The Basics of Adrenal Fatigue

The adrenal gland when not healthy can develop various ailments that could alter its normal functioning. One of these adrenal gland ailments is called “Adrenal Fatigue”. Many questions surround adrenal fatigue. Is it real? Is it a myth? Is it different with adrenal sufficiency?

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Around 1998, James Wilson, a naturopath and chiropractor, came up with the terms “Adrenal Fatigue” in the book he wrote under the same name. Adrenal fatigue is usually a terminology that is utilized to explain symptom groups that may possibly happen in individuals who are experiencing long-term physical, mental, or emotional stress. Others define adrenal fatigue as a collection of symptoms, termed as syndrome that usually results to the subpar functioning of the adrenal glands.[1] That said, there is no actual scientific proof that verifies the existence of adrenal fatigue as real medical condition.[2]

Adrenal Fatigue vs Adrenal Insufficiency

Other people use adrenal fatigue as another term for adrenal insufficiency. However, in true medical sense, many doctors still do not accept the former to be a legit ailment. On the other hand, adrenal insufficiency is highly real as a medical condition. Adrenal insufficiency is brought about by adrenal glands damage or an issue with another gland – the pituitary gland. People who are experiencing adrenal insufficiency may show signs of dehydration, weight loss, or confusion. They may also feel lethargic, weak, dizzy, or tired. Low blood pressure, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and stomachache may also be observed. Therefore, adrenal fatigue is not a term that doctors use interchangeably with adrenal insufficiency.

Causes of Adrenal Fatigue

The possible causes of adrenal fatigue are mainly from ones exposure to physical, mental, and/or emotional stress. Other experts also believe that it may also occur during or even after chronic or acute infections such as respiratory infections like pneumonia or bronchitis.

Other possible causes of adrenal fatigue include:[3]

Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

The signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue are more common as well as non-specific. This means that signs and symptoms of adrenal fatigue may be found on other diseases or ailments as well. Moreover, these signs and symptoms may also be experienced normally in an individual’s busy lifestyle. Such signs and symptoms are said to include the following:

Possible Treatments for Adrenal Fatigue

Possible treatments suggested to manage adrenal fatigue include better lifestyle management – go healthy, avoid alcohol and smoking, and not taking drugs. Proper exercise, healthy eating, as well as proper sleeping and waking routine are also suggested. Others may also advise you to take multivitamins or special supplements.[4]

[1] What is Adrenal Fatigue?. Dr. James L. Wilson’s The Source on Adrenal Fatigue.

[2] Adrenal Fatigue. Hormone Health Network from The Endocrine Society.

[3] Adrenal Fatigue. Health Direct.

[4] Is adrenal fatigue a real condition?. Medical News Today.

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