Adrenal Fatigue, what is it? How do I know if I have it?
I wish I had read a blog like this one a few years ago. It may have saved me countless visits to Doctors and expensive physicians. The fact is, Adrenal Fatigue is not a common well-known term. Although it definitely should be. For years, I grappled in the dark seeking out answers to my physical symptoms. But having no real understanding as to the main cause of my discomfort, it took years before my symptoms reached their peak and I couldn’t ignore what was happening anymore. After many in-definitive blood tests, one final saliva test revealed the source of my struggle. I then threw myself into as many blogs, websites, books I could find on the topic in an attempt to get well again.
One of the reasons I am writing this blog is because it is fairly easy and simple to heal your adrenals if you are in the early stages of adrenal fatigue. Essentially, the earlier you catch it, the less time in recovery. However, if it is ignored for long periods and not dealt with appropriately, the path to healing can be a long one. For me, I was at Stage 4 of Adrenal Fatigue (Stage 5 is death!) and its been a LONG ROAD (At least 3-4 years). So if you’re reading this and it resonates, please don’t ignore the signals.
So, lets get down to the basics. The Adrenal Glands are two walnut-sized glands that sit on the top of your kidneys. Although small, these two little glands are the main production site of our hormones. These hormones are the chemical messengers that coordinate a lot of important functions like stress and metabolism in our body. If your body is healthy and your adrenal glands are happy, you feel balanced, energetic and can cope well with any stresses that enter your life. On the flip side, if your adrenal glands are ‘fatigued’, that is, they actually shrink in size and their hormone production is dropping or going haywire, the following symptoms can show up in the body:
- Mild depression or anxiety
- Multiple food and or inhalant allergies
- Lethargy and lack of energy
- Insomnia or over-sleeping
- Weight loss or weight gain
- Increased effort to perform daily tasks
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- Dry and thin skin
- Low blood sugar
- Low body temperature
- Unexplained hair loss
- Alternating diarrhoea or constipation
Often, due to the wide array of symptoms, adrenal fatigue can go un-diagnosed. Also, as we all
have different constitutions, the symptoms can show up differently from one person to the other.
For me, it manifested mostly in insomnia, very low blood sugar and weight gain. It also depends
what stage the adrenal glands are fatigued, so symptoms can change over time depending on the
severity of the condition. Again, another reason why it can be highly confusing and tricky to pin
point and diagnose.
Here’s a little quiz to make things easier….
- Do you have difficulty awakening from sleep in the morning, often hitting the snooze button multiple times?
- Do you need coffee to get going in the morning?
- Have you recently gained weight, especially around the middle?
- Do you feel like you get every cold and flu bug that is going around, that your immune system is shot?
- Do you have more difficulty dealing with stress and deadline pressure than you used to?
- Do you have a lack of interest in sex?
- Do you frequently feel lightheaded upon standing quickly?
- Do you struggle with poor memory or “brain fog”?
- Do you feel especially tired in the mornings and afternoons between 3-5pm?
- Do you feel the need to snack or eat frequently to maintain a normal blood sugar?
- Do you crave salty foods?
- Do you feel extremely tired between 7-10pm but get a second wind if you stay up later?
- If you are female do you struggle with PMS: heavy bleeding, moodiness, fatigue during menstrual cycle? If you are male, do you feel like you stamina, energy and ability to maintain muscle are decreased?
- Do you frequently have pain in the upper back or neck with no apparent reason?
- Do you notice improvement of symptoms stress levels are lower, such as during a vacation or time away from work?
If you answered more than 10 of the questions above “yes”, you may have adrenal dysfunction or fatigue.
If that is the case, I would personally book in with a naturopath as they tend to have a thorough understanding of adrenal function and how it impacts the body. They can set you up with the right supplements (vitamins and minerals) required for optimal healing. Whether a gut cleanse, detox or complete overhaul of you’re diet is necessary, its great to have a practitioner that will work with you in this process. Accupuncture is also something I would highly recommend. Finding a good doctor who is also aware of adrenal fatigue (many are not!) can also be beneficial for testing. Although, please ensure you get a saliva test and not just blood testing as these can be much more conclusive. It is also important to remember that adrenal fatigue can be caused and related to your emotional/mental and spiritual life too. Therefore, seeing a counsellor, psychologist or alternative energy healer is also beneficial.
Perhaps you don’t have any of the above symptoms, but you know someone who does, please pass this information on to them. The more awareness among the general population of adrenal fatigue the better.
As mentioned, the path to healing can be tricky. But having adrenal fatigue can be a very useful and awakening experience. Useful in that you can discover what works for your body and what doesn’t. Whether it’s the way you live, your diet, exercise routine, work routines, career choices, stress levels etc. Essentially, adrenal fatigue is your body’s way of telling you to SLOW DOWN. That something isn’t right and something in your lifestyle (or many things) need to change. Ignoring these signals only worsens the problem.
This illness completely uprooted my life. I had to look at and change all aspects of my physical, spiritual, mental and emotional life. As a result, my life pre-illness and post-illness are miles apart. I am incredibly grateful now to be living a life much more IN TUNE with my body and its needs. I live a life that is 100% ‘adrenal gland friendly’. That is, limiting any types of emotional or physical stressors in order for my body to function at an optimal level of well-being. I wish this for you too.
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If you have adrenal fatigue and need help creating a life for optimal healing and want to know how you can best support your body, book in for an Intuitive Life Coaching session or Akashic Records Energy Healing on my booking page. Both of these options can offer enormous benefit and clarity in moving forward.
Love and Light xoxoxoxooxoxoxoxo