Are you tired of being tired? Are you exhausted all day? Are you having serious dips in energy at some point in the day or taking naps? Are you are tired right before bed but then when it’s time to sleep you are totally wired?
These are all symptoms of adrenal fatigue. It’s caused by chronic stress over time. It just depletes your energy reserves.
Do you want to learn about adrenal fatigue, what it is, how we test for it and what we can do about it?
This video is for you.
Adrenal Fatigue: What It Is and How to Treat It
How many of you are exhausted? Have you found yourself recently wondering, “Why do I feel tired all of the time?” Maybe you have trouble making it through the day and pumping yourself up with caffeine, power bars, and snacks just to get through the day. Maybe it’s time to talk about Adrenal Fatigue.
What Doctors Say about Adrenal Fatigue
Similar to Leaky Gut Syndrome, many doctors and healthcare professionals do not recognize adrenal fatigue as a diagnosable condition. As always, I always caution you against self-diagnosis.
Other symptoms can be a sign of other diseases. Make sure you go to your PCP first and be fully evaluated. If they suggest further testing, do that as well. Always rule out a disease first. If everything comes back normal and you’re still exhausted, we will consider adrenal fatigue.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
First, we need to learn about your adrenal glands. They are two small triangular-shaped glands on top of your kidneys. The adrenal gland is responsible for producing a variety of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is the primary stress hormone, while adrenaline is responsible for the “fight or flight” response. When you experience stress, your body produces more cortisol and adrenaline to help you cope.
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that results when your adrenal glands are overworked. The adrenal glands are two small organs located on top of each kidney. They produce hormones that help you deal with stress and control blood sugar levels. When the adrenal glands become overworked, they can no longer produce enough hormones, which can lead to feelings of fatigue.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:
- Difficulty getting to sleep
- Difficulty waking up
- Sugar cravings
- Salt cravings
- Lack of motivation
- Brain fog
- Decreased libido
- Increased irritability
These symptoms can have a significant impact on our day-to-day lives. They can make it difficult to get through the day, let alone do our jobs or maintain our relationships. The good news is that there are things we can do to address adrenal fatigue.
Testing for Adrenal Fatigue
Some of the debate about adrenal fatigue has to do with diagnostic methods.
In most practices, there are 3 tests for cortisol.
Early-Morning Blood Test
Doctors will check the level of cortisol in your blood in the morning. However, it’s not entirely accurate because your level of cortisol may also rise because of the stress related to the test. Being stuck by a needle is quite stressful!
Other practices do a 24-hour urine collection. This provides the level of cortisol overall but gives no information about how you’re doing at specific times of the day.
The best way is a saliva test. Tests that are done at least 4 times a day. Some labs even do it 6 times a day. When you do a saliva test, you can see times of days when you have the highest level of cortisol.
Treatment and Prevention Options for Adrenal Fatigue
You would think that the treatment is, “Hey, just prevent your stress” But we all know that isn’t possible. Life is stressful. We can’t always change our job or our schedule. That being said. If you are in a terrible job or a terrible relationship, please try to change it, it will slowly kill you.
Focus on What You Can Control
Focus on some stressors that you can control. If we do, we will be able to help the system out, so it can manage the other big stressors.
As always, it begins with diet. If your body is busy dealing with filtering out the crazy processed foods, it also goes under a lot of stress.
Get Lots of Sleep
Lack of sleep is another stressor on the body. By not getting enough sleep, your cortisol levels will rise and your adrenal glands will work overtime. More sleep will reduce cortisol and stabilize your adrenal levels.
But you might say, “I can’t sleep!” When you fix your diet, it will help improve your sleep. For example, if you have a nice and heavy meal at the end of a long day, you’ll have trouble sleeping.
Make sure to eliminate foods that can affect your sleep, such as coffee. Coffee is one of the biggest culprits of adrenal fatigue, as it causes your cortisol levels to rise, forcing your adrenals to pump out too much cortisol, leading to adrenal fatigue.
Move Your Body and Get Vitamins
Exercise helps normalize the body’s cortisol. That being said if exercise wipes you out, don’t do it because it’s counterproductive. Take vitamins and supplements, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B, and glandular.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with Adrenal Fatigue, it is important to get tested and understand your daily energy patterns. By identifying what’s causing the problem, there are many treatment options that can help alleviate some of these debilitating side effects.