What is Adrenal Fatigue?
First described by Dr. James L. Wilson who coined the term, adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. With chronic illness or severe stress, your adrenal glands may fatigue and although they still work as hard as they can, they are not able to adequately keep up with your level of stress. This can leave you feeling fatigued, overwhelmed and down; as well as lower your blood sugar, immune function and libido; slow digestion and new cell growth; and make it harder to sleep and to think clearly.
Stress hormones such as cortisol are produced and regulated by the adrenal glands. They help the body to deal with stressful situations by increasing the heart rate and blood flow to the heart, liver, bone and fatty tissue. They also dilate airways to the lungs and increase blood levels of glucose and fatty acids.
Stress hormones and their effects are linked to virtually every body system. Thus, many physiological processes and bodily functions, including cardiovascular health, sex drive, pH balance, skin conditions, energy levels, mood and overall psychological outlook often correlate to adrenal gland function.
Although adrenal fatigue affects millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, conventional medicine does not yet recognize it as a distinct syndrome. This is profoundly unfortunate for those who are affected, because with each increment of reduction in adrenal function, every organ and system in the body is more profoundly affected. Changes occur in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism, fluid and electrolyte balance, heart and cardiovascular system, and even sex drive. Many other alterations take place at the biochemical and cellular levels in response to and to compensate for the decrease in adrenal hormones that occurs with adrenal fatigue.
Caution: Adrenal glandular extracts should only be taken under a physician’s supervision. Before taking Adrenopure, we recommend talking with your physician and getting tested.
The choice method of testing for adrenal fatigue is through saliva. Saliva offers a convenient, non-invasive way to look at the adrenal hormones, namely cortisol, at various points over the course of the day. It is much easier to see how the cortisol levels vary and if they are following the normal pattern throughout the day. It is much easier than blood testing - especially because physicians normally look at cortisol levels at four points in one day (morning, noon, evening and night). An adrenal fatigue test by blood would typically require four separate visits throughout the day to have the blood drawn.
What Are the Adrenal Glands?
You have two adrenal glands, each paired with one of your kidneys. They belong to your endocrine system along with your thyroid, pituitary gland, pancreas, ovaries/or testes, and parathyroid glands. These organs produce hormones that regulate growth, sleep, mood, metabolism, and your fertility.
What Is Adrenal Insufficiency?
Adrenal insufficiency is different from adrenal fatigue. Also known as Addison’s disease, adrenal insufficiency occurs as a result of the disruption of your adrenal glands causing them to stop producing certain hormones such as ACTH, aldosterone, the hormone that regulates blood pressure and salt levels in the blood, and cortisol, which helps regulate metabolism and helps your body respond to stress.
The symptoms of adrenal insufficiency are different and much more dramatic than adrenal fatigue. It usually begins with loss of appetite, weight loss, and weakness. Half of the people affected will have nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms also include low blood pressure, dizziness, and darkening of the skin in scars, skin folds, areas like knees, elbows, knuckles, toes, and lips. If left unaddressed, it can be fatal. Adrenal insufficiency can be treated with hormones to replace the ones not being produced.