There is a big difference between adrenal fatigue and adrenal failure. Adrenal failure as the word implies is a total shutting down of the adrenal glands resulting in Pigmented Tongue and/or Addison’s Disease.
Adrenal fatigue is simply a case of overworking your adrenal glands through everything from an over use of stimulants like caffeine to stress and simple things like constant distractions just “wearing you down”. Typical symptoms of adrenal fatigue are:
- Waking up exhausted and struggling to get out of bed.
- Feeling like a “zombie”, never quite alert
- Inability to focus
- Colds hang around for weeks zapping what little strength you had
- Decreased Libido
- Failing short term memory
Unfortunately, most people when faced with tired adrenal glands do the exact WRONG thing making their systems worse and further draining their poor over-worked adrenal glands. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys and are sort of the size of a triangular walnut. They release hormones the hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Most people are familiar with adrenaline and the rush that comes with the fight or flight reaction. But cortisol is equally important in fighting off disease and inflammation. And many corticosteroids drugs are simply a synthetic version of cortisol.
Unfortunately, when you take these synthetic corticosteroids you actually suppress the natural production of cortisol. Which is why you absolutely have to taper off of them slowly or you can permanently damage your adrenal glands. I had personal experience almost doing that myself. I had been on Prednisone® for a long period of time due to Crohn’s disease and then was away from home without my pills for a day and a half. And when I went out into a very hot day the additional stress made me feel something I had never felt before or since. Everyone knows what a kidney punch feels like and this was something like that. Somewhere deep inside my lower back (at the top of my kidneys) the only way i can describe it, is that it felt like someone was squeezing a lemon and wringing it dry. It was very strange! Fortunately, I was able to get my pills shortly after that and I didn’t suffer any long term damage but I was fortunate because it could have been extremely serious with me ending up with Addison’s disease.
The Adrenal Gland is made up of the adrenal cortex and the medulla. The adrenal cortex actually has three layers with three distinct functions. The outer layer produces hormones that regulate the blood pressure. The middle layer produces the cortisol. And the inner layer produces DHEA which is a precursor to the sex hormones. Inside the adrenal cortex is the mudulla which is where the adrenaline and noradrenaline are produced.
Noradrenaline is responsible for the fight or flight response boosting attention, increasing heart rate, triggering the release of glucose to provide quick energy, and increasing blood flow to the muscles. In modern society these responses can be to non-threating situations like having to deal with your boss or even just watching a movie. When they are constantly triggered but not used it can result in adrenal exhaustion. Basically the adrenals are over worked and under paid. Resulting in the symptoms listed above. By “underpaid” I mean that they aren’t receiving the nutrition they need to be able to do their job.
By addressing the overworked and underpaid issues you can drastically improve you energy levels, feeling of alertness, immunity, and libido.
|One of the best books I’ve seen on natural ways to boost adrenal function for those with reduced adrenal function is “The Adrenal Fatigue Formula” for more info check out their website.
You might also want to check out Super Immunity. In this book, some things seemed obvious to me at first (but then I’ve been studying health and nutrition a long time.) So I’m not sure whether these things would be obvious to everyone. Interestingly some of his hints were the same things my grandmother told me many years ago but I never knew why but Jon gave some very good reasons for them. And bringing them back to mind has made me more conscious of trying to do them again.
But it’s not all old information. I learned something in just the first chapter! Did you know that three quarters of your energy is used to process your food? I didn’t! Jon goes on to explain how to make your digestion more efficient so you can free up that energy for other things. If you’d like more information about Jon’s book “Super Immunity” go to: Super Immunity
You may also find my book Healthy Tongue Secrets useful in boosting your overall health.