When our adrenals are healthy, they release cortisol in appropriate amounts. In addition to energy, a balanced amount of cortisol helps us; burn body fat; maintain emotional stability and gut health; modulate blood sugar, inflammation and allergies; regulate electrolyte balance which affects blood pressure and water retention, ⠀
Adrenal fatigue is caused by too much stress, whether that be emotional or physical. Any type of significant internal or external stress will cause a stress response from our adrenal glands, and too much stress leads to adrenal fatigue when the adrenals start producing too much of the stress hormone cortisol, and all the good benefits of regulated cortisol production above go to pot.⠀
If you were in the woods and suddenly confronted by a bear, your brain would send a message to your adrenal glands to quickly produce more blood sugar and raise your heart rate and blood pressure to help you escape the situation. This is a good thing and exactly what our stress response is designed to do. ⠀
Translate that into common modern-day stress involving kids, a job, a commute, ageing parents, no time to sit and eat properly, too much caffeine and alcohol, not getting enough sleep or exercise, rumination and negative thought patterns. All these are interpreted by your body as stress, the same type of stress that occurs when confronting a bear. Your body and mind can’t tell the difference it just responds to your stress levels and your adrenals struggle to cope.
The symptoms of adrenal fatigue will be familiar to many of us, find out what they are here