Adrenal fatigue is also called as adrenal insufficiency. This could happen when our adrenal gland can’t meet the demand that’s placed upon them. This could happen during a period of significant stress. When we have adrenal fatigue, it is easy for us to have difficulties in losing weight. We may also have poor sleeping patter, hypoglycaemia, reduced libido, poor mental function and reduced energy. It is estimated that about 10 percent people have adrenal issues at varying degrees. It is important for us to determine possible poor autonomous reactions, caused by external stressors. Thyroids conditions could be treated in various cases, especially with T4 and T3 replacements. However, there are no equivalent drugs that can restore our adrenal functions to the original level.
Adrenal glands are not easy to full understand. These glands have pyramidal shape and they secrete essential substances for our body. As an example, aldosterone is produced by adrenal cortex and it controls the proper hydration of our body. Adrenaline is probably the most popular hormone and it is secreted by adrenal medulla. It is essential to provide alertness and energy during specific periods. However, it is found that the actual adrenal problems are always related to DHEA and cortisol. These substances are produced by adrenal cortex.
There are potential problems that can affect adrenal functions. As an example, Cushing’s Disease can be caused by extreme production of DHEA and cortisol. Addison’s Disease may occur when we have extreme deficiency of DHEA and coortisol. DHEA and cortisol tend to rise and fall together; because they are secreted by the same gland. Each adrenal gland may work at different rate. As an example, Adrenal cortex that produces DHEA and cortisol could be very overactive; while adrenal medulla that produces adrenaline can be under-active. It appears that adrenal fatigue is caused by various external environmental factors.
This could happen when we face continuous stress responses. When we are in a stressful situation, such as getting harsh email from boss or being taunted by aggressive SUV driver on the highway; our brain secretes and sends ACTH, a type of hormone, to the adrenal glands. Adrenaline production will be stimulated first, followed by DHEA and cortisol. This was essential for our ancient ancestors; when they decided whether they should fight or evade a life-threatening object. This system generally prepares our body for action; by increasing heart rate and overall alertness.
The problem may occur when we face stressors too regularly and the overall reaction can become quite exaggerated. The adrenal glands work continuously to produce adrenaline, DHEA and cortisol. Eventually, we reach the stage one of adrenal fatigue; this could happen if we have faced stressors continuously for one week. This is indicated by tiredness, quick flustering and higher sensitivity to loud noises. Although the individual could remain productive during this stage, they are in danger of approaching the second stage of adrenal fatigue. It is important to deal with stressors directly to avoid escalation of the problem.