You. Yes, you. Have adrenal fatigue.

Haven't heard of adrenal fatigue? Do you have a year for me to properly explain just how important healthy adrenal gland function is to your entire well-being? Probably not. Here goes my best effort to keep it concise.

Adrenal 101: small walnut-sized glands located in your lower back atop each kidney. They control your energy levels as well as certain hormones, such as cortisol, DHEA, aldosterone, and adrenaline. While small in size, they are the true powerhouses of the endocrine system. They’re like the Al Pacinos of the body. We should do whatever we can to keep our Al Pacinos happy, right? We all know how messy that can get.

Symptoms of poor adrenal function:

Fatigue
Stress
Anxiety/Irritability
Thyroid imbalance
Hormone imbalance
Insomnia
Poor metabolism/weight control
Poor blood pressure regulation
Joint pain
Brain fog
Etc.

Western medicine is still a bit behind in getting to the root of our symptoms. High/low blood pressure, brain fog, fatigue, insomnia, mood swings… these are SYMPTOMS. Why do we assign each of them their own medication without looking to what may be the CAUSE? As stated above, these could all be explained by abnormal adrenal function. Isn’t it time we do something about it?

Poor adrenal function can literally affect every aspect of your well-being. We all have stress in our lives, but how our bodies regulate that stress can determine our physical health. Your adrenal glands help produce the stress hormone, Cortisol. Ideally, our cortisol peaks in the morning and slowly decreases throughout the day, hitting the lowest level in the hours just after midnight. This allows our bodies to follow their normal circadian rhythm. The adrenal glands will produce more cortisol in response to stress, then return to normal following the stressful event. But, what happens when stress is constant? Most of us deal with high stress situations on a daily basis and if our bodies never get a break from the stress, how are our adrenals to keep up?

Think about your day-to-day life. Are you getting a consistent amount of sleep per night, yet still wake exhausted and yawn most of the day? Are you over-anxious and under-performing? Are you tired all day, but wired all night? Most of us fit into one of those categories. It is important to determine where you fit so you can find the appropriate treatment. A simple adrenal supplement is usually the solution and it is important to use only high-quality products. You’ll want to stay away from the pharmacy brands and purchase from a health food store or healthcare practitioner.  

Most patients notice improvement in energy, stress, and sleep immediately after starting an adrenal support. It is not uncommon to be on treatment for an extended amount of time, some patients will even need to be on some type of adrenal support for the rest of their lives. Also, it is not uncommon for patients to cycle through potent and less-potent varieties of adrenal supplements as they improve or as stress comes in and out of their lives.

For more guidance on your adrenal function and finding appropriate treatments, seek out an integrative healthcare practitioner or read “Adrenal Fatigue” by Dr. James Wilson. It's important, OK?