Adrenal fatigue is not a recognized disease, but a condition in which the adrenal glands can no longer produce optimal amounts of hormones. This can result in a wide range of very different symptoms, collectively called a syndrome. The adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. They produce a number of hormones, including cortisol and DHEA, which are essential for many of the body’s normal functions. The organ is part of a larger glandular system in the body, which helps to regulate i.a. the sex hormones, fluid balance, blood sugar, blood pressure, the fight-flight reactions, the immune system etc.
There are many different stages of adrenal fatigue, ranging from a mild fatigue to the worst form, which can be a precursor to chronic fatigue syndrome. The typical symptoms are unusual fatigue, photosensitivity, low back pain, cravings for sweets and salt, sadness, and women experience hormonal imbalances such as PMS. In addition, men and women of all ages are equally affected by adrenal fatigue.
As adrenal fatigue is not an accepted disease, studies for this will not be offered immediately. However, the doctor can assess whether other issues are involved, such as Addison’s (deficiency of adrenal hormones) or Cushing’s disease (overproduction of adrenal hormones). In adrenal fatigue, results on blood tests are often normal, even if genes are experienced.
The body responds to stress by the adrenal glands being stress hormones. The theory behind adrenal fatigue is that the adrenal glands have responded to stress over a long period of time and that they therefore become tired and can no longer produce optimal amounts of hormones. There are different stages of adrenal fatigue; a mild form, a more chronic form and a definite adrenal burnout, which can be equated with Addison’s.
At Nordic Clinic, the treatment is based on the cause of adrenal fatigue. Often it is mental stress, but it can also be physical stress due to food reactions, gastrointestinal problems, metabolic diseases, infections or other physical strain. The adrenal glands can be supported, but the cause should be treated primarily. Saliva or urine samples are recommended to measure the adrenal hormones cortisol and DHEA. In addition, analyzes are recommended to assess various physical issues; digestive profiles, food intolerance, additional hormonal imbalances, infections, etc. The diet is adjusted with a focus on a stable blood sugar, as well as optimal intake of nutrition. Dietary supplements are recommended in order to balance stress response and increase endurance and energy.