What Is Adrenal Fatigue?

What are adrenals glands?

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Adrenal glands are small, triangular-shaped endocrine glands located on the top of each kidney. They are about 3 inches wide, and a half inch high.

Each gland is divided into an outer cortex and an inner medulla. The cortex and medulla of the adrenal gland secrete different hormones. The adrenal cortex is essential to life, but the medulla may be removed with no life-threatening effects.

The Adrenal Cortex

The adrenal cortex consists of three different sections. Each section produces a different type of hormones. Cortical hormones are considered steroids. The outer part of the adrenal cortex secrets Minerallocorticoids. The main mineralcorticoid is aldosterone. This job of it is to conserve sodium ions and water in your body.

The middle section of the adrenal cortex secretes glucocorticoids. The main glucocorticoid is cortisol. The duty of cortisol is to increase blood glucose levels.

The innermost region of you adrenal cortex has the duty of secreting steroids called gonadocorticoids. These are otherwise known as sex hormones. The hormones adrogens, in males, and estrogens in females are secreted in small amounts by the adrenal cortex.

The Adrenal Medulla 

The adrenal medulla develops from neural tissue and secretes the two hormones called epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two hormones are secreted in response to stimulation by sympathetic nerve, particularly during stressful situations. A lack of hormones from the adrenal medulla produces no significant effects. [1]

What is Adrenal Fatigue?

The adrenals produce hormones that help to balance your blood sugar. Your body uses this sugar for our daily needs of energy. When your blood sugar drops, the adrenals release hormones that cause the blood sugar to rise, increasing energy. When we are under stress the adrenals also release hormones to give us energy.  This is what is called the “fight or flight” response. It is basically a boost of energy to help us deal with a stressful situation. But if our adrenals are being forced to keep producing these hormones because of on going stress or illness, then we may start to suffer from adrenal fatigue. Being consistently under stress takes a toll on the adrenal glands, and eventually, they become overused and fatigued, and stop producing sufficient hormones.

Symptoms

  • excessive fatigue and exhaustion
  • waking up tired even after long periods of rest
  • feeling of being overwhelmed
  • unable to cope with stressors
  • craving junk food such as salty and sweet foods
  • feeling your best  in the evening
  • low stamina, slow to recover from exercise
  • slow to recover from injury, illness or stress
  • brain fog
  • digestion problems
  • low immune function
  • food or environmental allergies (MCS multiple chemical senstivity)
  • menstraul issues
  • low blood pressure
  • sensitivity to cold

Here are some more articles to help you understand Adrenal Fatigue:

Adrenal Fatigue Part 1

 

Adrenal Fatigue Part 2

 1. http://thyroid.about.com/cs/endocrinology/a/adrenalfatigue.htm




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