Adrenal Gland Fatigue

What is Adrenal Gland Fatigue?

If you are among the many adults who suffer from lethargy and fatigue, and have symptoms which also include anxiety, depression, allergies, arthritis, insomnia, weight gain, or memory impairment, you may be suffering from adrenal gland fatigue.

Adrenal Fatigue (also known as hypoadrenia) is a condition that is slow to set in, therefore, very deceptive. Patients may be treated for anxiety and other symptoms, without consideration for the an underlying condition. Fortunately, these seemingly enigmatic manifestations of adrenal fatigue have a cause that is anything but a mystery. The adrenal glands are ground zero for stress management, and this is the figurative key for survival.

Adrenal gland related problems care often highly disruptive to a persons quality of life and can even be life threatening. The goal of treatments are to restore the adrenal glands to produce normal levels of corticosteroid hormones. Drugs prescribed by doctors for adrenal gland fatigue only treat the symptoms of the underlying disorder and do not target the root of the problem.

What are Adrenal Glands?

So what exactly are adrenal glands? Adrenal glands are two small, endocrine glands that are situated on top of the kidneys. These glands work together with the pituitary gland and hypothalamus in the brain to produce various hormones in the body. Simply put, the hormones that are produced by these organs are crucial to your overall health and well being. They are responsible for the functioning of every tissue, organ and gland in the body, and affect the way we think.

The primary function of the adrenal gland is to assist your body in dealing with all forms of stress including physical, emotional and psychological stress. When you have low adrenal function, the body struggles to adapt to these stresses. Adrenal gland symptoms result when the body produces either too much or too little of the adrenal hormones.

The History of Adrenal Fatigue

Described in medical texts as far back as the 1800′s, adrenal fatigue was considered to be one of the prevailing conditions, afflicting most adults at some point in their lives. However, despite available treatment programs, most physicians were simply not aware of this condition, and were not trained to treat adrenal fatigue as a serious health threat. It has long been considered a nebulous condition that had no cure, and only the symptoms could be treated with relaxation techniques and antidepressants. Because the symptoms are treated and not the root cause, patients never really get better. What’s worse, this pathological condition progresses over time, exacerbated by age and other stress factors of adulthood. Traditional medical institutions rarely take this problem seriously, although some forward-thinking physicians are beginning to take notice

Other Adrenal Disorders

For clarity, do not confuse adrenal fatigue with Addison’s disease, which is a condition in which the adrenal glands are not functioning at all. The latter is an autoimmune dysfunction, whereas the former is caused by stress and a myriad of other factors. In any case, both conditions are caused by the malfunctioning of the adrenal glands. However, don’t be surprised if your current physician only recognizes Addison’s as a disease (hypoadrenia.)
Other Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

In addition to those listed above, there are other markers of this disease that can be easily overlooked in a clinical setting as direct effects of adrenal gland fatigue:

• A high incidence of influenza and other respiratory conditions
Trembling or shaking under pressure
Lack of sex drive
Feeling light-headed, or dizzy as an effect of rising from a horizontal position.
General lack of energy, especially in the morning or late afternoon
Reduction of symptoms after eating
Cravings foods which as high in fat, salt, and protein, such as meat
Increased symptoms of PMS and irregular menstrual flow
Pain in the upper back or neck
Dry or thin skin
Low body temperature
Heart palpitations
Hair loss
Constipation and/or diarrhea in alternating intervals

No single symptom of adrenal fatigue can by itself, pinpoint the condition. However, when taken as a whole set of consistent health problems, these symptoms paint the picture of a person who is having difficulty mitigating and controlling stress. The ability to manage stress, both mentally and physically, is the key to human survival. Dysfunction of the adrenal gland, which is the control center of stress management, results in the body’s inability to handle stress effectively. Hence, for those with adrenal fatigue, the above symptoms manifest themselves in our everyday lives.

What are Adrenal Glands?

The human body has two adrenal glands, each roughly the size of a large grape. They are positioned on the top of the kidneys. Within each gland is two compartments. These compartments consist of the inner (medulla) compartment, and the outer adrenal cortex. The medulla secretes and regulates two hormones, known as epinephrine and norepinephrine. These hormones are responsible for initiating the “fight-or-flight” response mechanism. The outer cortex comprises about 80% of the entire gland, and is responsible for producing 50+ hormones in each of the following classes: glucocorticoids, mineralcorticoids, and androgens.

One of the most critical glucocorticoid is called cortisol. Without the proper level of cortisol, the human body is inability to effectively deal with stress. This has significant presence in adrenal fatigue.
Mineralcorticoids help maintain mineral balance in cells, thereby regulating blood pressure and body fluids. Such a mineralcorticoid is aldosterone, which is released in response to an increase in stress. This in turn leads to the retention of sodium (a mineral) which leads leads to water retention, as well as high blood pressure. It also causes a reduction in potassium and magnesium, which are two other essential minerals. In fact, a reduction in magnesium is responsible for a myriad of pathological conditions, including cardiac arrhythmia.

In addition to mineral maintenance, another function of the adrenal cortex is to produce sex hormones, particular DHEA, which is found in high levels in both women and men. DHEA is an androgenic hormone is made from pregnenolone, which is a steroid hormone. This hormone also leads to the production of progesterone and cortisol. If pregnenolone is deficient (as with adrenal fatigue), there will be a reduction in both cortisol and aldosterone.

The Anti-Stress Hormone, Cortisol

Cortisol controls stress and prevents adrenal fatigue in a multitude of ways. First, it normalizes the level of sugar in the blood, which provides the energy needed for the body to survive. Second, it reduces the inflammation response to injuries, mitigating swelling, bronchial stress, and redness throughout the injured tissue. Third, it suppresses the immune system by directing most of the cells that are involved with an immunological reaction (particularly white blood cells.) So not surprisingly, it also suppresses and prevents adrenal fatigue. Next, cortisol contracts mid-size arteries, thus engaging in vasoconstriction. Low cortisol causes low blood pressure to become too low, thus causing many of the symptoms you will see with adrenal fatigue, such as lethargy, lack of energy, and feeling light-headed or dizzy.

Simply put, people with adrenal fatigue have a low stress tolerance. As stress increases, higher and higher levels of cortisol are required. At some point, the cortisol level cannot rise enough to respond to stress efficiently. At this time, it is not possible to maintain an optimal stress response in the body. This is when stress truly can kill.

Adrenal Testing

Two markers are used to diagnose whether an individual is maintaining adrenal function or fatigue: cortisol, and DHEA. Found in the blood, these factors help to reveal whether the body is in a state of anabolic build-up, or a state of catabolic breakdown. Free radicals of cortisol and DHEA can also be found in the saliva. One test in of itself is not conclusive; that is, it may take several tests to generate a true picture of what is happening in a person’s body.

Whereas DHEA can be measured any time of the day, cortisol fluctuates from a morning high to an evening low. Saliva tests require a sample be taken in the morning, noon, again at 5 p.m., then right before bedtime. This reveal a daily “cortisol curve” for accuracy. Without this multiple time sampling, the saliva test is of little value and can actually be very misleading.

Adrenal Fatigue Treatment

Holistic and natural remedies can be highly effective when used in combination with other treatments. These remedies address the symptoms of the adrenal gland health disorder as well target the root cause of the problem, restoring the individual to a place of optimal health and well-being. Herbal and homeopathic remedies are gentle, yet effective without the harmful side effects of conventional medicine.

Adrenal Fatigue Diet

Per Dr. Michael Lam, following a proper diet plan can promote a health adrenal gland, and help reduce the effects of adrenal gland fatigue. Dr. Lam suggests eating before 10:00 a.m., and partaking in small, frequent meals instead of a few large meals. It is also helpful to integrate fats, proteins, and whole grains into every meal, as this helps provide a constant source of energy throughout the day. Overall diet should consist of at least 30% whole grains, 30% vegetables (preferably raw), 15% beans, nuts, and seeds, 10-20% animal-based foods, and 10% fruit. Fruits and juice should not be consumed in the morning.

Food to Avoid

• Bananas
Figs, raisins, and dates, especially if dried
Oranges and grapefruit
Products made of refined flour such as white rice, pasta, bread and other baked goods
Sugary foods such as honey, sugar, and soft drinks
Coffee, tea, chocolate, and alcohol
Deep-fried foods or foods cooked in hydrogenated oils

Foods that are Beneficial

• High-quality protein such as meat, fish, fowl, eggs, dairy products, and and legumes.
Brightly colored vegetables, sea vegetables, and sprouts
Organic nuts and seeds
Whole unrefined grains
Fruits in limited intake: papaya, kiwi, pears, plums, apples, grapes, and cherries

Adrenal Vitamins and Dosage

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an antioxidant that your body requires in order to prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals. It is also essential for the production of cortisol. Insufficient vitamin C is directly correlated to the adrenal gland’s inability to release cortisol. Vitamin C does not have a known toxicity level, and therefore, you are free to take as much Vitamin C as you can handle on a daily basis.

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), is also a critical vitamin needs to produce cortisol, as well as cholesterol. Sufferers of adrenal fatigue can greatly benefit from taking 600 to 1200 mg of pantothenic acid every day.

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal phosphate) is necessary for the optimal functioning of the hypothalamic/pituitary/adrenal axis. These glands regulates adrenal activity and also the release of cortisol. In addition, vitamin B6 is required for cellular metabolism and the breakdown of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. 100 mg per day is recommended. Furthermore, 800 mg of vitamin E and a multivitamin as a daily ritual is extremely helpful

The Linden Method

The Linden method comes with information on how to overcome panic attacks, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), agoraphobia, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and more. Information is included on how to sleep “restfully” at night, how to stop disturbing thoughts, how to build a supportive network of friends and family around you, how to eat healthy and properly, information why medication won’t really help you and so so much more.

Adrenal Fatigue Supplements

AdrenoBoost is an all natural homeopathic supplement that helps the body to promote healthy adrenal gland functioning and maintain adrenal hormone balance, including the stress hormone cortisol. It is extremely effective in helping the body to adapt to everyday stress triggers and even helping the body to increase alertness and stamina. While you are working with the Linden Method program, AdrenoBoost will also help the your body to increase energy levels and maintains blood sugar and blood pressure.

In Summary…

Adrenal gland fatigue is a very common but depressive condition that traditionally, has not always been taken seriously by mainstream medicine. However, this disease does exist, and must treated from a very fundamental and basic approach. Adrenal gland fatigue can be mitigated, but it will never be eradicating if you are only treating the symptoms, and not the underlying cause. Using holistic medicine, hormones, blood sugar, and blood pressure can all be balanced and moderated. Therefore, it can prevent the stress that is associated with adrenal fatigue from progressing into a potentially fatal condition.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sims Kellum May 12, 2011 at 2:43 am

I have problems with stress and weakness and sometimes fainting with low blood pressure do you think AdrenoBoost can help me?

Dan Brown June 17, 2011 at 2:45 am

I have had adrenal fatigue and low blood pressure/ fainting is one of the major side effects. AdrenoBoost should be able to help but you will need to take it for about 3 months and you need to eat a diet that supports you adrenals and nourishes them so they can heal faster. If you want something to help you right away I would suggest you get yourself some Vitamin C, but form rose hips, and not your typical low grade VC. Than you should consider getting some adoptogenic herbs such as Astragalus, Ginseng, and Rolera. These will help you deal with stress and they will give your adrenals a chance to recover. Hope that was helpful!

susan February 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Diet & lifestyle changes can have a huge impact on recovering from adrenal fatigue. I have several friends who have found Marcelle Pick’s latest book Are You Tired and Wired? very helpful. The book includes a 30-day Eating Program complete with healthy recipes. Besides weight loss, both are finding they have renewed energy and feel all around healthier.

Nate March 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Nice information, thanks for sharing. I definately, feel like when I’m stressed that my adrenal glands are already on empty

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