Feeling Stressed? Watch Out For Adrenal Fatigue!
Adrenal Fatigue is a condition brought about when the adrenal glands in the body are not functioning correctly.
Our adrenal glands produce cortisol, a hormone required for effective functioning of the immune system, brain, muscle tissue, and blood sugar regulation in the human body. When we experience extreme or prolonged periods of stress – such as the stress that stems from hectic work and home schedules punctuated by shots of sugar and caffeine – our adrenal glands become overwhelmed, and no longer efficiently produce cortisol.
Common Signs of Adrenal Fatigue
An imbalance in your cortisol levels can result in Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, or AFS. The primary symptom of AFS is a run-down, tired feeling that is not relieved by rest or sleep. You may feel unable to stay alert as the day goes on, and lack the energy to accomplish daily activities. There are a wide range of other possible symptoms as well, which can make it difficult to diagnose adrenal fatigue by simply considering symptoms. Some symptoms of low cortisol levels include:
- Morning weakness
- Fatigue which worsens as the day goes on
- Sexual dysfunction / diminished sex drive
- Memory loss, especially short-term
- Loss of muscle mass
- General joint and back pain
- Food cravings, especially for fatty and/or salty foods
- Sleep disruptions or insomnia even when feeling very tired
Because Adrenal Fatigue can present many different symptoms, those suffering from it are often misdiagnosed as having other conditions such as fibromyalgia, Lupus, chronic fatigue syndrome, or depression. When patients are misdiagnosed, they may be prescribed medications that will not be effective in easing their symptoms.
How We Diagnose Adrenal Fatigue
If you suspect that you are experiencing Adrenal Fatigue, it is recommended that you see a physician to have your cortisol levels tested. A simple saliva test is available that can measure the levels of cortisol in your body. It is important to diagnose and treat AFS, as the condition can worsen over time, making it more and more difficult to be productive throughout the day. In addition, the hormonal imbalance can disrupt or decrease the function of many of your body’s systems and organs. Poor adrenal function can result in imbalances in fluids and electrolytes in your body, damage to the heart and cardiovascular system, and poor metabolic function.
Safe Adrenal Fatigue Treatments
Fortunately, there are simple, effective treatments available for those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome. Once you have been diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue, your doctor will ask questions regarding your diet and exercise, lifestyle, daily schedule, and stimulants such as caffeine upon which you may have become dependent for energy boosts. Depending upon your personal symptoms, health analysis, and lifestyle considerations, recommended treatment may include bioidentical hormone therapy as well as changes in your nutrition and exercise habits.
If being tired and fatigued is affecting your work and family life, it is time to seek treatment. Schedule an appointment today for cortisol level testing and a personal health analysis, so you can begin feeling relief from Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and regain the health and energy to take back your life as soon as possible.