Adrenal fatigue, or hypoadrenia, is a condition that makes the person feel exhausted constantly. This is due to a small imbalance in the adrenal glands, which work at a lower rate than usual.
In addition, it’s worth mentioning that this adrenal insufficiency has nothing to do with any serious problem with our kidneys. In reality, the source of this problem is found in a well-known enemy: stress.
Thus, this so-called adrenal fatigue is a symptom of sustained physical or emotional stress over time.
It’s then that our immune system is weakened. As a consequence, a series of inner imbalances arise which lead to that permanent tiredness, apathy, and difficulty to rest healthily that affects our lifestyle so much.
Today on our blog we want to invite you to discover more about this subject.
Adrenal fatigue, a little-studied illness
It’s important to highlight that there are not enough studies about adrenal fatigue for it to be considered an illness as such.
In fact, up until now it has been considered to simply be an imbalance in the glands that are responsible for balancing many things, from our glycogen levels to our immune activity.
That’s why we shouldn’t attribute all our tiredness to this condition.
If we experience phases of severe exhaustion, we should always consult a doctor to identify the origin. This is, because it’s possible that anemia or even a thyroid problem could be behind it.
Discover also: 10 Ways to Fight Tiredness
What is the function of the adrenal glands?
The adrenal glands are responsible for mediating our metabolic response to the “fight or flight” reaction when we experience stress or anxiety.
They also regulate the following hormones:
- Glucocorticoids: hormones that manage our glycogen levels.
- Mineralcorticoids: hormones that control the balance between water and salt in the body.
- Androgens and estrogens: our sexual hormones.
What causes adrenal fatigue?
As we mentioned at the start of the article, the main source of adrenal fatigue is our lifestyle and, more specifically, stress.
- Often, we don’t even realize that we are working (especially mentally) at levels that go beyond our personal resources.
- We get up with worries or we get up without having slept enough and with more worries, more pressure and more negative thoughts that increase our negative emotions further still.
All these aspects cause a response in our body, in our heart, in our brain and, of course, in our adrenal glands.
Thus, these small structures that are located just above our kidneys get activated when faced with any biochemical imbalance. This includes, for example, poor diet, digestive problems, lack of sleep or high cortisol levels in the body.
- When stress is constant, the adrenal glands work non-stop.
- Little by little, due to this overstimulation, they end up losing their functionality. They get “tired” and they operate at a much lower level.
What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?
As the name itself suggests, the most evident symptom is fatigue.
However, we must remember that adrenal fatigue itself is not an illness but an imbalance, a fluctuation caused by stress.
The symptoms we experience are therefore all related to the processes of stress sustained over a long period of time:
- Negativity or confusion
- Difficulty to concentrate
- Weight loss or gain
- Digestive problems
- Muscle pain
- Hair loss
- Periods of diarrhea and periods of constipation
What should we do if we suspect we’re suffering from adrenal fatigue?
If we are aware that our stress levels are high and that we may also be suffering from adrenal fatigue, the best thing is to go to the doctor.
- However, remember: this problem cannot be resolved with just pharmaceutical drugs for stress or anxiety. We need multi-dimensional care and strategies.
- For example, it is highly recommended to also see a good endocrinologist. A professional in this area can offer you an appropriate analysis and provide a series of guidelines.
- We should also be aware of the need to manage our emotions adequately.
A more serene lifestyle, more centered and prioritizing our physical and emotional health more is key in these cases.
Recommendations for treating adrenal fatigue
- Eat 5 meals a day in small quantities.
- Avoid inflammatory foods like coffee, sugar, sweeteners and processed foods.
- There are also some foods which can help heal the adrenal glands:
- Magnesium supplements
- Steamed broccoli
- Nori algae
- Easily digestible proteins
- Do relaxing activities.
- Rest well: try to sleep at least 7 or 8 hours a night.
- Promote positive relationships in your life.
- Practice yoga or mindfulness: they are ideal for reducing stress.
In conclusion, as you can see, treating adrenal fatigue is much easier than you might have thought.
You should focus on things differently, prioritizing what is important and remembering that sometimes putting yourself first over everything else is healthy and necessary.