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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

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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