Adrenal Fatigue

adrenal fatigue

Adrenals: Your Stress Coping Organs

The adrenal glands are central to the endocrine (hormonal) system and are located on top of the kidneys. The adrenals manage our body’s ability to cope with internal and external stresses, and they produce a variety of hormones such as cortisol/cortisone, aldosterone, epinephrine, testosterone and DHEA, which are responsible for many life-sustaining functions. It is extremely important that your adrenals work adequately so your body can cope with stress properly.

How do the adrenals affect your body?

We often don’t realize that subtle changes in our daily routine can upset the balance of our endocrine/hormonal systems. If the adrenal glands are overfunctioning or underfunctioning, the rest of our body will be affected, for instance:

  • Brain
  • Poor sleep, memory loss
  • Thyroid gland
  • Fatigue, weight gain
  • Sex organs
  • PMS, low libido
  • Ability to cope with stress
  • Depression
  • Ability to repair and rebuild connective tissue
  • Weak bones, muscles, hair, nails
  • Digestive system
  • Sugar/salt cravings, sluggish digestion

The adrenal glands are particularly weakened by chronic stress, autointoxication, and infection. Some medical researchers even claim that dysfunctional adrenals can lead to premature aging and shorter life span.

Common adrenal stressors

Even if you feel your life isn’t very stressful and that you handle everyday life pretty well, your adrenals are still at work coping with stressors. Remember, all your organs have an internal clock that is synchronized with the brain, your “master clock”. These clocks are all influenced greatly by changes in amount of sunlight, length of day, and change of season. Your brain’s master clock is also related to the nutritional and metabolic status of the body.

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Bastyr University
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
Institute for Functional Medicine
Genova Diagnostics
Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians