Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.
Adrenal fatigue is a collection of signs and symptoms, known as a
syndrome, that results when the adrenal glands function below the
Background - a story
Over time, both constant physical and mental stress can wear us down
mentally, emotionally, physically, and lead to depression, other mental
and physical health issues such as adrenal fatigue, an oft denied let alone
It was spring 2015 and I had just spent the previous 12 months daily
visiting with my younger sister, sometimes at her home, or during her
bouts in hospital, or her local hospice. She was dying from lung cancer or more correctly, dying also from the side effects of the treatment for lung cancer, a medical system that still doesn’t treat the patient, heeds lifestyle and nutrition, but just targets and treats the symptoms, the disease.
In those same 12 months my own health was rapidly declining and my stressors increasing; my diabetes was playing up, I had a persistent cough which medics refused to explore despite a television advertising campaign advising the populous to consult with a GP if a cough had lasted more than three weeks. Mine had been around for five months, was getting worse, but my pleas to my doctors to do something, do anything, fell on deaf ears until one doctor decided it wasn’t a troublesome cough but heart problems. I argued. Intuitively I knew it wasn’t heart. But no, he said, he knew better. He refused any referrals to any other specialist than a heart specialist.
Four months of waiting and ten minutes into my consultation with a heart specialist, I was advised this was not a heart condition. I waited another four months to then be seen by a lung specialist. Then another four to be seen by a vascular specialist. Wait, wait, wait, whilst all the time nothing was being diagnosed, my conditions wer worsening, and my mental anxiety was now increasing as I was getting no answers. This is one reason, or one example, why I believe we do not have a “health” service, we have a condition management service, that is when they eventually figure out what it is. This process of going through silos one by one with huge time delays in between is not conducive to health creation, disease prevention, or indeed disease management.
Meantime, witnessing my sister quickly fade before our eyes, and my own health deteriorating, my mind turned to my own mortality, raising questions of how I would cope if I became infirm and unable to look after myself. So far, medical services had show them incapable of handling one medical condition let alone a patient with increasing dis-eases and illnesses. There as no dignity in her treatment SYSTEM (individual staff members were angels) until she entered the hospice.
And friends and family wondered why I was anxious, afraid, angry, and stressed. EG
My ability to handle stress or pressure decreased, temper shortened, tolerance reduced, patience exhausted
My cognitive ability was suffering, and no medical person would listen. I was not thinking as clearly and sharply as I usually did.
I tried to avoid emotional situations which could trigger heightened emotions; it was enough to hold in the tears of witnessing death or deal with the feelings of injustice at medical negligence, poor systems, and lack of listening. I learned if one complained, those complained against would simply come and find me and give me an earful.
I was chronically fatigued; a tiredness that was never relieved by sleep.
When hurried or under pressure, I would find it difficult to find word, to articulate.
I was frequently cold, despite living in a warm house.
At the time I did not have the time to stop to consider conditions such as adrenal fatigue. My time was spent researching cancer and alternative and complimentary approaches, studying nutrition. I was truly becoming sick and tired of being sick and tired.
And yet, I was compelled to now research adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, and similar conditions.
It’s hard to believe, but adrenal fatigue is estimated to affect around 80 percent of people in the world, and may happen several times over a person’s life, often without them truly realising it. According to James Wilson (author of “Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome“), chronic stress and lifestyle affect the body’s ability to recuperate from physical, mental or emotional stress.
In fact, whether acute, ie a condition that lasts for a short time or a chronic condition, one that goes on and on, most people struggle with adrenal fatigue at some point in their lives. Symptoms include those I have already mentioned but consult websites and the “official” list will look something more like:
Aches on any part of the body, one moment arms, next shoulder, then legs or wherever
Bone density loss
Cravings – for sweet or salty foods, comfort foods
Fatigue that is constant
Inability to tolerate high-carb/potassium foods unless paired with fat and protein
Morning fatigue or trouble waking up
Thoughts racing, negative, irritable
Of course, the above symptoms can be indicative of other disorders and, so, are often overlooked by conventional, allopathic doctors; I was told “Well, it’s understandable you are stressed. Just try to get more sleep.” Yet no one ever explored with me the totality of what I was going through and the decline in my health. Eventually, through my persistence, I was seen by several Ear Nose and Throat consultants and one eventually discovered a physical issue with my nose which was preventing my breathing and for which a surgical procedure was needed. Through this, I was referred to a sleep clinic where they diagnosed sleep apnoea. So much for the doctors who would not even listen to my experience of my symptoms and those who told me, without examination, just to get more sleep.
I know doctors are busy and the health service is strapped for cash; but the above is not even close to a health service. Why treat if you don't know the cause?
Fortunately, more and more of the public are beginning to realise that a combination of the symptoms already outlined could indicate the onset of adrenal fatigue, also known as adrenal insufficiency, that your adrenal glands are not operating to their maximum.
Adrenal fatigue can also be a major cause of excess fat storage and low energy levels yet my doctor simply said, in response to my mounting weight, to eat less and walk more … advice that is so misguided as to be neglectful. The galling thing is these glib comments are always without the patient’s comments being taken seriously, explored, or any examination done.
Your adrenal glands are two thumb-sized organs that sit above your kidneys and are part of the endocrine system. According to WebMD, “The endocrine system is a network of glands that produce and release (over 50) hormones that help control many important body functions, including the body's ability to change calories into energy that powers cells and organs. The endocrine system influences how your heart beats, how your bones and tissues grow, even your ability to make a baby. It plays a vital role in whether or not you develop diabetes, thyroid disease, growth disorders, sexual dysfunction, and a host of other hormone-related disorders.”
Adrenal glands play a huge role in the stress response. Your brain recognises a threat of some kind — it may be emotional, mental or physical. At the centre of the adrenal glands is the adrenal medulla which then releases adrenaline hormones to help you react to the threat (the fight-flight-freeze response), rushing blood to your brain, heart and muscles. The adrenal cortex, the outer portion of the adrenal gland located on top of each kidney, then releases corticosteroids to dampen processes like digestion, immune system response and other functions not necessary for immediate survival.
Your adrenal glands balance hormones such as:
Adrenaline – hormones that affect your heart health, ensuring that all parts of the body receive blood and convert glycogen into glucose in your liver.
Glucocorticoids – hormones that balance your blood sugar, help with energy and food metabolism all of the chemical reactions that take place inside living cells), help your body deal with stress, and manage your immune response
Mineralocorticoids – hormones needed for healthy blood pressure, maintaining blood hydration level, and keep your blood healthy by keeping salt and water in balance
Sex hormones – production of oestrogen and testosterone.
It is perhaps not surprising, given the work they have to do, that adrenal glands can become fatigued and exhausted.
So What Causes Adrenal Fatigue?
Adrenal fatigue is a condition, and despite what some doctors may tell you, it IS a condition, where your body and its adrenal glands can’t keep up with the tremendous amount of daily stress many people experience, in an increasingly stress-filled world. Adrenal fatigue is not to be confused with autoimmune disorder. Our NHS isn’t too sharp on detecting and treating immune disorders either.
It is believed that both one episode of acute stress or prolonged, ongoing chronic stress can cause adrenal glands to become overloaded, overworked, and so become ineffective. It is believed to be caused by:
Dying and death of a loved one
Divorce, sudden end of a relationship in which you had no control or notice
Exposure to environmental toxins and pollution
Prolonged stress due to financial hardship
Prolonged stress when in a bad or dysfunctional relationship or work environment
Negative thinking and emotional trauma
Poor diet and lack of exercise
Two other points of note:-
The Mayo Clinic, has said that severe adrenal fatigue symptoms may actually be Addison’s disease…when our adrenal glands produce too little cortisol and often insufficient levels of aldosterone, whose main role is to regulate salt and water in the body, thus having an effect on blood pressure.
The Medical Medium, Anthony William, born with the unique ability to converse with a high-level spirit who provides him with extraordinarily accurate health information that’s often far ahead of its time, believes that medical science and research are still in the dark about Adrenal Fatigue. He also believes that if you’re experiencing more severe forms of adrenal fatigue symptoms you could have neurological fatigue, which is caused by the swelling of the central nervous system caused by such viruses as Epstein-Barr and shingles. He discusses these viruses and how they are unknowingly responsible for many mystery diseases, conditions, and symptoms in his three books Medical Medium, Life-Changing Foods, and Thyroid Healing. In a recent article of his I noticed he said, “It’s commonly believed that the adrenals stop producing enough hormones when they are fatigued. This is a misconception. In reality, the function of the adrenals varies with emotional stress, environmental factors, and existing health issues in the body. Because of this variability, the adrenals can swing between producing too much or too little hormone. It’s this fluctuating behavior that characterizes genuine adrenal fatigue.”
Recovery for adrenal fatigue needs patience for it can take a little while. Remember, it took months, maybe years, to wear out your adrenals; so it takes a little time to build up their strength again. For full adrenal recovery, you can expect it to take:
6–9 months for minor adrenal fatigue
12–18 months for moderate fatigue
Up to 24 months for severe adrenal fatigue
The best approach is to make changes to your lifestyle for lasting results, aiming for a balanced lifestyle with minimum stress, maximum fun, a healthy level of sleep, exercise, and a positive environment, then you are most likely to keep your adrenal system going strong!
A Metaphysical Perspective
Please see the earlier comments about the Medical Medium.
The personality of the person with adrenal fatigue, and whose character traits will have contributed to the condition, may be described as one that feels hopeless, that things can never get better or change. There will be great despair and sadness in their heart, they may be depressed, but they are likely to keep their true feelings to themselves, bottled up. And suppressed feelings take their toll (in this case, on the adrenal glands, though not exclusively.)
This person may have been riding high, in a good position, but something has brought life down, their sense of well-being is shattered, the life of illusions they have been living confronted and broken. They fear change, they fear not being good enough, and somehow always get involved in a pattern of chaos and stress.
Childhood may have been a time of lack of nurturing, of demonstrated love and so they end up believing they are not good enough to be loved and worked hard at getting others’ love and approval.
They may have bad memories, or even nightmares, and experienced crime, violence or other injustice. They now live with the constant fear that something awful is going to happen, impending doom, they are never at peace, and so their fight/flight/free monitor is always active, the adrenals never get a chance to rest, and sooner or later, they struggle.
Sadly, the person may believe they deserved what came to them, the bad, the violence, the crime. Somewhere in their childhood, or a previous life, they believe they must have done something bad.
They never have or take or make time to set goals, work towards achieving them, to consider their spiritual growth or even take care of themselves physically.
So busy, busy, busy doing, doing, doing and not enough time just to be.
What beliefs might this person have?
Bad things happen to good people
Bad always happens to me
I try my best
Work must always come first
I have nothing left to give
There is no space in life for fun
If I am selfish or take time for my needs, I will be punished
I am a victim
I am depressed
I am going to be harmed, attacked, wronged
If I keep moving, on the go, I may avoid being caught
I am powerless
I am without hope, worthless, there’s nothing I can do
I can’t let people know how I feel
I must keep my experiences and feelings to myself
What’s the point, I don’t care what happens
People don’t listen to me
I don’t trust people in authority
I have to do everything myself
I have no right to love, I have to earn it, and that’s hard
I have to save the world
I’ll never be good enough
Take time to identify your individual beliefs, remembering to go back to childhood experience, what you were taught, how you interpreted life’s experiences, the outlooks and views you formed.
Where did you get the belief that you were unlovable, didn’t deserve, or deserved to be punished, that you had to work hard, do it better than others? Is it time to revise the negative beliefs?
Take each belief you hold and challenge it – is this true, who would you be without this belief. What would a healthier belief be? See The Work by Byron Katie.
What can you do to reduce or better manage the stress in your life? Or how you look at stress.
How can you make time for fun in your life, to take timeout.
How can you love yourself? Once you know how to do that, you are in a better position to love someone else, to welcome a new trusting relationship into your life.
Consider Emotional Freedom Technique to deal with disempowering emotions.
Videos / Websites
Dr Wilson's Adrenal Website
Metaphysical healing, part of the larger field of Energy Medicine, is based on
the belief that negative mental, emotional or behavioural patterns, left
unchecked, can eventually result in dis-ease or illness and that the transforming of those negative patterns into positive patterns, and nurturing them, can in turn, lead to healing. What you think in your inner world affects your outer world.
If you live life believing you are unworthy, of no value, and that life means
nothing, then don’t be surprised if “life” gives you illness. After all, the message you send out is – I am of no worth, I am of no value, I have nothing to offer, what’s the point, so just let me be invisible. Life heeds your request.
7 Steps to Heal Adrenal Fatigue
Dr David Jockers