Do any of the following signs and symptoms ring true for you?
– You feel tired all the time, for no reason
– You have difficulty waking up in the morning even if you went to bed at a decent hour
– You need a coffee, caffeinated tea, pop, or other stimulant just to get going
– You find that you get a surge of energy at night
– You have a poor tolerance to stress (whether mental, emotional or physical)
– You have a lot of food cravings (salty or sweet)
– You have been getting sick more often or when you are sick it seems to linger for longer
If you’ve answered yes for the majority of these, chances are you are suffering from adrenal insufficiency.
Adrenal insufficiency, otherwise known as adrenal fatigue, seems to have become an increasingly prevalent condition in our modern world. Why? Because we have become a world of overachievers, where working yourself to death is celebrated, we are constantly on the go, not taking enough time to relax, recover, and sleep. So many people are under constant stress, that they don’t even realize that they are inadvertently damaging their health. When I say stress, this includes not only psychological stress, but also things like chronic infections, allergies, exposure to chemical toxins, use of stimulants (including caffeine and nicotine), poor nutrition, physical trauma, and poor sleep habits. All of these things, among others, can trigger a stress response in your body, which can be damaging.
How your body deals with that stress depends on the proper functioning of your adrenal glands, and if your adrenal glands aren’t functioning properly then many other systems in your body will start to decline, if they haven’t already. Why do I say that? Well, your adrenal glands are like one of your bodies master regulators. Depending of their function, they can affect your immune system, sex hormones, blood sugar levels, psychological function, cardiovascular system, and metabolism, to name a few. That’s a lot of work for two little glands that sit on top of your kidneys like a triangular hat.
Chronic stress is one of the most damaging things that can happen to your health. Not all stressful events are preventable, but forming good habits (proper nutrition and sleep) and developing good coping mechanisms can help offset some of the negative effects associated with stress. However, if you’re at a point where you suspect adrenal insufficiency, it might be time to have your adrenals assessed. Once assessed (often via salivary testing), your adrenal glands can then be appropriately supported to restore proper function and to prevent more serious health issues down the road. Don’t let stress damage your health
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Dr. V is a Naturopathic Physician who graduated from the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine. Prior to her medical studies, she completed both a BSc and a MSc at the University of Alberta. She has a keen interest in chronic disease and environmental health. However, she loves receiving patients with all types of conditions (or even patients that want to optimize their health).