It’s important to know adrenal fatigue is not a proven medical condition. The term describes the appearance of chronic fatigue and other symptoms caused by an over-taxed adrenal gland, usually a sign of extreme stress or emotional distress.
The adrenal glands are important because they make the hormones that keep our bodies in balance. The theory, (again, there is no scientific evidence), is that when we are experiencing high levels of stress, our body perceives itself to be under attack, and the adrenal glands may not be generating enough hormones to counteract the attack.
Adrenal fatigue is the result of our adrenal glands not working as efficiently as they could. There is a rare medical condition called Addison’s disease, which is where the adrenal glands cease to function completely.
Only 4 out of every 100,000 people have Addison’s disease, and it is diagnosed through blood tests. There is no blood test to diagnose adrenal fatigue, however, and no other way of proving the existence of low hormone production. As such, adrenal fatigue is still a theory.
That doesn’t mean that adrenal fatigue doesn’t exist, though, and it’s often suggested that someone has adrenal fatigue simply because of the symptoms they are manifesting. According to The Mayo Clinic, “Adrenal fatigue is a term applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.”
Here are 10 signs of adrenal fatigue:
Do you notice any of these things?
1. Always feeling tired and never able to get enough sleep.
It is not normal to wake up feeling tired, or still feel tired after taking a nap.
2. Trouble focusing, making decisions or thinking clearly.
Something is usually going in our bodies when we walk around in a foggy state and are unable to think clearly.
3. Moodiness and overly emotional behaviors.
You should seek help if your mood swings become uncharacteristic or out of place.
4. Adrenal fatigue causes salt and sugar cravings.
Our bodies signal that it lacks something through cravings. Both salt and sweet cravings are an indication that our hormone levels may be low.
5. Muscular aches and pains.
When our bodies are under stress, we tend to hold it in our muscles, which end up resulting in achiness and tightness that continues until it is relieved.
6. Dizziness and lightheadedness from sudden movement.
When our bodies are out of balance, it takes longer to respond to changes.
7. Hormonal imbalance can stem from adrenal fatigue.
A hormonal imbalance can be manifested through excessive weight gain, insomnia or restless sleep, an increase in sweating and digestive problems.
8. A low libido.
When we are under chronic stress and experiencing low hormone production, our sex drive can be one of the first things to go.
9. An increase in menopausal or PMS symptoms.
These symptoms rely entirely on hormones, so it makes sense that a decrease in hormone production would manifest itself through more severe symptoms.
10. A decrease in the immune system.
Keep an eye out for more frequent colds, flu, and allergy-related symptoms.