Adrenal Fatigue

What is ‘adrenal fatigue’? (HPA-axis dysregulation)

‘Adrenal fatigue’ is fast becoming a health issue of the 21st century, and it’s no surprise as our modern-day lives include increasingly high levels of stress, pressure, and demands.

The adrenal system (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal or HPA-axis) is our energy, stress-coping, and sleep-wake cycle hormone production system.

In natural medicine terms, ‘adrenal fatigue’ describes when the adrenal system has been working on overtime for too long and can no longer keep up with the increased demand, or when the HPA-axis begins to down-regulate cortisol production in response to longer-term elevated cortisol levels.

When this happens, the adrenal system may not be able to produce enough of the hormones which naturally make us feel well, energetic, and able to cope with stress. What this means for us is less energy and less stress-coping abilities, just when we need them the most!

Typical daily symptoms of ‘adrenal fatigue’ may include:

  • Waking up tired, or feeling un-refreshed in the morning.
  • Feeling tired during the day.
  • Needing coffee, colas, chocolate or sugar to keep going.
  • Afternoon energy slump.
  • Being unable to easily fall asleep at night or waking up during the night.
  • Craving salty, sugary or carbohydrate snacks and foods.
  • Struggling to keep up with life’s daily demands or the daily grind.
  • Not coping with stress or stressful situations as well as previously.
  • Less resistance to colds and flu’s.
  • Anxiety or low mood.
  • Difficulty losing weight.
  • Decreased libido or sex drive.

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