Here are just some of the many common symptoms and health problems caused by adrenal imbalances:
- Blood sugar problems, insulin resistance
- Brain fog, concentration problems
- Difficulty falling asleep (you feel “tired and wired”) or restless sleep
- Digestive symptoms
- Fatigue, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Feeling stuck in the “on” position – overwhelmed and overdrive
- Food cravings, especially for sugar, carbs, or fatty foods, and afternoon sugar or caffeine cravings
- Frequent colds, infections
- High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes
- Hormonal imbalances, PMS, fertility problems, menopause symptoms
- Inflammation, joint pain, fibromyalgia
- Irritability, anxiety, or depression
- Waking up tired in the morning
- Weight gain (especially that “spare tire” or those “muffin tops”)
Adrenal fatigue may be more pronounced during perimenopausal years. As women’s estrogen and progesterone starts to decline, adrenals system is designed to support this transition and lessen hot flashes and night sweats. However, chronic expose to stress effects adrenal system leading to adrenal burn out. Therefore, measuring DHEA-S is important to properly determine the optimal dose of DHEA. This hormone is the precursor to testosterone and other sex hormones. As pregnenolone (first hormone produced from cholesterol that begins the process of creating other hormones) is diverted away from the sex hormones and towards the stress hormones, it is easy for Adrenal Fatigue sufferers to experience a shortage of DHEA. Replacing this DHEA can lead to a return of sex drive and some of the other general markers of vitality that are disrupted during Adrenal Fatigue.
Another way to support adrenals is to take adaptogen herbs.
Adaptogens are a special class of herbal medicines that have been used in Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines for centuries to promote a sense of well-being. The term adaptogen refers to the unique ability of these herbs to help you adapt to the stress in your life. They do this by “normalizing” or “regulating” the adrenal stress response.
Adaptogens help your body to cope more effectively with the demands of everyday life. They provide a sustained sense of calm, and while they increase energy, with the exception of Chinese ginseng, they are non-stimulating. In addition to their effects on stress adaptation, adaptogens have profound antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that protect your cells from damage from a variety of chemical exposures.