What happens if your adrenal glands aren’t working properly? Have you been feeling tired lately, maybe more so than usual? Perhaps you’ve heard about adrenal fatigue and thought that maybe it’s the cause for your lack of energy? Adrenal fatigue occurs when your adrenal glands have problems functioning properly, but what are some symptoms and how can you tell if it’s really what's behind your fatigue? We'll be diving into these questions, so read on to find out more.
Firstly, you may be wondering what exactly are adrenal glands? Put simply, they’re a small pair of triangular glands found just on top of your kidneys. Their function is to both produce and distribute various hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is an important hormone when it comes to regulating your blood pressure, and when exposed to stress, your adrenal glands release even larger amounts of it into the body.
However, cortisol and adrenaline aren’t the only hormones produced here, in fact 40% of estrogen or progesterone in women are produced here, as well as around 40% of testosterone in men. Because of the extensive function of adrenal glands, there is a range of problems that may occur when they aren’t managing to function properly. While the adrenal glands are the first to respond to stress, they’re also the first to be impacted by stress too.
The common signs of adrenal fatigue are thought to typically include:
Some believed less common symptoms to keep in mind are:
The Adrenal Glands vs Stress
Excess stress, in any shape or form, causes your adrenal glands to produce more cortisol.So in the case of your adrenal glands being overworked to the point where they cannot function and produce enough levels of cortisol, is what's believed to be the cause of adrenal fatigue.
Stress can manifest in many different ways, it can be influenced by your environment and even your diet, on top of any anxiety or emotional stresses. It’s important to note that grief, trauma, and autoimmune conditions are considered to have potential negative impact on your adrenal glands ability to function properly. Antibiotics are also thought to have destructive effects on your cortisol production when overused. If you’re interested in learning more about how stress can manifest itself and the impact it has on your health, read our blog here to find out more.
Adrenal Fatigue isn’t the same as Addison’s Disease
While adrenal fatigue and Addison's disease are closely related, they aren’t the same. The most prominent difference is that adrenal fatigue is considered to be the potential result of adrenal glands that have been overworked because of high stress levels, whereas Addison’s disease is when the production of cortisol is insufficient due to either a communication error when signaling between the brain and the adrenals or a pathology affecting the adrenal glands directly.
Have confidence in how your body’s functioning, and ensure that all parts are working properly by taking our fatigue test. However, if you’d like an in depth discussion about your fatigue levels and ways to solve any fatigue problem you may be experiencing, book a full consultation with us so that we can help you function your best.