Do you wake up feeling tired, craving that first cup of coffee to get you going? Maybe you have a hard time getting to sleep or staying asleep, waking up multiple times in the night? Do you often feel dizzy, lightheaded, or anxious, or do you crave sugar in the afternoons to keep you going? Worst of all, have you reached a point of feeling chronically exhausted, with debilitating fatigue that never seems to go away? If you resonate with any of the above, you could be suffering from a modern epidemic: adrenal fatigue.
Adrenals are little glands that sit on top of your kidneys. They produce about 60 different hormones, and are critically important for managing our energy levels, balancing blood sugar, lowering inflammation, regulating blood pressure, producing our sex hormones, and helping us handle stress. These tiny glands are part of a vital biofeedback loop called the HPA axis that manages our minute-by-minute daily responses to stresses that we face, from a virus we are battling, to domestic arguments, to running late to work.
Under normal circumstances, our adrenal glands can handle the daily stresses. However, when under constant stress for an extended period, the adrenals become weak and unable to produce adequate amounts of critical hormones, especially a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is essential for blood pressure, blood sugar, and sleep regulation.
When stressed, initially our adrenals produce extra cortisol in spurts throughout the day that cause “wired but tired” symptoms: energy surges followed by crashes during the day and difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep at night. Later, if stress isn’t managed, cortisol levels drop as the adrenals lose the ability to keep up, and a person will enter a more serious phase of chronic exhaustion. In addition, long-term dysregulated cortisol is a big contributor to high or low blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, and diabetes.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, you might wonder why your doctor never mentioned adrenal fatigue to you. Unfortunately, conventional lab testing only recognizes abnormal cortisol levels in the two extremes–Cushing’s Disease (extremely high levels) and Addison’s Disease (extremely low or absent levels).
Can adrenal fatigue be fixed? Absolutely! But true recovery takes patience, involving specific nutrition, supplements, and activities that consciously promote relaxation. Acupuncture is a powerful tool in boosting adrenal function. In fact, multiple studies have associated the use of acupuncture with regulation of the HPA axis, improving the ability to adapt to stress, produce adrenal hormones, and regulate cortisol.
At Vital Health we help people find clarity regarding the root causes of their health challenges, providing step-by-step guidance on what to do to restore health naturally. Learn more by attending our upcoming health class, Adrenals & Thyroid: Answers to Fatigue & Weight Gain, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021 7:30pm at Vital Health in CDA. The option to attend online via Zoom is also available. Class fee: $10. To register, call 208-765-1994 or go to VitalHealthCDA.com/health-classes
©2021 Darcy Greenwald, M.S.O.M., L.Ac. and Vital Health