Do you constantly feel tired for no reason? Are you overwhelmed by stressful conditions and can’t muster the strength and energy that used to be a part of you? Do you find it hard to get out of bed despite sleeping for long hours? These may be symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue.
Adrenal fatigue is a stress-induced condition in which your adrenal glands, pituitary gland, and hypothalamus are not functioning optimally. Prolonged emotional or physical stress mostly causes the condition. Adrenal fatigue may also be the result of chronic inflammation which has gone unnoticed for a long time. Your adrenal glands are a form of defense mechanism against stressful situations, releasing adrenaline to give you an energy boost to get yourself out of trouble and cortisol to help you fight stress. However, chronic stress overworks the adrenaline, causing adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal dysfunction can manifest in several ways including the following symptoms:
- Feeling tired for no reason
- Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
- Craving sweet and salty snacks
- Chronic allergies
- Chronic pain
- Have trouble falling or staying asleep
- Poor memory
- Irregular menstruation
- Mood swings
- Get stressed easily
- Poor concertation
- Delayed healing of wounds, among others
Effects of Adrenal Dysfunction
Adrenal dysfunction affects several processes in the body and can impair general health and wellbeing.
Less than optimal adrenal function can impair the ability of cells to generate the energy needed to power the body’s metabolic activities. That is why people suffering from this condition have difficulty getting off their bed despite long hours of sound sleep or feel lethargic throughout the day as their adrenal glands can’t perform at optimal levels, causing fluctuating blood sugar levels. Insulin activity, adrenal function, diet, and lifestyle all contribute to reduced blood sugar levels which leads to lack of energy.
Adrenal fatigue can also delay tissue healing which may lead to tissue breakdown and chronic pain. The adrenal glands which are dysfunctional can also affect bone health. Bone health is impaired if the cortisol levels are higher in the morning and night, a fallout of chronic stress.
Adrenal dysfunction also negatively impacts sleep quality, the immune system, fertility, and skin regeneration. The chronic stress that causes adrenal fatigue can also inhibit the function of the thyroid hormone by converting it to its inactive form, and several other health problems.
Functional Medicine Approach to Adrenal Fatigue
The type of treatment will depend on the severity of the Adrenal Fatigue.
If you leave chronic stress to fester, it soon leads to adrenal fatigue with adverse effects on every part of the body. However, you can avoid adrenal fatigue by treating the underlying cause which is chronic physical and emotional fatigue. Stress can come in different forms including toxic relationships, overly busy schedules, environmental factors, chemical sensitivities, chronic pain and others.
Functional Medicine does not treat only the symptoms like Western medicine; rather, it finds out the root of the problem and corrects it. By eliminating the stressors working your adrenal glands to exhaustion, we make sure your body regains the physical and mental health and vitality it needs to perform at the highest level.
For more information about this topic, see the following websites
- Are You Suffering From Adrenal Dysfunction?
- Adrenal Fatigue or HPA Axis Dysregulation?
- 3 steps to overcome adrenal fatigue
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