Adrenal Fatigue: Is it Real?

by | Apr 19, 2021

Is adrenal fatigue real?

You are sitting at your desk in the office and look over at the clock with eyes fighting to stay open to see that the time is 10 AM in the morning. Yawning big you reach over to grab your second cup of coffee recalling how many hours you slept the night before. You start to wonder what is wrong with your body that 8 hours of sleep and 2 cups of coffee later you still feel like a walking zombie? 

You go online and search your symptoms via trusted Doctor google and diagnose yourself with adrenal fatigue. 

What is Adrenal Fatigue? 

Adrenal fatigue is the idea that our adrenal glands are overworked due to chronic stress which causes the adrenal glands to produce insufficient amounts of hormones. Common signs and symptoms include: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Difficulty waking in the morning
  • Brain fog 
  • Over consumption of caffeine 
  • Food cravings 

But, is the condition real? According to the Mayo Clinic, adrenal fatigue is not an accepted medical diagnosis. In fact, recent peer review studies have revealed that the condition has no scientific support. Endocrinologist, Dr. Anat Ben-Shlomo from Cedars-Sinai stated in the article Debunking Adrenal Fatigue written by Cedars-Sinai that, “when you’re stressed, the adrenal glands actually produce more of the cortisol and other hormones you need.” 

How to Combat the Typical Symptoms

In the same article, Dr. Anat Ben-Shlomo provided tips if you are experiencing symptoms that are typically associated with adrenal fatigue:

  1. Nurture your mental health
  2. Don’t ignore serious conditions
  3. Manage your blood sugar
  4. Don’t forget sleep hygiene (Staff, C. (2018, January 16). Is Adrenal Fatigue a Medical Myth? Retrieved December 02, 2020, from https://www.cedars-sinai.org/blog/debunking-adrenal-fatigue.html)

There are numerous medical conditions that present with similar signs and symptoms. An underlying health issue left untreated could continue to take a toll on your overall health. If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above consult a medical professional to determine the real cause for the symptoms. 

You can learn more tips to fight fatigue by visiting the AZ Dietitians blog, where you will find articles on the effects of sleep deprivation, how to get moving, and how to stay hydrated. 

Written by: Lexi Nazzaro, Dietetic Intern

Sources: Information adapted from Mayo Clinic mayoclinic.org, Harvard Health health.harvard.edu and Cedar-Sinai cedars-sinai.org

Photo from @lexicolby_ by Lexi Nazzaro, Dietetic Intern

 

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