Tired, depressed and hurting? Could be adrenal fatigue
Working or worrying too much can cause a very real and common condition known as adrenal fatigue — or even adrenal exhaustion. Most likely, you or someone you know is experiencing it right now. You need to know how it may be affecting you right now, what causes it, and how you can treat it — to get your life back.
Your adrenal glands and cortisol : Your adrenal glands sit right next to your kidneys and produce adrenaline when you have a “fight-or-flight” need. The outer portion produces hormones including cortisol for mental, emotional or physical stress needs. It also produces your sex hormones such as testosterone and/or estrogen..Cortisol is your “anti-stress” hormone. It is normally secreted as a response to physical or mental stress to quickly free up energy reserves (raises blood sugar), stimulate appetite, maintain adequate blood pressure, and boost your immune system.
Most anyone who has suffered adrenal fatigue symptoms for very long will discover they won’t find treatment for it from prescription medications. That’s because the subtle symptoms of a stressed adrenal gland are not even recognized by most conventional medical doctors. But there are specific signs to watch for if you’re suffering from this 21st century stress syndrome…
Symptoms of adrenal excess: What happens over the years when a person is constantly or repeatedly under high stress demands — physical, mental or emotional? Similarly, what happens if a person is a constant worrier or just keeps a high-strung fast-pace life?They suffer from excess cortisol production — which diminishes hormone production of testosterone and estrogen (a.k.a. the “cortisol steal” phenomenon). Elevated cortisol levels cause one or more of these seven heralding signs or symptoms:
•Daytime fatigue: But you may get a second wind of energy at bedtime.
•Not sleeping well: Cortisol blocks your sleep hormone melatonin so you toss and turn during the night and cannot turn off your thoughts very easily.
•Weight gain around the middle: The classic apple-shape obesity that occurs even if you are exercising and eating healthy.
•Craving unhealthy foods: Cortisol increases hunger to supply energy for your stress needs.
•Gastrointestinal symptoms: Nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, or constipation (with or without abdominal pain) comes in part from excess cortisol secretion.
•Sex hormone imbalances: This occurs due to the “cortisol steal” effect mentioned above.
•Depressed mood: This happens because high levels of cortisol suppress serotonin (a key feel good hormone) production.
•Accelerated aging: Your facial skin can begin to look older than stated age.
Your taxed adrenal gland can’t keep up with stress demands: After years of excessive physical, mental or emotional stress on your delicate endocrine glands, the adrenal glands can’t keep up with cortisol demands. We call this adrenal fatigue… leading to adrenal exhaustion. The following symptoms begin to emerge:
•Morning fatigue: You have trouble getting out of bed in the morning.
•Chronic tiredness even after you wake up in the morning.
•Trouble thinking clearly or finishing your tasks: Especially when under pressure.
•Afternoon feeling of sleepiness or brain fog from 2 to 4 p.m.
•Burst of energy late in the day.
•Anxiety: Jitters, nervous stomach, panic or even paranoia are real physical sensations due to the stimulating effect of adrenaline, which kicks in more as you run low on circulating cortisol to handle stress.
•Pain: Headaches and backaches worsen because elevated cortisol also increases your sensitivity to pain.
•Catching colds or infections easily: Occurs because cortisol is an immune system boosting hormone.
•Cannot deal with stress very well: You have nervous or irritable behavior, or a nervous laugh to cover embarrassment, frustration, or despair.
•Accusatory or victim language: Sharp verbal retorts to stay in control of the discussion; melodramatic or negative comments with focus on the terrible, horrible, or impossible aspect of anything.
•Drop in blood pressure when going from lying to standing.
Less common symptoms include:
•Sweet and salty food cravings.
•Hair loss slowly or in patches.
•Skin rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and hyperhidrosis (sweating in armpits, palms, or bottoms of feet).
•Allergies causing symptoms of draining nose, itchy throat, irritated eyes, or tightness in lungs (asthma).
Now you are getting a picture of how your body works to handle stress…and how you can literally run your body into the ground from just allowing stress to rule over you.
To feeling good so you can maintain optimal health,
Michael Cutler, M.D.
Easy Health Optio
Dr. Michael Cutler is a graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif. Dr. Cutler is a board-certified family physician with more than 20 years of experience. He serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems. Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and founder and editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter — a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients.
October 12, 2015October 9, 2015 | Dr. Michael Cutler