Adrenal Fatigue – The Stimulant Driven Effect
What is Adrenal Fatigue
If you wake up in the morning and feel like you haven’t had one minute of sleep or you feel like you could just put your head down and take a nap during the day then you could be suffering from what is known as Adrenal Fatigue. The adrenal glands are two pyramidal shaped glands that rest on top of the kidneys. Despite their small size, these two glands are responsible for producing a myriad of hormones and neurotransmitters that play a role in a wide variety of functions and responsibilities in the human body. The hormones produced by the adrenal glands help to regulate both short-term and long-term stress, maintain a healthy blood pressure, assist in blood sugar regulation and reduce inflammation in the body. Some of the hormones produced by the adrenals include cortisol, DHEA, reproductive hormones like estrogen and testosterone, aldosterone and neurotransmitters like epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Does your life seem to be filled with stress? Are you like most people who don’t “feel like yourself” before your morning cup of coffee or that big gulp on your way to work? You may look and act relatively normal and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of un-wellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day. This may seem normal to you, but what you are actually doing is causing higher and higher levels of a potentially dangerous stress hormone, known as cortisol. As a result, people with raised cortisol levels over a long period of time will often suffer degenerative effects such as fat accumulation, muscle loss, low testosterone, blood sugar problems, bone loss, injury to the walls of your heart and even brain cell damage from over working the adrenal glands that produce the cortisol. The adrenal glands have difficulty keeping up with the constant demands and become limited in their ability to adapt so many stressors. This manifests as a number of symptoms, one of which is exhaustion that doesn’t resolve with the typical rest and relaxation.
Typically, most people adapt well to the stresses of life. However, as you continually place increased demands on yourself with life, love and work, your adrenal glands are constantly stimulated to produce stress hormones as our bodies’ way of coping. As the stressors continue and less time is allowed for sleep and rest, ‘adrenal fatigue’ is often the result. This is marked by a continual deterioration of everyday functioning. Depression and decreased performance are also signs of adrenal fatigue.
Other key symptoms include difficulty sleeping, difficulty waking up in the morning, feeling tired, decreased energy, fatigue, and increased injury and difficulty healing.
These are all very real symptoms that you may be suffering from and we know that adrenal fatigue is a very real issue. Bio-identical hormone doctors have successfully helped many of their patients suffering from adrenal fatigue with a customized regimen.
The first step of adrenal fatigue treatment is comprehensive testing to determine your cortisol levels and the amount being produced. Adding natural bio-identical hormone replacement therapy when necessary and supplementing with a good multi- vitamin, in addition to vitamins B, C, magnesium and others are a natural next step to ensure a swift and energetic recovery.