It’s estimated that around 80% of people in the developed world will experience Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) at least once in their lives. The adrenal glands are part of the hormonal circuit of the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response, which is the body’s global response to stress. The other five circuits are the metabolic, the cardiotoxic, the euro affect, the inflammation, and the detoxification responses.
Still, the adrenal glands are the NEM’s first line of defense, they are what secrete the body’s most important anti-stress hormones, like cortisol, making understanding the basics of adrenal fatigue treatment an important part of our modern day health and wellbeing.
Adrenal Fatigue Treatment consists of several steps, and if you want to recover fully from AFS, you’ll need to cover all the basics. But first, how do you know if you ever suffer from it? Since it’s not readily diagnosed, especially by conventional medical doctors, you may have to first rely on your own research.
Check the list of symptoms below, and then if you find that you match the AFS picture, you can look for a functional medicine or holistic health practitioner to support you. Lab tests, such as saliva tests that check for your levels of free adrenal hormones (such as cortisol or DHEA), shouldn’t be relied on too much as results can vary from day to day and from person to person.
The Most Common Symptoms of Afs Include:
- Fatigue and low energy
- Easily gaining weight and difficulty in losing it
- An inability to handle stress
- Sleep onset and sleep maintenance insomnia
- Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
- Lowered immunity, frequent colds, and flood and drug sensitivities
- Food cravings, especially for salty and fatty foods
- Lightheadedness, especially when getting up after lying down
- Needing more and more caffeine to get going
- Mild depression and anxiety
- Low libido, infertility
- Stronger PMS symptoms
- Brain fog and reduced memory
In More Advanced Stages of Afs, Rarer Symptoms Can Begin to Appear, Such as:
- Hypoglycemic episodes
- Sudden anxiety and panic attacks
- Heart palpitations and cardiac arrhythmia
- Inability to function properly at work or interact in social settings
Those who suffer from adrenal fatigue may also experience a triggering or be worsening of other conditions, such as hypothyroidism, autoimmunity, metabolic syndrome, estrogen dominance, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, and even frequent headaches.
The reason for that is that all of these conditions are triggered and affected by common root causes – mainly severe or chronic stress and inflammation.
Chronic stress can be either physical or psychological. Inflammation is a big part of physical stress and is closely tied with other physical stressors such as illness, injury, infection, alcohol or drug consumption, bad diets, bad sleep, food allergies, medication side effects, and exposure to toxins.