The adrenal glands are thumb-sized organs located on top of both kidneys
These glands produce hormones which help us respond to stressful situations.
Why do we wake up in the middle of the night, feel sleepy in the morning and have no energy during the day? Why do we store fat in the abdominal area? Why is it so difficult to lose weight? Why do we suffer from diseases that require synthetic steroid treatment?
All these and many other health problems (probably including all autoimmune diseases) cut our life short and significantly lower its quality.
These problems are caused by adrenal fatigue and are linked to an abnormal reaction of adrenal glands to stress.
The human body was designed to cope with acute stress associated with obtaining food, shelter and escaping an immediate threat.
When these situations ended, the adrenal glands secreting adrenaline and steroid hormones (necessary in these situations) could rebuild and secrete these substances again if the need arose.
Chronic stress is a part of modern life and it leads to adrenal exhaustion because there is no time to regenerate them. Stress is also different today than it was in the days of our remote ancestors. In addition to obtaining food and shelter, we are constantly exposed to the stress of pursuing a career, gaining financial resources or stress associated with human interaction.
Social life and interpersonal relations are becoming more and more difficult which is connected with progressive loss of our physical and emotional health.
Adrenal fatigue is a two-stage process.
Stage one: before the adrenal glands become exhausted.
During this period, adrenaline and our own steroid hormones (the most important of which is cortisol) are elevated. Then some or all of the following symptoms are observed:
- increased blood pressure (adrenaline and cortisol increase the pressure),
- insomnia: problems with falling asleep or waking up in the middle of the night (cortisol suppresses the secretion of melatonin),
- muscle spasms (steroid hormones cause loss of potassium).
Stage two: when your own production of steroid stress hormones is insufficient to maintain your health.
A frequent sign is allergic reaction of the airways. Our own steroids help us control contact with the external environment. It is the air we breathe and which can cause an uncontrolled allergic reaction, i.e. a feeling of congestion, serous secretion or asthma attack.
Bags under eyes and sinus disease are very common signs of adrenal insufficiency due to chronic stress.
Other signs may be:
- hypersensitivity to light,
- a large drop in blood pressure when changing from a lying position to a standing one (which may result in dizziness),
- delayed pupil response to light,
- low blood pressure persisting for a long time,
- development of autoimmune diseases and a tendency to allergic reactions.
Adrenal fatigue often leads to diseases treated by conventional medicine with synthetic steroid hormones because our own production is insufficient.
People in the first stage of adrenal fatigue (when there is an elevated level of cortisol) require medical care due to hypertension, insulin resistance, depression, anxiety and insomnia.
The signs and symptoms of the first and second phase can often occur simultaneously or alternately.
This is because while recovering the regenerative capacity of the adrenal glands, they can become exhausted again because of chronic stress.