Feeling tired but doc says nothing is wrong? Might be adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a diagnosis used in functional medicine. Most conventional doctors only deal with adrenal problems if your adrenals are down to zero. But what if they are not at zero but are very depleted and you are not bouncing back? That’s a problem that deserves attention too.
Adrenal fatigue is caused by stress. Stress can be physical (infection, surgery), emotional (divorce, death), or environmental (poor diet, toxins). The adrenal glands respond to every kind of stress the same way.
Adrenal fatigue can be sudden, as in a terrible car accident or gradual, with smaller stresses that accumulate or come so close to one another that your body has no time to recover. I’m sure we can all imagine a time where a root canal, major job stress, family member major illness, and a month of binging on holiday candy and egg nog, all can happen at the same time.
Basically adrenal fatigue occurs when the amount of stress is more than the body’s adrenals can cope with.
A short (not complete) list of symptoms:
-Continuing fatigue not relieved by sleep
-Increased effort to do everyday tasks
-Craving for salty foods
-Increased time to recover from illness, injury or trauma
-Skipping a meal causes tons of problems such as worse fatigue and irritability
Conditions associated with adrenal fatigue:
-Use of corticosteroids
-Chronic fatigue syndrome
Eating habits are very important in treating adrenal fatigue. Some tips:
-Eat at frequent intervals. The adrenal hormone cortisol is responsible for keeping our blood sugar at normal levels. You need to eat to keep your blood sugar up because your body can’t do it on its own.
-Avoid caffeine, it depletes the adrenals too, making matters worse not better
-Snack between lunch and dinner and snack before bed.
-Eat good quality whole food.
-Go ahead and eat salt. You need it.
Food sensitivities also play a key role as the offending food causes histamine and other inflammatory substances to be released. It takes cortisol to reduce that inflammation. That’s taxing on the already drained adrenals.
If you suspect you have adrenal fatigue you should get assessed by a functional doctor or nutritionist and get a personalized plan. Click on this website for more resources and information.