If you've been suffering from perpetual tiredness, one of the causes could be adrenal fatigue. Let's learn more about it and how to cope.
What is adrenal fatigue?
There's a theory that long-term exposure to stress overworks your adrenal glands, which produce cortisol, among many other hormones. Cortisol is the body's response to stress, so if you are always stressed, your adrenal glands are overused. Eventually, they produce less (or no) cortisol and may lose their other functionalities.
Those who experience adrenal fatigue have vague symptoms that are hard for medical professionals to use in forming a diagnosis.
Some of the signs of adrenal fatigue include:
- Salt and sweet cravings
- Brain fog
- Low energy
- Depressive mood
HOW VALID IS ADRENAL FATIGUE?
Medical professionals and the Endocrinology Society believe there's insufficient evidence to support adrenal fatigue being a real disease.
Although science doesn't agree on the theory that prolonged exposure to stress causes adrenal fatigue, they have a different term with a similar meaning- Addison's Disease. Doctors and holistic professionals agree that the disease leads to adrenal insufficiency (adrenal glands don't produce enough of the hormones they're supposed to).
Symptoms of adrenal insufficiency
- Body aches
- Skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Low blood pressure
- Loss of body hair
What to do about adrenal insufficiency
1. BE CAREFUL ABOUT CORTISOL ANALOGS
A common practice is to prescribe cortisol analogs for adrenal fatigue. Some medical professionals warn that this is harmful, since cortisol replacements may have significant long-term effects on the body, like heart disease, weight gain, osteoporosis, and diabetes.
2. LOOK AT YOUR MEDICATION
Sometimes the medication we take can trigger adrenal insufficiency. For instance, if you regularly take the steroid prednisone (to combat allergic reactions), your adrenal glands will react by producing fewer hormones.
Consult your doctor to see if any drugs you're taking may be messing up your adrenal production.
3. SET A REGULAR SLEEP PATTERN
Sleep is nature's gift to us. It refreshes our body systems, including the adrenal glands. Enough hours of sleep don't cut it- you also need a regular sleep-wake schedule.
Adopting a sleep schedule helps your body settle into its natural rhythm, enabling you to enter R.E.M. sleep for longer.
4. TAKE A HOLISTIC APPROACH
Since the medical field differs on classifications and treatments for adrenal insufficiency or fatigue, you need to seek different opinions and take a holistic approach.
Holistic doctors recommend inspecting your wellness to see what areas have a negative impact on your stress levels. Some wellness activities to try include meditation, exercising daily, and breathing techniques.
Adaptogenic herbs (also known as adaptogens) are excellent in helping to reduce stress. They are agents that help the body cope with emotional and physical stressors. These herbs aid in modifying and regulating hormone production and flow in the body.
You can use the herbs in supplement form, to make tea, or as a tonic.
- Wild Yam
Caring for our adrenal system
Whether we call it adrenal fatigue or insufficiency, the symptoms are real. If you feel incredibly fatigued often, you might want to look deeper into how to cure it.
Remember to consult with a doctor before you make any changes to your diet or medication.
Your Sole Toscana Beauty Team