Adrenal Fatigue: Symptoms and Treatment

Adrenal glands play a vital role in your everyday health. As a result of their production of hormones, your body distributes fat and protein, regulates sugar and inflammation, promotes cardiovascular health, and responds to stressors. Conversely, a lack of hormone production by your adrenal glands can cause several symptoms and health problems.

Even though low energy and fatigue are common reasons patients seek help from their doctors, it can be challenging to determine a diagnosis. This is because various medical problems can result in fatigue. Adrenal fatigue is a theory that stresses exposure to adrenal exhaustion as a possible reason for this lack of energy. Continue reading to explore the symptoms and possible treatments of adrenal fatigue.

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands become overtaxed by excessive cortisol release. This causes them to be unable to produce levels of cortisol that are needed for optimal body functioning in response to stress.

What are the Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?

An individual with chronic stress (emotional, physical, or mental) is said to experience adrenal fatigue when their adrenal glands cannot cope with producing enough hormones, such as cortisol. As a result, they develop symptoms. Adrenal fatigue symptoms include:

Symptom No.1 – Fatigue

Early morning and mid-afternoon fatigue are associated with adrenal fatigue. Even after a good night’s sleep, you may find it challenging to get up, even after a good night’s sleep. The evening may be more energetic and awake than the rest of the day, but people with severe adrenal fatigue often experience constant exhaustion.

Symptom No.2 – Brain Fog

The adrenal fatigue theory suggests prolonged exposure to stress could drain the adrenal glands, resulting in low cortisol levels. This could lead to brain fog, depression, salt cravings, lightheadedness, and other symptoms. 

Symptom No.3 – Salt Cravings

You may also need to drink coffee or other stimulant drinks very frequently to feel more awake and alert, or you crave salty or sweet beverages or foods. As cortisol regulates sodium, people with adrenal fatigue often crave salt, and when cortisol levels are low, sodium retention will not be enough, resulting in salt cravings. 

Only 6 percent of people are genuinely salt sensitive – meaning salt raises their blood pressure – and adrenal fatigue sufferers have a lower blood pressure than those with high blood pressure.

What are the Treatments for Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue can be treated both conventionally and naturally. The first step is diagnosing the problem, which can be challenging since most people limit their treatment to simply treating their symptoms.

Treatment No.1 – Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy body normalizes hormone levels such as cortisol, insulin, human growth hormone, blood glucose, and thyroid. It also increases the amount of oxygen in your brain, a vital component of brain growth and healing. It is also possible to reduce the symptoms of depression associated with adrenal fatigue by exercising.

After exercising, the cortisol response should go down as quickly as possible. You can reduce this cortisol response by eating the right fuel after exercise.

Treatment No.2 – Eat a Balanced Diet

You should consume high-protein foods or supplements if you suffer from adrenal fatigue. However, consuming a nutritious, balanced diet will enhance your immune system, sense of well-being, and general well-being. 

This includes eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, limiting fatty, sugary, and processed foods, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol. A balanced diet is key to overall wellness and may help prevent adrenal fatigue symptoms.

Treatment No.3 – Be Punctual with Your Sleep/Wake-Up Schedule

It is most important to fall asleep early and get up early to take advantage of this natural rhythm by letting your adrenals rest and repair and producing the right amount of cortisol to wake you up. The adrenals produce the least cortisol from 12-4 am, then have a “surge” of cortisol around 6-8 am (attempting to wake you up).

Getting plenty of sunlight through your eyes and skin helps reset your circadian rhythm, and it helps regulate melatonin production. So when your body understands when it should be awake (in the daylight), it learns when to sleep at the correct times.

Wrapping Up 

Adrenal Fatigue symptoms and treatment. Infographic poster with text and character. Flat vector illustration, horizontal.

When your adrenal glands do not produce enough of one or more essential hormones, you have adrenal insufficiency, which is an actual medical condition. While adrenal fatigue is not medically recognized, its symptoms — low energy, cravings, difficulties sleeping and waking — have natural, underlying causes.

Talk to your doctor if you’re tired, craving sugar, and having difficulty motivating yourself. When it comes to diagnosing underlying conditions that may share similar symptoms, they can get you on the right track. If you notice drastic changes in your mood or energy, schedule an appointment with a doctor to determine what is causing it. Mental, physical, and emotional stress can all have a tangible impact on your body.

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