When It’s More Than Just “Tired”: Adrenal Fatigue and Burnout
By Dr. Jennifer Habashy
It’s no secret that we live in an incredibly fast paced world. We are constantly being bombarded with pressure, anxiety, and feelings of uncertainty. Not to mention a compounded reliance on technology – majority of us regularly checking our screens wondering how we compare to other’s shiny highlight reels.
But what happens when we reach our proverbial breaking point? This daunting feeling of burnout may in fact be early signs of adrenal fatigue.
What is adrenal fatigue?
As the name suggests, adrenal fatigue is caused by impaired adrenal function. When our bodies are under conditions of intense or prolonged stress, our adrenal glands are needed to constantly sustain high cortisol levels. Eventually, they become desensitized and can no longer respond appropriately. The resulting adrenal dysfunction thus not only affects our short-term stress response, but also the adrenals’ ability to produce or balance other hormones that are essential for immunity and overall wellbeing.
This dysfunction thus leads to symptoms such as chronic fatigue, compromised immunity, anxiety, mood regulation, brain fog, cravings for salty and sweet foods, weight gain, insomnia, the list goes on.
How to test?
A commonly used tool to assess adrenal dysfunction is 24-hour salivary testing. A saliva sample is taken upon waking, before lunch, before dinner, and right before bed. This results in a four-point cortisol curve that can reveal how the body utilizes cortisol throughout the day and when the peaks and dips occur. With this information, we can then determine the best course of treatment.
Is recovery possible?
All that being said, daily stress doesn’t have to become chronic distress. Getting on the right supplement plan and addressing lifestyle factors such as nutrition, sleep hygiene, exercise, and stress management are key.
Adrenal fatigue can easily be diagnosed and managed with the right tools – and we are here to equip you with them!