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ADRENAL FATIGUE:
What is it, what causes it and how can you handle it?

Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems. It is commonly called the “21st Century Stress Syndrome” (Source: draxe.com).

jet-lagged-man-circularYour adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life. A hormone is a compound sent from a gland as a message to tell an organ what to do. For example, the hormone called “thyroxine” is made by the thyroid and helps increase body temperature.

The adrenal cortex—the outer part of the gland—produces cortisol (which helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress) and aldosterone (which helps control blood pressure). Adrenaline is also a hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, especially in conditions of stress, increasing rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and preparing muscles for exertion. It is commonly called the “flight or fight” hormone.

Adrenal fatigue may lead to adrenal insufficiency; symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • High levels of fatigue each day
  • Inability to handle stress
  • Cravings for salty foods
  • Higher energy levels in the evenings
  • Overuse of stimulants like caffeine
  • A weak immune system
  • Body aches
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Loss of body hair
  • Skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation)

According to conventional medicine, adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist. However, it is essentially a stress reaction, and stress is very well understood as a cause of illness.

Per many naturopathic doctors and alternative medicine practitioners, adrenal fatigue diagnosis is a mild form of adrenal insufficiency mostly caused by chronic stress. The theory behind adrenal fatigue is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal.

As a result, they can't produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good. Existing blood tests, according to this theory, aren't sensitive enough to detect such a small decline in adrenal function — but your body is. Adrenal fatigue may affect 80% of Americans and is still on the rise (Source: botanicchoice.com).

Take the test!

Answer the questions below naturally, considering your current health situation.

Do you tend to be affected by regular debilitating fatigue?
Do you often feel affected by foggy thinking?
Do you tend to have thin and/or dry skin?
Do you have brown spots on my face that are not freckles?
Is your blood sugar unstable and do you experience crashes
 of weakness and low energy between meals?
Do you tend to have low blood pressure?
Do you have intolerance to exercise?
Do you sometimes have headaches upon wakening?
Do you sometimes feel dizzy if you stand up suddenly?
Are your nails weak or ridged?
Do you have stiffness or arthritis symptoms in the body or joints?
Do you tend to have poor circulation?
Do you tend to be lethargic before the end of the day?
Do you sometimes get swollen ankles?
Do you crave salt more than usual?
Do you have allergies and/or asthma?
Do you recover slowly from colds and flu’s?
Do you tend to suffer from chronic fatigue?
Do you have bowel movement issues?
Do you have or have you had thyroid issues?
Do you experience heart palpitations?
Do you experience feelings of anxiety?
Do you tend to be more anxious than before?
Do you feel stressed and overwhelmed at times?
Do you have difficulties sleeping at night and/or wake up often?
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A score of means that you have no risk of adrenal fatigue
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