What is adrenal fatigue?
Health & Wellness

What is adrenal fatigue?

Are you tired all of the time even though you feel like you’ve gotten enough sleep? Do you crave certain foods, mostly the salty kind? Have you been frustrated with doctors who can’t tell you what wrong with you? Maybe you have Adrenal Fatigue.

Is it a real thing?

There is no ‘one definitive test’ for adrenal fatigue. Blood tests cannot detect a small shift in adrenal production. The world's largest organisation of endocrinologists, The Endocrine Society, says that adrenal fatigue is not a real disease. They have even released an official statement on adrenal fatigue saying: "No scientific proof exists to support adrenal fatigue as a true medical condition. Doctors are concerned that if you are told you have this condition, the real cause of your symptoms may not be found and treated correctly. Also, treatment for adrenal fatigue may be expensive, since insurance companies are unlikely to cover the costs."

Adrenal fatigue seems to be a blanket term applied to a group for non specific symptoms. These symptoms are very similar to other conditions and diseases like sleep apnea, depression, fibromyalgia - or even just tiredness brought about by the stress of everyday life.  

Origins

The term adrenal fatigue was coined in 1998 by a chiropractor ( a healthcare professional who attends to neuromuscular disorders, specifically the manual adjustment or manipulation of the spine), James Wilson. He wrote a book of the same name. Proponents of adrenal fatigue as a real condition say it affects people who have endured long periods of mental, physical, or emotional stress.

You see, when a person experiences long term stress, such as the loss of a loved one, a serious illness, a chronic stressor, the overworked adrenal glands have a hard time producing the extra cortisol needed to make you feel good. Thus, begins the onset of adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue symptoms can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Asthma, allergies or respiratory complaints
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Dry skin
  • Extreme tiredness an hour after exercise
  • Frequent urination
  • Insomnia
  • Joint pain
  • Lines in your fingertips
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low sex drive
  • Lower back pain
  • Numbness in your fingers / Poor circulation
  • Weight gain

Even though endocrinologists say that adrenal fatigue is not a real disease, those who experience it are out looking for a way to manage the genuine and undeniable symptoms.

Whichever side of the coin you’re on, if you don’t feel well and are experiencing these symptoms, there are changes you can make in order to improve your well-being.

Eat right

Time and again, this is the most reinforced tip in improving your overall health. Eat less sugar and junk food, stay within considerable limits of caffeine intake, and keep your blood sugar levels balanced by eating at the right times and eating foods with a low glycemic index. Adrenal fatigue or not, these simple changes will help you start feeling better.

Manage stress

You can do this through exercise, mindful meditation, yoga, or reducing stressors. While being completely stress free is no longer possible in this day and age (traffic, social media, the news), it helps to have self care routines and stress reduction exercises.

Take supplements

Reinforce a healthy diet with supplements. The best ones would have B complex (B12 is especially helpful), Magnesium, and Coenzyme Q10. You can also take probiotics and adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha and Maca Root to support and nourish your adrenals which are added into Vanilla Happy and Green Goddess.