Adrenal fatigue syndrome, also known as hypoadrenia, is a serious illness which is caused when the adrenal glands become exhausted. The adrenal glands which lie in the area above the kidneys are a very important part of the human body, as they are responsible for the production of more than fifty types of hormones. Some of the important hormones released by the adrenal glands include dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, adrenaline, etc. These hormones are necessary for the proper functioning of the body, including energy production, maintaining electrolyte balance, etc.
The hormone cortisol is very important as it helps in regulating blood sugar level, strengthening the immune system, regularizing blood pressure, and fighting stress. When a stressful situation attacks our body, the adrenal glands release cortisol hormones which try to protect the body from getting damaged. However, after prolonged periods of physical as well as emotional stress, the adrenal glands become weak and are unable to produce large amounts of cortisol, losing its ability to handle too much stress. Due to this, the condition called adrenal fatigue syndrome arises.
Adrenal fatigue has become quite a common type of disease in recent times. In today's times, people are leading highly stressful lives where they are not getting enough time to relax and enjoy life. Along with it, poor eating habits, financial pressures, lack of sleep, unhealthy lifestyle, etc., are also some of the reasons for the development of this medical condition. Though it is very difficult to diagnose it as there are no specific tests, the person can be cured by giving the appropriate treatment.
An affected person may experience some of these symptoms:
- Feeling of extreme tiredness and exhaustion
- High blood sugar level
- Diarrhea alternating with constipation
- Low sex drive (libido)
- Muscle ache and weakness
- Mild anxiety or depression
- Inability to sleep
- Low blood pressure along with dizziness
- Extreme weight loss/weight gain
- Frequent craving for salt and sugar
- Inability of handling stress
If one experiences any of these symptoms for a long time, a specialist has to be consulted as soon as possible. Once an individual is diagnosed with this medical condition, the next step is to plan out a treatment regime that would help in curing it effectively.
The physician is most likely to prescribe hormone supplements containing progesterone and pregnenolone, which is said to aid in the production of cortisol hormones from the adrenal glands. Along with this, a herb known as rhodiola is also said to be an effective way of treating extreme tiredness. It has been reported that people felt energetic and refreshed after the intake of this herb. This herb has to be consumed early in the morning along with water or tea, before consuming any food. Consumption of vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, vitamin E, as well as magnesium and calcium supplements is also a good method of treatment.
- Apart from the medications, two of the most important factors for its cure is change in lifestyle and food eating habits. As the main reason for its inception is stress, people diagnosed with this disease need to take ample rest. It is recommended that people take rest in between working hours so that they get refreshed and are able to work more energetically. It is also necessary to take regular breaks from work, and go for holidays and vacations where they can unwind and have a peaceful time.
- The affected person should not allow their busy schedule to affect their sleep. Our body needs at least eight to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. If one has to get up early in the morning to go to work, he/she should see to it that he/she sleeps early and gets adequate amount of sleep. Getting the necessary sleep would help one in rejuvenating yourself and begin everyday with fresh vigor and enthusiasm.
- To reduce the stress caused by this condition, one can practice certain relaxation methods like meditation, yoga, etc., regularly. Indulging in exercises like walking, jogging, swimming, dancing, etc., would not only help in making one stronger physically, but will also reduce their tensions and anxiety. If one is addicted to cigarettes, alcohol or drugs, it is very crucial that he/she stops them to recover effectively from this condition.
- One's diet also plays a very important role in the way we feel about ourselves. The physician would recommend a diet plan that would help one in the recovery process. The diet during treatment includes the intake of vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, etc. One has to completely avoid the consumption of chocolates, caffeine, junk foods, cakes, soft drinks, etc., while being treated. One should also get rid of the habit of skipping meals, and should build up the habit of eating regular healthy meals, at least 4-5 times a day.
Before taking any medicines or making a major shift in the diet, always seek the advise of the doctor. One must realize that adrenal fatigue is a serious health problem, and should follow these treatments carefully to recover completely.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.