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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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