What is adrenal fatigue? Is it medical attention or just a myth? In actuality, there is no scientific evidence yet proving that the condition exists. However, what symptoms may indicate that you are experiencing this condition? You will find out about it if you continue reading this article. Meanwhile, are you not getting any sleep due to toothache? If that’s the case, it would be best to seek a dentist’s advice.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is the term they use to refer to various symptoms showing out of long-term mental, emotional, or physical stress. Examples of adrenal fatigue sources are stressful jobs, single parenthood, or alcohol or drug abuse.
In most cases, symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue include the following.
- sleeping or waking up difficulty
- salt and sugar cravings
- unusual weight loss
- stimulant dependence
- nonspecific digestive problems
According to theories, adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands worked too much due to stress. In actuality, the adrenal glands are in charge of producing hormones like cortisol.
Cortisol is the hormone that deals with stress. In effect, the adrenal glands might experience difficulty keeping up with the body’s demands, resulting in adrenal fatigue.
How is Adrenal Fatigue Different from Adrenal Insufficiency?
As mentioned, there is no sufficient scientific evidence about adrenal fatigue, making doctors not accept it. However, adrenal insufficiency is an actual medical condition.
Adrenal insufficiency occurs when the body’s adrenal glands cannot produce enough hormones. Either the adrenal glands have damage, or there is a problem with the pituitary gland.
The pituitary gland is pea-sized located in the brain. It is in charge of sending signals for the adrenals to produce cortisol. Various conditions can occur when a person has adrenal insufficiency.
Additionally, the detection for adrenal insufficiency is through blood tests, and treatment involves medications to fill in the hormones that adrenals usually make.
On the other hand, no test can detect adrenal fatigue. Therefore, the basis is most likely on symptoms only. Although blood or saliva test may apply, there is still no scientific facts or studies to support this condition. In effect, the results of the test may be inaccurate.
Symptoms of Adrenal Insufficiency
Adrenal insufficiency or Addison’s disease develops symptoms in a slow phase. It may take over several months before the signs of this medical condition occur. In effect, people will mostly ignore, not until it already worsens.
The following are the signs you have to pay attention to, which can associate with Addison’s disease.
1 Extreme fatigue
Fatigue is the first sign that too much stress can cause you. However, with insufficient hormone production, this symptom can become extreme later on.
2 Weight loss
Another symptom that a person may incur with Addison’s disease is weight loss. The person will start to experience decreased appetite. In effect, they will have consistent weight loss.
3 Low blood pressure
It is vital to have normal blood pressure. Blood pressure is the key for oxygen and nutrients to circulate to the body. Unfortunately, with Addison’s disease, a person’s blood pressure can even drop down when standing up. Low blood pressure can lead to fainting.
4 Low blood sugar
This symptom is more severe in children than adults. Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia occurs when the glucose in the blood is not enough.
Concerning Addison’s disease, the darkening of the skin is another sign. It usually affects the areas with direct exposure to the sun. Skin color changes may be one of the first signs of the disease, but the case is not the same for everyone.
- Salt craving
- Nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Salt craving
- Sexual dysfunction for women
- Muscle or joint pains
Myth or legit?
As of the moment, some doctors are still not accepting adrenal fatigue as a medical condition. Instead, they still claim that it lacks scientific proof to confirm it as a valid medical condition.
In this case, you can consider watching this short video from a physician, herbalist, and author Aviva Romm, MD. She explains how adrenal fatigue is a myth and claims there is no such thing.
On the other hand, we cannot remove the fact that there are supporters of this condition. Those who support it are most likely to recommend lifestyle improvements, such as quitting smoking, excessive alcohol intake, and drug abuse.
Besides that, taking supplements or vitamins is also one of the recommendations. However, since there is no scientific evidence, there is no assurance of its safety.
You might be taking supplements when you don’t need them at all. For this reason, it can lead to the adrenal glands’ stoppage of producing the hormones you need to fight stress.
Myth or not, it is our responsibility to take care of our health. Additionally, we have to balance our routines to manage stress and live life with high quality.
Adrenal Fatigue, Irina Bancos, M.D., Melanie Schorr Haines, M.D., Jason Wexler, M.D., May 2020, https://www.hormone.org/diseases-and-conditions/adrenal-fatigue
Is adrenal fatigue “real”?, Marcelo Campos, MD, February 28, 2018, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-adrenal-fatigue-real-2018022813344