When adrenal function is impaired or weak, a person may suffer from low blood sugar, low blood pressure, low body temperature, and a total feeling of exhaustion. When stress is prolonged the organs begin to weaken and other health related problems can set in such as hypoglycemia. Some of the common causes that contribute to adrenal exhaustion in addition to stress, are poor diet, over-consumption of sugar and refined carbohydrates, overuse of caffeine, alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and vitamin B and C deficiencies. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, depression, PMS, nervousness, inability to concentrate, lightheadedness, sweet cravings, irritability, insomnia, and headaches.
According to the American Institute of Stress, up to 75-90 % of doctor visits in the US are stress related. Work is the biggest stressor (46% of all employees are stressed out according to the Washington Business Group on Health), with women being affected more than men.
Stress is directly related to adrenal gland fatigue. They are responsible for producing several important hormones and are critical to the stress response. The medulla, which is the inner part, pours out epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine. These hormones speed up the body’s metabolism in order to help us to cope with stress. These are the two most important hormones in the body. They govern the fight or flight response (alarm reaction), and are almost a direct extension of the nervous system.
So what can we do about this? Number one is to try to reduce whatever is stressing us out. Next, watch your diet and stop eating so much sugar or high-glycemic carbs and cut down on your caffeine and nicotine. Add supplements like pantothenic acid, vitamin C, Vitamin B 6, Zinc, and Magnesium to your vitamin regimen. Also investigate reish mushroom, holy basil (a good antiflammatory as well as having a calming effect), ashwaganda and certain flower remedies. Getting more sleep is a good thing as it helps prevent adrenalin spikes that may occur because you are tired and not able to cope with stress. Homeopathics also may be right for you as there are many combinations that help reduce stress. You also should be aware that low adrenal function may be directly related to thyroid insufficiency. Therefore, if you have tried through diet and lifestlye changes to get your adrenals back in line and you still experience symptoms a visit to your doctor for a thyroid test may be in order.