.
When our adrenals are out of whack our bodies natural hormone rhythms run at odds with nature. In a person with healthy adrenal function, cortisol peaks in the morning to wake you up and wanes as the day progresses. In someone with adrenal fatigue, cortisol production in the morning is low. Hence you often feel lethargic. Cortisol is also what stimulates your hunger. This is why diminished appetite early in the morning is a common sign of adrenal deficiency.
If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions above, chances are your adrenal glands and body need some support and repair.
Your adrenals are two very small, but very important, little glands, which are hormone-producing powerhouses. They sit just above your kidneys. Adrenal fatigue is basically where, over time, your adrenal glands are no longer able to effectively make essential hormones needed to function optimally – primarily cortisol. Cortisol, the daytime hormone, helps modulate your immune system, anti-inflammatory responses, nervous system, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and gives you energy. When you can’t produce the right ratios of cortisol to other hormones, you experience adrenal burn-out / fatigue.
There are a few ways to test for adrenal fatigue, we do blood and saliva testing through the BePure Clinic, but a great starting point is to fill out the adrenal fatigue questionnaire we have developed. It only takes a few minutes, you can click here to take the test.
This blog is part of our 10 pillars of health series. Each week we will deliver content, recipes and challenges relevant to each pillar of health that we believe are the foundations for living a healthier, happier, more energised life. The idea being that if we focus on making progress in one area each week it will be easier, and more sustainable, over the long-term.
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