Adrenal fatigue is one of those conditions that can go unnoticed by others, especially doctors. However, those who have the condition are very aware that something is wrong. Unfortunately, without a diagnosis from the medical community, a lot of people who suffer from adrenal fatigue go through life without knowing what’s causing their symptoms.
Then there’s the issue with misdiagnosis, where people who suffer from adrenal fatigue are told that they are just tired or depressed.
The purpose of your adrenal glands
Some of you may not be familiar with your adrenal glands and what they are used for. These walnut-sized organs are located right above your kidneys and have a big job function to perform.
Without properly functioning adrenal glands, you will have problems with cortisol regulation, inflammation, energy levels and metabolism.
They secrete hormones that are used in “fight or flight” situations, where you need the extra boost of hormones for survival. However, today, we have over-secretion of these hormones, which causes the adrenals to become fatigued (especially for people who drink a lot of caffeine).
The 3 stages of adrenal fatigue
A staggering 80 percent of adults in America suffer from some form of adrenal fatigue. There are different stages of this condition, which are as follows:
Stage One: This is when you are wired and tired. Normally, when you wake up in the morning, your cortisol levels should be elevated, but instead, you have it at night when it’s supposed to be low. This gives you the wired, yet tired feeling that can make it difficult for you to fall asleep.
Stage Two: At this point, you start to feel stressed and tired. This is when there’s a severe disruption in your cortisol levels. A lot of people at this stage have high levels of cortisol in the morning, but it quickly depletes right around lunchtime. This leaves you feeling foggy and tired. Then once nightfall hits, you get a second dose of cortisol that makes it difficult to fall asleep.
Stage Three: During the final stage, you start to feel burnt out all the time. If you’ve ever had a baby, this is how you feel during the first couple of months of pregnancy or right after you have a baby. No amount of sleep can make you feel well-rested and this is because your cortisol patterns are completely out of whack or downright non-existent. You are now at risk of gut issues, thyroid disease and automimmune disease.