Adrenal Fatigue: The New Epidemic

Adrenal Fatigue: The New Epidemic

Author -  Good Health

When we become stressed, our body goes into “fight or flight” mode – it’s our built-in response to danger. Our adrenal glands produce a surge of stress hormones, feeding our muscles, lungs and brain, allowing us to run, think and take action faster. A constant state of stress means that our adrenal gland is getting overworked. A short-term adrenal surge will prepare our body to cope with the “danger”, but a constant supply of the stress hormones will overwhelm our system, diminishing our ability to cope at all.

Depending on your environment and your genetic disposition, Adrenal Fatigue can occur gradually (as an accumulative effect) or quite quickly. It affects the whole body and in severe cases, can lead to other conditions (or make pre-existing conditions worse). These include high blood pressure, acne, stomach ulcers, asthma and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In less extreme cases, any of these symptoms (or even a range of them) can occur:


  • Trouble remembering things
  • An inability to concentrate
  • A foggy brain
  • Racing thoughts

Adrenal Fatigue: The New Epidemic


  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Moodiness
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling impatient
  • Feeling depressed and generally negative about your life
  • Having difficulty relaxing or switching off
  • Feeling lonely or isolated
  • Feeling constantly overwhelmed

Adrenal Fatigue: The New Epidemic

Physical Symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Back aches
  • Muscle tension and stiffness
  • Inconsistent bowel motions, varying between diarrhea and constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • A racing heartbeat 
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Skin breakouts such as hives, eczema, psoriasis
  • Decreased libido
  • Lowered immunity
  • Change in appetite
  • Problems sleeping
  • A reliance on alcohol or drugs
  • Nervous habits such as nail biting, hair pulling or picking at skin
  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching 
  • Excessive sweating or clammy hands

Adrenal Fatigue: The New Epidemic

What causes ongoing stress varies from person to person. Usually it is related to daily hassles and a generally hectic lifestyle, but sometimes it can be brought on by one major event such as the death of a loved one, divorce or separation, redundancy, bankruptcy or a severe injury or illness.

Around this time of year, with the busy festive season approaching, most of us are experiencing some added pressure, preparing for Christmas. The idea is to reduce stress where you can. Find what works for you, whether it is yoga, reading a book, taking a bath or going for a run.

Adrenal Fatigue: The New Epidemic

Mindfulness is a psychological technique that has been introduced to some schools and workplaces to help people deal with complex emotions. By acknowledging and focusing on the present (rather than dwelling on the past or fretting about the future), everything feels a bit more manageable. Mindfulness has been clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Nutrition plays a large role in stress. Everyone’s needs and responses are different, but there are many natural herbs and minerals that have been shown to help relieve the pressure. Here are our top 8 picks for stress-busting nutrients that could make a world of difference:

1. Siberian & Ashwagandha Ginseng: Both of these help to regenerate the adrenal and nervous systems, improving your ability to cope with stressful situations. Siberian ginseng has been used for centuries as a tonic in times of stress, also supporting the immune system, which is often compromised as a result of stress. Ashwagandha has an anti-anxiety effect, so it’s great for those that are suffering with more emotional symptoms.

2. Rhodiola: This was used by the Vikings to increase endurance, stamina and strength during their journeys. It helps the body to adapt to physical and mental stress, while increasing energy levels.

3. B vitamins: The need for B complex vitamins increases during times of stress and infection. Vitamin B5 is particularly necessary for the adrenal glands because it increases the production of adrenal hormones, which depletes when the glands are overworked.

4. Lemon Balm: Not only does it smell delicious, it has a very calming effect, helping to ease anxiety and improve quality of sleep.

5. Passion Flower: This is also a very calming herb, helping to regulate overall mood as well as muscle spasms.

6.5HTP: 5HTP supports the brain’s levels of serotonin (the feel-good hormone). It also supports the nervous system and helps with stress resistance.

7. Magnesium: This wonder mineral helps in so many ways, supporting the adrenal glands, relaxing stressed muscles and nerves and promoting quality sleep.

8. Vitamin C: This antioxidant boosts your immunity. When adrenal glands are overworked, they produce less vitamin C, lowering your overall immunity – a top up will go a long way when it comes to keeping your health in check.

Adrenal Fatigue: The New Epidemic

We all get a bit stressed sometimes, but it’s important that we look after ourselves. The effect long-term stress can have on the body are vast, and each is more unpleasant than the last. If you’re feeling like everything is a bit much, pause, breathe and smile. Remember, it’s OK to ask for help.

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