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Adrenal Fatigue

by Dr. Ruby Ann Bermudez-Magpantay
Associate Medical Director, Aegle Wellness Center

Have you ever come across the terms “adrenal fatigue” or “burnout”? These terms are quite common phrases nowadays.  But do you know exactly what adrenal fatigue is?

Let’s start with the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. These two minute organs are no bigger than a walnut, yet so powerful that they supply you with vital hormones that you cannot live without. The purpose of your adrenal glands is to help your body cope with stresses and to survive. Their job is to enable your body to deal with the stress from every possible source, ranging from injury to disease, from work issues to relationship problems.

Adrenal fatigue is not usually so severe that it can be considered a medical emergency. However, it can wreak havoc in your life. In more serious cases, the activity of the adrenal gland is so diminished that the person has a hard time getting out of bed for more than a few hours per day. People suffering from adrenal fatigue may often look and act relatively normal, yet they are not well, and live with a general sense of unwellness. Often these people use coffee, colas, and other stimulants to help them get going and brace themselves to last through the day.

To determine if you might have adrenal fatigue, check off any symptoms you typically experience:

  • Difficulty waking up in the morning

  • Continuing fatigue not relieved by sleep

  • Craving for salt or salty foods

  • Lack of energy

  • Increased effort to do everyday tasks

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Decreased ability to handle stress

  • Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma

  • Light-headed when standing up quickly

  • Mild depression

  • Less enjoyment of or happiness with life

  • Increased PMS/ Pre-menstrual Syndrome

  • Symptoms increase if meals are skipped or insufficient

  • Thoughts less focused, more fuzzy (“brain fog”)

  • Memory less accurate

  • Decreased tolerance – people seem more irritating than they used to be

  • Feel better after an evening meal – after 6:00pm and dinner, you start to feel alive again

  • Decreased productivity

 

Below are some other common symptoms of adrenal fatigue:

  • Lower-back pain

  • Knee weakness or pain

  • Excessive sweating from little activity

  • Dizziness

  • Muscle twitches

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Heart palpitations

  • Chronic infections (bacterial, fungal, yeast)

  • Excessive mood response after eating carbs

  • Tired and wired

  • Sweet, sugar, and carb cravings

  • Premature ageing

  • Dry skin

  • Easily startled

If any of the signs and symptoms seem familiar, then you are probably suffering from adrenal fatigue at some level. These symptoms should not be accepted as normal, or a part of life. In fact, they may suggest a defective adaptation of your adrenal glands to the stresses you are experiencing.

Cumulative effects of these symptoms may further lead to disease and lifelong health conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, alcoholism, ischemic heart disease, hypoglycemia, rheumatoid arthritis, and chronic and recurrent respiratory infections. The effects may accumulate and predispose you to a range of ailments, from simple arthritis to the dreaded cancer.

Restoring the effectivity of your adrenal glands is possible through lifestyle modifications, diet, supplementation, and hormone balance and replacement. I feel it necessary to emphasize that supplementation without lifestyle changes will not work. It’s critical that you implement healthy lifestyle changes to promote balance and reduce stress.

Here are a few changes you can make immediately to support your adrenals:

  • Eliminate sugar and processed food. Processed carbs and sugar put a lot of stress on the adrenals. It’s important to cut these items out of your diet to strengthen your adrenals.

  • Incorporate a natural, whole-foods-based diet. Eat clean, animal protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and fruits.

  • Eliminate gluten, dairy, and soy as these foods tend to cause inflammation.

  • Get quality sleep. We all need 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. In order to strengthen your adrenals, you must get sufficient sleep. Make it your goal to go to bed by 10pm every night.

  • Stick to no more than one cup of coffee in the morning. Quit the coffee habit. I know this might seem like an impossible task, but coffee wears out your adrenals. Drink plenty of fresh water and herbal tea in place of coffee.

Most of all, I would advise you to reclaim your life. Get rid of senseless “energy wasters” that rob you of the good things you need in life. Learn to enjoy, have a positive outlook, keep life manageable, and maintain healthy relationships. The road to recovery differs for each person. Take it one step at the time and live your life day by day. Each day, and every tread, is a step closer to recovery.

If you experience any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above and wish to confirm if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue, you may visit us at Aegle Wellness Center or set an appointment via info@aeglewellnesscenter.com or +632-737-0077 so we can assess your condition, and guide you on the interventions. 

Aegle recommends

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