All You Need To Know About Hypoadrenia and Adrenal Fatigue
Did you know that with adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia you can suffer a broad range of symptoms and disorders the most severe being Addison’s disease where the adrenals, basically, don’t function or barely at all. People with Addison’s disease usually have to take corticosteroids in order to function with some sort of normalcy.
The adrenals, also known as “the stress glands,” help you deal with stress. Whether it be stress, disease or injury. They produce the steroid hormones to give you energy and endurance to deal with all of life’s challenges. Corticosteroids such as catecholamines and cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine are produced by the adrenals.
Cortisol controls how the body uses fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Corticosterone works with cortisol to suppress inflammation and affects the immune system. Aldosterone affects blood volume and blood pressure. Epinephrine and norepinephrine work together creating the physical reactions regulating stress responses known as the fight or flight response. Norepinephrine is a hormone in the catecholamine group. This hormone affects attention, focus and plays a role in depression.
Epinephrine also known as adrenaline, is also a hormone and neurotransmitter in the catecholamine group and also plays a large role in the fight or flight response. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the activity of the adrenal glands become diminished. This can be so severe that it can get to the point where it even becomes difficult to get out of bed in the morning. When adrenal activity diminishes, it affects it causes changes in metabolism, the heart and cardiovascular system, sex drive, and even body shape.
What can cause adrenal fatigue
Death of a loved one
Repeated stresses, marital, unemployment
Acute and chronic infections
Over exertion including over exercising
Lack of sleep
Lack of good food and eating sugar and white flour products
Lack of exercise
Medications and non-prescription drugs
Fear and worry
Anxiety and psychological stress
Unable to relax
Negative attitudes and beliefs
Working night shifts
Some people become so accustomed to stressful situations that they don’t even realize they are stressed anymore. A study done on a group of hospital workers in a pediatric nursing unit showed the workers didn’t even realize they were under stress. Their cortisol levels, a common measure of stress, were elevated by 200-300%.
Your total stress load entails the number of stresses, the intensity, frequency, and length of time it is present. You may not even recognize it as a stress. If someone were raised in a stressful environment with a lot of yelling, and any kind of emotional or physical abuse, physiologically and psychologically they typically tend to attract or gravitate toward those types of situations as they get older. They essentially become addicted to the patterns that create the hormone output and of course it is subconscious or non-intentional. Especially is today’s fast paced, do as much as you can in as little time as possible society adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia is a very common problem.
Signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue and what you can do about it
1. Difficulty getting up in the morning
2. Continuing fatigue not relieved by sleep
3. Craving for salt and salty foods
4. Lack of energy
5. Increased effort to do every day tasks
6. Decreased sex drive
7. Decreased ability to handle stress
8. Increased time to recover from illness, injury, or trauma
9. Light-headed when standing up quickly
10. Increased PMS
11. Symptoms increase if meals are skipped or inadequate. You need to drive yourself with sugary snacks and/or caffeine to keep going can be due to tendency towards low blood sugar
12. Inability to focus, fuzzy thinking
13. Become irritated easily
14. Feel better after evening meal
15. Afternoon low generally between 3 and 4
16. Decreased productivity, takes longer to complete tasks
No one symptom is a diagnosis but if several of these symptoms seem familiar to you then it is likely you are suffering from some level of adrenal fatigue.
Some practical ways to recover and regain your adrenal health:
Some of these suggestions might seem like common sense but your adrenal health is greatly affected by your lifestyle; how you spend and conserve your energy and create your energy, what you eat and drink, the thoughts you think and the beliefs you hold are all very important factors.
People with adrenal fatigue often have food allergies and sensitivities.
Avoid people and situations that take away your energy.
Change your way of thinking toward a more positive outlook. You can use some simple tools as meditation or motivational CD’s, good friends, a trusted counselor. It’s important to undo negative self talk and especially that which produces more stress.
Learn and implement relaxation techniques.
Get enough sleep. It’s important to be in bed before 10 or 11 each night.
Rest during the day
Fun light exercise, like walking, yoga, ta’I chi, dancing and making love
Keeping your blood sugar balanced is one of the most important! Eating small nutrient packed meals with some protein, often throughout the day.
Eliminate white flour and sugar products, they are huge energy suckers!
Salt craving is a very common symptom of all stages of adrenal fatigue. Physiologically, you need salt (mineral or Celtic salt) right now and the majority of people with adrenal fatigue suffer from low blood pressure not high. As long as you are well hydrated and getting potassium rich foods in your diet it will balance out.