Ever wonder why you’re always feeling so tired, even after a relatively good night’s sleep? Need caffeinated beverages just to get going? Suffer from the dreaded mid-afternoon slump? Does “wired and tired” describe the way you feel? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans feel the same way, stressed and struggling to get through the day.
You may be suffering from Adrenal Fatigue, a complicated condition caused by a “malfunction” of the adrenal glands. These tiny, much ignored glands that sit atop your kidneys play a very large role in how we feel and function. They manufacture and release important hormones involved in everything from blood sugar control to blood pressure to stress response. When we’re stressed, the adrenals go to work trying to moderate the harmful response to our body. But like a car driven at too high a speed for too long, the adrenals get burned out from too much stress. Hormones are either over or under-produced, resulting in a major imbalance in the body (even 15 minutes of acute stress can deplete your body’s entire reserves of Vitamin-C). And then the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue arrive—fatigue, irritability, insomnia, weight gain, increased blood pressure, poor blood sugar control, and decreased libido.
What to do next? Perhaps (and only perhaps!) sex hormone replacement—estrogen, progesterone, testosterone—but that may be only part of the answer. A good multi-vitamin? Again, maybe part of the answer. The answer is generally multi-faceted, and is never “one size fits all.” Many predisposing factors likely resulted in the way you feel. The goal is to evaluate them all, determine where the gaps and deficiencies are, and then work deliberately to rebuild the body and restore the adrenals to their happy place.
Consider using a Functional Medicine approach to address your Adrenal Fatigue. Think about the physical, mental, and spiritual components that resulted in the way you feel. Have a complete physical evaluation, with labs. Don’t discount the value of exercise, sleep, and time spent in meditation/prayer. Know that it can take months to years to recover from adrenal gland malfunction, but a good plan will get you there!