We live in a world where stress is the norm. The busy bug has bitten, to the point where all too often we may even take pride in, and identify with our busyness and overwhelm.
That ongoing exposure to modern stress, as opposed to evolutionary stress (which looked more like the basic survival stressors of cold, food, safety from predators and illness) can lead to what is commonly termed ‘adrenal fatigue’ – actually called; Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal axis dysfunction – and other downstream hormonal imbalances.
Stress disrupts the natural balance of adrenal hormone production resulting in a constant state of heightened awareness or alarm, in turn depleting the body’s hormone resources overtime. If this state continues, other hormones such as DHEA, progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid hormone can all be impacted.
Impaired immune system function is also a byproduct of adrenal fatigue. During prolonged periods of stress immune cells don’t respond normally and diminished adrenal function leaves you vulnerable to chronic illness and autoimmunity.
Adrenal conditions have many different symptoms that can sometimes be confusing. In early stages, people are over stimulated and appear to have excessive energy on 4 hours of sleep. In the end stage of adrenal fatigue, people struggle to get out of bed and have brain fog and fatigue all day long. At any point on this spectrum, other symptoms and conditions can potentially arise as well, such as PCOS, weight gain, acne, insomnia, inflammatory conditions, and blood sugar, thyroid, and sex hormone imbalances.
Imagine how different your life can look if you can uncover the cause of adrenal fatigue, address it head on and get back to living a full and vibrant life. Using a functional medicine approach allows us to identify all underlying causes of why that adrenal fatigue is occurring. Anything from daily stress, infections, and diet to nutrient imbalances, toxins, and lack of oxygen could be driving your adrenals down. Addressing the causes and bringing the hormones back into balance will let you feel like yourself again.