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How to Recognize Adrenal Fatigue; How Stress Affects Our Health.

Updated on July 2, 2015
nancynurse profile image

I am a wife, mother, Nana and Christian first. I graduated from UNCC with a BSN in Nursing and a minor in Psychology.

We need to learn how to relax and be our own best friend
We need to learn how to relax and be our own best friend | Source
Rest your Brain
Rest your Brain | Source

Adrenal Fatigue Symptoms

Have you ever heard of adrenal fatigue? I first did, amazingly after I had had lupus for 20 years. My daughter and I went into a health food store and one ot the specialists took one look at me and said I think you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.

Amazed I launched on some research. Here I am 3 years later still dealing with many of the symptoms I had at that time.

How I was Diagnosed With Adrenal Fatigue

I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus just after my thirtieth birthday and when I look back I realize I was totally over doing it. I had 3 young children, I worked a part time job. My husband traveled excessively and I tried to be super mom in many ways.

The sad thing about not recognizing the early signs is that I went into a full blown autoimmune attack and became so exhausted that I was of no use to anyone not even myself.

My adrenal glands were so overworked that my body could not keep up with the negative effects of the stress I was experiencing. They could not make enough cortisol for me to function. I can remember it was summer and all I could do was get up, help my children with whatever they needed and lay back down.

We went on a trip to Charleston SC and I had to stay in the hotel room resting or in the back seat of the car laying down while traveling. I had zero energy.

In an autoimmune disease your body which normally uses antibodies to ward of illness starts to become inefficient at recognizing the good guys from the bad and begins to attack cells of your own.

Mild Exercise and time in the sun helps with adrenal fatigue
Mild Exercise and time in the sun helps with adrenal fatigue | Source

Symptoms and causes

The adrenal glands lay above your kidneys and their main function is the regulation of important hormones and steroids in the body.

When these are not in correct balance you will begin to feel the effects of adrenal fatigue.

  • fatigue
  • moodiness
  • premature menopause
  • loss of sex drive
  • inability to sleep
  • irritability
  • slow recovery from illness
  • excessive thirst
  • cravings
  • weight gain especially around the waist
  • lack of sex drive
  • low blood sugar or Hypoglycemia
  • feeling cold all the time
  • hair loss
  • brain fog
  • irregular periods
  • acne

When to Seek Medical Attention For Exhaustion

When you start to have symptoms as listed above you know it is time to make some changes. You alone have the power to see and recognize the symptoms of stress in your life and make life saving changes today.

You may have to seek the care of a good physician or even a holistic doctor. There are test to see if you have severe adrenal insufficiency. If you have more than 3 or 4 of the symptoms and they are severe you probably do need a diagnosis.

Hormone imbalances can be serious and can definitely affect your personal life.

Key Steps to Adrenal Recovery

What the Adrenal glands do

The Adrenal Glands lay above the kidneys. They function to regulate hormones within the body. When you are over stressed or as some say your body is in a constant state of flight or fight you can have problems with your adrenal glands trying to keep up with your stress.

The outer region of the adrenal cortex is responsible for production mineralocorticoids which produces aldosterone and keeps sodium and water in balance. The gland also regulate Glucocorticoids which are secreted by the middle region of the adrenal cortex. This helps to regulate your glucose levels which is why you gain weight when it is not functioning correctly. Finally the third group of hormones secreted by the adrenal cortex are the gonadocorticoids, or sex hormones. This is why your sex drive is lower with adrenal fatigue and can also cause premature menopause, premenstrual problems, irritability, etc.

Mild exercise can help you release tension and gain endorphins.
Mild exercise can help you release tension and gain endorphins. | Source

How to Help Yourself

If I had known what I do now I would have made some major changes in my life.

How to Fight Adrenal Fatigue A fight for your life!

  • Be in bed by 11:00
  • Get rest during the day try to nap if possible
  • Eat protein with each meal
  • Journal daily
  • Take time for yourself
  • Cut back on all stressful activities
  • Some of your best sleep is between 7am and 9 am when Cortisol levels are optimal
  • Try to turn off all electronics one hour before bed
  • Take calcium and magnesium before bed
  • A warm bath with epsom salts will help your adrenal system
  • cut back on sugar
  • Eat a diet filled with whole foods more fish, wholesome oils like coconut oil, greens and whole grains.
  • Take more B complex and Vitamin C throughout the day.
  • Read about adrenal supplements and ask your physician if they would be helpful for you
  • Spend a short period of time in the sun maybe during a walk or gardening to increase your Vitamin D levels. You need at least 5000 mg every day sometimes more depending on how far you live from the equator
  • Stop trying to do everything perfect.
  • Don't drink more than 2 cups of coffee and avoid all caffeine after 2PM
  • Use high quality salts to add proper minerals back into your body.
  • Take Calcium and Magnesium every night at bedtime.
  • Try up to 5 mg Melatonin at night if you have problems sleeping

Garmin vívofit 2 Activity Tracker, Black
Garmin vívofit 2 Activity Tracker, Black

A fitness tracker like this not only helps you to manage your day but also make sure you are getting restful sleep



You can correct imbalances in your body. Don't say I can't because your health and life depends on it. With computers and cell phone we never can get away from work. Mothers today try to do it all. They work and try to be super mom. There is no such thing as a perfect mother. We are all human and our bodies respond negatively to too much stress. Learn what your stressors are and work on changing your life for the better today.


Submit a Comment

  • nancynurse profile image

    Nancy McClintock 3 years ago from Southeast USA

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I am so glad you enjoyed the hub!

  • FlourishAnyway profile image

    FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

    This is useful information. Please keep writing and sharing your experience.

  • Susan Trump profile image

    Susan Trump 3 years ago from San Diego, California

    So much to learn. So much to teach. Thank you.