Adrenal fatigue is also know as burnout which is the inability to cope with modern life and is caused by multiple stressors. Here is a more detailed explanation.
The adrenal glands are endocrine glands that sit on top of the kidneys. There are two adrenal glands both about the size of a walnut. They are chiefly responsible for regulating the stress response through the synthesis of numerous hormones. Healthy adrenal glands secrete a number of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These allow our bodies to deal with physical and emotional stress.
When we experience physical or mental stress the adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream to prepare us for the stress response. The heart beats faster, pupils dilate and sugar is sent to the muscles in order to have physical energy to deal with the stress.
If the adrenal glands are constantly pumping out these stress hormones and don’t have time to recover then they can become fatigued and stop producing these hormones. This can eventually lead to adrenal exhaustion.
How do you know if you have it?
The most common symptoms are:
- You’re extremely exhausted
- You sleep loads but don’t feel refreshed
- You experience dizzy spells
- You drag yourself through each day
- You loose your drive and motivation
- Even small tasks are challenging
- Your cognitive function and memory start to fail you
- You experience severe slumps and crashes on a daily basis
- Lower back pain (around the adrenals)
- Your muscles feel weak
Why is it important to recognise the signs?
Because it literally stops you from living. The exhaustion is so extreme you can’t do simple tasks like having a shower, going out to meet friends and exercising. All the things you used to take for granted become very challenging.
It’s also important because more and more people are suffering from this condition and in silence because not much is known about it. The medical profession don’t know about it and therefore tend to ignore it. In fact 1 in 4 people suffer from significant stress related fatigue and burnout at some point in their lives.