Many people wonder how they become victims of adrenal fatigue and what are the causes of this problematic health condition. Well, today we will be narrating to you in detail about the causes and prevention against adrenal fatigue. To begin with, adrenal fatigue is the name of the dysfunction of hormonal secretion from adrenal glands that are vital for life. These hormones include cortisol, aldosterone, adrenaline, noradrenaline, DHEA, and anabolic steroids.
All these hormones are important because they control major aspects of our circulatory system and stress/anxiety levels in the body. If anything goes awry with the production of these hormones, you will experience problems related to blood pressure, sugar (glucose), stress, and anxiety levels, as well as a troubling lack of sex drive.
Therefore, everyone needs to know what causes adrenal fatigue and what we can do to prevent becoming a victim to it, or at least eliminate it successfully if we unknowingly get effected. Let us start first with a brief overview of what is adrenal fatigue and what it does to adrenal glands before moving towards the causes.
What is Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a condition that destabilizes the normal function of your adrenal glands and severely disrupts the hormonal secretion process. The concept for adrenal fatigue was laid down in the mid-1990s by the well-known alternative physician and naturopath Dr. James Wilson. Dr. Wilson came up with the new term while diagnosing a patient who was complaining about constant stress, sleep deprivation, tiredness, fatigue, and muscle aches despite having no physical signs of any degradation.
Dr. Wilson concluded that his patient was suffering from complete adrenal exhaustion, which he later termed as “adrenal fatigue.” In his classic definition in his book of the same name, Dr. Wilson gave a detailed sketch of what the disease is, what causes it, and what can be done to prevent it.
The theory behind adrenal fatigue states that people who are constantly exposed to stress or pushing themselves harder will suffer breakdown, or burnout, of their adrenal glands. The continuous stressful and hectic schedule activates the adrenal glands ultimately, which keeps on releasing cortisol constantly. Cortisol is the hormone that regulates stress and anxiety levels in our bodies. As the glands continuously work to meet the exhausting demand, they become fatigued and suffer a complete burnout.
When a person reaches this stage, other major functions of the body becomes affected as well because adrenal glands also secrete hormones that are directly responsible for managing blood/sugar levels, resistance to infections, and digestive system. The final stage of burnout, also known as Stage 4 of adrenal fatigue, is a serious predicament to be in. It makes recovering a slower and painful process, but this disaster can be averted earlier if we know the causes and prevention.
Let us now take a detailed look at the things that cause and lead to adrenal fatigue.
What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
The root cause of adrenal fatigue mainly lies in prolonged exposure to stress or anxiety-inducing situations in life. For example, you have a job that is regularly too demanding of you and your body just could not come to terms with it. In another scenario, you are involved in a relationship that is equally demanded too much from you while your partner is completely ignorant of this. So, these two are just an example from a lot of different scenarios you might come across in life.
This much exposure to stress, first perceived by the amygdala in our brain, triggers a chemical response towards the HPA Axis, a combined group of hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. The hypothalamus gland formulates a threat response which it forwards to the pituitary gland. Finally, the chemical concoction triggered by the pituitary gland is received by the adrenal gland after which the latter starts secreting stress and threat-responsive hormones in the body.
If working normally, this stress response process should stop as the perceived threat or stressful event comes to an end. However, in the case of adrenal fatigue, this process keeps on going until the adrenal glands completely exhaust or burnout. This is largely caused when you continue to expose yourself to a stressful and hectic lifestyle. How adrenal glands deteriorate in such a situation? Let us describe this to you!
Simply speaking, the overworking of adrenal glands in the adrenal fatigue disorder destabilize and exhaust them completely. This exhaustion affects the entire adrenal gland: adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla. Both the inner and outer regions of adrenal glands produce all the major hormones which we have discussed so far. The malfunctioning in either of these results in serious health concerns later. Some of the most common lifestyle and living habits that may cause adrenal fatigue are as follows:
- Little to no exercise
- Insufficient rest or sleep
- Constantly pushing yourself to the limit
- Being involved in unhealthy relations
- Living a hectic and stressful life
While these causes are far from complete, there can also be other forms of health conditions that can contribute towards adrenal disorders, such as tumors or cancer in the digestive system. Another thing to take note of is unhealthy dietary habits. Certain kinds of foods, and the ones some people might consume daily, will also contribute towards adrenal fatigue or other digestive system problems.
Here are some of the most common foods that can contribute exclusively to adrenal fatigue:
- Processed foods
- Fast foods
- Refined sugar
- White flour
- Sweets and sweeteners
- Unhealthy fats
Apart from avoiding these, it is also imperative to follow a strictly balanced eating schedule. Skipping major meals of the day, such as breakfast or dinner, may force your body to rapidly burn the stored energy inside and puts pressure on the adrenal glands. Properly timing meals will help maintain the blood sugar level and support the sufficient working of adrenal glands. Therefore, with combined causes of unhealthy diet and lifestyle, you will not only suffer from adrenal fatigue but various other bodily problems that can prove to be serious in the long run.
How to Avoid or Defeat Adrenal Fatigue Successfully?
The first and foremost is to take care of yourself and avoid stressors in your life as much as possible. Without following this precaution, every other effort in avoiding adrenal fatigue will be in vain. So, our first goal should be to achieve a stress-free life so that the body’s inner chemistry remains largely unperturbed. After achieving this foremost goal in avoiding or treating adrenal fatigue comes a variety of other ways with which we can successfully defeat or avoid this condition easily.
Let us breakdown each of the steps to avoid and fend off the scourge of adrenal fatigue with effective success.
- Make it a habit to drink enough water regularly
- Exercise regularly, but never over-exercise yourself
- Take off some time for yourself every day
- Try to meditate and practice deep breathing techniques regularly
- Seek help from spirituality as well as authentic scientific methods of healing
- Include high amounts of probiotics in your diet
- Avoid too much fat, oil, and highly processed foods
- Colorful platters of vegetables, nuts and high-fiber grains are very helpful
- Learn to say no to exhausting commitments and relationships
- Get value-added help from adrenal fatigue supplements and authentic naturopaths
- Balance your professional and personal life in all aspects
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep daily
So, by following all these valuable tips, you can rest assure about ridding yourself off from adrenal fatigue. And not only these tips will help you in your fight against adrenal fatigue, but they will also prove to be highly beneficial in regards to the overall bodily health. For example, eating a well-balanced diet, which is high in fiber and colorful vegetables, will bring about several benefits for the cognitive, circulatory, digestive, and muscular systems.
Equally helpful will be exercise, sufficient water intake, and sleep regularly. Ensuring this will in turn ensure that all the major body systems, chemicals, and fluids will remain balanced and react strongly against any harmful external infiltration in the body. So, that is how you can beat a condition like adrenal fatigue, as well as how to prevent it from happening.
Plus, do not forget the additional power which adrenal health supplements brings to the table. They are like extra boosters to all the above efforts you do to curb adrenal fatigue or the chances of becoming its victim. Always remember that no disease is big enough then the precautionary efforts you do to avoid or eliminate it. By the end of the day, knowledge will be your ultimate tool to salvation against all the ill-omens such as adrenal fatigue.
You can read more about adrenal fatigue and everything related to it on our blog, as well as check out our very own Fruit of Spirits “Superfood Immune Support Powder” which is a powerful adrenal health supplement.