What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Your adrenal glands produce cortisol, the hormone needed to make sure you can respond to an emergency, when you need to fight or you need to flee! At least you might have needed to many centuries ago, nowadays stressful situations can be many different things. Your body also has to react when it is being stressed from intense activity or when responding to an illness or infection. The stress may be external or it may be internal. Cortisol levels rise with each stressful situation. On a short term basis this is healthy, if it keeps happening again and again, it is not so healthy, in fact it begins to have a detrimental effect on your body.
Whilst cortisol is being produced, your immunity is susceptible. This is because your adrenal glands instigate the stealing of the hormone Pregnenolone in order to make more cortisol at these times of emergency. Pregnenolone is a pre-curser hormone from which other hormones are made. So if your body says you need more cortisol, other hormones stop being produced.
Pregnenolone should be making
- Thyroid Hormone
it only makes cortisol if there is an emergency requirement. While it is making cortisol is doesn’t make the other hormones. So our libido is diminished as is all of the functions which use Thyroid hormone.
Thyroid Hormones produce Triiodothyronine (T3) Thyroxine (T4) which are responsible for maintaining many important automated systems in your body including your:
- Heart rate
- Central and peripheral nervous systems
- Body weight
- Muscle strength
- Menstrual cycles
- Body temperature
- Cholesterol levels
and many more reactions.
If you have too much T3 and T4 in your body (hyperthyroidism) you might experience some of the following symptoms
- Irritability or moodiness
- Nervousness, hyperactivity
- Sweating or sensitivity to high temperatures
- Hand trembling (shaking)
- Hair loss
- Missed or light menstrual periods
If you have too little T3 and T4 in your body (hypothyroidism) you might find these symptoms are common in your day to day life
- Trouble sleeping
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Difficulty concentrating
- Dry skin and hair
- Sensitivity to cold temperature
- Frequent, heavy periods
- Joint and muscle pain
If you have experienced a stressful event you may still be suffering from the shock waves of the experience. Your body may continue to return to a hyper alert state at any time. You may have ongoing low levels of stress that act as a slow build up causing change in your cortisol levels in your system. We can see the knock on effect from a stressful situation that has either suddenly occurred (in acute moments of stress) or has built up over a long period of time (chronic ill health caused by continued overproduction of specific hormones).
Now we can see now how important it is that we learn to control our reactions to the stress around us in order that our bodies can function correctly. We can also see how everything is related to everything else in our bodies. Our fertility is directly related to our stress levels, our digestion (and therefore our ability to lose or gain weight) is directly related to our hormone efficiency, our health is dependant on the continued balance of all of our hormones. If something knocks us off kilter there are many areas of our health which are be affected.
So what can we do about it?
Understanding what is stressing our body and what is stressing our health is important. If you have had a whole series of illness’s over many years, this may have had a huge impact on your immunity. Likewise if you have had many years of medications, your hormonal balance may have been affected.
To enable your body to make the changes it needs to make to rebalance your hormones, it will be necessary to look at addressing the cause of your adrenal fatigue. You will also need to make sure that you are providing your body with the correct nutrients it needs to promote a healthy recovery.
If you would like to learn more about how to address the cause of the problem then
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