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Adrenal Fatigue – Fact or Fiction?

Adrenal Fatigue – Fact or Fiction?

These days it is common to hear the term “adrenal fatigue” thrown around in alternative medical circles.  It is a term used to identify a condition in which a person’s adrenal glands no longer function at an optimum level, causing a whole host of body issues.

A quick Google search reveals that there are conflicting opinions regarding whether adrenal fatigue is a real condition or not. Traditional medicine does not often acknowledge its existence, while alternative medicine has been treating it for years with excellent results.

But what exactly is adrenal fatigue, and how can you know if you have it?

The Science Behind Adrenal Fatigue

As the name implies, adrenal fatigue is caused by overworked adrenal glands, which is a much more common situation than you might think.

The adrenal glands produce cortisol, otherwise known as the stress hormone. And as everyone not living under a rock knows, stress is a daily part of life.

Constant stress = constant adrenal function. They never really get a break, which is not what nature intended.

Cortisol has a bad rap, but it is actually a vital part of healthy function.

According to WebMD, cortisol is:

“…nature’s built-in alarm system. It’s your body’s main stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood, motivation, and fear.

Your adrenal glands — triangle-shaped organs at the top of your kidneys — make cortisol.

It’s best known for helping fuel your body’s “fight-or-flight” instinct in a crisis, but cortisol plays an important role in a number of things your body does. For example, it:

  • Manages how your body uses carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Regulates your blood pressure
  • Increases your blood sugar (glucose)
  • Controls your sleep/wake cycle
  • Boosts energy so you can handle stress and restores balance afterward”

So yes, cortisol is important. And yes, adrenal fatigue is a thing.

The Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

As a person under constant stress (aka a member of the human race) you may be asking yourself what the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are and whether or not you have it.

According to drwillcole.com, the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:

  • Trouble getting started in the morning
  • Cravings for salty or sugary foods
  • Low libido
  • Afternoon fatigue
  • Getting a “second wind” in the evening
  • Trouble staying asleep
  • Dizziness when standing up quickly
  • Afternoon headaches
  • Blood sugar issues
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Thinner, weaker nails
  • Moodiness
  • Difficulty losing weight

So if you are experiencing some (or god forbid all) of the symptoms on this list, chances are your adrenal glands need support.

The Solution to Adrenal Fatigue

The first thing to do if you suspect adrenal fatigue is to avoid preventable sources of physical and mental stress.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Food is medicine”? It comes from the belief that what you put into your body will have a direct effect on its function.

With that in mind, try to eliminate chemical preservatives and dyes, added sugar, and excess caffeine from your diet. Instead, eat nutrient-dense vegetables and organic, high-protein meats.

In addition to fixing your diet, your best bet is to give your adrenals the “first aid” they need with supplements such as adaptogens.

Adaptogens are all-natural substances that are designed to support homeostasis in your cells. They identify areas of stress and step in with additional support.

Adaptogens are specially adapted (pun intended) to restore and support the natural function of your adrenal glands.

The proof?

People who take them report better sleep, more energy, less irritability, and improved general health – all signs of happy adrenals.

So do yourself a favor and start supporting your adrenals today. Your body will thank you!

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