Adrenal Fatigue

What is it?

Adrenal dysfunction (fatigue) is a functional health condition which can cause symptoms including extreme fatigue, anxiety, unexplained weight gain, poor sleep, lightheadedness, low blood pressure, menstrual irregularities, mood swings, difficulty with regulating body temperature, and cravings for sweet or salty foods.

What causes it?

Stress. It’s more complicated physiologically, but the most basic answer is stress. The adrenal gland controls your fight or flight mechanism by releasing cortisol into the blood. Cortisol works together with the neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline to manage the stress response. But, these pathways are designed for acute stressors like running from a wild animal, not the chronic stressors we all face today.

When the cortisol pathway is overused, the symptoms of adrenal stress start to show up and, eventually, the adrenal gland cannot maintain this high level of cortisol production and adrenal fatigue sets in. While the conventional community does not recognize this disorder or the labs to diagnose it, there is a pretty useful salivary test to help us determine whether adrenal fatigue is causing your symptoms.

How do we treat it?

Since adrenal dysfunction is a progressive challenge, we must first determine whether this diagnosis applies to you and, if so, what stage you are in. After those determinations have been made, there are specific protocols for rehabilitating your adrenal function.

While most people start to feel better within a month of initiating treatment, it can take 12-18 months for your adrenals to fully recover. And, if you do not also remedy the habits and stressors that caused your adrenal problems, the symptoms can return after therapy has been completed.

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