Healthy Living

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

Key Takeaways

  • Adrenal fatigue is not recognized as a medical diagnosis.
  • Adrenal fatigue is normally caused by excessive stress.
  • There is a multitude of symptoms that are associated with adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is the name given to a broad spectrum of non-specific symptoms, including fatigue, nervousness, anxiety, and digestive problems. The condition is not a medical diagnosis and the term is not medically accepted. In general, it refers to the theory that these symptoms are caused by poor functioning of the adrenal gland in people who are under immense emotional or physical stress. As per the proponents of adrenal fatigue theory, the adrenal gland fails to produce the stress hormone, cortisol, to deal with the stressful condition leading to a number of symptoms. Scientific evidences to prove this insufficiency theory are very less.

This condition is different from that of Addison’s disease, where autoimmune dysfunctions affect the normal functioning of the adrenal glands. One of the main causes of adrenal fatigue is stress and stress related factors.

Here are some of the symptoms supposed to be caused by this condition:

  • Inability to have good quality sleep
  • Difficulty to get up in the morning
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Presence of dark under-eye circles
  • Lack of energy in the mornings
  • Disruptions in menstrual cycle and increased symptoms of premenstrual syndrome in women
  • Pain in the upper neck or back
  • Feeling stiff and pain in joints and muscles
  • Fatigue even after working out
  • Bloating and poor digestion
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Lightheaded feeling
  • Difficulty to concentrate and to finish the task in hand

If other underlying conditions are not the cause of the above-mentioned symptoms, adrenal fatigue is taken as the possible cause. Proponents of the adrenal fatigue theory are of the belief that these symptoms result from acute or chronic stress which the body is unable to manage. They add that none of the blood tests available are sensitive enough to trace the slight reduction in the hormonal levels that leads to adrenal fatigue.

If you are troubled by chronic fatigue and any of the other above-mentioned symptoms, do talk to your doctor to check for the underlying cause. It is wise not to depend on unproven treatments and supplements to improve health. Experts are of the opinion that a change in lifestyle is all that is required to improve energy levels. Getting adequate sleep, having more of fruits and vegetables, and getting regular exercise are key to a healthy and energized life.