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Tired All The Time?

Adrenal Exhaustion- The Most Common Undiagnosed Cause of Fatigue

Adrenal fatigueDo you still feel tired when you wake up, even if you have had a really good sleep?  If you feel like you have poor energy all the time, you could be suffering from Adrenal Exhaustion or Adrenal Fatigue.  Your adrenals produce adrenaline, which is part of your body’s emergency response system.  If a tiger jumps out at you from behind a tree, your heart suddenly beats faster, your breathing gets faster, various muscles will tighten, your blood sugar levels rise, and non-emergency systems in your body are suppressed (such as your digestive system).  Your body is now in ‘fight or flight’ mode.  This is great for emergencies, but if your body gets stuck in this mode, it will eventually make you feel very run down, and it doesn’t seem to get much better no matter what you do.  (In the long run, it can also put a strain on your heart, and increase your chances of developing diabetes).

The main symptom of adrenal exhaustion is constant tiredness, but because the body gets very run down it can often cause stress, irritability, depression or anxiety.  The immune system is very sensitive to your energy levels, so immune weakness, allergies, or auto-immune diseases can develop.  Adrenaline is part of your hormone system, so adrenal exhaustion can also cause all types of hormone imbalances, including PMS, menopause symptoms, thyroid problems, or low libido.  Poor sleep and digestive problems are also very common symptoms.

Adrenal Exhaustion is a quiet health epidemic that is becoming increasingly common.  In fact, it may surprise you to learn, that adrenal exhaustion is an underlying factor in almost all illnesses.  Adrenal exhaustion is often caused by an overly stressful and busy lifestyle.  The links between problems with the adrenal gland and excessive stress are well-known but recent research also suggests they can be exacerbated by poor diet, caffeine and smoking.  Because adrenaline is the body’s ‘fight or flight’ hormone, the body is very sensitive to there being too much or too little of it in the blood stream.  Almost any type of stress, whether it is physical or psychological, will cause an increase in adrenaline levels.

In this fast paced age, we hear that every minute counts.  Day after day, week after week, all this pressure to achieve, meet goals, finish daily tasks, begins to build up inside of us until one day we are locked in the throes of time pressure.  A chief contributor to time pressure is emotional identity.  This happens when you invest a great deal of mental and emotional energy in a situation.  All that energy can create tunnel vision, leaving you unable to see or appreciate other important things in your life.  When someone or something interferes with that focus, the result frequently is irritation, anxiousness and frustration, especially when deadlines must be met.  You push people away, neglect other areas of your life, but still proceed until eventually you lapse into emotional chaos.  In the end, time pressure can seriously damage not only your relationships and quality of life, but even the situation in which you buried yourself to the exclusion of all else.  Time pressure takes a toll on our nervous, immune and hormonal systems, and left unattended will likely produce cycles of anxiety, fatigue and temporary despair.  As this process continues it makes us more susceptible to health problems.

Time Pressure Situations

Always rushed, too much to do, not enough time; mentally scattered, not feeling in control, tunnel vision, irritation at anyone or anything that breaks your focus, internal pressure, a gnawing feeling in you solar plexus, impatience, lack of compassion for self and others, feeling a constant slow burn inside, low-grade stress and strain, feeling disconnected from life, decreased enjoyment of projects, relationships or life in general.

Other causes of adrenal exhaustion are

  • Any type of trauma or shock, which could be recent or in the distant past.  It could be from a car accident, falling out of a tree when you were a kid, etc, etc.  The trauma could be physical, mental or emotional.
  • Prolonged stress, such as from work, study, or an unhappy relationship.  (Again, this could be a recent situation or from the distant past.)
  • Overwork, or not getting enough sleep for a long period
  • Any chronic illness or pain
  • Severe pain
  • Surgery
  • Medications steroid medication, antidepressants, strong painkillers, thyroid medication

When treating Adrenal Exhaustion, it is important to address 3 areas.

  1. The adrenals themselves.  (Vitamin C may be helpful, however much stronger tonics are normally needed.)
  2. The therapist must check the body’s nervous system and treat that as well if it needs it.  Specific treatments or supplements to clear out the current stress or the old, accumulated stress in the body are often necessary.
  3. Because the body is quite run down, tonics for the body as a whole are important, and for any areas badly affected by the adrenals, such as the digestive system, immune system, or hormonal system.

If you suspect that you may have Adrenal Exhaustion, please book in for a free Comprehensive Assessment so that we can check and let you know if you do, and inform you on how best to treat it.