Health

Adrenal Fatigue

July 23, 2013

In March, I read a great article on Adrenal Fatigue by Claire Minnaar from momtreprenuer.co.za.

She said:

It’s (Adrenal Fatigue) a term used for what is commonly referred to as “Burnout” and according to this article written by Cory Couillard, it’s a condition that is not yet officially recognised by orthodox medicine.

In a nutshell, Adrenal Fatigue is associated with chronic and long term stress. If you suffer from short bouts of stress now and again, it’s unlikely you would experience this. If you however have weeks, months or years of stress, this is a condition that you could very well face in your future, if not already.

When I refer to stresses above, it doesn’t mean only physical or emotional stress, I’m referring to other stresses on the body which include physical, mental and even environmental. Stresses may include poor sleep, having done excessive exercise, lack of sleep, having had major surgery or possibly a side effect from a medicine you are taking. It could also be as a result of an accident or injury, your diet (too many carbs and too little protein) or quite simply, it could be mental stresses such as depression, anger, fear, anxiety, worry or guilt. Environmental stresses may include exposure to a toxic chemicals, prolonged noises, overworked (very common), etc.

adrenalfatigue.org describes it as the following:

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the necessary level. Most commonly associated with intense or prolonged stress, it can also arise during or after acute or chronic infections, especially respiratory infections such as influenza, bronchitis or pneumonia. As the name suggests, its paramount symptom is fatigue that is not relieved by sleep but it is not a readily identifiable entity like measles or a growth on the end of your finger. You may look and act relatively normal with adrenal fatigue and may not have any obvious signs of physical illness, yet you live with a general sense of unwellness, tiredness or “gray” feelings. People experiencing adrenal fatigue often have to use coffee, colas and other stimulants to get going in the morning and to prop themselves up during the day.

This syndrome has been known by many other names throughout the past century, such as non-Addison’s hypoadrenia, sub-clinical hypoadrenia, neurasthenia, adrenal neurasthenia, adrenal apathy and adrenal fatigue. Although it affects millions of people in the U.S. and around the world, conventional medicine does not yet recognize it as a distinct syndrome.

Well, that is the ‘lowdown’ on what Adrenal Fatigue is. If you have more questions, you can visit adrenalfatigue.org but what made me think is what Claire said. She said:

I bought a Natural Medicine magazine the other day and one of the articles was about whether or not you have Adrenal Fatigue. I was interested in reading this article because it sounded like something that perhaps I would be able to relate to.

Why?

We live in a time where stress has almost become the norm in life. As a parent, I can totally relate to this. Whilst running a business, I have to worry about making sure I can pay my employees, that my kids health is taken care of, bills are paid, getting enough sleep, rest, making sure I have quality time with my kids, there’s food for them, appointments, etc etc – the list goes on and on. Then, add unexpected dramas to life or situations one doesn’t expect, and the life can get really hard……and before you know it, you are exhausted and simply not coping.

We live in a time where stress has almost become the norm in life! So true.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf had the following to say:

It’s remarkable how much we can learn about life by studying nature. For example, scientists can look at the rings of trees and make educated guesses about climate and growing conditions hundreds and even thousands of years ago. One of the things we learn from studying the growth of trees is that during seasons when conditions are ideal, trees grow at a normal rate. However, during seasons when growing conditions are not ideal, trees slow down their growth and devote their energy to the basic elements necessary for survival.

At this point some of you may be thinking, “That’s all very fine and good, but what does it have to do with flying an airplane?” (He was a Pilot) Well, let me tell you.

Have you ever been in an airplane and experienced turbulence? The most common cause of turbulence is a sudden change in air movement causing the aircraft to pitch, yaw, and roll. While planes are built to withstand far greater turbulence than anything you would encounter on a regular flight, it still may be disconcerting to passengers.

What do you suppose pilots do when they encounter turbulence? A student pilot may think that increasing speed is a good strategy because it will get them through the turbulence faster. But that may be the wrong thing to do. Professional pilots understand that there is an optimum turbulence penetration speed that will minimize the negative effects of turbulence. And most of the time that would mean to reduce your speed. The same principle applies also to speed bumps on a road.

Therefore, it is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions.

This is a simple but critical lesson to learn. It may seem logical when put in terms of trees or turbulence, but it’s surprising how easy it is to ignore this lesson when it comes to applying these principles in our own daily lives. When stress levels rise, when distress appears, when tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace or even accelerate, thinking somehow that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.

One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles.

Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.

It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks…

…we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most

Long quote, I know, but had to be shared. Are we too busy in modern life? Forgetting things that are important? Forgetting ourselves, our families and why we are doing what we are doing? Stop and take time to literally smell the roses, be grateful for learning experiences but travel at optimum speed – not too fast.

For those interested, you can take the Adrenal Fatigue Quiz here: http://www.adrenalfatigue.org/take-the-adrenal-fatigue-quiz

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