The adrenal glands are two small glands, each about the size of a large grape. They are on top of the kidneys. Their purpose is to help the body cope with stress and help it to survive. Each adrenal gland has two compartments. The inner compartment is the adrenal medulla. The adrenal medulla modulates the sympathetic nervous system through secretion and regulation of two hormones called epinephrine and norepinephrine. Epinephrine and norepinephrine are responsible for the fight or flight response.
The outer compartment is the adrenal cortex. The adrenal cortex comprises 80 percent of the adrenal gland and produces over 50 different hormones.
The most important glucocorticoid is cortisol. When cortisol is lowered, the body will be unable to deal with stress. This happens in Adrenal Fatigue.
Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
- Tendency to gain weight and unable to lose it, especially around the waist.
- High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases.
- Infections that tend to last longer than usual.
- Tendency to tremble when under pressure.
- Reduced sex drive.
- lightheaded when rising from a horizontal position.
- Unable to remember things.
- Lack of energy in the mornings and in the afternoon between 3 to 5 pm.
- Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.
- Often feel tired from 9 – 10 pm, but resist going to bed.
- Need coffee or stimulants to get going in the morning.
- Cravings for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.
- Increased symptoms of PMS for women. Periods are heavy and then stop, or are almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
- Pain in the upper back or neck with no clear reason.
- Feels better when there is less stress, such as on a vacation.
- Difficulties in getting up in the morning.
- Mild depression.
- Food and or inhalant allergies.
- Lethargy and lack of energy.
- Increased effort to perform daily tasks.
- Decreased ability to handle stress.
- Dry and thin skin.
- Low body temperature.
- Unexplained hair loss.
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea.
None of the signs or symptoms by themselves can definitively pinpoint Adrenal Fatigue. However, when looked at collectively, these signs and symptoms form a specific picture of a person under stress. These signs and symptoms are often the end result of acute, severe, chronic, or excessive stress. The body is unable to reduce such stress.
When the adrenal glands become dysfunctional, our body’s ability to handle stress is reduced.
If you feel like your body is in such an imbalance, we can help support it to reach a more balanced state.