Adrenal Fatigue, Do You Have It and How To Tell?

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Today many people have heard of Adrenal Fatigue. However, what does it actually mean and how would you know if you had it? Firstly let's take a look at what your adrenals are and the role they have to play in your overall health. Your adrenals are part of your endocrine system, they send chemical messengers called hormones around your body telling your cells what to do. So they are pretty darn important!

Your adrenals are located upon your kidneys and they secrete a number of hormones important for energy levels, fertility, and mood. The main hormone we are interested in when it comes to adrenal fatigue is cortisol. It is your main stress hormone but it’s also the hormone that wakes you up in the morning and keeps you going throughout the day.

The short of the story is if you have too much of this hormone being released for an extended time you're potentially on your way to getting adrenal fatigue and if you have too little being produced you may have adrenal fatigue. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ADRENAL FATIGUE? 1. Exhausted in the morning hard to wake up and get going. 2. Really tired in the afternoons between the hours of 2-4 pm to the point of needing a nap, coffee, or sugar to keep you going. 3. Wired but tired at night and really hard to get to sleep. 4. Brain fog, muscle weakness, fatigue after exercise 5. Depression, anxiety, low mood, etc. . Adrenal fatigue is a spectrum: having just one of these symptoms doesn't mean you have it but the more of these symptoms you have and the frequency/severity of the symptoms will indicate to whether you are just tired, have adrenal fatigue, or chronic fatigue. 1-2 symptoms probably just tired or your diets not right 3-4 symptoms of these symptoms on an ongoing basis may indicate adrenal fatigue 4+ symptoms daily may indicate adrenal fatigue, possibly even chronic fatigue

WHAT IS ADRENAL FATIGUE? Adrenal fatigue occurs when your body can no longer produce enough cortisol to keep up with the energy requirement of the day.

This is a very common condition I would say 80-90 % of my clients to some degree have this when they first come to see me. The reason for this is today's world is very stressful - just think about it: working mums and dads, financial pressures, and a huge amount of stimulation from all directions. We are “ON” for a huge amount of our day these days due to the addition of screens. Our world is in a very go, go, go, state at the moment, and this tires out our physical mental, and emotional bodies. This is a massive stressor that people don’t consider.

The other component that we need to recognize is emotions. The majority of our stress these days comes from emotional stress: relationships, past or current traumas, work, family responsibilities, etc. Trauma past or current is the other big player here as when a person experiences trauma the body is sent into fight or flight, depending on how long the trauma lasts the person's body may stay in this state for years. Imagine a domestic abuse scenario, or a child who's being abused or someone who's living in a dangerous country, they can never relax and will always be on the alert. However, likewise, a person who's anxious about money, their job performance, etc can also have the same thing happening - constantly under stress, constantly second-guessing and in time will also become exhausted.