What is Adrenal Fatigue?
The term adrenal fatigue syndrome is a collection of symptoms that include:
- An inexpiable feeling of being tired
- Trouble waking in the morning, even with 8+ hours of sleep
- Feeling run down or overwhelmed
- Difficulty recovering from stress or illness
- Salty and sweet snack cravings
- Feeling more awake and alert after 6PM than you feel the rest of the day
- Unable to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night
Contrary to the name, adrenal fatigue doesn't always mean there's something wrong with your adrenal glands, it could just be adrenal burnout. Often, it is the long-term effect of unmanaged stress, experienced over an extended period of time with out recovery. Extended periods of stress depress immune system function, disrupt digestion and blood sugar modulation as well as leaving you foggy brained and burnt out. This is a chronic condition that is primarily cultural. Over 40% off all workers today feel over-worked, pressured and squeezed to the point of anxiety, depression and completely stressed out. Over time, our body's ability to respond to the stress of life decreases and we begin to need a little extra support.
As the treatment for adrenal fatigue has evolved we've come to discover that just treating the gland is an out-dated style of thinking. The approach we take to treating Adrenal Fatigue looks at the big picture instead of focusing in on a single factor. We look at:
- Your lifestyle. How much are you working? What's the environment at work like? How much sleep are you getting?
- Diet. Is there something you're eating that your digestive system may be sensitive to? What's your sugar/caffeine intake?
- Your stress management skills. How do you deal with stress? What triggers you the most?
Naturopathic medicine recognizes the incredible impact that stress can have on the body. It provides a number of modalities to address the specific needs of each patient since we all experience stress so differently! There are several ways to treat adrenal fatigue and often times it starts with learning better stress management, eating well, laughing more and getting more sleep. Regulating your cortisol levels, regulating your blood sugar and re-balancing your nervous system also play a big part. Additionally, Siberian Ginseng and B Vitamins can offer some good support as well.
Diagnosing and treating adrenal fatigue requires good detective skills on the doctor's part and a willingness to make lifestyle changes. Wondering if adrenal fatigue is something that might be affecting your every day life? Take a quiz here. If you feel like adrenal fatigue is affecting your day-to-day life, schedule an appointment to talk about what's going to work best for you body.