Are you suffering from constant tiredness and lack of energy? Do you have headaches, anxiety and feel irritable all of the time? Do you crave salty foods and feel an inability to cope?
It’s possible that you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
With early diagnosis and treatment, you can significantly speed up the healing of adrenal fatigue and restore your health.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a modern condition caused by high levels of stress, and is characterised by the adrenals not functioning properly. The adrenals are walnut-sized glands located just above the kidneys and are responsible for producing pinephrine, cortisol, progesterone, DHEA, estrogen, and testosterone.When the adrenal glands are functioning poorly, they fail to produce sufficient amounts of these hormones needed by the body.
The adrenal glands release higher levels of cortisol during times of stress, as this is the most important hormone for assisting the body in dealing with stress. During prolonged periods of stress however, the glands can become overworked and unable to keep up with demand. As a result cortisol levels plummet and the body cannot respond effectively to pressured situations.
This lowered adrenal activity is known as hypoadrenia, and can range in severity from almost zero to almost normal. The rarest and most extreme low end of hypoadrenia is called Addison’s disease.
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue are non-specific, and sufferers may look and act relatively normal without any obvious signs of physical illness. Symptoms can include a lack of energy, fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue can include any of the following:
- Low energy
- Low libido
- Muscle weakness
- Mild depression
- Craving salty or sweet foods
- Caffeine dependence
- Weight gain
- Feeling rundown, overwhelmed and unable to cope
Causes of Adrenal Fatigue
Men and women of all ages can suffer from adrenal fatigue, and while it is usually associated with stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections such as bronchitis, influenza or pneumonia. Other factors that can also make people vulnerable to the condition include: financial stress, emotional issues such as bereavement, or a poor lifestyle eg. lack of exercise, poor diet, poor sleep or substance abuse.
Adrenal imbalance, can be a contributing factor to a wide range of medical conditions, emphasing the importance of early diagnosis. Some of these conditions include:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Depression and anxiety
- IBS or chronic digestive problems
- Premature menopause
- Chronic anxiety
The early detection and appropriate treatment of adrenal fatigue can greatly assist in restoring patients’ adrenal imbalances, leading to improved overall health and vitality.
Testing for Adrenal Fatigue
When testing for adrenal fatigue, a thorough examination of a patient’s health history is conducted, followed by saliva cortisol testing. This is done in order to measure a patient’s level of cortisol throughout the day, which is useful in determining a patient’s stage of adrenal fatigue as we understand where cortisol fluctuations are being experienced throughout the day. It is a great tool in managing the condition and assessing effectiveness during treatment.
We may also conduct special tests for food sensitivities, leaky gut syndrome, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances or candida (yeast) overgrowth. This thorough process will enable us to identify and address other possible underlying causes for the condition.
How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue
The first step to overcoming adrenal fatigue is for a patient to recognise the cause of stress and working towards eliminating its impact on their life. After the test results have been obtained, a personalised treatment program is specifically tailored for each individual patient, considering important lifestyle changes such as:
- Dietary recommendations
- Specific vitamin supplementation
- Quitting smoking if you are a smoker
- Regular exercise to relieve pent up stress
- Relaxation techniques such as meditation and controlled breathing
Adrenal Fatigue may benefit from IV Vitamin Therapy
Taking vitamins intravenously injects essential vitamins and nutrients into the blood stream, bypassing the digestive system and enabling quick absorption. Vitamin IVs allow efficient and quick absorption, which may boost a patient's energy while hydrating the body. This may be beneficial as a patient is recovering and rebuilding his or her adrenals.