The Signs and Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue

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For most people, tiredness and stress are just part of modern-day life.  They don’t typically require a visit to the doctor’s office...or do they?

Long before I received my Lyme diagnosis, I was suffering from adrenal fatigue which eventually lead to burnout. I didn’t pay much attention, I just pushed through. There were times when that little voice inside my head said “Slow down girl, this is not good for you. You are running yourself into the ground.” Perhaps I would hit the pause button from time to time but it didn’t last long. The sad fact is that many people struggle with adrenal fatigue for years before waking up and realizing that this is becoming a problem.

I think there are many people who think it can be easily fixed with a few days of rest. Unfortunately, this idea of easily managed stress couldn’t be further from the truth.  The fact is that modern-day life leaves us all wide open to the possibility of burnout.  The thing is, much like a former version of myself, we’re so busy ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ that burnout can hit you when you least expect it.  It took me getting sick with Lyme disease to really commit to healing my adrenals.  Stress was making me sick.  It’s a fact, our bodies cannot heal in a stressed state.

It’s when you realize you no longer have what it takes to continue on in the perpetual state of ‘fight or flight’ or manage your cortisol levels. Cortisol, aka the ‘stress hormone’ influences and regulates many of the changes in the body that occur in response to stress.

So the question is, how much longer are you going to continue on like this? 

Here are some of the most common ways to know when it’s time to wake up and start paying attention to your health.  Is it time for you to give your adrenals a little love?

1. Chronic Fatigue
No surprise here, right?  It’s pretty obvious that this is a symptom, but it is amazing how many people can carry on with their daily lives believing that a constant lack of energy is ‘the norm’, it’s ‘just the way it is.’  How many people do you know that hop right out of bed in the morning?

It may sound crazy to you, but you are actually supposed to feel refreshed when you wake up.  If you are constantly hitting the snooze button on your alarm and dragging yourself out of bed every day, don’t ignore it.  This could be due to the cortisol roller coaster ride that may be occurring in your body and the reason you have your foggy morning brain and lack of energy to face the day.  

2. Anger Issues
We all feel like losing our shit from time to time.  But if you are finding that you are having these feelings on a regular basis, then it’s likely there is something deeper going on.

This was a big one for me.  My poor kids and husband often took the brunt of it.  It was something that I simply could not control for some time. It makes me sad thinking about it.

When your adrenals are being taxed, your body isn’t in the best shape to handle the everyday tasks that most people take for granted.  One of the effects of a lack of energy is that you can easily feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks. At first, you may feel irritable and tense.  As time goes on, this can turn into feelings of anger or resentment at the expectations being placed upon you.

Breathing exercises, meditation and mindfulness can help, but it is not wise to ignore your feelings. Suppressing your anger and not dealing with your emotions are getting the better of you is a sure fire way to win your burnout badge.  

If you find that everyday chores like shopping are just too much for you to handle and you are easily overwhelmed, it’s time to take stock of your health, my friend.  Time to make your wellbeing a priority.

3. Your weight is becoming an issue
Are you someone who never used to worry about your weight, but lately you are finding it hard to keep off the pounds? Studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep consume more calories than they would if they had adequate rest.  This is because sleep deprivation leads to increases levels of ghrelin (the hormone that tells your body to eat).  If your weight and cravings are becoming an issue for you, it may be time to check things out.

4. Forgetfulness
Are you finding that you are unable to concentrate or notice that you are forgetting things?  This may not seem very important and easy to brush off, but don’t be fooled. It’s not normal if this is happening more frequently than just the occasional ‘oops.’ If you are not sleeping well, lacking in energy and are just flat out exhausted, this should big a big ass stop sign giving you the signal that it is time to slow down and give yourself some TLC.  

5. Your relationships are suffering
Symptoms when severe can affect everything from having the energy to meet your friends on time or at all to not being able to function at work. Adrenals are also partly responsible for the production of sex hormones. This can lead to low libido and reduced sex drive. If you don’t feel like socializing and or lack that little spark and enthusiasm when it comes to being intimate, it may be a warning sign. 

6. Poor Immunity
It takes A LOT of energy to be in a constant state of “fight or flight.”  The body quickly becomes run down when the nutrients that it needs are constantly being rerouted into maintaining your onboard alert system.

Stress has a direct impact on your immunity.  When your cortisol is in perfect balance it has an anti-inflammatory effect helping your immune system fight off infections. However, when cortisol levels remain high, your immune system can’t keep up the pace, leaving you wide open to all sorts of illnesses and infections. If you find that you are spending a lot of time fighting off illness and you are sick of being sick, it’s time to get down to the root cause of your poor immunity.  

So my friends, if this sounds all too familiar, perhaps it is time to heed the wake-up call and make a decision to slow down before it is too late. Burnout is happening with alarming frequency in this fast-paced world we are living in.  Between demanding expectations at work, home and elsewhere, we are pushing ourselves past our limit. Sadly, feeling stressed has become the norm.

These glands affect everything from our immune system and thyroid function to hormones and blood sugar regulation.  If left untreated, it can lead to very serious health issues. It is very important to regulate adrenal function for long-term health.  

If you’re suffering from stress and overwhelm, I can help.  If you feel like you are burning out and don’t know where to start, I can help. I hit the wall and crashed and burned. I don’t want the same thing to happen to you.

If you are ready to discover what changes you need to make both internally and externally to bring your body back into a state of harmony and restore adrenal health, I invite you to head on over to www.meegansciretto.com/discovery to book a free discovery call with me.  

To your health!

~Meegan