Stress and Adrenal Fatigue

Stress 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. Stress actually protects you, helping you stay focused, energetic, and alert. It can save your life by giving you extra strength to defend yourself or kicking you into overdrive to slam on the brakes to avoid a crash.

Beyond a certain point, though it begins causing major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.

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, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, and 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, from marriage to divorce.

Signs and Symptoms of Stress

Cognitive symptoms

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

Emotional symptoms

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

Physical symptoms

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

Behavioral symptoms

  • Eating more or 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 functions to increase blood sugar, to suppress the immune system, and to aid in the metabolism of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. It also decreases bone formation.

Adrenal insufficiency, sometimes referred to as adrenal fatigue, is a condition in which 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!

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