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Could you be suffering from adrenaline fatigue?

Although not medically recognized, the term ‘adrenaline fatigue’ has gained popularity in the health and wellness community

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A woman lays her head on her arm looking tired.

Could you be suffering from adrenaline fatigue? Several medical organizations share their explanations.

Zohre Nemati, Unsplash

Do you find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open halfway through the day, or maybe you don’t understand why your personal battery is running low even when you feel like you’re living a healthy lifestyle?

The National Health Society explained that consistent exhaustion could stem from a range of lifestyle factors:

  • Not getting enough sleep.
  • A diet that lacks nutrition
  • Not getting adequate exercise.
  • Not managing stress levels.
  • Hormonal changes.

One trending explanation that is not an acknowledged medical condition by many health care professionals could be that you’re suffering from adrenaline fatigue.

What is adrenaline fatigue?

Adrenaline fatigue is a term used when a person experiences “long-term mental, emotional, or physical stress,” per Endocrine Society.

Adding that, “Supporters of adrenal fatigue believe the problem begins when many different life stresses become too much for the body to handle.”

The adrenals, a pair of tiny glands perched above the kidneys, secrete various hormones, including cortisol. In response to stress, these glands generate and discharge spurts of cortisol into our bloodstream, Harvard Health explained.

The concept of adrenal fatigue suggests that for people under constant stress, adrenal glands struggle to cope with the continuous demands of a constant fight-or-flight state.

The issue health care professionals have with the term adrenaline fatigue “is that it has been used to describe a group of symptoms when nothing else can be used to explain it,” per the Cleveland Clinic.

What causes adrenaline fatigue?

Hormone therapy specialist Dr. George Shanlikian, medical director of Genemedics Health Institute, told Poosh, Kourtney Kardashian’s lifestyle publication, that stress is the likeliest cause of adrenaline fatigue, followed by infection or trauma.

“The theory behind adrenal fatigue is that chronic exposure to stressors puts strain on the adrenal glands, eventually overworking them to the point where they burn out and produce inadequate cortisol and other hormones. Relatable,” per Poosh.

However, Cleveland Clinic emphasized that “the term ‘adrenal fatigue’ is based on the assumption that your adrenal gland has the capacity to fatigue — but certain organs in your body are not so easily subverted. They don’t simply tire out.”

What are symptoms of adrenaline fatigue?

The Mayo Clinic said that symptoms of lower adrenaline could be manifested in several ways:

  • Fatigue.
  • Body aches.
  • Unknown cause of weight loss.
  • Low blood sugar.
  • Brain fog.
  • Hair loss.
  • Hyperpigmentation.

The adrenal fatigue theory might seem to account for your symptoms perfectly. Still, it’s essential to speak to a health care professional because these symptoms could be the result of other illnesses.

Before investing your time and energy into treatment plans for a condition not conclusively recognized, it’s wise to reassess your lifestyle thoroughly. The solution to improving your health could be more accessible than expected.

How to prevent adrenaline fatigue

Although not a medically recognized condition, Health Direct advised these health care options to prevent adrenaline fatigue:

  • Eat a balanced diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Quit smoking, alcohol and caffeine.

Emphasizing that “some practitioners may recommend you take supplements for adrenal fatigue. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking new supplements. Make sure that they don’t react with your other medicines. In some cases, supplements may be harmful or dangerous.”