Health / Expert Advice

What Exactly Is Adrenal Fatigue and Do I Have It?

If you have overall malaise that's impacting your entire body and attitude, it's time to re-evaluate your daily duties.

Everyone has those mornings where they wake up and everything—and we mean everything—hurts. From body aches to a headache that won’t pass, it’s not necessarily sickness, but it’s something.

Many people associate these all-over sore spots to be the product of a killer Aaptiv workout or the result of a stressful time at work. While being overworked can sometimes result in physical symptoms, the culprit can also be a little thing called adrenal fatigue.

This term has recently become trendy. However, many doctors are still on the fence on if it’s a true diagnosis, or just the onset of certain reactions.

Whatever the case, if you’re experiencing the sensation of all-over exhaustion, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.

Here’s what you need to know:

So, what is adrenal fatigue?

Everyone has an adrenal gland that products a group of hormones that are essential for maintaining energy and metabolism, explains Co-Founder of LabFinder.com Dr. Robert Segal.

The concept of adrenal fatigue is just as it sounds. It’s the reaction your body has when the gland has hit its max performance.

“Adrenal fatigue is a constellation of non-specific symptoms where the hallmark is overall malaise. It is presumed that this arises from adrenal gland dysfunction,” he says.

Usually it’s ignited when someone is running on steam and not putting their health first. So, you can think of adrenal fatigue as the most extreme version of stressed AF—one that impacts every part of your body and attitude. (Keep in mind, this is different from adrenal insufficiency, in which the gland doesn’t produce enough hormones.)

While many people report this concoction of symptoms, Dr. Segal notes that it’s a debated topic since there isn’t real scientific evidence to support the claims.

“Since it is debatable that the symptoms attributed to adrenal fatigue are generated from an issue with the adrenal gland or from some other more common process, it’s important to rule out thyroid issues, anemia, sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety, and autoimmune disease,” he says.

To restore your energy levels, try an Aaptiv yoga or meditation class in app today.

What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

From internal to external, there are many reactions that you might experience if you’re suffering from this condition. Dr. David Greuner explains a few to be mindful of.

Weak Muscles

When you have low levels of adrenal cortisol, every last joint and muscle in your body may feel tired or drained. This may cause you to rise each morning feeling as if you didn’t sleep the night before. Or, when you’re trying to work up a sweat, you could feel tired faster than normal.

Low Blood Pressure

Dr. Greuner says that when your adrenal gland isn’t performing at its max level, your blood pressure will skew dangerously low. This could be tricky for those with an active lifestyle, since they need extra energy to push forward.

Mood Swings

Find yourself texting snarky responses to your bestie? Or, arguing with your partner for no good reason?

You could blame your adrenal fatigue, since. Dr. Greuner explains depression, anxiety, and brain fog are common side effects. This is usually because you’re pushing yourself to the max—with little rest – this product has been shown to help.

Ongoing Fatigue

Dr. Greuner explains that those with adrenal fatigue have trouble falling asleep every night. And if they do drift off, they won’t stay there. This results in mid-afternoon slumps, sleepiness, and the inability to focus or spark creativity.

Loss of Weight or Appetite

When you’re this stressed, Dr. Greuner says that you probably won’t be as ravenous as when you’re happy or fulfilled. This could cause weight loss and make you unable to eat the foods you would usually enjoy.

How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue

Dr. Segal says that it’s a common misunderstanding that in order to rid yourself of adrenal fatigue that you simply need to zen out. “Although lowering stress is a good thing, it doesn’t really resolve the problem.

What should be resolved is where the stress is coming from,” he explains. This could be done through therapy, where you can openly discuss what’s causing you difficulty and process the feelings in a healthy way. When you can accept, deal, and move forward, you’ll naturally feel more at ease.

Dr. Greuner says that prioritizing sleep can also be a game-changer for adrenal fatigue. It’ll help get your cortisol levels back in the healthy range. From going to bed earlier to tearing yourself away from electronics a few hours before lights-off, these measures will allow your mind and body to heal overnight.

Last, but not least, Dr. Greuner adds that eating healthier may help to relieve your adrenal fatigue symptoms. He suggests cutting back (or cutting out) sugars, refined carbs, alcohol, and other inflammatory foods to see if it makes a difference.

Bottom line, if you feel like you might have extreme fatigue, it’s time to take a step back on your daily duties and give your overall health and vitality a harder edit.

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