Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome

What is Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome?

This syndrome develops due to the malfunction of the adrenal glands in producing hormone competently. The adrenal gland secretes cortisol which is a hormone essential to optimal health. Cortisol in the body in excessive amounts may lead to problems that are severe such as Cushing’s syndrome. But, if released in amounts that are common by the gland, cortisol is a hormone that is vital to helping the body fight infection and deal with stress – without cortisol the body is not able to sustain life. Balance is crucial as well. Cortisol has an effect on every tissue, gland and organ in the body. When these glands are tired, they don’t provide the body with adequate cortisol. The body does what is necessary to get by but it is not without penalties. As such, this syndrome normally precedes other chronic situations.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome Symptoms

The following is a list of symptoms that are common for individuals who have this syndrome:

  • High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory disease and symptom tend to last longer
  • Trend to gain weight and not loose it
  • Tendency when under pressure to tremble
  • Sex drive reduction
  • When rising from a position of laying down lightheaded
  • Not able to retain information
  • Feel recovered unexpectedly for a short period after eating
  • Require coffee or stimulant to get started in the morning
  • Morning lack of energy and also in the afternoon in between 3 to 5 pm
  • Feeling weary between 9-10 pm but defy going to bed
  • Craving for fatty, salty and food high in protein such as cheese and meat
  • Neck or upper back pain for no obvious reason
  • Problems in waking up in the morning
  • Feels better whenever stress is relieved
  • Lightheaded
  • Mild depression
  • Inhalant or food allergies
  • Short of energy and lethargy
  • Enlarged effort to complete tasks daily
  • Thin and dry skin
  • Decreased ability to handle stress
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Body temperature is low
  • Nervousness
  • Palpitation
  • Hair loss unexplained
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Indigestion

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome Causes

This syndrome is due to an extended and severe load on the adrenal glands to create large amounts of cortisol so as to fight the effects stress has on the body.

When the body is stressed – from infection, disease, or illness and/or emotional stress – the adrenal glands will respond by amplifying cortisol production. Cortisol helps the body deal with stress and curbs inflammation. But once the body is in a steady state of stress, these glands grow to be tired out from this constant need for added cortisol and stops creating quantities that are sufficient.

Chronic and recurrent infections can leave the immune system susceptible to other infections and repeated stress physically. Each additional stressor adds up to more lack of ability to meet the body’s need for cortisol – and the adrenals become further weakened.

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Additionally to this constant underproduction of cortisol, this syndrome can also be aggravated or caused by corticosteroids which are synthetic hormones such as prednisone that are prescribed for numerous illnesses in dosages that far go above the amounts of cortisol the body needs.

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome Treatment

Conventional drugs may be prescribed by physicians to treat the symptoms of the syndrome. These drugs might cause the depletion of certain nutrients. These medications include:

Corticosteroids

This can be extremely fast and effective at treating the symptoms of allergies, asthma, skin problems, arthritis, and other illnesses. However, since many of these type medications contain a hormone that is synthetic and is often 17 times more in strength than what is needed by the body, they may repress and in some cases shut down adrenal function – creating an even larger hormonal inequality than prior to treatment. Additionally, the side effects may be severe, ranging from kidney failure to dizziness and in some cases death. Some of the more common corticosteroids are prednisone (brand names of Cortan, Deltasone, Prednisone). These medications have lots of side effects.

Hydrocortisone

Under the brand names of Cortef, Hydrocortone has a bio-identifical form of cortisol. When in use in amounts that are comparable to those necessitated by the body and in forms that are pure, this medication may be very useful and does not have the side effects that corticosteroids have.

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