What is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome? To answer this question, we must first know what is the “Adrenal” in Adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are glands that produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol. They are found above the kidneys. When you’re in danger or very stressed your body’s immune system responds by sending a signal to your adrenal glands which respond to signals by releasing hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones are part of your “fight or flight” response. They increase your blood pressure and your heart rate.
So, what is adrenal fatigue Syndrome? If you’re feeling tired, down or have low energy, chances are you’ve probably heard of adrenal fatigue syndrome and wondered if it may be the source of your constant exhaustion. According to a theory, if you have long-term stress your adrenal glands burn out from prolonged production of cortisol. So adrenal fatigue sets in. Adrenal fatigue syndrome is different from adrenal insufficiency which is a disease caused by either damage or problems with your adrenal glands that result in them not making enough of the hormone cortisol.
Symptoms of both forms of adrenal insufficiency include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, weight loss, and stomach pain. You might also have nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, diarrhoea, depression, or darkening of the skin.
Adrenal insufficiency is diagnosed with a blood test that checks to see if your cortisol levels are too low. If you do have adrenal insufficiency, you’ll need to take a hormone replacement medication prescribed by your doctor.
What are the signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome? That is the question that you really need an answer for. Signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome may include fatigue, body aches, unexplained weight loss, low blood pressure, light-headedness and loss of body hair.
Some other symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome according to other sources include: cognitive issues, increased energy levels in the evenings, cravings for salty and sweet foods, overuse of caffeine and other stimulants, and decreased libido.
So, you may ask, what may cause adrenal fatigue syndrome? Any kind of excess stress causes the adrenal glands to increase cortisol production. Adrenal fatigue is thought to happen when the adrenal glands have been overworked to a degree that they can no longer secrete levels of cortisol that are adequate for optimal function.
Potential stressors include environmental and dietary influences, as well as anxiety and emotional stresses. Experiences such as grief, trauma, and autoimmune conditions are considered to have a possible chronic negative impact on adrenal function. An overuse of antibiotics is also believed to possibly have detrimental effects on cortisol production.
In conclusion, If you are fatigued, have cognitive issues among other symptoms, you should first have a thorough evaluation with a medical doctor.
Anaemia, sleep apnea, autoimmune diseases, infections, other hormonal impairments, mental illnesses, heart and lung problems, and kidney and liver diseases are just some among many medical conditions that could cause similar symptoms. So please, just consult a doctor for your symptoms.