Adrenal Fatigue (Adrenal Exhaustion, Burnout)
By Steven Horne, RH (AHG) & Kimberly Balas, ND


The adrenals are one of the endocrine glands. They sit on top of the kidneys and produce a wide variety of hormones that regulate energy, fluid balance and other important body processes. They also help the body cope with or adapt to stress.



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Adrenal Support

 

 



Care and feeding of the Adrenals

Long-term stress, excessive use of sugar and caffeine and loss of sleep can weaken the adrenal glands. Symptoms of adrenal exhaustion include fatigue with restless sleep, difficulty concentrating, quivering tongue, dark circles under the eyes and pulsing pupils.

Post traumatic stress disorder and Addison's disease involve exhausted adrenals. Adaptogens, such as AdaptaMax, Eleuthero or Nervous Fatigue Formula are the most important remedies for normalizing adrenal function.

Sitting atop both kidneys are the adrenal glands. Central portions secrete hormones to help control the body's automatic responses (like heartbeat and movement of food through your digestive tract). Adrenaline is the major hormone. The outer portion of each gland helps control digestion and your use of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and governs your general energy level.

The whole gland produces around 50 different steroid hormones, fueling the sex drive and controlling any inflammation in the body. You can see why a deficiency here could be a reason for arthritic inflammation.

In the first place, stressful activities or situations use up a large amount of Vitamin C. Under duress, a person could use up several grams in a day. Animals do, but they are usually able to manufacture enough vitamin C in their livers. Humans do not have this capacity.

Let us have a look at our daily life and the situations that will affect the adrenals.

* lack of sleep
* a demanding boss
* the threat of losing one's job
* financial pressures
* personality conflicts

* yo-yo diet
* relationship problems
* death or illness of a loved one
* skipping meals
* reliance on stimulants like caffeine and carbs
* digestive problems
* over-exercise
* illness or infection
* unresolved emotional issues

When the adrenal glands are constantly on "high alert" you have a pretty good chance to reach a point of adrenal exhaustion.
This might open the door to:

  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Lightheadedness (including dizziness and fainting) when rising from a sitting or laying-down position
  • Lowered blood pressure and blood sugar
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering (brain fog)
  • Consistently feeling unwell or difficulty recovering from infections
  • Craving either salty or sugary foods to keep going
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Nausea
  • Alternating constipation and diarrhea
  • Mild depression
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Unexplained pain in the upper back or neck
  • Increased symptoms of PMS for women
  • Tendency to gain weight and inability to lose it especially around the waist

If a person suffers form Adrenal exhaustion, then that person is more than likely deficient in essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Without the proper amounts of these vital nutrients, your body's ability to heal from any chronic condition is severely impaired.
We recommend the following NSP combination: Adrenal Support.

Licorice Root is also an adrenal building herb. It contains several hormone-like compounds that are easily converted for use by the adrenals. One of these is Cortin, which is very similar to the body's cortisone. As you may be aware, artificially-produced cortisone has dangerous side-effects that are not experienced when you make your own. Always protect the ability to make your own!

Licorice root contains glycyrrhizinic acid that gently stimulates the adrenals and also helps clear the lymph nodes of toxins. It is very soothing and encourages good digestion, too. This herb is mild and can be beneficial for children, and is useful in all affections of the respiratory tract. Although licorice is wonderful, remember that too much can deplete your body of potassium.

For the stress of menopause, licorice root also has estrogenic activity. In fact, the adrenals have some capacity to produce estrogen for you! So, for those going through the change of life and know that estrogen helps keep their bones strong, healthy adrenals are important.

In addition to using licorice, a general high-powered supplement program will be essential to recover from burnout.