6 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue - And What You Can Do About It
Now before I talk too much about the signs of adrenal fatigue, I might want to address the subject itself.
Truthfully, I think adrenal fatigue is one of the most problematic health issues faced by Americans today. I really do mean that, too. Many of the problems I discuss on this blog are likely caused by, or are in some way related to, adrenal fatigue.
Yeah, it's that serious.
It can affect:
- Glucose metabolism
- The immune system
- Inflammation response
- Sleep patterns
- Hearth Health
And many, many more systems are directly affected by adrenal fatigue.
If you're wondering, I've written about adrenal fatigue before; I won't go into the same level of detail explaining this relatively new phenomena, but it's worth reviewing one more time just so you have a basic understanding of this potentially troubling condition.
A Super Simple Explanation Of Adrenal Fatigue
As you might be able to guess, adrenal fatigue has something to do with adrenaline (go figure). It also has something to do with the production of another hormone known as cortisol.
Your body produces both of these hormones for the biological purpose of helping your body deal with stress.
Adrenaline is what gives you laser-focus in the middle of stressful situations so you can deal with them and move on accordingly.
Cortisol helps your body manage the physiological side effects of stressors.
Ideally, your body would only use adrenaline and cortisol in"emergency" situations - situations that would inspire the "fight or flight" response, or that force your body to focus intensely for a short amount of time.
The only problem is we've entered into a time in history where our bodies seem to be under a constant state of stress. Unfortunately, this is unnatural and it's caused both our adrenaline and cortisol levels to stay elevated for much longer than what would be considered ideal.
This is caused by a multitude of factors (that's a fun word to say) which include, but are not limited to:
- Over-reliance on caffeine
- Poor sleep patterns
- Staring at computer screens before bed
- Lack of relational activity
- Leaky gut
- Chronic stress in daily life
- Long work hours
- Interacting with technology
Like I said in my previous article (which explains adrenal fatigue in much better detail), these circumstances made it so our bodies are drained of adrenaline and our cortisol levels remain extremely high.
This, in turn, disrupts other hormone levels, which creates all kinds of other health problems.
Basically, "we’ve flipped our adrenal glands “on” and use them like an all-night porch light, when they’re only supposed to be a motion sensor-style light that’s on when needed and off when not."
And that leads us to where we are today: tons of people barely scraping by, exhausted, depleted, down in the dumps, and moving toward total "un-wellness."
If that sounds like you, adrenal fatigue might be something you need to worry about. To prepare you, I'll give you a quick rundown of the signs of adrenal fatigue.
I've also included a quick assessment to help determine if adrenal fatigue is something you might actually suffer from.
And, of course, I'll recommend a few easy fixes for you, as well as a great supplement our patients are using to restore normal adrenal function.
These 6 Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue Could Indicate A Serious Problem
1 - Your period is unpredictable:
Men, you can skip this one if you'd like.
If your menstrual cycle is off, it might mean your body's adrenaline levels are tapped out. This can have serious effects on other hormone levels (like your thyroid, sex hormones, and cortisol).
A disruption in these hormone levels could subsequently make it so your normal, monthly cycle comes much more sporadically.
The fix: One thing women can do is avoid endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in many beauty and skincare products. Another is to get better sleep, and ditch caffeine if you can.
2 - You have trouble sleeping:
One of the unexpected side effects of not having enough adrenaline in your body is your sleep cycle becomes disrupted. This is a result of elevated cortisol levels (cortisol elevates to help deal with a lack of adrenaline), and a depletion of essential melatonin.
A tendency of getting inadequate sleep will eventually create a self-perpetuating problem, which will ultimately extend into restless and difficult sleep.
The fix: Take melatonin supplements, sleep in complete darkness, get to bed at a decent hour, and don't look at a bright screen at least 30 minutes before bed.
3 - You don't spring back after a workout:
Engaging in vigorous exercise should tire you out. On the other hand, it shouldn't totally wipe you out and leave you feeling run-down and exhausted.
The reason you feel this way is because your body is completely drained of hormonal resources to help you spring back from intense work. This is an indication of adrenal fatigue.
The fix: Neka Pasquale, founder of Urban Remedy (a renowned food for healing foundation), said, "Try meditation, gentle yoga, walking, or whatever helps you feel less stressed.”
4 - Eating hurts your stomach:
Believe it or not, food allergies and leaky gut are major predictors of adrenal fatigue.
Think about it this way: if the food you eat causes your body to freak out at the cellular level, it's going to seriously affect your adrenal glands. The stress your body undergoes when attempting to digest and assimilate food it doesn't agree with can cause some serious issues with your adrenals.
Whether you've been tested for food allergies or not, it's generally safe to say if eating causes your digestive tract, stomach and colon to act abnormally, you're dealing with a food allergy that could disrupt your health.
The fix: Ditch some of the worst offending foods associated with known food allergies.
These include dairy, gluten, soy, processed foods with artificial ingredients, and processed sugars. Begin to consume fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats, organic meats, and real, raw, whole foods.
5 - You get sick frequently:
One of the responsibilities of the immune system is to help keep you from getting sick. When pathogens are present and your immune system is mobilized to fight back, your adrenal glands are activated to help out with that response.
If your body has entered a stage of adrenal fatigue, then your immune system will be impaired in its response to invasive bacteria and viruses; as you might guess, this causes you to stay sicker, longer.
Frequent bouts of sickness (combined with some of the other symptoms listed in this article) might prove your body is unable to muster a healthy response to sickness because of overwhelming adrenal fatigue.
The fix: Get meaningful rest, as this is one of the leading ways to help restore fatigued adrenals and to support your immune system. Also consider taking supplements filled with adaptogenic herbs, which help to protect cells from stress at the cellular level. This will bolster your immune system and prevent you from being sick all the time.
6 - You remain fat despite exercise:
Weight gain, especially around the mid-section, is one of the major clues you're suffering from adrenal fatigue.
It might also be a clue that Krispy Kreme donuts aren't doing you any favors ;)
Weight gain (despite exercise) has two likely culprits.
The first is not directly related to adrenal fatigue; basically, you eat more calories than you burn.
The second is this: when it comes to adrenal fatigue, uneven cortisol levels can impact your body's fat composition.
When you suffer from adrenal fatigue (with either elevated or low levels of cortisol), the body will read these unhealthy levels of cortisol as reason to store blood glucose (sugar) as fat for later use.
Biologically speaking, your body reads stress as an indicator food might not be available at a later time. To protect itself, it will take available forms of energy (blood sugar and other carbs) and then tuck them away in fat cells for later use.
Now that we live in an age where stress is a constant, people with adrenal fatigue see their own bodies sabotaging them as they frantically store away viable forms of energy as fat (typically located around your belly and the thighs).
This fat is stubborn, and it won't go away with rigorous dieting (note: I said "dieting" - not "eating right") or exercise until the cause of your adrenal fatigue is addressed first.
As we study adrenal fatigue, we're even learning fat cells have receptors for the stress hormone cortisol. So, the more stressed you are and the more cortisol there is, the more fat cells you're likely to develop.
The fix: Don't diet! Instead, eat well. Eat foods that don't cause your body stress. and cut caffeine if you can. Also, commit to getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
What to Do If You Identify With These Signs Of Adrenal Fatigue
If you went through that list and said to yourself, "Hey, I think I might have adrenal fatigue," I suggest taking this adrenal health assessment which will you give you much clearer insight.
Odds are if you live a high-speed, go-get-em kind of life where you drink a lot of caffeine and sleep very little (or not enough), then adrenal fatigue is something you're probably experiencing.
That's not an indictment on you and your life choices; it's just a fact of life.
Like I said in the beginning of this article, I think adrenal fatigue is one of the most underdiagnosed problems of our time. Millions and millions of Americans deal with it; worse yet, they don't even know about it - they just think living in 2016 means you need to feel like you were steamrolled by an 18-wheeler.
As a reminder, here are the ways you can help combat adrenal fatigue:
- Sleeping eight hours a night
- Sleeping in a darkened room
- Eating a diet filled with healthy fats, whole fruits and vegetables, etc.
- Avoiding known food allergens
- Restoring leaky gut
Of course, my recommendation is to start there and I believe you'll see your condition improve.
Unfortunately, life isn't perfect; there will be moments where we don't get enough sleep, or the food we ate during the day was less than ideal.
That's why I recommend a supplement for adrenal support.
The role of these supplements is not to cure adrenal fatigue. They couldn't if they tried.
Instead, they exist to help augment adrenal response to stress and to help protect your adrenal system.
We use Adrenal Support which has a long list of herbs shown to help support healthy adrenal function.
Far and away one of the most popular supplements we sell we're confident in an adrenal fatigue issue is what's contributing to your constant feelings of fatigue this has the ability to help.
Click here or on the image below to get your Adrenal Support now.