Could You Have Adrenal Fatigue? Signs and Symptoms You Should Know

 

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

 

{Please welcome Jedha from Good Food Eating, sharing crucial information about Adrenal Fatigue, something I think is epidemic.  Her list of Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms should be a help to everyone in thesee stressful times. Please read this and pass it around. It’s important info for sure.}

If you are:
- tired
- stressed
- wanting a whole healthy life

this post is for you.

And for those you love.

What’s all the Hubbub about Adrenals and Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue is epidemic.  And the adrenals are affected by so much and affect so much, you really can’t afford not to pay attention to these glands and how they are functioning.

Adrenal fatigue is a stress condition where the adrenal glands becomefatigued, tired, exhausted, and in the later stages of progression the adrenals can even become dysfunctional.

Adrenal fatigue is a rising phenomena and yet it’s not something that medical doctors frequently detect or test for.

Trust me, I know I’ve had it myself and had to research far and wide for information. In the end this was great because I managed to overcome it, and I also wrote a book about it and have gone on to help other people overcome it too.

Adrenal fatigue is a condition that has far reaching effects when it comes to our health.

It’s not just feeling tired. but all the other things that start to become compromised as a result of high cortisol (our stress hormone).

Another thing to be aware of is that if you have thyroid issues, your adrenals have usually become compromised first. So in order to effectively address thyroid problems you have to heal the adrenals as well.

And if you’re a woman entering peri-menopause or going through menopause right now, the health of your adrenals has everything to do with the severity of your symptoms because the adrenals take over hormone production from the ovaries.

If the adrenals are shot, your symptoms will be worse.

So let’s get to know a thing or two about the adrenals to get an understanding about just how important it is to get a hold of our stress and our health.

What Are the Adrenals?

The adrenals are two small glands that sit slightly above and adjacent to the kidneys. They are part of the endocrine system and produce around 50 different hormones.

Yes, these two little glands are very busy!

The hormones in our body are chemical messengers that are secreted by the various glands of the endocrine system. We do also produce hormones from places other than our endocrine glands but these are the main hormone producers.

Hormones are activated by altered conditions in the body. Hormones have many roles but essentially they are there to maintain balance in the body so that your body keeps functioning the way it should.

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Amongst other hormones the adrenals produce cortisol, progesterone, testosterone, adrenaline, norepinephrine, aldosterone, pestrogen, dopamine, DHEA, and sex hormone precursors. The adrenals are our central energy centers and are involved in many important bodily functions including blood sugar regulation, brain alertness, stress adaptation, sex hormones and sex drive, and helping to moderate the body’s mineral balance.

Cortisol is the predominant hormone that is activated under stress and what often happens at first is it becomes hyperactive and it can also become erratic. In the later stages people can find themselves with low cortisol and completely dysfunctional hormones.

So it’s best if we catch things early by understanding the signs and symptoms, that way you can start doing something about it.

Some Signs of Possible Adrenal Fatigue

Some signs that you might have adrenal fatigue are if you:

  • experience tiredness in the morning and need caffeine and stimulants to get you going
  • have a slump in the afternoon between 2-4pm and need more stimulants to keep you going
  • get your second wind around 6pm and feel more energetic at night when you are meant to wind down
  • feel tired and exhausted all the time
  • feel tired yet wired
  • feel like you have to push through all the time
  • have difficulty getting to sleep, wake up frequently, or don’t sleep well
  • get dizzy spells when you stand from a sitting position
  • have poor memory or inability to concentrate
  • have strong cravings for sugar, refined carbohydrates and stimulants
  • crave salty foods
  • feeling wrecked by the end of the day
  • lack of ability to stay calm
  • feel generally rundown or overwhelmed

There’s also a whole array of other symptoms including but not limited to:

  • Fatigue
  • Allergies
  • Insomnia
  • Blood sugar lows
  • Panic attacks
  • Memory problems
  • Aches and pains
  • Depression
  • PMT, menopause and fertility problems
  • Digestive issues
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Addictions to sweet or salty foods

As you can see adrenal fatigue can have varying affects on the body, mind and soul!

It sounds daunting, but there’s A LOT we can do to minimize the stressors in our life and I’ll be sharing a post about that very soon.

Additionally, you can read here about 7 Healing Foods for Adrenal Fatigue.

In the meantime I hope you’ve found this information helpful and that you share with others to help them on their health journey as well.

Please note – neither Jedha nor Adrienne are doctors. Please consult with your physician before making any changes to your diet or exercise or supplement regimen.

Have you or do you suffer with adrenal fatigue? Please feel free to leave your comments below.

About the Author

Jedha - writer for Whole New MomJedha Dening is the Nutritionist and Health Coach behind Good Food Eating. She’s also a Mom, passionate writer, and lover of good food that’s also good for your waistline. Jedha is host of the Good Food Eating Podcast, author of the Adrenal Fatigue Handbook, and creator of various other nutrition and health programs. With over 10 years experience in health and wellness, Jedha is passionate about taking care of people’s nutrition and health so they can feel fantastic everyday. When she’s not cooking, researching or writing about nutrition, she can usually be found in the great outdoors gardening, bushwalking, or kayaking.

Shared at Real Food Forager, The Prairie Homestead, Skip to My Lou, and Chef in Training.

Comments

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  1. Melissa says:

    Is there you can glean from a test from the dr. for this? My husband just had his blood tested for adrenal function and his cortisal was high.

    • Hi Melissa, Blood tests are not accurate for measuring cortisol because they test total hormone levels but not necessarily the active component. The most accurate way to test is via saliva at 3-4 periods throughout the day. Measuring salivary hormones shows the tissue concentration of the hormones – the active component. If he is having troubles ou may want to request that test be done :)

  2. Melissa says:

    Hello,

    Yes, I do have adrenal fatigue, and have for many years. What started out as thyroid issues (Graves Disease) eventually came around to the adrenals issues as well. Since then, I have taken Maca, Plus ( from Mannatech and is totally awesome for the whole endocrine system, check it out!!) Silica, and on occasion bee pollen if I know I have a busy day. Maca does not work for everyone but it works wonderfully for me. Also added bio-identical progesterone and testosterone and it made a huge difference in my memory and most importantly, my sleep. i am totally off sleeping pills now after 20 something years!! I also add 5htp for sleeping as well as Melatonin.

    I have lost 40 lbs, yoga 3 or 4 times a week, snow ski, hike, volunteer, and feel sooooooooooooo much better. I have had a full hysterectomy, my thyroid gland irradiated ( from Graves Disease that was unaffected by meds). Had no naturally occurring hormones which made my adrenal issues even worse. Now I am doing well. There are non prescription ways to get better.!!

    Blessings,
    Melissa

    • Hi Melissa. One thing I did hear is not to use maca when you are ill as it can cause the illness to go in farther. I can’t medically advise, but a previous practitioner told me that.

    • Great to hear you’re going better Melissa :)

      It is true that natural treatment is the way to go. Primary treatment strategies are diet, supplements and lifestyle changes and when implemented right can help anyone overcome it, though it can be a journey for most of us who have or do suffer. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. Stephanie W. says:

    I’ve had adrenal fatigue along with my thyroid, gut, etc., issues. It’s still unbelievable to me that my *former* endocronologist once told me that she did not believe in adrenal fatigue!

    • WOW Stephanie, that’s crazy! It’s a number one endocrine issue and that’s so surprising that an endocrinologist would say that. Unfortunately the main stream medical model does not acknowledge this condition enough even though it is an epidemic. I treat clients with this condition all the time and it IS very real.

      Thanks for sharing and I hope your health journey is going along better these days :)

    • I have adrenal fatigue also, and before I was diagnosed I saw an endocrinologist about my symptoms (extreme hypoglycemia–my body HAD to have food every two hours, or I’d experience the full range of unpleasant hypoglycemic symptoms–needless to say, I had gained a lot of weight, lol!), and she told me that they couldn’t find anything wrong, and to just keep doing what I was doing to manage it. Eating every two hours was not a satisfactory solution to me!

      • I suffer from adrenal fatigue associated with toxic levels of copper revealed by a hair/mineral analysis. The recovery process is slow especially when under persistent stress. I think a lot of people have this sort of problem and have no idea because conventional medicine doesn’t address nutrition and the importance of minerals.

        • Absolutely right Diane! Unfortunatley conventional medicine doesn’t address much of anything that is really important and is not a model that is designed to assist people in gaining optimal health. It is really only there to help manage disease and there is a HUGE difference in those ideals, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Crazy Stuff Jamie, I hope you’re managing things better now?!

  4. If this question was answered in the article or in the comments already I really do apologize. What test should I ask my Dr. to run? In the last 12 years I have donated a kidney, had mononucleosis and completed menopause and I am losing my mind,exhausted, irritable, can’t shut my mind down so that I can sleep….trust me the list goes on and on. Help! Is there a specific test?

    • Hi Dawn, ask you doctor for a salivary cortisol test. Cortisol is the key stress hormone and that’s what will indiccate if adrenals are a bit out of balance. The most accurate way to test is via saliva at 3-4 periods throughout the day. Measuring salivary hormones shows the tissue concentration of the hormones – the active component. They may offer blood test but it tests total hormones not the active component.

      I’d say if you are suffering symptoms start taking action on your diet and lifestyle. There really isn’t medication for adrenal fatigue anyway, the best healing strategy is diet, lifestyle and supplements. If you need help with that you might want to visit my website. http://goodfoodeating.com

  5. I was wondering Adrienne if you still recommend the same person you were working with in 2012? I am 59 and know I am hypothyroid and have probably been for many years. I was low in progesterone and had all my children early probably because of this. My body temps have always run low as does my sis and mom and my kids. I am not in pretty good health but take Klonapin for restless legs (ugg) I know!! and have for many years. I don’t take a large dose and really don’t know if I even have it (restless legs) any more but coming off of it is kind of scary as I have been on it for 10 years. I did not have weight problems until I was about 45 (had my last child at 41) and was always thin all my life and now am up to 162 even though I eat no sugar or grains. Was going to try keto diet but I guess was wondering if there was any way to heal my thyroid and hormones at this late date? I know that I am high in bad estrogen too and have an appt with a integrative doctor on March 31 but have wondered if I could find help in a less costly way. I also have a mouth full of fillings and root canals from my youth that I must live with.
    Unfortunately like many we are stuck this year with very high deductibles and must pay out of pocket 4,000 before insurance kicks in for the small part it plays. I was wondering if you still feel the hair testing is a great way to go?
    Thanks
    Pat

    • No, I am working with someone new. I can give you her contact info if you like. I have someone for me and someone for my son. They both are familiar w/ hair testing but they do other things as well. It isn’t cheap but I am moving in a good direction I think. Let me know. Both of them can work w/ adults.

      • Yes that would be great :) Do you work with a doctor to (do you have to have any thyroid meds ect) or just one person. I know even integrative doctors can leave much to be desired. My daughter is being treated by this doctor I have the appt with for Lymes disease that was just diagnosed in Dec – she is 18 and has suffered for years with symptoms. I read with very much interest your friends posts about Lymes.
        I have friends that think they can help me get rid of excess estrogen (diet, cleansing such as coffee enemas) but they are in their 30′s and have more time to try different things. I notice I am not as sharp as I was and my daughter says I repeat things so I don’t want to let this go. I am sure you have been around enough to know when you find someone that you trust:)
        Thanks again!
        Pat

    • Hi Pat, Yes you can still do a lot with your health and hormones at any age! Definitely sounds like a thyroid/adrenal issue with that weight gain. Sounds like you will need some assistance to work out the right supplements and eating plan because with your variety of symptoms I wouldn’t go it alone and try to work it out if you want a speedier recovery.

      Hair testing is good for many things such as minerals but not for thyroid/adrenals. Salivary cortisol for adrenals and blood tests are usually done for thyroid :)

      • Hi all, I just wanted to add that all of the above guidance is not medical advice, I work with the body to support healing via nutrition and the above is not meant to replace the advice of a medical practitioner :)

  6. Is it possible for a 9 year old to have adrenal fatigue? My daughter LOVES salt, like way too much.

  7. Jennifer says:

    I wonder if this isn’t the same as what used to be diagnosed as PCOS Lite (PCOS symptoms without the actual cysts). Can you direct me to a more detailed list of symptoms? I was diagnosed with PCOS Lite about 9 years ago, and most of these symptoms are the same as mine. Very interesting…