The adrenal glands are essential structures that secrete hormones vital for your everyday health. These hormones regulate metabolism, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and the fight or flight response.
When the adrenal glands are not secreting enough hormones, a variety of signs and symptoms arise that could be devastating.
In this article, we will cover the basics of adrenal fatigue, starting by the difference between this condition and adrenal insufficiency.
Adrenal fatigue Vs. adrenal insufficiency
Adrenal insufficiency is also known as Addison’s disease. It is characterized by poor production of adrenal hormones, which presents with an array of signs and symptoms.
On the other hand, adrenal fatigue suggests that the chronic secretion of stress hormones due to unhealthy lifestyle choices may negatively impact the function of your adrenal glands.
The symptoms of these two conditions may overlap in some cases.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue
Adrenal fatigue interferes with the production of cortisol and aldosterone due to chronic stress. The former regulates the body’s physiological response to stress, whereas the latter helps with the regulation of water, sodium, and potassium.
The proponents of adrenal fatigue theorize that we do not possess the technology that allows us to precisely measure a slight decline in levels of stress hormones, which is why many doctors are unable to diagnose this condition.
If you have adrenal fatigue, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Anorexia (i.e., loss of appetite)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of body hair fatigue
- Difficulty getting to sleep
- Difficulty waking up
- Sugar cravings
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lack of motivation
- Brain fog
Adrenal fatigue diagnosis
If you have symptoms of adrenal fatigue, the first step to do is consult with your doctor. He/she will conduct a thorough evaluation to look for objective signs that suggest the diagnosis of adrenal fatigue.
Some underlying medical condition that may trigger your symptoms include:
- Autoimmune diseases
- Kidney disease
- Heart problems
- Lung problems
- Liver disease
- Sleep apnea
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
After ruling out these diagnoses, your doctor may look into mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, to explain your symptoms.
Once the differential diagnoses have been eliminated, your doctor will confirm the diagnosis of adrenal fatigue and suggest a treatment plan.
Note that not all mainstream physicians believe that adrenal fatigue is a real condition, which may cause you trouble when trying to get a management plan.
Learn more about the available treatment options for adrenal fatigue by clicking on this link (insert link of the other article).
Adrenal fatigue is a very common disease that most people are unaware of. Learning more about this condition and how to handle it can dramatically improve your quality of life and lower the risk of side effects.
We hope that this article managed to highlight the primary aspects of adrenal fatigue and how serious it can be.