Also known as adrenal dysfunction or burnout, adrenal fatigue is very real and very common. Often seen in women aged 35-50, it lurks under the disguise of being “busy,” “tired” or “run down,” but actually, there’s so much more going on below the surface.
Adrenal burnout usually occurs as a result of ongoing stress. It can affect a multitude of systems in the body, and can interrupt important processes like hormone production, immune system function, sleep, thyroid hormone production and kidney function.
Here are 10 of the most common signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Tired all the time
We’re not talking about a general tired feeling here. We’re talking about an ongoing lethargy, day after day. So is the feeling of falling in a heap at the end of the day, yet not being able to sleep when you go to bed.
Difficulty getting to sleep, waking in the middle of the night and not being able to get back to sleep, and waking up feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck can all be signs of adrenal burnout.
Do you get every cold and flu that comes along? Is your immune system just not firing on all cylinders? Are you constantly run down? Then we need to look at your stress levels and their potential effect on your adrenal glands.
Inability to deal with stress
Do you get wound up easily, or find it hard to relax? Do you sometimes snap at little things, only to think afterwards “who WAS that mad woman?” If everyday stress is getting to you more than it used to, your adrenals may be getting worn out.
Female hormone imbalances
When our adrenal glands pump out too much cortisol and adrenaline, this in turn can affect the balance of female hormones. If we are of menstruating age, it can result in PMS, mood swings and erratic cycles, and in older women it can lead to menopausal symptoms.
Coffee doesn’t work on you anymore
Used to get a kick out of a cheeky espresso, but now you just feel tired? That’s a major warning sign that your adrenals are struggling. It may be best to lay off the caffeine for a little while (or at least reduce your consumption) and look at some herbs and supplements to restore adrenal health.
Low blood sugar
Adrenal fatigue can lead to sugar cravings, blood sugar crashes, sudden tiredness (and sometimes mega-grumpiness). A stressful day can lead to even more cravings than usual. Sound familiar? Then you need to think about what long term effects this stress may have on your body, and find a way to reduce that stress before your adrenals hit the wall.
Low blood pressure
Do you ever stand up quickly, only to become dizzy and have to sit back down again? It may be worthwhile getting your blood pressure checked. Low blood pressure, although not as serious and life threatening as high blood pressure, can still cause problems and may be a indicator of poor adrenal function.
Our balance of thyroid hormones is super sensitive to stress and adrenal depletion. If your thyroid levels aren’t optimal, then make sure you get your adrenal health checked too.
Yep. Everyone’s least favourite symptom! If you have been slowly and steadily gaining weight, and finding it hard to lose, it may be worth looking at the health of your adrenals. High cortisol levels have a direct relationship with weight gain, and they can make it almost impossible to shift those kilos.
But before you fall in a blubbering heap on the floor and think there’s no way out… there is a solution! Once diagnosed, adrenal fatigue can be addressed with herbs, diet, supplements, and a few lifestyle tweaks. More about them soon.
In the meantime, the GREAT news is that if you’ve made it this far down the page and you’re nodding your head at each point, I’ve just launched a new program designed just for YOU. Shiny Healthy You is a 12 week course which will show you how to go from fatigued to feeling fabulous again. Click here to find out more.
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