Do you have body aches all over?
Do you constantly feel tired?
Are you inexplicably losing weight?
Do you get lightheaded often?
Are you losing your hair?
If any of these sound familiar, it could be due to adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are the primary source of cortisol, the body’s main “stress” hormone.
When the adrenal glands are not functioning properly (which could be for a number of reasons), it can lead to some of those symptoms listed above.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at if you think you may have adrenal fatigue:
- 1. Morning Energy Levels
Typically, people with adrenal fatigue have low cortisol levels, particularly in the morning. Under normal circumstances, cortisol levels in the body should be cyclical.
They should be highest in the morning (which helps us wake up), and they lower throughout the day to and through bedtime. These levels then spike again in the morning to wake us up.
Those with adrenal fatigue however, do not have high cortisol levels in the morning, and tend to rely on coffee or other stimulants to get them going early in the day.
Certain supplements and practices can be used to get you back into the normal rhythm, and awaken with more energy.
It is common for those with adrenal fatigue to have hypoglycemia (also commonly referred to as “reactive hypoglycemia”).
This means that 2-3 hours following a meal, your blood sugar levels fall dramatically. The natural response is to eat once again to reach those normal blood sugar levels. This may be the source of those cravings you constantly get.
What you will notice with improvement is less cravings between meals. This usually reaches somewhere between 4-5 hours.
Eliminating simple carbohydrates and processed foods can go a long way in helping alleviate some of the symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue. Incorporating more vegetables and complex carbohydrates will curb cravings and normalize this reaction.
Another thing you may experience and could improve is orthostatic hypertension. In a state of chronic stress or adrenal fatigue, you may experience lightheadedness when changing position.
3. Sex Drive
In those with adrenal fatigue or chronic stress, it is common to see a diminished sex drive.
This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, though. Viewing through the lens of our ancestors it was more important to run away from a bear or tiger than have a high sex drive. Acute bursts of “stress” were necessary to keep us alive.
In chronic states of stress however, this drive can be diminished over long periods of time, and should improve when making improvements.
The precursor to sex hormones (like testosterone, estrogen, and others), DHEA, are shifted towards making cortisol.
As the adrenal function improves, the sex hormones will begin to be produced at normal levels and sex drive improves.
4. Cognitive Function
Brain fog, fatigue, and other symptoms are common in those with adrenal fatigue.
This can be due to many causes, and can commonly coincide with a gut issue, such as an infection or parasite, that steals the essential amino acids needed for proper brain function.
As you fix this issue, you should notice better focus and diminishing brain fog.
Adopting breathing exercises, getting proper amounts of sleep, and spending time outside are all ways to limit stress in your life. There are many others out there as well.
What is most important is you find what works best for you as an outlet. Try a few and see what works!
Though based in research, personal, and clinical experience, the opinions in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Botanical medicine and nutraceuticals should be treated with the same caution and care as pharmaceuticals, as both have the potential for strong, potentially adverse effects and allergic reactions. Please consult a trained, licensed health care practitioner before proceeding.