Adrenal Fatigue is a modern-day epidemic and results from the overstimulation of the adrenal glands due to chronic stress and over time, low cortisol levels. The most common report is feeling “burnt out”.
Adrenal fatigue is one of the most common health disorders, but it’s not recognized or screened for in conventional medicine – unless you have the extreme case of Addison’s or Cushing’s Disease – and these are uncommon. However, Adrenal Fatigue will impact up to 80% of us at some point our lives. Adrenal fatigue may occur after a major life-changing event such as divorce, surgery, childbirth, or even following a car accident.
The main purpose of your adrenals is to enable your body to deal with stress from every possible source, ranging from injury and disease to work and relationship problems. Adrenal function is of paramount importance because these small glands play a pivotal role in determining the way your body responds to every change in your internal and external environment. For example, the protective activity of anti-inflammatory adrenal hormones such as cortisol help to minimize reactions like swelling and inflammation in situations ranging from allergies to autoimmune disorders. These hormones closely involved in many metabolic processes:
- Blood sugar regulation
- Metabolism of carbohydrates and fats
- Conversion of fats and proteins into energy
- Distribution of stored fat – focused around your waist (the spare tire); & sides of your face
- Cardiovascular function
- Gastrointestinal function
After mid-life (menopause in women, andropause in men), the adrenal glands gradually become the major source of the sex hormones circulating throughout the body in both men and women. These hormones themselves have a whole host of physical, emotional and psychological effects, from the level of your sex drive to the tendency to gain weight.
Adrenal fatigue causes a feeling of generalized “unwellness” which creates havoc on your life. In more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal glands is so diminished that you may have difficulty getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. With each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in your body is more profoundly affected. Metabolic changes occur in your carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to, and to compensate for, the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue.