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What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Educational Information, Healing Procedure

 

Hypoadrenia and Adrenal Fatigue

“hypo” (lower) and adrenia (related to the adrenals) is a lowered adrenal activity causing a decrease in the output of adrenal hormones, particularly the steroid hormone called cortisol. Too much physical, psychological,  and/or environmental stress can deplete the function of your adrenals.

This hypoadrenia can range in severity. The extreme low end of hypoadrenia is called Addison’s disease which can involve actual structural and physiological damage to the adrenal glands and is life threatening if not treated.

On the other hand, conditions towards almost normal end of hypoadrenia on the spectrum have many names such as non-Addison’s, sub-clinical hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, adrenal neurasthenia, adrenal apathy, and adrenal fatigue.

They are more commonly known as adrenal fatigue as it describes the chief symptom of hypoadrenia.

In spite of millions of people in the U.S and around the world affected by adrenal fatigue, it is not usually recognized by modern medicine nor be considered a medical emergency. Nevertheless, every organ and system in the body is more profoundly affected by the reduction of adrenal function. Changes occur in body’s metabolism (slows down), electrolyte balance, sex drive, and even body shape. our body does its best to to compensate for under-functioning adrenal glands.

Adrenal fatigue s a collection of signs and symptoms. It is not readily identifiable entity like acne or a growth on the skin. People with adrenal fatigue often look and act relatively normal as they may not have any obvious signs of physical illness. Yet, they know that they are not well and live with “gray” feelings. They often use coffee and/or other stimulants to get going in the morning and throughout the day.

Conditions related to Adrenal Fatigue

  • Abnormal blood sugar levels (Hypoglycemia)
  • Alcoholism
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Constipation
  • Cravings for salty or sugary foods, alcohol, caffeine, energy drink
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frequent Allergies
  • Frequent Colds
  • Frequent Respiratory Infections
  • Increased difficulty during menopause
  • Increased Fears, Anxiety, and Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Intense Mood swings
  • Low energy
  • Low sex drive
  • Premenstrual Tension
  • Thyroid disorder
  • more

Factors affect Adrenal Fatigue

Whether in a mild or severe form, adrenal fatigue is usually caused by some form of stress. Our body doesn’t differentiate a type of stress. Every kind of stress, physical, emotional, psychological, environmental (external), infectious (internal), or a combination of these is responded the same by our adrenals.

While stress can be caused by significant events such as an automobile accident, or the death of a loved one, the lower grade (less intense) stress such as pressure at the workplace, an unhappy relationships, environmental toxins, poor diet, occasional financial crisis, etc. could take its toll. Especially, if occurs simultaneously, accumulate or become chronic, and adrenals have no opportunity to fully recover, adrenal fatigue is usually the result.

Anyone can experience Adrenal Fatigue

While people from every culture and every age can suffer from adrenal fatigue, each person has a different capacity to handle the total stress load, and the capacity of each person varies over time and events.

One person may handle and overcome a stress quite easily and be ready for more, but another person, or that same person at a different situation, may find the same stress overwhelming and impossible to bear. It is important to understand that the onset and continuation of adrenal fatigue is reflected by great individual variation.

Your Job may be a Factor

Some professions are harder on the adrenal glands than others such as physicians, the police force, middle executives, secretaries, and teachers. cabin attendants, actors and actresses, etc. They often sacrifice their sleeping hours, have intensive work load, and requires high responsibility. They commonly have other health problems (high cholesterol, insulin resistance, hypertension, obesity, etc.), as the adrenals are less responsive after burning out of cortisol.

Components of Lifestyle Leading to Adrenal Fatigue

  • Lack of sleep
  • poor food choices
  • Using food and drinks as stimulants when tired
  • Staying up late even though exhausted
  • Constantly driving yourself
  • Trying to be perfect
  • Feeling stuck
  • Lack of enjoyable and rejuvenating activities

Lifestyle Leading to Adrenal Fatigue

  • University student
  • Mother with two or more children with little support from family or friends
  • Single parent
  • Unhappy marriage
  • Extremely unhappy and stressful work conditions
  • Drug or alcohol abuser
  • Alternating shift work that requires sleep pattern to be frequently adjusted
  • Little play little recharging time

Life Events Leading to Adrenal Fatigue

  • Pressure or frequent crises at work and/or home
  • Severe emotional traumas that are unresolved
  • Death of a close friend or family member
  • Major surgery with incomplete recovery
  • Prolonged or repeated respiratory infections
  • Serious burns (include sunburn)
  • Head trauma
  • Loss of stable job
  • Sudden change in financial status
  • Relocation without support
  • Repeated or overwhelming chemical exposure including drugs and alcohol abuse

Genetics

We can never forget to consider the weaknesses on adrenal glands from birth on, besides those factors of lifestyle and life events.

Children born to mothers with adrenal fatigue and children experience severe stress in the womb typically have lower adrenal function. For this reason, they have less capacity to deal with stress in their own lives and more prone to adrenal fatigue throughout their lives.

Do I Have Adrenal Fatigue?

If you are experiencing the lifestyle that I listed above, and some conditions seem familiar to you, go click on “questionnaire” to assess your level of adrenal fatigue.

 

Take => Questionnaire for Adrenal Fatigue

 

 

 


Reference:

James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C. PhD. “Adrenal Fatigue The 21st Century Stress Syndrome”

What are FREE RADICALS?

Educational Information, Healing Procedure, Make Choices, Spirit for Healing

 

Free radicals are not new in nature. They have been around for millions of years along with vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids (EFAs), and protective anti-oxidants found naturally in food. A free radical is an atom or molecular fragment with an unpaired electron. It is very unstable, highly reactive particle, because it hates to be alone and like to be paired. Therefore, it will draw an electron from wherever it can, including other molecules pair in the body, causing them to change structure. These molecules then become free radicals creating a chain reaction with millions of molecules being affected in nanoseconds.

Endogenous (from inside the body) Sources of Free radicals:

Free radicals are intermediates of the normal chemical reactions taking place in the body, including oxidative reactions to produce the energy that our cells require for detoxification, nutritional assimilation, and more. Our body’s immune system also produces free radicals which it uses to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. If the immune system becomes chronically over-activated by chronic inflammation such as allergies and major operations, there is an extra burden of free radicals in the body.

While those oxidative reactions and immune responses are vital and absolutely necessary, unpaired electrons involved in oxidation can damage molecules in cells and tissues. And this becomes free radical stress, also known as oxidative stress in the body which leads abnormal, toxic, and biologically unsuitable substances to cause degenerative health conditions such as cancer.

Also, it is so important to mention about emotional stress. Emotional stress significantly increases the release of hormones (epinephrine/norepinephrine/cortisone) which in excess act like free radicals creates bio-chemical changes and damages the cells and tissues.

Exogenous (from outside the body) Sources of Free radicals:

  • Preservatives and other chemicals in food
  • Pesticides, antibiotics, synthetic hormones in non-organic food
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Prescription drugs
  • Pollution
  • Radiation and microwave
  • Toxic metals like mercury, aluminum, and lead
  • Trans and hydrogenated fats

 

Luckily, our body is so incredible that it uses antioxidants like Vitamin C, E, A, selenium, CoQ10, as well as enzymes that contain minerals like zinc, manganese, and copper to neutralize free radical toxicity.

How Free radicals become “Bad” guys?

As I mentioned above, free radicals are produced from our body’s biological reactions besides exogenous sources and they can’t cause cell destruction when protective antioxidants are present in the body.

But in this fast-paced modern society, nutritional deficiencies are on the rise, especially vitamins and minerals (antioxidants!).

We eat packaged foods that are highly processed (often with chemicals), heated with high temperature in vegetable oils, and exposed to the light and oxygen. Those are perfect candidates for free radical damages in the body. There is no doubt that free radicals cause degenerative health conditions but the root cause for this is the nutritional deficiencies. By addressing the deficiencies, we could tame the free radical stress.

When I was working in a health food store, people asked me if it was really beneficial to take Omega-3. They were informed by Mr. “google” or some doctors didn’t know much about the benefit of Omega-3 that they cause the free radical damages rather doing the good.

YES. Omega-3s (and Omega-6s) are very sensitive to light, heat and oxygen (I have written about fats here.). Special care needs to be taken in processing, packaging, and storing rich in EFAs in order to avoid free radicals damages. However, to set such conditions costs labour and time. As a result, the necessary care is not usually taken.

Some haters (or just got a job writing about health and wellness) focus on this fact that scares readers without proving the solution to it. I think it is so important to intake Omega-3 either from food or nutritional supplements if you are dealing with asthma, eczema and other health conditions chronically. If you are scared of free radicals from processing the EFAs, eat more whole foods that can protect the cells with antioxidants.

It is so twisted if you are eating highly processed packaged foods and scared of free radical damages from bottled EFAs that could protect your cells. But only if your body has vitamins and minerals that assimilate the fat and act as antioxidants. Again, those have to come from whole foods or nutritional supplements.

Nature does its best to protect our body. Our job is to listen and take action.


References: