Adrenal fatigue is a medical condition which occurs when the adrenal glands cannot supply the body with the hormones it needs to fight off chronic physical or emotional stress. When this occurs, lower numbers of neurotransmitters and hormones are produced which can affect every organ and tissue within the body. The adrenal glands produce a number of hormones, including cortisol which helps your body respond to stress and regulate metabolism, aldosterone that controls blood pressure by regulating sodium and fluid in the body, adrenaline that helps your body responds to stress, corticosterone that regulates your body's immune response and suppresses the body's inflammatory reaction, DHEA which neutralizes cortisol in the body and provides you with vitality, sharpens your mind and improves cardiovascular health, and sex hormone precursors that are used to produce estrogen, testosterone and progesterone.

When you suffer from chronic stress due to work demands, illnesses, relationship issues or time restraints, your body produces stress hormones to help you deal with the stress you are experiencing. With time, your adrenal glands cannot keep up with the demands and cause a plethora of symptoms that can negatively impact your physiological and psychological health. Let's take a look at the symptoms surrounding adrenal fatigue and how you can help your adrenal glands cope better with life's stress.

Fatigue – The fatigue associated with adrenal fatigue is different than just feeling tired after a busy day. People who suffer from fatigue often wake up feeling tired even after getting a full night's sleep. Sufferers often require caffeine to get going in the morning. Fatigue is typically experienced in the morning, afternoon and early evening. Then at night, a sufferer gets a second wind late at night.

Changes in your sleep patterns – Insomnia is one of the most common issues associated with adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue sufferers often produce cortisol in the evening which can keep them from falling asleep, staying asleep and getting restorative sleep. To help you get to sleep and stay asleep avoid caffeine or alcohol consumption in the late evening, develop a bedtime routine and practice stress relieving techniques like deep breathing, yoga or meditation.

Weight changes – When the body produces too much cortisol, you will gain weight in your midsection. Cortisol signals the body that it needs to store fat in the midsection for instant use. Additionally, these stress hormones cause inflammation and decrease metabolism in the body. One of the most important things you can do to help manage your weight is to stabilize your blood sugar levels by eating small meals throughout the day and avoiding carbs and sugars.

Decreased immune response – Chronic stress causes the adrenal glands to release corticosteroids which cause inflammation in the body and lowers immunity. The chronic stress associated with adrenal fatigue decreases the amount of a critical protein that is used by the immune system to signal the release of immune cells, resulting in increased susceptibility to illnesses. Finally, cortisol and other corticosteroids produced by the adrenal glands suppress lymphocytes which help to fight off infection and disease.

Food cravings – Adrenal fatigue sufferers often crave salt. This is because when the body does not release enough aldosterone, the body is unable to maintain sodium levels and fluids in the body. The body then signals the brain to crave more salt to help regulate blood pressure.

Brain issues – Mental fog, the inability to stay on task and racing thoughts are all symptoms of adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands produce a number of neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, adrenaline, norepinephrine and acetylcholine. These neurotransmitters can cause a number of issues, including anxiety, depression, concentration issues and mental fogginess.

Sexual issues – The adrenal glands produce precursors to a number of sex hormones. When the adrenal glands cannot produce enough precursors to sex hormones, a variety of sexual issues can occur, including increased perimenopausal symptoms, low libido and worsening PMS.

Overcoming adrenal fatigue requires a multifaceted approach. First, you must supply your body with the nutrients your body needs to function properly. Using supplements that contain vitamin C, zinc, B vitamins and herbs will reduce inflammation and improve adrenal functions. In addition to this, following an anti-inflammatory diet that includes healthy fats, fiber and lean proteins and limit caffeine, sugars and processed foods will decrease inflammation and provide your adrenal glands with the nutrients they need to heal. Finally, getting plenty of rest, exercising regularly, practicing stress reduction techniques like yoga, deep breathing and meditation along with seeking professional support will help improve your adrenal gland functions and relieve adrenal fatigue.

Author's Bio: 

Misty Jhones