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Exhausted?...Why Do I Always Feel So Tired? How To Cope With Adrenal Fatigue

Updated: Feb 21

The Exhaustion Epidemic! The Damaging Effects of Adrenal Fatigue and How you can naturally overcome it.

Many of us are running on adrenal energy everyday; preparing, running, working, organising and being super busy with so many things.

How are you coping?

Do you feel flustered, stressed, overwhelmed?
Do your feet ache at the end of your busy days - and even worse, after you get up?

Are you tired of just "getting through" each day, hour by hour and minute by minute just to get it over with because you are so anxious, tense and stressed out?
Are you always calling in sick because you woke up with yet another stress or anxiety related complaint such a headache, nausea or exhaustion from insomnia?

Do you crave salty and sweet foods?
Are you just struggling to get through life and just barely surviving rather than thriving, having fun and achieving your aims because you feel overwhelmed by anxiety, tension and stress?

In this months blog post I am going to be delving into the importance of your adrenal health and avoiding adrenal burnout and fatique. Adrenal burnout and fatigue is becoming a big problem for a lot of people now a days as our lives are filled with a lot of stress and strain. I will be sharing with you some helpful tips and advice to help manage adrenal fatique. From having adrenal fatique myself many years ago, I know exactly how it feels and how exhausting it can be.

What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

If you constantly feel tired as if you don’t have any energy left to do certain tasks no matter how easy the tasks are, emotional, and stressed out? Then it is very likely that you are experiencing fatigue. It is important for you to treat fatigue as soon as possible as this can cause stress in your life. And, as most of us know, stress is one of the leading causes of heart related illness and other major health problems. In fact, stress is even directly related to depression.

A lot of people today are now suffering from a condition called adrenal fatigue. This is a stress related condition that can have serious effect on your overall well-being. If you suffer from adrenal fatigue, then there is a great chance that you will suffer from other health problems.

Post-menopause stress and adrenal fatigue go hand-in-hand.

Adrenal fatigue is one of the most widespread and commonly misdiagnosed condition. It is believed that approximately 2/3rds of the population are currently dealing with and have adrenal fatigue. The majority of which do not even know that they have it.

Adrenal fatigue is essentially a disruption of your adrenals caused by the inability of your adrenal glands ability to make cortisol in the amounts your body needs to be healthy and have an appropriate stress response.

We all know that anxiety, tension and stress are immutable facts of modern day life. As the pace at which we fly through every day seems to become increasingly hectic, it becomes ever more difficult to find the time and space to relax, to take things easy every once in a while. We work so hard in order to get the money that we need to pay for all that we have, or that promotion at work or to get high grades in school in order us to become successful.

The problem is that our health is becoming the trade-off for this success that we all want so much.

And yet, stress is a recognised killer, a condition that is known to be a contributory factor to many fatal conditions such as heart attacks and strokes. As these two conditions are respectively the number one killers in the UK every year, the importance of dealing with stress cannot be overestimated.

Most of us have our own ways of dealing with or handling stress, but it does not necessarily mean that we are all good at dealing with the anxiety and tensions that are part and parcel of everyday living. No matter who we are or what we do, there are always situations or times when things seem to get on top of us, when life throws us a curveball that we just can’t deal with.

In those situations when life seems almost too much to bear, we all have different ways of coping with what is going on around us. Whilst a few resolute stoics might be able to handle things through nothing more than strength of character and willpower, the majority of people need some kind of ‘prop’ to get through times like these.

What Are The Adrenals?

Your adrenals are little glands/organs that sit above both of your kidneys, under your lungs and liver. Each about the size of a large grape. Despite their small size, they carry out very important roles in the body, as they secrete numerous hormones. These impact on our development and growth, help regulate kidney function and also affect our ability to deal with stress, by regulating our “fight or flight” response in the body.

They produce the bodies four main hormones, such as cortisol, estrogen, adrenaline, and testosterone in order to regulate the body's response to stress. For example, if we are under a stressful situation, the adrenal glands release specific hormones in order for us to effectively deal with the stress. Stress triggers the production of cortisol, which is a hormone produced in the adrenal gland that increases the heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension. High cortisol levels can also be linked to changes in a women's libido and mentrual cycle and are linked to low levels of progesterone, oestrogen and testosterone. Hormonal balance can be easily disrupted as they are extremely delicate and stress can have a massive impact on their levels.

They also perform vital functions of your nervous system, such as regulating your nervous system. These glands produce these hormones that control blood flow, fight or flight tendencies, natural pain control as well as your body's sex hormones. They also regulate the fluid balance in our body, controls blood sugar levels, and it is also responsible for other central metabolic functions. It also impacts your immune system, getting sick can also fatigue your adrenals and increase your susceptibility to infections.

They also are connected to the solar plexus energy centre (Chakra) of the body. Which is our power centre and it stands for the way we see ourselves and feel about ourselves. It represents confidence, self-esteem, sense of worth, inner drive and motivation and our personal power.

They also help to manage energy, assimilation and digestion. Stress also accumulates in this area and is often felt when experiencing stressful situations.

Main Issues are: power, willpower, self-control, vitality, sense of purpose, able to accept responsibility of ourselves and all that we do, honouring and nourishing ourselves with what we need to stay healthy, feeling confident in our actions and abilities, able to decide how we wish to act and then maintain our chosen course of action, able to function without the approval of others, sense of direction, self determination, self acceptance, self motivated and courage and the strength to be who we are without the approval.

When it is Excessive: Become dominating, blaming, aggressive, anger or control issues, scattered, constantly active, doing too much, low self esteem, fatigue, weakness, illnesses, digestive issues,

lazy, low energy, over eating and overindulging, poor self discipline, feeling powerless, insecure, unassertive, manipulative, power hungry or arrogant, cold emotionally and/or physically, competitive and ambitious.

When it is Deficient: Suffer from weak will, powerlessness, loss of identity, overly sensitive to reactions of other people, poor self-esteem, passive, sluggish, fearful, power struggles, comparing to others, taking things personally, lack of self-esteem, self-worth and confidence, Procrastination, Narcissim, anger or control issues, feeling indifferences, feeling rejection, critisis ourselves and struggle to make decisions.

Shadow Element: Suffer with Shame

Resolution: To have more Self-Compassion; Self-Assertion

The Solar Plexus is a tight network of nerves, located right in the apex of the bottom of your rib cage, in line with your stomach. It feels tight, when we stress about or churn on a topic that we don’t quite know how to process. It’s part of the sympathetic nervous system and it plays an important role in the functioning of the stomach, digestive system, spleen, gallbladder, pancreas, kidneys, liver, and the adrenal glands.

Commonly referred to as the “second brain,” the gut houses the enteric nervous system. This system communicates with the brain through the numerous neurons of the gastrointestinal tract. These neurons influence our emotions through serotonin. Serotonin, an important neurotransmitter, is linked to feelings of calm and happiness.

In fact, about 90% of the serotonin for our entire body is produced in our guts. The result is that our “gut feelings” influence our mood and sense of personal power.

When the Solar Plexus is tight, most often the diaphragm is tight too. Our diaphragm is the membrane that builds a barrier between our lung and rib cage and our upper digestive tract. When it is tense, our lungs can’t easily expand, resulting in us shallow breathing or even holding our breath.

When I am massaging clients, I, and my clients often feel the tightness and some pain around their solar plexus region. This is really common to feel this on clients who have been under a lot of stress or external pressures in life. The energy can manifest itself as tight shoulders and a feeling of internal tightness, such as tightness around the chest. This energy can create agitation, tension, anger, frustration, impatience, intolerance, judgement and hardness across the muscles and connective tissues. This is the first area I treat when I treat all of my clients to either a massage or a facial. Is to release the tension in the solar plexus region. This allows the client to feel more deeply relaxed.

When we relax and release the tension in our Solar plexus and diaphragm, we can breathe freely and easily again, as our lungs can expand to their full capacity. Plus once this energy is released through massage and bodywork, it can make you feel confident, healthy, strong and radiant. And can stimulate your mental functions and strengthen your will and determination to get things done and give you a powerful feeling of achievement.

Basically, the adrenal glands are essential as it directly affects how you feel. One particular hormone that the adrenal glands produce is the adrenaline. This particular hormone is also known as the fight or flight hormone. It is produced when your body needs power and energy quickly and it is usually produced when you are under stress.

The adrenaline is basically called as the super energy hormone because it gives the person a boost of energy where the person will be able to do feats that seems impossible to do under normal circumstances. In fact, there are even reports where a person lifted something very heavy because their house was on fire.

However, too much adrenaline can cause you to experience headaches, excessive sweating, and even nervousness. Heart palpitations and anxiety are also symptoms associated with the body producing too much adrenaline.

Another particular hormone that the adrenal glands produce is the nor-epinephrine. This particular hormone cause massive amounts of blood flow to go from the central areas of the body to the periphery areas. This particular hormone is also produced when a person is under stress. A good example would be being chased by a dangerous animal, such as a tiger, which will obviously give you a lot of speed when you run. In simpler terms, the nor-epinephrine sends blood to the muscles in your body that needs it the most.

However, overproduction of this hormone can cause depression.

Cortisol is another hormone produced by the adrenal glands. It is supplied to the body in order to help the individual to deal with pain during fight or flight time. A good example would be soldiers running away from heavy enemy fire. Even if they get hit by a bullet in their leg or arms, they won't feel any pain at all.

One major side effect of having too much of this hormone is that the patient will be puffy and that they may gain weight.

The fourth hormone produced by the adrenal glands is the DHEA. This is basically a precursor for other hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Imbalances in this hormone can cause strength loss, irritability, moodiness, and even increased hair loss and decreased sexual drive or libido.

Stress is one of the major factors that can affect the production of hormone in the adrenal glands. This will get the adrenal glands to go in to exhaustion where you will feel fatigued. Prolonged periods of adrenal fatigue can result to symptoms associated with the condition called adrenal fatigue syndrome.

If you suffer from this condition, your adrenal glands will be exhausted to the point that its function will be slowed down. In some cases, it can even come to a halt and people will start to begin relying on artificial stimulants, such as energy drinks, coffee, and even sugar, in order to perk them up or to give them the energy they need in order to function normally at work as well as at home.

Another symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue is the difficulty in getting up in the morning. It is also associated with other symptoms, such as nervousness, irritability, disturbed sleep patterns, as well as digestive problems and body aches.

One major cause of adrenal fatigue is poor nutrition. A lot of people nowadays suffer from adrenal fatigue because they tend to eat foods that are not considered good food and are incomplete when it comes to your daily nutritional needs. When we subject our body to extreme stress constantly and we don't eat the right kinds of food, will often crave for caffeine and sugary snacks in order to keep their energy levels up and will usually feel stressed all day that they eventually cannot function normally in society. We will usually force our adrenal glands to overproduce certain hormones. In time, the adrenal glands will eventually wear out in exhaustion.

This is when we will experience adrenal fatigue.

Sufferers from adrenal fatigue will feel extremely tired for no reason at all.

In healthy women, cortisol levels are naturally highest in the morning, decreasing throughout the day, so that by the time we are ready to go to sleep our cortisol levels are at their lowest point. But if your adrenal glands are fatigued you may experience the reverse, having lower cortisol levels in the morning and higher levels at night.

Plus women with thyroid disease, such as hypothyroid or hyperthyroid, may also experience adrenal fatigue. As the levels of thyroid hormones directly impact your metabolism. An increase or decrease can cause these little glands to try to keep up with the variation in thyroid levels.

As you can see, experiencing adrenal fatigue is really a very bad thing as it affects our daily life. It will prevent us from doing certain tasks at work and it will also affect our personal life.

Adrenal fatigue can also resort to other disorders, such as diabetes, obesity and even allergies.

It is important for you to know about the symptoms in order for you to know how to intervene. By learning about the symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome, you will be able to have an idea on how to treat it.

What Are The Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue and Adrenal Burn out In Women- That You Should Watch Out For:

By knowing about the symptoms, you will be able to become more aware of your body and also treat or prevent adrenal fatigue.

First of all, you need to understand that adrenal fatigue is a condition where the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones that are necessary for optimal health. One of the most important hormones that we have on our body is called cortisol. This is often the main culprit and causes most adrenal fatigue symptoms.

So, just what are the symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue?

  • Extreme exhaustion. If you feel extremely tired for no reason at all or you feel tired beyond your normal day tiredness to the point that its function will be slowed down. Extremely exhausted and prolonged tiredness. Even if you sleep, you will feel as if you've never slept at all when you wake up in the morning. Lack of quality sleep.

  • Waking up in the mid-portion of the night

  • Anxiety

  • Chronically Tired – If you feel tired, even if you think you slept all night, and just always feel like you are ready to fall asleep at the drop of the hat this can be a sign of a problem.

  • Loss of stamina. You will easily get tired after a physically and emotionally demanding challenges. Usually, you will feel tired between 9 and 10 in the evening but you can't seem to sleep and end up going to bed up until 1 to 3 in the morning.

  • Increased effort to perform daily tasks

  • You will also suffer from sudden weight gain. You also need to watch out for gaining weight mainly around the middle portion of your body and that you have difficulty losing it. For women it can be seen as upper obesity, a round face and neck, stomach and hips, thinning arms and legs.

  • Finding it difficult to get up in the morning If you have trouble getting up in the morning it can be super difficult to ever feel good.

  • Craving salty, sugary and fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.

  • Being hooked in to taking stimulants, such as coffee or tea as well as energy drinks.

  • Takes longer for your body to recover during sickness - When you get sick, it will take a long time for you to recover than usual and you frequently get infected with certain illnesses, such as flu, bronchitis as well as other respiratory illnesses.

  • Sleep apnea

  • Joint pain

  • Skin problems - such as acne

  • High blood pressure

  • High blood sugar

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Stomach pains

  • Nausea

  • Lightheaded when rising from a horizontal position

  • Unable to remember things

  • You suffer from nervousness, irritability and moodiness

  • Disturbed sleep patterns

  • Digestive problems and Poor Digestion – Many people with adrenal issues have poor digestion. They might have constipation, IBS, diarrhea, GERD and other gut issues.

  • Autoimmune Disorders – Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, IBS, and other autoimmune disorders can be traced directly to adrenal fatigue.

  • Body aches, tension and pain

  • Pain in the upper back or neck with no clear reason

  • Can’t Sleep at Night – If you’re super tired but you still can’t sleep it can be very frustrating.

  • Brain Fog – Do you sometimes feel as if you have a fog on your brain that doesn’t allow you to think clearly? If you feel that way, it’s important to rule out issues that can cause brain fog. Bad short term memory as well as brain fog is also experienced by people suffering from adrenal fatigue.

  • Can’t Stick to Your Tasks – If you have trouble focusing and sticking to tasks you may have issues with your adrenals that are causing your inability to focus.

  • Allergies to things you were never allergic to before

  • Dry skin more than usual and thin skin

  • Suffer with Irritability and lack of patience

  • Suffer with insomnia

  • Menstrual irregularities

  • Feeling cold

  • Suffer with sluggish metabolism

  • Postural hypotension

  • Dizziness

  • Back pain

  • Chronic inflammation

  • Sensations of impending doom are common

  • Hypoglycemia or Hypoglycemic

  • Low body temperature

  • Heart palpitations - especially at night or when stressed

  • Decreased sex drive

  • Herpes

  • Hair loss

  • Yeast overgrowth

  • Osteoporosis

  • Feeling 'wired' and unable to relax

  • Muscle wasting

  • Inability to reduce weight, especially around waist

  • Increased water retention

  • Unexplained hair loss

  • Alternating constipation and diarrhoea

  • Dyspepsia

  • Feel Depressed – Sometimes depression is caused by an event in your life and that is normal. Other times it can be because something is wrong internally. Often unresolved after anti-depressants.

  • Hyper Stressed Out – When you feel very stressed out without reason it could be something to do with your adrenals or another hormonal issue causing the problem.

  • Loss of appetite

  • Hormonal imbalances

  • Weakened stress response

  • Insulin resistance

  • Muscle weaknesses

  • Dark Circles Under the Eyes

  • Skin discolouration (hyperpigmentation)

  • Weak nails and brittle hair

  • Weakened immune system

  • Migraine headaches

  • Your Periods are Irregular – If you’re female, and your periods start becoming irregular and you’re also not feeling right, then you may want to investigate adrenal issues.

  • You’re Puffy, Stiff & Sore – If you start having issues with swelling and you feel stiff and sore all over it could be fibromyalgia, but it could also be due to your adrenals.

  • Working Out is too Tiring – If you are trying to get healthy but just don’t seem to have the physical energy to work out at all, you may have something underlying that is causing the problem.

  • You Get Super Groggy in the Afternoon – That two or three pm crash isn’t normal for everyone. If you find that you can barely make it through the afternoon until you can get home from work and crash, then there is a serious problem.

These are basically most of the symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue.

If you have many of these signs and symptoms, it is time to consider Adrenal Fatigue as a possible cause. None of the signs or symptoms by themselves can definitively pinpoint Adrenal Fatigue. However, when looked at collectively, these signs and symptoms form a specific picture of a person under stress. These signs and symptoms are often the end result of acute, severe, chronic, or excessive stress. The body is unable to reduce such stress.

The ability to handle stress, physical or emotional, is a cornerstone to human survival. Our body has a stress modulation system in place, known as the neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response. The adrenal glands are part of this response system. When these glands become dysfunctional, our body's ability to handle stress is reduced.

If you think that you have adrenal fatigue, it is important for you to see the doctor. They will be able to give you some pointers on how to treat it and how to prevent it in the future.

Basically, simple lifestyle changes can help you treat adrenal fatigue. You should exercise more, eat the right kinds of food, and give your body adequate rest. These are the things that you need to remember about adrenal fatigue. With these tips, you will be able to get your life back on track and prevent it from affecting you in the future.

Possible Causes of Adrenal Fatigue:

There are basic reasons why people might suffer from adrenal fatigue. They can be lifestyle choices, genetics, and environmental issues. The most common causes of stress are work pressure, changing jobs, relationship and marital issues, a death of a loved one, moving and illness.

Thankfully, there are ways to overcome these issues. Here are the most common causes of Adrenal Fatigue:

  • Stressful experiences like a death of a loved one or divorce

  • Lack of adequate sleep, rest and time away from things

  • Prolonged stress due to financial hardships, bad relationships or working environments, and other conditions that create feelings of helplessness

  • Food sensitivities

  • Excessive exercise

  • Unhealthy diet

  • Adverse events in childhood

  • Lack of exercise

  • Negative thinking

  • Emotional trauma

  • Anger and anxiety

  • Depression

  • Chronic infections

  • Chronic Inflammation

  • Lack of vitamin D and other nutrients the body needs

  • Parasitic and bacterial infections

  • Fear and guilt

  • Chronic pain

  • Gluten intolerance

  • Low blood sugar

  • Mal-absorption

  • Severe or Chronic stress

  • Late hours and burning the candle at both ends

  • Excessive sugar in diet, caffeine such as tea and coffee

  • Surgery

  • Chronic infected root canal

As well as the following:

Medications – Putting too many unneeded (and even needed) toxins into your body can cause your adrenals to become fatigued. Everyone is different. If you are taking a medication and within six weeks don’t get over the new side effects, ask if there is another medication you can try or a natural alternative such as diet and lifestyle changes.

Environmental Concerns – Pollution in our air and water can cause serious problems for some people. It can be hard to isolate the issue when it has to do with the environment.

Plastic Contamination – The best thing you can do is get rid of as much plastic in your life as possible, especially when it comes to using it for food and beverages.

Addison’s Disease – This is the result of acute adrenal gland crises. Symptoms include darkening skin under arms, muscle weakness, fatigue, and low blood pressure. It can be caused by infection, accident, or genetics.

Serious Illness – Diabetes, AIDS, Tuberculosis, MS and other diseases can cause great strain on the adrenals causing adrenal fatigue.

These are all potential causes of adrenal fatigue. While some of these conditions need to be treated via medicine, you can treat your adrenal fatigue naturally.

There are treatments for each of these issues, but there is also generalized adrenal problems that can be treated in the same way to get rid of these problems.

Adrenal fatigue many have a lot of nonspecific symptoms that are also related to other illnesses, but they all go together. Treat the adrenal fatigue and you’re likely to feel a lot better and some of your conditions may totally disappear. However, if you try and you still feel bad, seek help from a medical professional who can test your blood to find out more information.

You need to remember that adrenal fatigue is not a disease in a traditional sense. However, it affects a lot of people and the mentioned symptoms are the clinically recognizable symptoms associated with this condition.

If you think that you have adrenal fatigue, it is important for you to see the doctor. They will be able to give you some pointers on how to treat it and how to prevent it in the future.

The best key to treating adrenal fatigue is by living a healthy life. This means you have to eat the right food, exercise, and give your body enough rest and rejuvenation.

Basically, simple lifestyle changes can help you treat adrenal fatigue. Such as exercising, eat the right kinds of food, the right mindset and to give your body adequate rest. These are the things that you need to remember about adrenal fatigue.

This is what I will be sharing with you in my next blog post, which will continue on how you can make simple lifestyle changes that can help to treat adrenal fatigue. And to finally have a happier and more fulfilling life to be had.

Please comment below if you have experienced adrenal fatigue and what ways helped you to cope?

Until then much love xx




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