The adrenal glands are the size of a grape each sitting on top of the kidneys and are responsible for making stress hormones for us to respond to stress. However, persistent, ongoing stress can drain these glands make them into sultanas. When the glands are drained and tired, the person often feels tired on waking, and have quite specific tiredness patterns throughout the day.
According to Dr. James Wilson, adrenal fatigue has a typical pattern of fatigue different from other types of fatigue:
On waking, the patient is fatigue because the lack of cortisol and aldosterone from fatigued adrenals creating low blood glucose levels that in turn creates fatigue. Low aldosterone also causes low blood pressure. It may take a couple hours to 4 hours to finally wake up.
After lunch, there will be a mid afternoon low around 3 p.m to 4 p.m. and the adrenal fatigue patient will feel better after 6 p.m which will last till 9 p.m.. If the patient stays past 11 p.m., he/she will get a second wind and can keep going till 1 or 2 a.m. This pattern of fatigue is typically observed in adrenal fatigue patients.
If you suspect you or a family member or friend could be suffering from adrenal fatigue, these many be some of the symptoms:
- Tired for no reason
- Tired even after 8-9 hours of continuous sleep
- Feeling run down and depressed
- Craving salt or sugar
- Difficulty bouncing back from illness
- Depending on coffee to keep going
- Unable to handle stress and constantly feeling overwhelmed
- Decreased sex drive
- Dragging through the day
We can help you and your family/friend.
Conventional medicine only recognises extreme cases of adrenal dysfunction called
where patients are put on corticosteroids to sustain them for the rest of their
lives. This is a rare disease with an
incidence of about 0.004% of the population.
There are thousands if not tens of thousands who are left unattended and
are told that they are “normal” when there is nothing normal about what they
Louise Thompson who published a book this year, “A busy woman’s guide to High Energy Happiness”, struggled with severe adrenal fatigue where at her worst, she was not able to get out of bed and dress herself. I can relate to this, seeing what my late father went through. In the years prior to his cancer diagnosis, he complained of fatigue every day. His doctor put it down to old age. In Louise’s case, she underwent all the possible tests she could and was told by her doctors that she was “normal”. In her search for an explanation for her fatigue, she was treated naturopathically for her adrenal fatigue and that turned the corner for her. Her book describes her journey and the physical and thought processes that drain us of energy. It is a hands-on book with numerous exercises about our belief system and challenges us to take energetic actions. I find this book as useful for women as it is for men. This book is available at our clinic.
My advice to you: Do not confuse what is normal with what is common. If you are commonly tired, that is not normal. Whilst adrenal fatigue may not be the cause of your fatigue, you could have other reasons why you are fatigue, most of which natural medicines, dietary and lifestyle changes can help tremendously.