Stress is the number one cause of adrenal fatigue; however, many individuals may have this condition and not realize they have a problem or that there is something that can be done about it.
Anyone that is overworked, has mental or physical stress, marital problems, or a slew of other issues should pay attention to their body in order to detect symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Symptoms of adrenal fatigue include nervousness, weakness, irritability, low body temperature, low blood pressure, apprehension, excessive hunger, difficulty gaining weight, indigestion, cravings for sweets, inability to concentrate, feelings of frustration, lack of energy, mental depression, moments of confusion, poor memory, unexplained hair loss, inflammation, lightheadedness, heart fluttering, insomnia, headaches, dizziness that occurs upon standing, poor resistance to infections, alternating diarrhea and constipation, to name a few.
As with most illnesses, the symptoms can come on gradually and build over time. Some people are more susceptible to stress-related illnesses than others. If the stress level in a person’s life stays constant, the body begins to work harder to fight off the stress by secreting hormones that increase the blood sugar levels to ensure the body has enough energy. Excess stress hormones put a strain on the body’s cardiovascular system, cause weight gain around the middle, and increase blood sugar and blood pressure.
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the body can no longer cope with the stress. Inside the body, the adrenal hormones that have been pumping at high levels now drop to very low levels. Once in this stage, the body can no longer tolerate stress of any kind; mental and physical exhaustion occur, which can lead to illness and collapse.
So how can you know if this is starting to happen to you?
There are some self-examinations and painless lab tests that can help you learn if you have adrenal fatigue.
The Adrenal Fatigue Test is a urine and saliva test you can collect at home and send to a lab. It measures adrenaline, cortisol, DHEA, and Norepinephrine.
The easiest self-exam is done by pressing on the adrenal glands that are located above the kidneys. If you feel pain, then you more than likely have adrenal fatigue.
The Ragland’s sign or blood pressure test is another easy test to take at home. You will need a blood pressure kit. Take your blood pressure while sitting, then stand up and take your blood pressure again. The top number, (systolic) should have gone up by 8 to 10 mm. If this number dropped instead of rising, you more than likely have adrenal fatigue.
The last self-exam you can do at home is the pupil dilation exam. You can do this exam by standing in the bathroom facing the mirror. While looking into the mirror, shine a flashlight into one eye. The eye should contract. If the pupil stays the same or dilates; this is another sign of adrenal fatigue.