Stages of Adrenal Fatigue Part II
Early on, adrenal imbalance/fatigue can be easily missed or attributed to other causes. For older women, the symptoms may be chalked up to menopause. But trouble sleeping, racing minds, anxiety, irritability, depression, brain fog or scattered thought processes and weight gain are often the result of adrenal imbalance and adrenal fatigue.
Adrenal imbalance occurs in response to chronic stress. Often, even those who feel they are adequately managing stress are affected because the effects will show up in ways that seem unrelated. Managing to accomplish the tasks of everyday life is different than managing your stress and your body’s response to it.
In addition to adrenal imbalance, many women are often experiencing other hormonal imbalances. All of our hormones are interconnected and affect each other.
Cortisol, though, is considered by many to be a major player. That is, when cortisol production is unbalanced, it often creates imbalances in other hormones. So the effects of stress show up in ways you may not suspect. Correcting the adrenal fatigue first will often rebalance the other hormonal issues or allow those issues to be corrected more easily.
What Stage of Adrenal Fatigue/HPA axis Dysregulation Do You Think You Are In?
Most women can identify themselves in one of the three stages: Wired, Tired and Wired, and Tired. If not corrected, you can move through the stages until you reach adrenal exhaustion. Let’s take a look at each stage and see if you can identify yourself in one of these.
STAGE ONE OF ADRENAL FATIGUE “WIRED”
It can be difficult for many to acknowledge that there is a problem because you are still very productive. You are responding to your stressors with a near constant flow of stress hormones so you are always ready to go, to meet the next challenge.
At times, fatigue may overtake you but you look at what needs to be done and still have the ability to push forward, feeling that sleep and rest are a waste of time. You are so used to doing it all that you either don’t recognize or consciously neglect the warning symptoms your body is putting out. These include:
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Feeling driven all day
- Extreme anxiety throughout the day
- Panic attacks
- Brain Fog ( racing or scattered thoughts, inability to focus on one task/thought)
- Difficult menstrual periods
- Low libido
- Thyroid issues
- Anger, frustration, depression
- Abdominal weight gain
- Hunger in the evening leading to increased food intake.
Stage Two Of Adrenal Fatigue “FEELING TIRED AND WIRED”
A new set of symptoms start to develop that contradict “being wired”. Your adrenals are beginning to tire out and they start to under produce cortisol.
Symptoms of this stage, in addition to the wired symptoms, include:
- Difficulty waking
- Exhaustion lasting all day
- Caffeine reliance
- Night waking with heart racing anxiety
- Continued weight gain
- Digestive difficulties
- Thinning hair
- Low blood pressure, dizziness
- Salt cravings
- Decreased resistance to illness
STAGE THREE OF ADRENAL FATIGUE. OVERWHELMED AND EXHAUSTED
Your adrenal glands are exhausted. They are burned out. They’ve been trying to meet the demand for cortisol for so long that they can’t produce enough of it to make you feel awake, alive and energized. They can’t even make enough to keep you alert. At this point, the adrenal exhaustion maybe a significant factor in the development of fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, depression, Insomnia and many other chronic conditions.
The symptoms of this stage are:
- Feeling exhausted even after a full night’s sleep
- Complete lack of energy
- Intense cravings for salty and sugary foods or processed (refined carbohydrate) foods
- Caffeine dependence
- Continued weight gain that is hard to lose
- Insulin resistance
- Ineffective response to stress
- Persistent depression
- Continued low libido
Do you recognize yourself in any of these profiles? Are any of these symptoms affecting your life?
Many of us, especially women, are so committed to being productive that we may not recognize or be willing to acknowledge that there is a problem until it is significantly impacting our lives.
If you feel the effects of stress are beginning to impact your life, Find out about our Stress and Anxiety Recovery Program! Make an appointment with Dr. Hagmeyer now ! Don’t wait until the exhaustion takes you over.
Adrenal Fatigue Testing and Consult
A Great place to start If you have Adrenal Fatigue Is Our Testing and Consult. Testing can provide many answers as to why you continue struggling with fatigue, anxiety, sleeping problems, chronic pain and Brain Fog. Our office utilizes nutritional supplements, Dietary modifications, Nutritional Counseling, Hormone and endocrine support formula, Dietary assessment, and lifestyle guidance.
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Crucial Vitamins To Help Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue
Vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients found in a pharmaceutical-grade supplements are essential to restoring adrenal health, and supporting the entire endocrine system. Not only can they help the healing process, but they can provide extra nutrition to our cells, and support proper adrenal functioning every day. Following are some of the most important to adrenal function:
- Vitamins C, E and all the B vitamins (especially pantothenic acid and B6) help regulate stress hormones.
- Magnesium provides energy to the adrenal glands (and the rest of your cells).
- Liposomal CoQ10 with PQQ- helps support mitochondria- The Energy producers within the cell.
- Calcium and trace minerals including zinc, manganese, selenium, and iodine provide calming effects in the body. These mineral can reduce the stress of adrenal fatigue, which will help decrease unnecessary cortisol production.
Common Adrenal Adaptogens That Help Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal Adaptogens are herbs that actually adapt to the individual needs of your body, providing the additional essential support your adrenals need.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
- Eleuthero / Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
- Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus)
- Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis)
- Rhodiola rosea
- Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)