Adrenal fatigue: The reason you may always feel tired

Are you constantly exhausted, but blood tests and visits to your GP aren’t turning up any answers? You may have adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is a relatively new diagnosis that can be applied to a collection of nonspecific symptoms, such as body aches, fatigue, nervousness, sleep disturbances and digestive problems.

“There are a world of subclinical disease symptoms which have no recognisable clinical findings,” naturopath Dr David Jivan tells The House of Wellness TV team.

“They’re distinct from clinical diseases, which have identifiable signs and symptoms.”

Adrenal glands are essential

“Our adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to life,” Dr Jivan notes.

“Proponents of adrenal fatigue diagnosis claim this is a mild form of adrenal insufficiency caused by chronic stress.

“The unproven theory is that your adrenal glands are unable to keep pace with the demands of perpetual fight-or-flight arousal. As a result, they can’t produce quite enough of the hormones you need to feel good.

“Existing blood tests, according to this theory, aren’t sensitive enough to detect such a small decline in adrenal function — but your body is.”

adrenal fatigue

Symptoms to watch for

The typical adrenal fatigue sufferer will wake up exhausted, go a for a caffeine hit, peak mid-afternoon, crash after 6pm, peak again before midnight and wake up exhausted.

“Their whole circadian rhythm or biological clock is out of whack,” says Dr Jivan.

Modern-day triggers can include computer use, diet, sugar, caffeine and alcohol intake and lack of hydration.

What to do if you’re always tired

Dr Jivan says the best advice includes ensuring we’re getting adequate amounts of rest and to avoid unnecessary use of corticosteroids.

“Apart from active exercise, look at yoga, meditation, taking up a hobby, listening to music, taking time out to break some tiring boring routines,” he says.

“Go on a holiday and remember you don’t have to go away for a month. These days the most popular break is a weekend away or even an overnighter.

“Keep up your hydration and consider acupuncture, kinesiology and a naturopath to put you on the right track.”

And finally …

“Remember laughter is the key to happiness and happiness is the key to happy adrenal glands,” he says.

Catch up on the full episode of The House of Wellness TV show to see more from Zoe, Ed, and the team.