Chronic Fatigue

How To Know If You Have Adrenal Fatigue

Some common symptoms of adrenal fatigue you should look for.

As we go through life, we’ll experience multiple phases. As kids and teenagers, we can’t wait to grow up and become independent. We want to feel free from the control of adults and be able to make our own decisions. Then, the moment that we actually become adults, we realize how tough the world truly is. We experience daily stressful responsibilities and grasp how much our choices can impact our path in life (such as careers, relationships, financial responsibilities, rent, house investments, insurance bills, family struggles, caring for our kids, etc.) Add all this together, and these daily pressures can cause a lot of mental strain, especially if we are unable to handle it diligently. As we continue to expose ourselves to these stressful situations, we begin to feel consistently worn out. For example, our sleep patterns have changed, our body aches, we don’t have the motivation to perform everyday activities, and all in all, we feel sluggish; not like the person that we once were a few months ago. So, the question is, what happened and why do we feel this way?

People all over the world experience these same feelings and wonder the same questions. The answers are simple. Have you ever done an extended workout and felt sore for the next few days? Muscle soreness occurs due to taking on more exertion than it can handle, leaving muscles and tissues feeling exhausted and weak. The same thing occurs when our adrenal glands take on too much stress. The adrenal glands are small, triangular shaped glands on top of the kidneys. They are responsible for producing hormones such as adrenaline, estrogen, cortisol, DHEA, aldosterone and many more to regulate metabolism, blood pressure, stress, and the immune system. When they are constantly handling stressors, they eventually become worn out. This exhaustion is called adrenal fatigue and it occurs when individuals are constantly exposed to stressful situations or constant emotional distress. Severity of the condition can range from mild to severe, but most people don’t even know that they have it until they’re officially diagnosed. Listed below are a few common signs that one may have adrenal fatigue.

Brain Fog

Brain fog is a symptom of adrenal fatigue.

Brain fog is a cognitive malfunction that impacts the way someone can think coherently. It normally signifies the early onset of adrenal fatigue. When people are exposed to a stressful lifestyle, their brains go through prolonged periods of strain. The adrenal glands which handle these stressors can no longer handle them, thus becoming fatigued and decreasing cortisol production. Eventually, this will lead to sudden forgetfulness, short-term memory issues, communication problems, and lack of focus. This is due to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) which is an interactive neuroendocrine unit that acts as a feedback loop between the body and the brain that control the adrenal functions. If production of hormones from the adrenal glands are limited, this will eventually translate to several mood changes and hinder thinking abilities.

Body Aches

Adrenal fatigue can be associated with body aches.

This symptom often occurs in stage two of the adrenal fatigue development process. With the adrenal glands dealing with continuous stressors, cortisol levels elevate while DHEA and estrogen levels decrease, thus making the stress response system overloaded or imbalanced. These hormones are meant to help fight against inflammation, and when there is a significant decrease in their amount or an imbalance, it places the body in a vulnerable place. Some patients may begin to feel unexplained muscle pains that feel as if they just did a workout. Others may experience strange muscle spasms, jitteriness, and elevated blood pressure. For many, this symptom may gradually develop into chronic joint pain or fibromyalgia if the condition continues untreated.

Low/High Blood Pressure

Adrenal fatigue can affect your blood pressure.

Depending on the severity of the adrenal fatigue can determine whether one’s blood pressure is elevated or decreased. An article written by Dr. Michael Lam explains that normal to high blood pressure levels signify mild adrenal fatigue. Hypertension occurs most often when the patient is feeling overwhelmed or handling a stressor. If this persists, the body develops a compensatory response, thus normalizing the high blood pressure levels which causes it to become persistent. However, as it progresses with time, one’s blood pressure will slowly decrease. This is due to the reduced levels of cortisol and aldosterone; both hormones that regulate blood pressure. In the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue, both hormones are secreted by the adrenal cortex leading to a drop in blood pressure and reducing the amount of blood flow to the brain. As a result, this will bring on periods of lightheadedness, heart palpitations and dizziness¹. However, both low and high blood pressure are not unique to adrenal fatigue and can be a symptom of other chronic illnesses, therefore it’s important to speak to a practitioner for an official diagnosis.

Don’t Allow Your Adrenal Fatigue to Progress

Treatment from Dr. Minkoff.

At LifeWorks Wellness Center, we see plenty of patients that are unaware that they have adrenal fatigue since it feels similar to other medical conditions. However, learning these symptoms can help people understand more about the condition and what to look out for. While most conventional practices won’t recognize adrenal fatigue as an official condition, we know that it is a real treatable illness. To officially receive a diagnosis, patients will need to consult a LifeWorks practitioner to discuss any current or past symptoms, allergies, current or past medications, or conditions. From there, their practitioner will recommend intravenous therapies, ozone therapies, supplement regimens, peptides, or dietary changes.

If you or someone that you know are suffering from symptoms of adrenal fatigue, please call to schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners at 727-466-6789 or contact us online.

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About Dr. Minkoff

Dr. David Minkoff graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1974 and was elected to the “Phi Beta Kappa” of medical schools, the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honors Medical Fraternity for very high academic achievement. He then completed both a Pediatric Residency and a Fellowship in Infectious Disease at the University of California at San Diego. He worked at the University of California and Children’s Hospitals in San Diego as an attending physician in infectious disease while conducting original research on Ribaviron, a broad spectrum anti-viral agent to fight disease. He also co-directed a neo-natal intensive care unit and worked in emergency medicine. In 1992, Dr. Minkoff’s attended a lecture by Dr. Jeffrey Bland, widely considered the father of functional medicine, during which he had a eureka moment, and began pursuing the alternative health field with a vengeance, studying under the most accomplished thought leaders on natural & integrative healing. In 1997 Dr. Minkoff and his wife set up a small clinic to help friends with their medical problems. What began as an experiment blossomed into LifeWorks Wellness Center, one of the most successful clinics for complementary medicine in the United States.