Stress is the #1 Silent Killer Contributor in America. Stress is responsible for many of today’s diseases and illnesses. Stress compromises your immune system and your body’s ability to absorb the nutrients form your food.
One of the primary symptoms of chronic stress is fatigue.
Fatigue is a symptom that most people will experience at some point in their lives. If you feel you are experiencing extreme weariness, are unusually run down and have a lack of energy, or are constantly feeling exhausted, adrenal fatigue may be a major factor in your exhaustion.
Our bodies are made to respond to stressful situations appropriately as they arise, but sometimes we can become overwhelmed by stress in severe situations. Sometimes it is the culmination of stress over long periods of time, or the deluge of multiples stresses inundating us at the same time, that may in time cause our bodies to overwork our adrenal glands — whose main function is to respond to stress. Your adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys and secrete hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine that help you react to stressful situations.
Determining whether you have adrenal fatigue can be very frustrating especially since the most common test, an ACTH (Adrenocorticotropic Hormone Test), to check the function of your adrenal glands only recognizes the top and bottom 2% of overproduction or underproduction of hormone levels. Since symptoms of adrenal fatigue occur starting at just 15% off, your adrenal glands could be functioning 25% below where they should and it would not register on this test. Because of this, some in the medical community believe that adrenal fatigue is an unproven theory, or not an accepted medical diagnosis. A salivary cortisol test is much more accurate. This inexpensive test will recognize adrenal fatigue at every stage.
Symptoms of Adrenal Stress
- Brain fog
- Craving sweet or salty snacks
- Decreased sex drive
- Difficulty getting over illness
- Fatigue even if there seems to be no reason
- Inability to get restful sleep
- Inability to think clearly
- Low energy levels especially in the morning
- Muscle and bone loss
- Muscular weakness
- Poor memory
- Weakened immune systemThe Main Cause of FatigueThe number one cause of fatigue is stress that is not properly managed. Webster describes stress as, “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” While each individual has a different threshold of stress tolerance, there are many universally recognized causes of stress that we all have to deal with at one time or another.
Common Causes of Stress
- A poor unbalanced diet
- Financial problems
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of sleep
- Relationship problems
- Responsibility of taking care of ill family members
- Stress at work
- The death of a loved one
- And many more!
Self-Induced Fatigue or Lifestyle Fatigue
Our modern lifestyle makes it very easy for us to harm our adrenal glands. We often set ourselves up to be susceptible to adrenal fatigue and don’t even know it. Part of this comes from not understanding how our bodies work, and part of it comes from the wide variety of modern conveniences and gadgets we surround ourselves with. Like the rest of our body, our adrenal glands need time to recover and recharge. The systems in our body, particularly the adrenal glands, use the time between 11:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. to do the vast majority of their recharging. Failure to allow our body the time it needs to recharge is the first step to self-induced fatigue.
Since the beginning of mankind, the rising and setting of the sun has been the controlling factor of the human circadian rhythm. Then the light bulb was invented. Now, we stay up late watching TV, reading, working a night shift, using our computers, iPads, smart phones, and playing electronic games instead of going to bed and sleeping. Most bedrooms, even those of our children, have TV sets. Light, in particularly blue spectrum lights, interferes with our body’s ability to get proper sleep. If you like the “Late Show,” the “Late, Late Show,” or the “Really Late Show” — great. DVR it and watch it the next day.
Do you, or someone you know, often get a burst of energy, or “second wind” late in the evening? When this happens, it is your adrenal glands kicking in ready to start a new day without getting the chance to recharge.
Stop setting yourself up for fatigue. Strive to be asleep by 11:00 p.m. so your adrenal glands have the chance to recharge and face a new day.
Recovering From Adrenal Fatigue
Recovery is not an instantaneous occurrence. You can’t just sleep in on the weekends and expect your body to fully recover by Monday. Just as it took time to burn out your adrenal glands, it will take time for them to recover. Here are some steps you can take.
- Go to bed early so you are asleep before 11:00 p.m.
- Eat healthy so your body will get the nutrients that it needs.
- Remove the TV from your bedroom and sleep in the dark.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid stimulants like soda and coffee, particularly at night.
- Rest when you feel tired. Short naps can be very helpful.
- Avoid sugars to help keep your blood sugar levels even.
- Eat breakfast early in the morning to keep your body from running out of fuel, which will cause low sugar levels.
- Take the time to relax. Many find prayer and meditation helpful.
- Keep your immune system and central nervous system performing optimally by having regular chiropractic adjustments.
- Eat small meals or snacks every 3-4 hours to keep your energy levels up.
- Avoid big meals.
- Drink plenty of filtered water.
- Be patient and consistent. It may have taken you years to burn out your adrenals. It can take from 6 months to 2 years for complete recovery depending on how severe your fatigue is.
- The Triangle of Health is the Key to Healing Adrenal FatigueOur approach to treating adrenal fatigue is with the approach of healing the three aspects that affect balanced health: Structurally (chiropractic), Emotionally (identifying factors or incidences that are happening in a person’s life) and Chemically (lab testing and specific nutritional support)Structurally (chiropractic)
As chiropractors, we work with the spine and with the nervous system, which is the brain, spinal cord, and the nerve roots that exit between the vertebrae or bones in the back. Stress in the form of physical, chemical or mental / emotional stress can cause a subluxation, or the spine to misalign, and put pressure on the nerves. When this occurs at the T11-L2 area of the spine where the nerves exit and supply the adrenal glands, the adrenal glands don’t function well and adrenal fatigue can occur. Also, subluxations that occur in the cervical spine (neck area of the spine), especially the upper cervical spine can have a huge impact on our bodies ability to adapt to stress. The nerves in this area go back up towards areas of our brains that help our immune system function, control sleep patterns, process emotions, react to stressful situations, and think clearly. If the neck is subluxated, this can cause the body to not adapt well to stress making the adrenal glands’ job more difficult and taxing.
Chiropractors remove these subluxations or interference in the nervous system to restore proper nerve function, and help your adrenal glands perform optimally.
Emotionally (identifying factors or incidences that are happening in a person’s life)
Most people think that they do a good job of managing the situations that are happening daily in their lives and they have them under control. But subconsciously, a person may feel that they really are not in control and that, at any minute, everything could blow up in their face! The body reacts to this subconscious fear in any number of different ways. This is feeling of dread (self-doubt) is just one of many different responses that the mind can come up with and the person goes through all of the imaginary catastrophes that may happen. Though this is not real, the stress felt is very real!
Dr. Kimberly particularly specializes in helping patients that fall victim to this “stinking thinking” by treating these emotional responses using a collection of modalities that help shift the consciousness. The “gloom and doom” fear is replaced with clear and concise techniques that replace the fear with hope through recognizing the best technique or techniques that will best help the patient get better. Whether it be life coaching, emotional clearing or any number of other treatment types that would be help the patient, Dr. Kimberly figures it out and makes it work!
Chemically (lab testing and specific nutritional support)
We all take in a variety of products into our bodies everyday. From food and drink to over-the-counter drugs and prescription drugs, these items have an effect on our performance and how our bodies hold up for us.
A simple and inexpensive Salivary Cortisol Test is much more accurate and will determine which phase of adrenal fatigue you are in. These test results help us to precisely design the correct treatment protocol that will positively prescribe the balanced nutritional program that heal the adrenal glands.
As part of our patient care, at Comprehensive Health and Chiropractic Centre we also educate our patients on nutrition, exercise, and how to properly manage mental and emotional stress.
Call us at 760.736.0286 to arrange an appointment with Comprehensive Health and Chiropractic Centre. Let us help you and educate you on how to deal with your fatigue and stress. If any of your friends and family can benefit from this article, please recommend this article to them.