"Adrenal Fatigue" is a term that you hear a lot in the health community, but what is it exactly? In this article you'll learn the causes of adrenal fatigue, how it can impact how you feel, and what you can do about it!
Your adrenal glands sit on top of your kidneys and regulate many critical hormonal jobs in your body. One of those jobs is the secretion of your body's main stress hormone, cortisol. Our bodies have been designed for stressful events, and throughout time they have adapted to them. If our ancestors were chased by a predator, the sympathetic response, our body's fight-or-flight mode, would be activated. During this stress response, cortisol would be released, upregulating blood pressure and blood sugar, which were needed for the stressful event. When things calm down, cortisol secretion decreases, along with your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Normal balance is intact.
Our modern life, with its many chronic stressors, can turn on your stress response and throw away the key. Unlike acute stress, for which we're biologically hard-wired, chronic stress turns on the fight-or-flight response, without any rest. If the chronic stress response doesn't leave, those cortisol triggers never stop. But we haven't genetically adapted to the onslaught of modern chronic stressors. Balance is not intact.
Some chronic stressors that can lead to adrenal fatigue are: