When You Are Always Tired: A Closer Look at Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome
Experiencing lethargy and fatigue is one of the most common complaints people have with their health. If you’re suffering from fatigue alongside other symptoms such as brain fog, allergies, anxiety, being unable to lose weight, insomnia and difficulty concentrating, you may have Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS). The symptoms of adrenal fatigue can be debilitating but unspecific, with the onset of this condition often being slow and creeping up on you over time. You may be told that you need to relax more because you’re stressed but how do you do this?
Our bodies actually have a built-in mechanism that can deal with adrenal fatigue and it is controlling our adrenal glands that help us to handle our stress. The adrenal glands are where hormones are released, and cortisol is one of these. This is a hormone that helps your body to deal with stress, and if you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, your adrenal glands might not pumping out enough of these hormones to help you deal with stress. This can cause a variety of symptoms.
The Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
There are a number of different ideas about what symptoms can be caused if you’re suffering from this syndrome. These include struggling to get out of bed and feeling chronically tired even when you wake up in a morning. You may also find that you can’t think clearly and that you struggle to finish tasks you have started.
Other symptoms include a reduced sex drive, the inability to remember things, feeling briefly invigorated after a meal, mild depression, alternating diarrhea and constipation, unexplained hair loss, palpitations, nervousness, low body temperature and hypoglycemia.
All of these symptoms and signs, when looked at collectively, could be indicative of adrenal fatigue.
The Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
Many people will suffer from stress at some point in their life, with work, relationship breakdowns, moving home, the death of a loved one and changing jobs being common causes of this stress. Adrenal fatigue can occur when the level of this stress exceeds beyond a point that the body cannot cope with. So, the syndrome can be caused by a number of stressors, including depression, chronic fatigue, anger, gluten intolerance, surgery, fear and guilt, late hours, sleep deprivation, low blood sugar, excessive caffeine intake, excessive sugar in diet, and even a chronic infected root canal.
Curing Adrenal Fatigue
The recovery process of adrenal fatigue can be a long one, so you need to be prepared that you may not see results overnight. Some will need to allow between 6 months and 2 years for this process to take place, and here are some of the most important steps in this process:
Getting Rid of Stress: It’s important that you deal with the stresses in your life, tackling them head on as this is one of the largest contributors to this syndrome.
Getting Enough Sleep: Getting to sleep by 10PM every night is important because this will allow your adrenal glands to rest whilst they are repairing your body. Cortisol levels also peak between 6 and 8AM, so if you can sleep in until after this time, this is even more beneficial. When you’re suffering from late-stage adrenal fatigue, cortisol levels can fall, which makes it even more difficult for you to wake up. And if you do wake up early, the adrenal glands are put under more stress because they’ll have to produce more cortisol.
Avoid Caffeine: As tea and coffee are stimulants, they could be interrupting your sleep pattern. Try to avoid these as much as possible, opting for herbal teas instead because these don’t contain caffeine.
Avoid Computers and TV: If you’re photosensitive, watching the TV or being on your computer until late could prevent your melatonin levels from inducing sleep. Try to turn off these devices by 8PM so you feel naturally tired by 10PM when you go to bed.
Take Up Exercise: Exercise is a wonderful way to tackle your stress because it helps to increase blood flow, reduce depression and normalize your levels of thyroid, growth hormones, blood glucose, insulin and cortisol. This will help to make you feel much better with exercise being a key part in the recovery from adrenal fatigue syndrome. However, it’s important not to over-exercise as this can cause your body to crash, so adapt your level of exercise in accordance with how much your body can cope with. If your adrenal fatigue is more advanced, you should be exercising less vigorously, increasing the amount slowly as you start to feel better.
Kayleigh Fisher is a medical student who enjoys spending a quiet evening in writing articles sometimes. Her articles get published around the web on health and lifestyle blogs.