hair loss, thinning hair, woman, hormones

Adrenal Fatigue | The Truth Behind Feeling “Wired and Tired”

Do you find yourself waking up exhausted yet when it’s time to go to bed you can’t seem to unwind?

Let me tell you about a woman who recently came to see me.

She was cranky, wanted to take a nap every afternoon and could not lose the weight she gained during her pregnancy 3 years earlier. She felt hungry all the time.  In the evening she craved sweets. Even though her incredible will power was keeping her from indulging her cravings she was still not able to lose weight.

When I looked at her diet and exercise she was living the mantra of “Eat right, reduce your portions and exercise.” So why wasn’t she feeling great?

We ran a test to check  the health of her adrenal glands and found that they were exhausted.

Adrenaline and Cortisol: short term effects

Stress can come in many forms – physical trauma, emotional upheaval, financial strain, family worries, work commitments… but they all have the same effect.  They all trigger brain chemicals (like epinephrine, also called adrenaline) and hormones (like cortisol) from your adrenal glands.

The short-term effects of these chemicals?  You think clearly, have a boost in energy and can handle the immediate crisis. Yay!

But when your relationship stress drags on, or your bank funds are running low, or  you’re looking for work or your parents need ongoing care, or your kids need extra attention … then you experience the long-term effects of these brain chemicals and hormones.

Adrenaline and Cortisol: long-term effects

When epinephrine and cortisol stay elevated for weeks or months they create:

  • anxiety/ irritability
  • suppressed digestion
  • trouble sleeping
  • increased appetite
  • weight gain around the middle (muffin top)
  • fatigue
  • decreased bone density
  • and lowered libido!

Cortisol doesn’t stay high forever. Eventually it crashes down to BELOW NORMAL. Unfortunately, the symptoms don’t change much except you have increased irritability and fatigue.

Next Steps

Fortunately, there are simple foods and nutrition supplements that can restore balance.

For more information on the testing we do to evaluate adrenal function CLICK HERE.

What can you do RIGHT NOW?  Here are  3 Tips you can try at home to Balance your Adrenal Function (regardless of whether it is high or low):

  1. Take several 1-2 minute breaks throughout the day to focus on deep breathing – it resets the nervous system.
  2. Have a small protein snack at night before bed because low blood sugar can trigger adrenal stress and keep you from getting good sleep.
  3. Make sure you have a good breakfast so your body has some energy to run on during the day other than adrenaline (or caffeine.)

If you are ready to find out more about which nutritional imbalances you may have click here to take the Nutrition Profile Quiz.

 Take our Nutrition Profile Quiz!



  • Ladonna

    Reply Reply March 23, 2013

    Great article. I’m passing this one on to friends.

  • lori

    Reply Reply March 25, 2013

    Wow. This article touches on so many different possibilities but covers the territory for sure!
    Very informative.

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