Could YOU be suffering from adrenal fatigue?
Are you experiencing weight gain that won’t go away despite your best efforts? Do you wake up exhausted and struggle through the day, only to toss and turn all night? Have you become increasingly forgetful or scatterbrained? Are you sick more often than others you know? Or when you do get sick, does it feel like your symptoms last longer than they should? Do you often crave salty, sweet, or fatty foods?
You could be one of the thousands of Americans who suffer from Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal fatigue develops when the adrenal glands are unable to function at an optimal level due to prolonged periods of exposure to stress. Patients with adrenal fatigue syndrome typically present with some or all of the following symptoms:
All of these symptoms are a direct result of the imbalance in adrenal hormones that occurs when their function is impaired.
What are the adrenal glands?
You have two adrenal glands, one sitting on top of each kidney. These small glands, though not frequently discussed, are a very vital part of your body’s endocrine system. The adrenal glands are responsible for producing hormones necessary for sustaining life. These hormones control our blood pressure, kidney function, immune system, stress response, and reproductive function.
What do the adrenal glands do?
Each adrenal gland is comprised of two distinct parts: the outer cortex and the inner medulla.
The cortex is responsible for secreting various hormones to keep our bodies running efficiently.
- Sex hormone precursors like DHEA (which converts to estrogen and testosterone) and androstenedione (which converts to testosterone) are secreted by the adrenal cortex. In men, the majority of testosterone is produced by the testes, but in women, the adrenals are a very significant source of androgen hormones.
- The cortex also secretes the hormone cortisol, which regulates our sleep/wake cycles, increases blood sugar by generating energy from non-carbohydrate sources, and suppresses our immune system via its anti-inflammatory effects.
- The third hormone, aldosterone, plays a central role in controlling our blood pressure by regulating the amount of sodium that is excreted by our kidneys.
The innermost layer of the adrenal gland, the medulla, is responsible for managing our body’s response to stress. It secretes neurotransmitters involved in the stress response – epinephrine and norepinephrine. Together with cortisol, they are responsible for keeping us safe and alert in traumatic, dangerous, or life-threatening situations.
How do you get adrenal fatigue?
Many of us are familiar with the term “fight or flight.” We’ve heard remarkable stories about the seemingly impossible, like a sole human being lifting a 3,500 pound vehicle to rescue a person trapped underneath. Most of us have probably had our own personal mini-encounters with the fight or flight response.
We may have been in situations where we sensed danger, became hyper-aware of our surroundings and felt a rise in blood pressure and heart rate.
Unfortunately, your body’s stress receptors can’t tell the difference between, say, being chased across the golf course by an alligator, being overwhelmed by a high-pressure job, and battling a long-standing illness.
To your hypothalamus, stress is stress is stress. Regardless of the source, it responds in the same manner and continues to do so until the perceived stressor has disappeared.
Our bodies have an excellent ability to “bounce back” from the sudden rush of stress hormones and neurotransmitters released by the adrenals, but they were not designed to be exposed to them for prolonged periods of time.
Pregnenolone and cholesterol are the building blocks of both your stress hormones and your sex hormones, but there is only so much of them to go around.
Eventually, as the adrenal glands need to produce more and more stress hormones due to prolonged exposure, there is not enough pregnenolone and cholesterol available for sex hormone development.
As your adrenal glands start to get burned out, and you end up with a whole host of negative symptoms that are due to too many stress hormones and too few sex hormones circulating throughout your blood stream. Nearly every bodily function becomes affected by this imbalance of high cortisol and low levels of DHEA and testosterone.
How do you treat adrenal fatigue?
Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, along with vitamin and mineral supplementation, can be very effective in normalizing hormone levels that have been distorted by overworked adrenal glands. One of our hormone specialists can appropriately evaluate your symptoms in conjunction with laboratory results to recommend the appropriate products and dosages that will be most helpful to you.
At our Boca Raton Wellness Center, our team of adrenal fatigue specialists are here to help you take your life back.
If you’re looking for help with your symptoms of adrenal fatigue, take the first step on the road to wellness and give us a call today at 561-243-1219.