Adrenal fatigue has become a buzz phrase recently, although it was coined in 1998. As an RN, I have to say I had never heard of this condition. I knew about Addison's disease, which refers to adrenal insufficiency, but the symptoms are more dramatic and its not a condition you can cause by being a type A personality. Instead, it is more likely due to an autoimmune disease, a serious infection like TB, and cancer can also cause this damage to the adrenal glands.
The fact is, adrenal fatigue isn't a recognized disease. Its more of a term to describe being really stressed out. It is my strong opinion that it is unnecessary to have lab work drawn to diagnose, or take expensive supplements to treat, a condition sometimes referred to as "frazzled".
Because the adrenal glands produce hormones such as adrenaline, cortisol and DHEA, which help our body adapt to stress, some practitioners have...I hate to say it, but... made up this term.
They claim that the symptoms of adrenal fatigue include: chronic fatigue, insomnia, sleep disturbance, feeling overwhelmed, craving for salty and/or sweet foods, sensitivity to light, low stamina, slow recovery from illness or injuries, brain fog, poor digestion, poor concentration, low immune function, low blood pressure, menopause symptoms, sensitivity to cold, allergies, anxiety and irritability, depression, poor memory, low libido, panic attack and short temper.
Sounds like the side effects for every medication advertised on TV.
Clearly, some of these are serious symptoms that should be addressed. Unfortunately, medicine can't always give the answers, and they can also misdiagnose. Medicine is actually pretty imprecise sometimes, I'm afraid. That doesn't mean we should concoct new diseases to pick up those who fall through the cracks.
To maintain adrenal health, or better said good health overall, develop routines to help you reduce and manage stress on a day-to-day basis. Getting enough rest and physical activities, as well as having a support system that you can turn to, can help your body deal with stressful situations.
Slow down and practice some self care.
Fill up your own cup, so you can overflow to those around you.
When was your last vacation? I mean a real vacation where you could truly relax and recharge?
Are you getting to sleep on time? When we stay up late, doing "one more thing", we aren't able to give it our best effort. It would be better for that project, and your health, to do it the next day when you are refreshed.
Regularly schedule some time to do what you enjoy. Reading, crocheting, gardening, hiking, whatever you love to do. Make time for it, for your mental and physical health.
Comment below to share how you like to prevent stressing your adrenals, or any other part of your body!