Endocrine System

Adrenal Fatigue

Feeling Burned Out? You May Be Suffering from Adrenal Fatigue

Are you an anxious over-achiever? If so, you have something else to worry about — adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands, positioned on top of the kidneys, produce too much or too little stress hormones (including cortisol and adrenaline) due to long-term exposure and response to stress. That being said, adrenal fatigue is admittedly a bit of a misnomer. That’s because it is actually the brain that signals the adrenal glands, which fatigues. Regardless, the result is the same — neuroendocrine imbalance.

Adrenal Fatigue

As a result, you may feel anxious and irritable or burned out and depressed. Or you might alternate from one state to another as your adrenal glands sputter and spit in an attempt to keep you going.

Unfortunately, conventional medicine refuses to accept adrenal fatigue as an illness. It recognizes only two adrenal diseases:

  • Addison’s Disease (low cortisol), also referred to as adrenal insufficiency, which typically results from an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the adrenal glands
  • Cushing’s Syndrome (high cortisol), caused by a tumor on the pituitary gland that makes the pituitary gland secrete excess ACTH, stimulating the adrenal gland to make more cortisol

Each of these conditions are serious, rare and requires immediate medical attention. However, high or low cortisol in the absence of adrenal disease can cause fatigue, body aches, and a host of other symptoms commonly observed in clinical practice. Clusters of these symptoms are what clinicians often diagnose as continue reading

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