Adrenal fatigue is one of the several lifestyle disorders that result from the stressful lives we lead today. Unfortunately, most of us are unaware of the fact that this is a major disorder and needs treatment.
The adrenal gland is responsible for controlling the anti-stress hormones in our body. It secretes more than 50 hormones, which help us control the emotional and physical stress we endure in our daily life. This underlines the importance of the adrenal gland in our body. Hence, you can imagine what havoc it plays in the body, when it ceases to function properly. Adrenal fatigue originates as a result of under performance of the gland.
Adrenal glands are small glands located above the kidneys. The inner region or the medulla is responsible for secreting two types of hormones, epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two hormones cope with the physical and emotional stress by controlling the ‘fight or flight’ response of the body. The outer region or the adrenal cortex is responsible for secreting 50 different types of hormones, which regulate several functions in the body. These hormones are differentiated into three main classes―glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and androgens. The most important hormone of class glucocorticoids is cortisol, as it directly controls the stress levels in the body. Inability to produce sufficient amounts of cortisol results in increased stress levels. Underproduction of cortisol also invites many disorders, which eventually affects the general well-being of an individual. All these collectively contribute to adrenal fatigue.
Causes and Symptoms
- Anger, depression, fear, guilt.
- Chronic fatigue, illness, pain, infection.
- Gluten intolerance and low blood sugar.
- Sleep deprivation.
- Excessive caffeine or sugar in diet.
- Excessive exercising.
- Mal-absorption, mal-digestion.
- Severe or chronic stress.
- Weight gain, especially around the waist.
- Susceptibility to flu and pain in the upper back or neck pain without any apparent reason.
- Reduced libido and diminished memory.
- Lightheaded feeling and difficulty while rising or in general.
- Inability to begin a day without a dose of coffee or stimulants in the morning.
- Feeling drained of energy in the morning and late afternoon, followed by lethargy in the late evening.
- Aggravated symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) in women.
- Tendency to tremble in stressed situations.
- Feeling of well-being when stress is relieved, such as on weekends and vacations and also after eating.
Curing Adrenal Fatigue
Opt for unprocessed carbohydrates and proteins in meals. Eat regular meals in small portions. Don’t keep your stomach empty for too long; never skip breakfast. Reduce the intake of drinks that are high in caffeine. Incorporate the sources of vitamins C, E, B, and B-6 in your diet. These vitamins are effective in overcoming adrenal fatigue. Adrenal supplements are a final resort to overcome adrenal fatigue.
Exercising is the biggest stress buster. Schedule your work-out and follow it religiously. Exercises help in improving blood circulation, thereby controlling the levels of the hormones. However, make sure you are not overdoing it, as it can worsen the condition. Exercises are a must for stress relief if you lead a busy life.
Stress often affects the quality of one’s life. Sleep deprivation is one of the reasons for poor quality of life. Hence, make sure you sleep for at least 8 hours daily. Moreover, if your current employment involves a lot of job stress, you should seriously consider switching to a new job. Take time out for vacations or weekend trips with your friends and family.
Adrenal fatigue is a lifestyle disorder and its cure is largely dependent on your response to stress. It can be cured very easily if you are resolute enough. Controlling your anger and relaxing can greatly relieve you of stressful situations. These small measures go a long way in overcoming adrenal fatigue.