Read on for Frequently Asked Questions FAQ Adrenals to answer all your questions about the adrenal gland that helps your body cope with stress.
FAQ Adrenals: What are Adrenals?
The adrenals are little glands that sit on top of the kidneys that produce hormones to help your body cope with stress. When they become exhausted, this leads to Adrenal Fatigue. The hormones produced by the adrenal gland include cortisol and adrenaline, which are critical for:
- the body’s fight or flight stress response
- the conversion of protein, fat and carbohydrates into energy
- the regulation of blood pressure & heart function
- the balancing of immunity and inflammation mechanisms (Mueller et al., 2014)
FAQ Adrenals: What causes Adrenal Exhaustion?
As the body is exposed to constant stress or stressful events, the adrenal glands start working harder. Initially they produce an excess of hormones, which can cause many symptoms. Over time, the overworking adrenals eventually become exhausted, resulting in lower hormone levels which cause other more severe issues.
- Stressful Event: Accident, Pregnancy, Break-up, Death of Loved One
- Prolonged Exposure to Stress
- History of Asthma, Bronchitis or Pneumonia (Mueller et al., 2014)
- History of Marijuana
- Use Consumption of Refined Foods
- Use of Caffeine (Coffee, Tea, Green Tea, Decaf, Soda)
- Use of Cigarettes
FAQ Adrenals: What are the Symptoms of Adrenal Weakness?
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue span many organ systems as the adrenal hormones affect every part of the body.
- Fatigue, Low Energy, Lethargy
- Tired after Exercise
- Wired but Tired
- Tired Afternoon 3-5pm, Tired 9-10pm yet Resisting Sleep
- Chronic Fatigue with Energy in late evening EARLY STAGE
- Chronic Fatigue throughout day LATE STAGE
- Weight Gain
- Increased Belly Fat
- Loss Muscle Tone
- Poor, Restless Sleep
- Difficulty Falling or Staying Asleep
- Waking Tired / Foggy after long sleep
- Insomnia from early morning hunger
- Low Sex Drive
- Difficult Erections or Orgasm
- Dark Circles under Eyes
- Blurred Vision
- Sensitivity to Light
Hair & Skin:
- Brittle Hair Hair Loss, Thinning, Bald Spots (Alopecia)
- Dry Skin
- Increased Skin Pigmentation
- Premature Aging & Wrinkles
- Irritability, Anxiety, Panic Attacks Depression, Overwhelmed with Life
- Disinterested in Life, Not Excited or Enthusiastic about Life, Flat
- Wired but Tired
- Difficulty Coping with Stress
- Foggy Head
- Difficulty Concentrating / Focusing
- Craving Salty or Fatty Foods
- Chronic Late-Night Eating
- Aching Calves, Weak Ankles, Tired Feet
- Low Back / Knee Pain
- Dizziness with change of position
- Numbness Hands & Feet
FAQ Adrenals: What Conditions can Adrenal Fatigue lead to?
- Environmental Allergies
- Chemical Sensitivities
- Food Allergies
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Recurrent Infections, Weak Immunity (Mueller et al., 2014)
- Fibrocystic Breasts
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Ovarian Cysts
- Breast Cancer
- Infertility, Difficulty Getting Pregnant, Recurrent Miscarriages
- Menopausal Symptoms Premature Menopause
- Andropause (Male Hormones Decline)
- Varicose Veins, Cellulite, Hemorrhoids
- Arthritis, Bursitis, Joint Problems
Related: Adrenal Fatigue: When You’re Too Tired to Enjoy Life!
Mueller C, Blum CA, Trummler M, Stolz D, Bingisser R, Mueller C, Tamm M, Mueller B, Schuetz P, Christ-Crain M. Association of adrenal function and disease severity in community-acquired pneumonia. PLoS One. 2014 Jun 9;9(6):e99518.
This information is for educational purposes only and does not advocate self-diagnosis. Due to individual variability, consultation with a licensed health professional, such as a licensed naturopathic physician is highly recommended, prior to starting a natural treatment plan. For further information, see Terms of our Website.
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