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4/25/17 at 03:07 AM 0 Comments

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

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The adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and secrete a number of hormones.These include–

  • Cortisol - that helps regulate blood pressure, glucose levels and the metabolism of fats, carbs and proteins.
  • Aldosterone - that regulates electrolyte levels in the body and maintain blood pressure.
  • DHEA and Androgenic Steroids that are used as precursors for sex hormones in both men (androgen) and women (estrogen).
  • Adrenaline and Norepinephrine that helps the body cope with mental and physical stress, improve blood flow, relax muscles and regulate metabolism.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue occurs when acute or chronic stress or illness causes the adrenal glands to be overworked. Over time, the adrenal glands cannot keep up with the demands of stress on the body, causing a multitude of unpleasant symptoms.Adrenal fatigue is much more than tiredness. The symptoms of adrenal fatigue can affect every system in the body. When you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, changes on the cellular level take place as the body tries to compensate for a decrease in hormones. Unfortunately, this can contribute to thyroid problems as these two hormones producing glands are inextricably linked. As adrenal fatigue continues to get worse, you can develop insulin resistance and begin suffering from Metabolic Syndrome, which can lead to type 2 diabetes, stroke and cardiovascular disease. Hormonal balance is extremely important as one endocrine disorder can lead to other endocrine disorders. Therefore, it is essential that you know the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Let’s look at the most common symptoms as well as some of the lesser known symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue.

What Are the Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?

Because the hormones produced in the adrenal glands are used by many of the systems in the body, the symptoms of adrenal fatigue can vary from patient to patient; however, most patients suffering from adrenal fatigue will feel overwhelming fatigue that is not relieved by a good night’s sleep, grogginess throughout the day and a dependence on caffeinated beverages and sugary snacks to help them handle their fatigue and sleepiness. Other symptoms of adrenal fatigueinclude:

Respiratory Problems – During periods of extreme stress, cortisol levels can drop and prevent the body from responding appropriately to stress or allergens. Asthma, chronic bronchitis and allergies have been linked to chronic inflammation. When the adrenal glands are fatigued, they cannot produce the necessary hormones that the body needs, resulting in chronic inflammation.

Muscle Weakness – There are five muscles associated with adrenal fatigue: the sartorius, the gracilis, the posterior tibialis, the soleus and the gastrocnemius. When the adrenal glands are not functioning properly, one or more of these muscles can become weak and lead to low back pain, knee pain and foot pain.

Postural Hypotension – When you stand up, your blood pressure typically rises as the blood vessels in the lower body constrict. The adrenal glands release epinephrine to counteract this effect. In a patient suffering from adrenal fatigue, the blood vessels cannot respond properly to the epinephrine because their cortisol levels are low, resulting in a drop in blood pressure that causes dizziness upon standing.

Behavior Changes and Memory Problems – Cortisol is used to regulate electrical activity in the brain. When cortisol levels become imbalanced, it can cause behavioral changes and memory issues, including anxiety, depression, anger, poor memory retrieval and learning difficulties.

Edema – The adrenal glands help to regulate electrolytes and fluid in the body. When the adrenal glands are not functioning properly, it can cause edema. Edema occurs when fluids collect in the body tissues, causing swelling.

Hemorrhoids – Hemorrhoids and varicose veins occur when blood pools in a specific area. Varicose veins and hemorrhoids have been associated with adrenal fatigue. The epinephrine produced when the body is stressed, causes vasoconstriction in the body, resulting in poor circulations, leading to varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

Changes in Sleep Patterns – When a patient is suffering from adrenal fatigue, their sleep patterns can become altered due to high levels of cortisol at bedtime. Typically, cortisol levels are the highest in the morning and drop throughout the day. With adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels can become high in the evening making it difficult to go to sleep.

Weight Changes – Stress can wreak havoc on the body and cause weight gain. When the body is stressed, the adrenal glands are activated and over time can become taxed. When this occurs, the body prepares by storing calories to help it cope with stress and poorly functioning adrenal glands.

Immunity Problems – Your adrenal gland and the hormones that it produces help to regulate the immune system. When hormone levels become imbalanced, chronic inflammation, infections, allergies and autoimmune diseases can occur. High cortisol levels suppress the immune system andleave you more vulnerable to illnesses.

Overcoming adrenal fatigue takes a multifaceted approach. First, you must eat an anti-inflammatory diet filled with nutritious vegetables and fruits, whole grains, healthy fats and lean proteins to provide the body with the nutrients it needs. Next, you will need to complete a detoxification program to remove toxins and chemicals from the body. Avoid caffeine, processed foods, sugars and simple carbohydrates. Learn stress reduction techniques to help you better cope with emotional stress. Adrenal fatigue supplements help to provide the body with the nutrients that it needs to heal itself. These supplements should include DHEA, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B5, B12, C and D3, magnesium and zinc. Additionally, licorice, eleuthero and bovine adrenals can help improve adrenal functions.

Recovering from adrenal fatigue will not happen over time. It has taken months if not years for your adrenal glands to become fatigued, so you cannot expect your recovery to occur immediately. Making healthy lifestyle changes, reducing stress, eating a nutritious diet and using a high-quality supplement will help the adrenal glands to recover and begin functioning at optimal levels. During the journey towards healing adrenal fatigue, you will notice that you feel a little better each day.

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