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5 Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue


With our complex lives in the 21st century, more and more people are suffering from stress-related conditions. The negative impact of stress can affect many areas of health. One area in particular that can be adversely affected is the adrenal glands.

The adrenal glands are located near the kidneys and produce the hormones that are needed for the body to function properly. Stress adversely affects these glands because, when the body is under severe stress the glands start producing more hormones to help the body cope (this is the classic ‘fight or flight’ response). The main hormone is cortisol, which regulates metabolism and is a response to stress.

Of course, in some circumstances a stress response is needed, however, when stress is experienced over a long period of time, these glands weaken and this negatively affects the body and results in adrenal fatigue.

Is Adrenal Fatigue REAL?

The term Adrenal Fatigue is not an official medically-recognized term. For if you go to your primary physician, they might say that this “doesn’t exist” or maybe have never heard of this at all.

The better term to use is “Adrenal Dysregulation”, because that is what is really going on. The adrenals are actually just one organ in the endocrine system. It is part of what is called the HPA Axis; The Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis. The Hypothalamus and Pituitary glands are both located in the brain and control the release of certain hormones, such as norepinephrine & adrenaline.

This “feedback loop” affects the release of cortisol from the adrenal glands. So when discussing stress and adrenal fatigue, we must look at the BIG picture and understand that there are many factors relating to your symptoms.

Adrenal Dysregulation & Dysfunction IS real, but there are varying degrees and everyone’s hormonal imbalances are unique. Below are just some of the signs and symptoms that your adrenal glands are taxed.

So, what are the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue?

1. Excessive, unexplained tiredness.

Adrenal fatigue makes a person very tired. This is because under stress the hormone levels are elevated, thus making it harder to sleep. Over time, the body’s cortisol levels are affected and this leads to the body being in an almost permanent state of alertness. All of this can affect the ability for a person to fall asleep or get a good night’s sleep. It could be that a person thinks he is getting enough sleep (the recommended 8 to 10 hours) but still wakes up feeling tired and fatigued.

2. Cravings for salty or sugary foods. junk food 2

Adrenal fatigue affects the body’s blood sugar levels. As cortisol rises, it also increases blood sugar and insulin levels. When this happens, cravings for energy foods increase and therefore a sufferer will eat more sugary foods. Foods high in sugar are also comfort foods and stress can cause a person to increase the intake of sugar-high foods. For example: you are exhausted, so you reach for the coffees, snack and junk foods etc. to give you that short burst of “energy”, only to crash a few hours later. Then the cycle continues and you keep reaching for the junk.

Adrenal fatigue can also result in cravings for salty foods. This is because the adrenal glands affect how the kidneys regulate mineral fluctuations. When we suffer from fatigue, the body releases more minerals in the urine. This in turn can increase the desire for salty snacks.

3. Heightened energy in the evenings.

An adrenal fatigue sufferer could find that he/she is tired all day but then in the late evening experience a surge of energy, with a “wired but tired” feeling. A healthy cortisol response is to peak in late morning and then reduces during the day, allowing us to relax and prime our bodies for sleep. In adrenal fatigue, the cortisol and hormone release is disregulated.

4. Difficulty in handling stress.

The normal body’s response to stress is to release specific hormones so that stress can be handled effectively. The three specific hormones are cortisol, adrenaline, norepinephrine, and knowing how these affect the body helps us understand the relationship to stress.

a. Cortisol: Gives the body extra energy to cope with the stress, it increases memory function and lowers sensitivity to pain. However, the body needs a rest period after cortisol has been released in a stress-related situation. If a person is suffering, from adrenal fatigue rarely gets to have the ‘rest period’, over time less and less cortisol is produced.
b. Adrenaline: Probably the most well-known stress response hormone. This gives us the initial burst of energy needed to respond to stress. Once again, adrenal fatigue will affect the amount of this hormone and therefore the response to stress is reduced.
c. Norepinephrine: This hormone helps the brain to focus on the stress. Without this active hormone, the response to stress could be described as lethargic.

5. More Infections & Sickness.

Cortisol helps to regulate the immune system in the body and cortisol works as an anti-inflammatory. Too much cortisol over an extended period of time hinders the response of the immune system and this results in having more infections. On the other hand, if the adrenal glands are so weakened that they produce too little cortisol, then the body’s response is to over react to infections, and can even result in certain autoimmune disorders!

Want to Regain your Health?

So you might have some or all of these symptoms…and possibly even more not listed as well. How do you start to feel better and like yourself again?


Making lifestyle changes, such as sleeping at least 8 hours a night, having daily physical activity, eating a whole-foods and clean diet, taking some down time, all can make a huge difference in your hormones.

Getting your nervous system checked, the master system of your whole body, is also key to feeling better. Getting regular chiropractic care can test if there is internal STRESS within the body and nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments work to free up the stress in the body, allowing that feedback loop from the brain to the adrenal glands to work optimally!

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Are you ready to get started? Contact our chiropractic office today!

We are offering a new patient special for only $57 (a $325 value), which includes a full health history, consultation, complete health examination, all necessary X-rays and a report of findings.

*Offer excludes: workers’ comp, personal injury, Medicare and Medicaid.  We do not participate with workers’ comp, Medicare, and Medicaid.


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