Friday, August 17, 2012

Too Much Stress Can Lead to Adrenal Fatigue

Are you constantly tired and fatigued? Do you lack motivation and don’t know why? Have you been to the doctors several times and nothing they do seems to help? Are you chronically sick? We’ll you may have an undiagnosed case of adrenal fatigue. Don’t feel too taken back the information. Lots of people, in my opinion, suffer from adrenal fatigue, especially Americans and not a lot of people know what it is or how to go about addressing it. No worries – The Verbal Herbal to the rescue!
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
When you don’t keep your stress levels at a minimum, stress hormones, mainly cortisol, is released for long periods of time at high levels. After a while, the body can’t keep up with the constant stress demand which causes the body to produce less adrenal hormones. This is known by many as adrenal fatigue or hypoadrenia. The long term effects of adrenal fatigue can lead to a lifetime of illness, making it extremely important to recognize the signs of adrenal fatigue and know how to combat it.
Symptom Picture of Adrenal Fatigue
The main symptom of hypoadrenia is fatigue and low energy. These individual may seem lazy and unmotivated but, in fact, they have to work harder to maintain “normal” functioning. They find it very hard to get out of bed in the morning and when they do, stimulants like coffee or tea are usually needed. They feel more alive after meals, usually craving salty, fatty foods and needing more protein. They have low blood pressure and low blood sugar with a decreased sex drive. They often get sick and tend to gain midsection weight that is hard to get rid of.
History of Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal Fatigue was recognized in medical texts dating back to the 1800’s and continues to be one of the most prevalent medical issues of the last 50 years; however, adrenal fatigue is not currently recognized as a medical diagnosis. Medical institutions say that because there is no blood test to soundly prove that the adrenal glands can decrease in functioning, then there is no justifiable reason to claim it as a medical diagnosis. I feel that the main reason it isn’t a medical diagnosis is because there are no pharmaceuticals claiming to treat adrenal fatigue. If they can’t make money from it, what’s the point of diagnosis it? Instead, they can diagnosis and treat the problems that result from adrenal fatigue, always treating the symptoms and never addressing the cause. As a result, adrenal fatigue is one of the most common syndromes to be undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
Other Issues associated with Adrenal Fatigue
Adrenal Fatigue, if untreated, can be the cause of many problems including:
  • A higher likelihood of hypoglycemia
  • An increased tendency to allergies and arthritis and having on overall decreased effect on immune function
  • Causing varied emotional states leading to cases of anxiety, depression and difficulty concentrating
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Changes in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism
  • Changes in electrolyte balance
  • Negative effects on the cardiovascular system
  • Other chronic illnesses of varying degrees
Treatment Plan
First and foremost, it is of utmost importance to get your stress levels under control. This link provides natural ways to cope with stress. Remember to take a multidimensional approach to treating stress, addressing physical, emotional and physiological issues.
Adaptogenic Herbs
Adaptogens are, perhaps, the most effective way to address adrenal fatigue. Adaptogens work by increasing the body’s own resistance to stressors. They do not block the stress response, but, instead, help to level out the highs and lows of stress. This helps to normalize the body and decrease our inclination to extreme stress. Some adaptogen herbs that can be beneficial include:
  • Ginseng (Panax Ginseng)
  • American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium)
  • Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera)
  • Schizandra (Schisandra chinensis 
  • Siberian Ginseng (Eletherococcus senticosus)
  • Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
  • Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)
  • Suma (Pfaffia Paniculata)  
  • Reshi mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum)
Overall, don’t let stress take over your life. Start helping yourself before you reach the point of adrenal fatigue. If you find yourself too far gone and feel that adrenal fatigue is already an issue, then your main goal should be to get healthy because if untreated, adrenal fatigue can lead to a lifetime of illness. Contact you local herbalist to help you get back on track.
Hoffmann, D. (2003). Medical herbalism: the science and practice of herbal medicine. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press.


  1. Nice post - I try to read as much about adrenal fatigue as I can, though you have to be careful about the source! Have you read James Wilson's book on adrenal fatigue? That's what got me started. Helped to reassure myself after doctors kept trying to tell me I was just depressed and needed Prozac!

    Thanks! ~Howard

    1. I have not read that book but I will have to look into it. Thank you so much for your comment and for reading the Verbal Herbal!