Our adrenals are important glands in our body as they help our body in dealing with stress and anxiety. As per James Wilson, who wrote the book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome, they are “the glands of stress”. Our endurance, resilience, and energy are dependent on the proper functioning of our adrenals. Whenever our adrenals start getting overworked, it will lead to a reduction of cortisol levels and imbalances in our hormones.
There is a dysfunction present between the adrenal glands and the brain. The glands are present on top of the kidney and produce sex hormones and cortisol. A proper balance would result in good sleep, healthy body weight, great sex drive, and proper metabolism rates. But when there is stress, our body will produce hormones to get rid of it.
Our hypothalamus will release corticotropin-releasing hormone, which on the other hand will trigger the production of adrenocorticotropic hormone. The adrenocorticotropic hormone acts as a stimulant, releasing cortisol which raises the sugar and blood pressure levels. During chronic stress, the cortisol continues to stay high in our body and this results in adrenal burnouts, depression, etc. Also, there is depletion of serotonin and in the process, one gets neuroendocrine dysfunction.
When you have adrenal fatigue, your normal life gets disrupted. You end up having anxiety, brain fog, etc.
Some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
Gain in weight
Digestive conditions like constipation, diarrhea, etc.
Salt or sugar cravings or both
The 3 pm crash
Vulnerability to different illnesses
Inability to take stress
Not getting enough sleep
Hot flashes which are generally associated with menopause
Problems with concentration
Stage of Burnout
The condition has been divided into three stages by Wellness Mama.
Stage 1 – Tired and Wired
Cortisol levels generally stay high during the morning, but when you have elevated levels at night, then it is a problem. Cortisol levels should stay low at night. You will have difficulty sleeping and you will always feel like you are on the edge.