What is adrenal fatigue?

Amanda Roe: Acupuncture and Clinical Hypnotherapist.
Call 087 6331898
Email: amanda@marketstclinic.com

Are you exhausted and feel like you’re running on empty? Then you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. 

Adrenal fatigue is not a disease diagnosis but rather a fact that your adrenals are exhausted and finding it difficult to function at an optimal level and struggling to perform all the tasks that they are designed to do.

Your adrenal glands are small triangular shaped glands positioned in your lower back just on top of your kidneys.

The glands produce hormones that regulate your immune system, metabolism and other essential functions. 

They respond to stress by producing cortisol, a hormone that suppresses inflammation, gives your body an energy boost and helps it to manage emergency situations.

Cortisol also regulates blood pressure, the body’s use of carbohydrates, proteins and fats and controls your circadian rhythm (your sleep/wake cycle).

The adrenal glands are designed to manage short periods of high stress and danger, then rest and replenish hormones, but when you are suffering from long-term stress the adrenals can’t keep up with the cortisol production needed and become fatigued.

In this scenario the adrenals will then not be able to function fully and a range of symptoms may be experienced.

There are four stages of adrenal fatigue: Symptoms are unique to each person and they may experience one or more symptoms.

Stage 1: Mild fatigue and cravings for sugar, caffeine or carbohydrate foods

Stage 2:  Feeling tired more often, taking longer to feel well rested. You may notice digestive issues, bloating, unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight, lower back pain, general aches and pains, irritability, nervousness, low mood, difficulty sleeping, insomnia, elevated blood pressure, blood sugar problems, hormone imbalances, fertility issues and thyroid function may be affected. More dependency on caffeinated drinks, sugar and coffee.

Stage 3: Lack of motivation and joy, low libido, feeling rundown, lack of enthusiasm, suffering from recurring infections, an increased awareness of your heart beat, agitation, anxiety or depression. 

Stage 4: Burnout, brought on by chronic levels of stress and overwhelm over extended periods, ie. working long hours without adequate rest combined with irregular eating. Some people can experience panic attacks, an acute stress response or even need hospitalisation, it can appear to come out of nowhere but you have in fact been running on empty for so long that your body has reached its limit.

It is common for people suffering from adrenal fatigue to be concerned about their health for some time with blood tests presenting within a normal range, which can lead to frustration and a lack of answers.

If you are concerned that you are suffering from burnout or you recognise some of the symptoms mentioned above a simple one-day saliva test is very accurate for identifying how well your body is producing cortisol, helping you to understand what stage of adrenal fatigue you are in. It is also useful to track your recovery. A holistic approach to recovery including diet, nutrition, lifestyle, hypnotherapy and acupuncture can all help you get well, stay well and enjoy life more.

If you would like to learn more you can contact me or book a free 15 minute consultation on my new website www.roehealth.ie alternatively call/text 087 633 1898.

Amanda Roe is a clinical hypnotherapist and acupuncturist working in Skibbereen. It is possible to see Amanda in person or remotely via zoom. 

WCP Staff

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