Tired all the time? Craving salty or sugary foods and downing pots of coffee just to make it to the end of the day? That happens to everyone now and then, but if you find yourself constantly exhausted, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue.
What is adrenal fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that is characterized by symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, body aches, hair loss, mental fogginess, insomnia, and fatigue. When some or all of these symptoms appear together with no other explanation, the condition is referred to as adrenal fatigue.
Though many things about adrenal fatigue are still unknown, doctors believe that it is caused when the adrenal glands that are responsible for producing cortisol can’t continuously keep up with the chronic stress of everyday, modern life. In a sense, they burn out from pumping out cortisol in a non-stop “fight or flight” response from daily stress.
Once the adrenal glands are worn out, they aren’t able to respond to stress with healthy functioning. In the same way that an overused joint succumbs to inflammation and stops working correctly, the adrenal glands are thought to break down when overworked by ongoing, intense stress.
When your adrenal glands hit the fatigue stage, they are not able to produce the correct amounts of adrenal hormones. That’s why patients with adrenal fatigue, also known as adrenal exhaustion, feel so run down. Many patients that come to Nore Women’s Health with adrenal fatigue tell us they go to great lengths to have the energy to get through tough meetings, parent-teacher conferences, daily chores, and all the responsibilities of juggling a career, a family, a marriage, and a life. That usually includes loads of coffee, energy drinks, and sugary sweet snack that give them short bursts of energy.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue
Read this list, and you just might find some symptoms that describe your life. These symptoms individually do not indicate adrenal fatigue. But if you have many of the symptoms listed together, you may want to come in to see if you are suffering from adrenal exhaustion.
- Food cravings for salt and sugar
- Hair loss
- Unexplained body aches
- Cognition issues
- Trouble waking
- Reliance on stimulants like caffeine
- Weakened immune system
Fortunately for adrenal fatigue sufferers, there are many treatments for adrenal exhaustion that produce wonderful results in a wide variety of patients. Every person is different, and some may respond better to certain treatments than to others. When seeking treatment for adrenal fatigue, it can be helpful to find a provider that offers many different treatments in the same office, as we do here at Nore Women’s Health. That way, you have options for treatment and don’t have to hop from provider to provider to find a treatment that works for you.
Treatments for adrenal fatigue include:
Adrenal Fatigue Hormone Therapy
Now that your adrenal glands are temporarily falling down on the job and not producing the hormones you need to feel healthy, bioidentical hormone therapy can help balance your hormones levels. Not all hormone replacement treatments are the same, so make sure that your hormone replacement therapy for adrenal fatigue is tailored to your unique body chemistry by a specialized provider.
Vitamin IV Therapy for Adrenal Fatigue
Vitamin IV therapy is useful for treating adrenal fatigue in multiple ways. For one, the fact that you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue indicates that you’re living a high-stress, high-speed lifestyle. If that’s the case, more than likely, you are also running through the drive-thru for meals, skipping the gym, and not sleeping enough in your battle to get things done. In patients that we treat with adrenal fatigue, we find that nutritional deficiencies and adrenal fatigue tend to go hand in hand. Vitamin IV therapy helps balance the nutritional deficiencies that correspond with adrenal fatigue.
Secondly, your adrenal glands are experiencing an overuse injury, which is why they aren’t functioning properly. Like any other part of your body, the better health you are in overall, the faster and more completely you’ll heal. Vitamin therapy gives your body the nutrients it needs for ultimate cell turnover and repair, and it does so quickly. You’re likely to feel the difference at your first vitamin therapy appointment, though most patients need a full course of four vitamin IV treatments to experience the full benefit.
Magnesium for Adrenal Fatigue
Magnesium is an essential trace mineral that’s required for healthy sleep, regulating blood pressure, heart rhythm, muscular relaxation, and more. Patients with adrenal fatigue are often lacking magnesium. We believe that the lack of magnesium in patients with adrenal fatigue is caused both by a poor diet and the fact that the human body tends to use up its natural stores of magnesium during times of chronic stress. Replacing the missing magnesium in the body can greatly benefit adrenal fatigue patients, helping them achieve better overall health to aid in the healing of their overworked adrenal glands.
Your adrenal glands are in their overworked state because, more than likely, so are you. That means that to truly cure adrenal fatigue, you’re going to have to find a way to rework the parts of your life that are running you ragged and keeping your body in a constant state of “fight or flight.”
Of course, everyone just wants to be able to pop a pill to fix adrenal fatigue, but so far, there’s no medication made specifically to heal all the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. The treatments listed above can certainly help you treat your current bout of adrenal exhaustion, but to prevent future flare-ups, it is important that you find ways to slow down.
That could mean something as drastic as changing jobs, or something as simple as turning down invitations to events more often. Could you get your kids to do more chores around the house so you don’t have to? What about hiring a housekeeper or an assistant to take some of the mundane tasks off your plate? Every person’s individual situation is different, so only you know the right actions to take to de-stress your life on an ongoing basis (one spa weekend isn’t going to cut it!). Take the time to really analyze what elements of your lifestyle keep you running until you’re run down, and then find ways to address them. Your adrenal glands will thank you.