“Change is the only constant in life.”
We all know to expect many changes on the journey of life. But what happens when decades of compounding stress, major life changes, taxing relationships, and exhausting work situations finally come to a head? Adrenal fatigue.
It’s not normal to be completely wiped out from your life, and if you’ve been feeling constantly tired, weak, and unable to be productive—you may have a problem with your adrenals.
Today we are talking about adrenal fatigue, what it is, what causes it, and why so many people find it so difficult to diagnose, treat and recover from.
What are the Adrenals?
Your adrenals are two small glands situated on top of the kidneys. The adrenals produce hormones, cortisol (the stress hormone) being one of them. When you experience stress, the adrenals kick into gear, sending bursts of cortisol into your bloodstream.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue theory states that persistent exposure to stress drains the adrenals leading to a low cortisol state.
See, if you live in chronic pain, with lingering emotional trauma, or an autoimmune condition, you’re living in a relentless state of fight or flight mode (or a sympathetic state).
So, the question is, how does living in fight or flight affect your adrenal health?
Your adrenal glands function as the battery power that supports you during a traumatizing event or injury—helping you survive. Living in a sympathetic state, whether it be due to mental trauma, physical trauma, or constant stress, can lead to adrenal burnout. Once you hit burnout, it becomes almost impossible to climb out of chronic adrenal fatigue.
To learn more about the parasympathetic vs. sympathetic state and its implications for your health, read our blog HERE.
Getting to the Bottom of Adrenal Fatigue—Chronic Stress Isn’t Healthy
In the Hache Protocol™, we talk a lot about stress management and its importance for your health. The problem arises when you live in a constant state of stress, causing a prolonged release of cortisol into your bloodstream.
Prolonged-release of cortisol in your bloodstream can cause:
- Lowered immunity
- Suppressed thyroid function
- Inflammatory response
- Impaired cognitive performance
- A decrease in muscle tissue
- Increased blood pressure
- Decreased bone density
- Blood sugar imbalances such as hyperglycemia
To learn more about the effect cortisol has on your wellbeing, read our blog, Immunity the Hache Way—Stress and Your Immune System.
Common Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue manifests itself in many forms. The most commonly reported symptoms are body aches, hyperpigmentation of the skin, extreme fatigue, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, cognition problems, unexplained weight loss, and headaches.
We talked to our client, Ona, about her experience with adrenal fatigue, and she had this to say of her symptoms:
“All my adult life, I had chronic issues with digestion, but I was always a high energy person. Right after some major life changes and decades of living in stress, I started getting all these crazy symptoms. It ranged from noticeable energy changes to brutal headaches, inflammation issues, and extreme fatigue. Everything came to a head.”
Unfortunately, Ona’s experience is all too common. There are literally thousands of people worldwide reporting a similar grouping of symptoms. And here is where the problem lies: at this time, adrenal fatigue isn’t an accepted medical diagnosis.
Don’t Get #DocBlocked—Adrenal Fatigue is Real
We’ve addressed doc block in previous blogs. Still, as a reminder, we define doc block as a situation in which patients struggle with health care providers not taking their concerns seriously and refusing to look deeper into the root of their problems.
It can be so defeating and frustrating when it feels like no one is taking you seriously. When it comes to adrenal fatigue, we hear this kind of story all too often.
For example, when our client Ona first started seeking treatment for her adrenal fatigue, she had this to say about trying to figure out what was going on with her health:
“At the time, I did get myself checked out by an MD, and everything came back normal, and she couldn’t find anything clinically wrong.”
Doc blocking isn’t necessarily a malicious thing. Doctors aren’t actively trying to keep you from solving your health problems. They simply can’t diagnose conditions that aren’t recognized as medical diagnoses.
Because of this, you may spend months, years, or decades going through countless tests and examinations to hear “there’s nothing wrong with you” time and time again.
And that’s a problem. Hearing there’s nothing wrong when you know there is most definitely something wrong can be so frustrating. In our Pain Free for Life Support Group, we continually hear stories about people who’ve suffered for years without answers—it’s our primary motivation for helping the 1.5 billion worldwide living in chronic pain.
Don’t Give Up—Solutions are Available
There’s a tremendous sense of frustration that comes along with being in a fatigued state all the time—when you feel like you SHOULD carry on as before, but your body is letting you down.
This exhaustion alone demotivates so many people from seeking out help, but don’t give up—there are viable options for treating adrenal fatigue—and we’ll be sharing them with you in next week’s blog.
In the meantime, reach out for a complimentary consultation if adrenal fatigue is stopping you from enjoying your life. We all deserve to feel bright, healthy, and full of energy—take the first step towards vibrant health today.