Monday, August 31, 2009

Adrenal Fatigue: Do You Have It?

Do you feel like a trampled flower?

Have you heard of adrenal fatigue? Chronic Fatigue seems to be more familiar to people. Chronic fatigue is generally thought to be caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. Adrenal Fatigue, however, is not something one can "catch." It's more of something one sets oneself up for. It's also known as adrenal exhaustion, adrenal insufficiency, and hypoadrenia. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?
  • ongoing fatigue
  • body aches
  • insomnia
  • unrefreshing sleep
  • decreased ability to handle stress
  • mild depression
  • irritability/mood disorders
  • digestive problems
Many people deal with such symptoms but brush it off, thinking "Oh, everyone deals with these symptoms--it's normal" or "It's just stress." Well... just because something is common doesn't mean that it's normal. And yes. Stress is a major cause of adrenal fatigue, but it's not anything to take lightly.

Unfortunately, the conventional medical community does not generally recognize adrenal fatigue until it has gone too far and has led to disease: Addison's Disease, which can be fatal. It seems more prudent to make changes before it gets to that point.

What are the adrenal glands, anyway? Well, this is "who" is involved when we talk about an "adrenaline rush" or that we're "running on adrenaline." Our two adrenal glands are located just on top of the kidneys. They have a major role to play in our physiology. I won't go into the details of that, but will provide resources in upcoming posts if you want the whole story on how they work. Their main job is to produce a number of different hormones which regulate the body's response to stress. Cortisol, adrenaline, and DHEA seem to get the most press. DHEA, by the way, is the anti-aging hormone.

Stress can come from both external and internal stressors. I think most of us are quite familiar with external stressors: deadlines at work, traffic jams, pollution of various kinds, relationship issues, etc. It's often the internal stressors that people are not as aware of. This kind of stress has a number of different sources: the thoughts we think, the foods we eat, the toxins we accumulate, and even the unsuspected parasites we host...

To be Continued...

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