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Signs That You’re Suffering From Adrenal Fatigue Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

Signs That You’re Suffering From Adrenal Fatigue Even If You Don’t Feel You Are

Your adrenal glands are located at the top of your kidneys, and like other glands in your body make and give off hormones.  One of the most important ones is cortisol, which is called the “stress hormone” as it’s levels rise when you are anxious or upset.  If stress in your life is chronic, however, many doctors now theorize that the these glands simply cannot “keep up” and become depleted.  The result is adrenal fatigue — and more people might have it than you would think.  Below are some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with this condition.

You Feel Tired All the Time

It’s not just your adrenal glands that are fatigued when you have this condition!  If you do have it, it is likely that you feel tired all the time, regardless of how much sleep you get at night or how many naps you sneak in during the day.  This complete lack of stamina prompts many people to use caffeine throughout the day just to keep going, but that can only make the problem worse.

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You Find it Hard to Cope with Stress

Not surprisingly, with your adrenal system exhausted and low levels of cortisol, dealing with stress can be an enormous challenge.  You may feel overwhelmed or find it hard to cope with the day-to-day complexities of life.  You may even be prone to panic attacks or other extreme expressions of anxiety.

You Have Had Weight Changes and Strange Food Cravings

Some of the symptoms you might experience with adrenal fatigue are digestive.  It can often bring about some loss of appetite and even nausea.  It is also common to have unexplained weight loss — or sometimes even weight gain.  Another common problem is abnormally strong cravings for foods that are very salty or very sweet.

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You Might Have “Mental Fog”

“Mental fog” is not a medical term, but it is an excellent description of the problem that many people with adrenal fatigue have with staying focused and paying attention.  You may find it hard to make decisions, solve basic problems and may have problems remembering things in the short term.  Racing thoughts are another frequent complaint.

You Can Have Menstrual Issues

If you are a woman with adrenal fatigue, this can affect other hormones like progesterone and estrogen, leading to problems with your period.  Women can get signs and symptoms of perimenopause or have severe pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS).  Low libido and/or a decreased interest in sex is also a common complaint.

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You Get Sick Frequently

Adrenal fatigue can affect your body’s immune system and its ability to fight off invading bacteria or viruses. As a result, you can frequent come down with colds or other respiratory infections.  And when you do get an infection, it can take you a longer time than average to recover from the illness.  This weakened immunity is one of the most frustrating aspects of adrenal fatigue.

You Don’t Sleep Well

Whether it difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, sleep disturbances are a very common part of adrenal fatigue. And even if you do catch enough zzzz’s, it is also common to wake up the next morning and feel completely exhausted.

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You Have Problems with Your Skin and Hair

This condition can also bring about changes in your skin and hair.  Sometimes, you can lose body hair and the hair on your head with be thin or wispy and usually very dry.  You can also have discoloration of the skin (called hyperpigmentation) and dark circles under your eyes. Dry skin is also a common problem.

You Can Have Problems with Your Blood Pressure

While most people think of high blood pressure as a problem (which it is!), low blood pressure can be, too.  People with adrenal fatigue tend to have blood pressure that is lower than normal and as a result, they can feel light-headed or dizzy, especially when they stand up from a sitting or lying position.

You Have Chronic, Unexplained Pain

One of the worst symptoms of adrenal fatigue is the possibility of chronic, unexplained pain, especially in the muscles and the joints.  Many people with this condition have a general body ache much like the kind you get just before coming down with the flu.

It is important that you know that adrenal fatigue is a controversial and that it is not currently a recognized medical diagnosis (though that might be changing).  However, if you think you might have this condition, making an appointment with your doctor is a good idea as a simple blood test can tell you if your adrenal levels are low. Also, the symptoms discussed above could be the result of something more serious, such as Addison’s disease, depression or another hormonal disorder like hypothyroidism, all of which require medical treatment. So don’t wait — make an appointment today to find out if you are suffering from adrenal fatigue.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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