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Adrenal Fatigue and Stress

Adrenal fatigue and its causes

Stress can help you perform under pressure, or motivate you to do your best. When you are constantly stressed, however, your body and mind pay the price. Bring your nervous system back into balance by learning how to recognize the symptoms of chronic stress and adrenal fatigue. Stress actually protects you, helping you stay focused, energetic, and alert. It can save your life by giving you extra strength to defend yourself. It can kick you into overdrive to slam on the brakes to avoid a crash.

Beyond a certain point, though, it begins causing major damage. As a result, your health suffers, your mood changes, your productivity falls off, your relationships get prickly, and your quality of life falls.

Stress is stress

Your body does not distinguish between good stress and bad stress. That is, you may find yourself in chronic stress…always stressed out. Chronic stress can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. It can speed up the aging process while it rewires your brain, leaving you vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.

Causes of stress

In a word, life causes stress. The top ten stressful life events range from death of a spouse to retirement, and from marriage to divorce.

Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Cognitive symptoms

Altered mental action or ability to acquire knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and your senses.

  • Memory problems
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Poor judgment
  • Seeing only the negative
  • Anxious or racing thoughts
  • Constant worrying

Emotional symptoms

Emotion that is especially arousing or characterized by intense feeling, as:

  • Depression or general unhappiness
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Moodiness, irritability, or anger
  • Feeling overwhelmed
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Other mental or emotional health problems

Physical symptoms

Relating to the body as opposed to the mind:

  • Aches and pains
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea, dizziness
  • Chest pain, rapid heart rate
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Frequent colds or flu

Behavioral symptoms

Involving, relating to, or emphasizing behavior, especially changes in your behavior:

  • Eating more or eating less
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Procrastinating or neglecting responsibilities
  • Using alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax
  • Nervous habits (e.g., nail biting, pacing)

Dealing with stress

Cortisol, a steroid hormone made in the adrenal gland, helps your body deal with stress. It helps increase blood sugar, suppress the immune system, and aid in the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. But it also decreases bone formation by blocking calcium absorption.

What about adrenal fatigue?

Adrenal insufficiency is sometimes called adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands produce inadequate amounts of cortisol and sometimes aldosterone, which regulates sodium conservation, and shows up as a craving for salt or salty foods. There is little evidence, however, that chronic stress causes adrenal fatigue, or induces the adrenal gland to produce too little cortisol.

Treatment of stress

Lifestyle changes to reduce stress should always be accompanied by a doctor’s treatment. Dr. Nangrani will test you for adrenal insufficiency, production of cortisol, insulin tolerance, and will design a program with you to reduce the effects of stress on your life.

Call now for a consultation and a pathway out of a stressful condition!

We are 10 minutes from I-45 and a step off The Woodlands Parkway. We look forward to seeing you soon!

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