What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue is a term sometimes used when fatigue and other symptoms are thought to be caused by the inability of the adrenal glands to function normally under stress. Those who support the diagnosis of adrenal fatigue say that it often occurs in response to chronic stress, but it can also occur with acute stress, such as respiratory infections. Proponents of the adrenal fatigue theory believe that when someone is under chronic stress (emotional, physical, or mental), their adrenal glands cannot continue to produce enough hormones such as cortisol, and symptoms develop for this reason.

In an attempt to maintain high cortisol production to manage chronic stress levels, the adrenal glands are unable to maintain production of other essential hormones. If a person’s stress levels remain excessive for an extended period of time (chronic stress), the adrenal glands respond by constantly producing the adrenal hormone cortisol. In response to stress, the adrenal glands release more cortisol.

Under normal conditions, the adrenal glands secrete the most cortisol during the first few hours after waking up and gradually decrease its production throughout the day. According to people who believe that adrenal fatigue exists, prolonged stress causes the adrenal glands to become tired and unable to cope with the needs of the body. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands are exhausted and unable to produce enough hormones, mainly cortisol, due to chronic stress or infections. Adrenal fatigue is thought to occur when the adrenal glands become overwhelmed by releasing excess cortisol and can no longer produce the levels of cortisol needed for the body to function optimally.

Adrenal fatigue isn’t a medically recognized condition, but that doesn’t mean the symptoms commonly associated with it — failure, food cravings, trouble sleeping and waking — don’t have a real underlying cause. Many traditional medicine physicians believe that adrenal fatigue is not a viable disease, in part because of the generalization of perceived symptoms and the fact that it can be associated with many other causes, such as depression or hypothyroidism. The term “adrenal fatigue” seems to be an almost popular label for the frustrating symptom some people have long been trying to find the cause of, but accepting it as an answer without further investigation could lead to missed diagnoses, possibly with something like features such as sleep apnea. Autoimmune disease or primary adrenal insufficiency (a recognized disorder that can be life-threatening if undetected). While primary adrenal insufficiency is a known disorder associated with low levels of these hormones, the theory states that the term adrenal fatigue is a milder form of the disorder that simply cannot be diagnosed based on routine laboratory tests.

The medical term “adrenal insufficiency” refers to inadequate production of one or more of these hormones as a result of an underlying disease or surgery. Some symptoms of adrenal insufficiency include extreme exhaustion, lack of appetite (resulting in weight loss), diarrhea, nausea, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar. Symptoms of both types of adrenal insufficiency include weakness, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, confusion, and even death. Symptoms of Addison’s disease include fatigue, muscle pain, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure, dizziness, body hair loss, and skin discoloration.

While the symptoms of Addison’s disease are similar to adrenal fatigue, the main difference is that adrenal fatigue is thought to be a possible result of overuse of otherwise healthy adrenal glands due to stress. As Theodore S. Friedman says, people with adrenal insufficiency experience fatigue, so it makes sense to have their adrenal glands checked. While the adrenal glands play several key roles in keeping the body functioning optimally, they don’t give up, even in stressful situations, says Jessica Shill, MD, an endocrinologist at Henry Ford Health System and Henry Ford Health System. If you take adrenal hormone supplements when you don’t need them, your adrenal glands may stop working and stop producing the hormones you need when you’re under physical stress.

In the case of cortisol, people may have low cortisol levels because their pituitary gland doesn’t produce enough of the hormone to stimulate the adrenal glands to release cortisol. The theory is that this stress affects the adrenal glands (the glands that produce stress hormones) so they become “wasted” and don’t produce enough hormones, such as cortisol. The adrenal glands release the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline as part of the natural fight-or-flight response, while increasing heart rate and blood pressure.

When you’re under stress, your adrenal glands help your body prepare for dangerous situations by releasing cortisol. The main adrenal hormone used to manage stress is cortisol (which earns it its nickname “the stress hormone”). Any excessive stress can cause the adrenal glands to increase cortisol production.

According to this theory, existing blood tests are not sensitive enough to detect such a small drop in adrenal function, but your body can. Adrenal fatigue believers argue in their defense that current scientific methods are insufficient to detect adrenal dysfunction, but our bodies still feel its effects. The theory suggests that some people are more prone to adrenal fatigue than others, including single parents, shift workers, people in unhappy marriages, people in stressful jobs, people with substance abuse problems, and people who work all the time. , except gaming .

People with a stay may be at risk of developing a life-threatening condition called an adrenal crisis. The adrenal glands are responsible for balancing hormones, and when not used, they can affect mental health, libido, fertility, and contribute to problems like diabetes, leaky gut, and indigestion.

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