Why Your Exhaustion Is Ever-Present
- Posted on: Apr 19 2019
Are you feeling unusually tired and unable to find relief to your fatigue? Are you feeling overwhelmed or unable to get out of bed in the morning – but perhaps feel a boost in energy in the evenings? You may be suffering from a condition known as adrenal fatigue.
When your adrenal glands function below the normal levels, it can cause a condition known as adrenal fatigue syndrome. Adrenal fatigue normally follows periods of intense stress in your life or after an infection or bout with disease. You will likely feel generally “unwell” and tired, long after your illness has been healed. Adrenal fatigue can cause changes to your metabolism, electrolyte balance, and cardiovascular system. It can be brought on by poor diet, poor sleep habits, stress, and chronic illness or pregnancy.
If you are experiencing any of the following conditions it may be time to get tested for adrenal fatigue syndrome:
- Little motivation to get out of bed in the morning.
- Tiredness and lackluster feelings all day.
- Boost of energy that does not come until evening hours.
- Craving of salty or sweet snacks.
- Need to boost your energy with caffeine throughout the day.
Adrenal fatigue is a phenomenon characterized by a disruption of your adrenal glands’ ability to make cortisol in the right amounts at the right times in response to stress. The adrenals are the body’s hormonal powerhouse. Two little glands that sit on top of your kidneys, they’re the linchpin of a feedback loop coordinating nearly every hormone in your body.
Adrenal glands that are in balance produce adequate amounts of hormones to power us through the day. These hormones impact just about every process in the body, from energy production and immune activity to cellular maintenance and repair. They are key regulators of glucose, insulin and inflammation, and play a major role in bone and muscle building, mood and mental focus, stamina, sex drive and sleep cycles.
Adrenal glands that are out of balance can lead to:
- High Cortisol
- Results in insomnia, anxiety, sugar cravings, feeling tired but wired, increased belly fat & bone loss
- Low Cortisol
- Causes chronic fatigue, low energy, food and sugar cravings, poor exercise tolerance or recovery & low immune reserves
- High or low DHEA. Dhea is one of the most abundant hormones in the body, and a precursor to estrogens and testosterone
An episode of internal and/or external acute stress or prolonged, chronic stress can cause adrenal glands to become overloaded and ineffective, causing an improper release cortisol
- Stressful experiences like death of loved one, divorce or surgery
- Exposure to environmental toxins and pollution
- Prolonged stress due to financial hardship, bad relationships or work environment, and other conditions that entail feelings of helplessness
- Negative thinking and emotional trauma
- Lack of sleep
- Poor diet (including crash diets and inconsistent nutrition) and lack of exercise
- Food sensitivities
- Nutritional Deficiencies
- Reliance on stimulants like caffeine or energy drinks
The Three Stages Of Adrenal Fatigue
There are three stages of adrenal fatigue. Each one is associated with a different type of cortisol imbalance, and typically people progress from stage 1 to stage 3 sequentially over time.
Stage 1: Wired and tired
This stage is characterized by high cortisol levels, especially at night, leading to insomnia, insulin resistance and abdominal weight gain. People often feel energized but in an edgy “wired” way.
Stage 2: Stressed and tired
In this stage, many people wake up early in the morning (often around 3am) and are unable to fall back asleep. Later in the day some stressor kicks in, and they feel more awake. Their cortisol peaks early, flattens out, but often has midday or early evening rise.
Stage 3: Burnout
This stage is characterized by exhaustion regardless of hours slept, a flat cortisol curve, and in some cases low DHEA and thyroid hormone levels ——– associated with higher risk of autoimmune disease.
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