How “Adrenal Fatigue” May Be Affecting You

Do you feel tired every day, but you don’t know why? Have you scoured the internet, visited doctors, talked to nutritionists, and you still can’t figure it out? 

There’s something I recently read about that I’d like to share with you. Because though it may not be the answer to your chronic fatigue, it may be playing some role in how you’re feeling. 

So, what is it?

First, let’s talk about cortisol…

You may have heard of cortisol before. It’s been dubbed the stress hormone. There’s a good reason for that. But besides playing a role in your body’s response to stress, cortisol has another function. 

When you wake up in the morning, your body releases cortisol, helping you wake up. By the end of the day, your cortisol levels should be at their lowest, and melatonin levels should be rising, getting you ready for a night of rest. 

But there’s the problem…

Whenever you encounter a stressful situation, your body releases more cortisol. Whether it’s from getting cut off in traffic or having a dispute with a loved one — cortisol gets released. 

Cortisol has helped us survive as a species. Not because we need cortisol to win an argument with our siblings, but because when our ancestors would encounter a stressful situation in the wild, we had to focus on that, and nothing more. That’s what cortisol does for your brain. Mixed with adrenaline — which tells your heart to start beating faster — it allows you to focus on the dire issue at hand. 

But your body can’t tell the difference between a predator hunting you in the wild, and your coworker eating your lunch again. This is why it’s up to us to try and manage our cortisol levels.

Why? What’s the big deal?

When cortisol levels are too high for too long, the result can be a range of health issues. This could involve trouble sleeping, heart problems, weight issues, reduced cognition, mood swings, and more. 

But it can also lead to something else — perhaps the reason why you’re so frequently tired…

Adrenal fatigue

Everyone has two adrenal glands, located at the top of the kidneys. These glands put out over 50 hormones, including cortisol, DHA, estrogen, and testosterone. However, when they are constantly working to send out cortisol, they can become worn. This can have an impact on your body’s release of hormones, which can of course have a major impact on how your body functions. 

Common symptoms of adrenal fatigue include:

  • Fatigue in the morning with “crashes” throughout the day…
  • A poor stress response or mood regulation…
  • Cognitive issues…
  • Higher energy levels in the evening…
  • Cravings for salty and sweet foods…
  • Poor immunity…
  • And a reliance on caffeine.

Less common, but more serious symptoms may arise if left unchecked:

  • Trouble falling or staying asleep…
  • Frequent need to pee…
  • Loss of muscle mass…
  • Mood swings…
  • Unwanted weight gain…
  • Decreased libido.

Adrenal fatigue is primarily the result of the adrenal glands becoming so overworked that they can no longer function normally. Though things like grief, trauma, or certain health conditions may bring it on, the main reason tends to be due to chronic stress. 

How to lower cortisol release?

Cortisol is released in stressful situations. So, limiting cortisol release will have much to do with stress management. 

Here are some tips to help you deal with stress and reduce the output of cortisol.

  • Get adequate sleep…
  • Exercise regularly…
  • Be mindful of stress and stressful situations…
  • Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun…
  • Focus on your relationships with others…
  • Take care of a pet…
  • Eat healthy, nutritious foods.

Put more of your energy into things you love, and even just by doing that you may find that you’re less stressed! 

Hopefully, some of these tips can help you if you think your adrenal glands may be tired. Life can be stressful, but it’s crucial to make sure we take time to focus on our health.

Collagen and stress

Did you know that stress can actually deplete collagen levels? This means that the health of your skin, hair, and nails may be suffering as well. 

Help get your collagen levels back up with a collagen supplement that your body can actually absorb!

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References And Resources

  1. https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/adrenal-disorders/adrenal-fatigue 
  2. https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/adrenal-glands#1 
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/ways-to-lower-cortisol#TOC_TITLE_HDR_14 

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