The adrenals are small glands that sit on top of each kidney. They are responsible for producing many hormones. One of the most important adrenal hormones is cortisol.
“Adrenal fatigue” is a controversial condition. Doctors are taught in medical school that the adrenals are either fully functioning, or not functioning at all, which is a disorder known as Addison’s disease.
An increasing number of doctors are however forming the opinion that there is an intermediate zone of adrenal function where the adrenals are producing cortisol, but not in sufficient quantities for optimum health. This has been called “adrenal fatigue” or “adrenal exhaustion”. It is thought that this state can arise if a person is subject to high levels of stress over a long period.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue may include lethargy, fatigue, reduced immunity, and reduced ability to cope with stress.
Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue:
- Tendency to gain weight and unable to lose it, especially around the waist.
- High frequency of getting the flu and other respiratory diseases and these symptoms tend to last longer than usual.
- Tendency to tremble when under pressure.
- Lightheaded when rising from a horizontal position.
- Unable to remember things.
- Lack of energy
- Feel better suddenly for a brief period after a meal.
- Often feel tired, but resist going to bed.
- Cravings for salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese.
- Increased symptoms of PMS for women; periods are heavy and then stop, or are almost stopped on the 4th day, only to start flow again on the 5th or 6th day.
- Pain in the upper back or neck with no apparent reason.
- Feels better when stress is relieved, such as on a vacation.
- Difficulties in getting up in the morning.
Other symptoms include:
- Mild depression
- Food and or inhalant allergies
- Lethargy and lack of energy
- Increased effort to perform daily tasks
- Decreased ability to handle stress
- Dry and thin skin
- Low body temperature
- Unexplained hair loss
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea